Continental Europe’s financial capital
Attracts more than bankers in their skyscrapers. Frankfurt (or Frankfurt am Main, to give it its full title) is home not just to some of Germany’s most powerful companies, but to five different festivals and 20-or-so important museums, not to mention the world’s largest motor show and book fair.
With its futuristic Zeilgalerie (Zeil 112-114), Zeil is the most popular shopping street in Frankfurt. It hosts an array of international chains, including Zara, H&M and Primark, as well as Frankfurt’s largest department stores. If you’re after a more elitist shopping experience, then nearby Goethestrasse is lined with designer brands and upmarket boutiques – Armani, Versace and Tiffany all have branches here. Foodies will find plenty to tickle their taste buds on Fressgass, the street that’s been dubbed by locals ‘the gourmet mile’, and at popular indoor market Kleinmarkthalle (Hasengasse 7), which sells scrumptious fresh food as well as a selection of regional specialities.
Food & Drink
Frankfurt is known for its artery-lining specialities, with city-brewed pilsner beer, Handkäse mit Musik (curdled quark cheese), marzipan biscuits Bethmännchen and sour cream-based Grüne Sosse all local favourites. Discover a hearty selection of regional delicacies at Gerbermühle (Gerbermühlstrasse 105), which is housed in a gorgeous 16th-century building and was reportedly a favourite of the city’s most famous local son, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. For classy, international fare, head to the bar and restaurant at Frankfurter Botschaft (Westhafenplatz 6-8), or splash out on a Michelin-starred meal at Erno’s Bistro (Liebigstrasse 15). Health-conscious diners will love the biological menu at Emma Metzler (Schaumainkai 17), with its sun-soaked terrace dining area.
Nacht der Museen
During the last week in March, the city’s museums open their doors for a late-night celebration of culture. Expect special events, exhibitions and demonstrations, as well as street music and a lively atmosphere across Frankfurt.
Frankfurt’s world-famous ballet troupe hosts an annual party, traditionally held in the last week of May. It coincides with a performance at the Opernhaus on Willy-Brandt-Platz, which is one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar.
Summer Festival Opernplatz
Sample regional delicacies from around Germany at this vibrant summer festival. Food stalls and exhibitors take over Frankfurt’s Alte Oper during the last week in June for a celebration of good food and drink.
Museumsuferfest and Rainbow Quai
This big, loud, extravagant festival aims to promote Frankfurt’s culture with a range of events. Expect to see art exhibitions, film screening and live music, accompanied by plenty of apple wine. The gay and lesbian ‘Rainbow Bridge’ party runs over the three days preceding the main festival and counts as one of the most colourful events of the year.
Frankfurt Book Fair
Nearly 300,000 literary-minded visitors gather in the city during autumn to discover new releases, learn about the publishing industry and celebrate a joint interest in all things book-related.
This buzzy, cosmopolitan city is the largest financial centre in continental Europe, and its hotel scene is a byword for five-star luxury. From the Jumeirah Frankfurt (Thurn-und-Taxis-Platz 2), a soaring designer skyscraper block with stunning urban views, to the grand and historic Villa Kennedy (Kennedyallee 70), you’ll find both classy and contemporary and solidly traditional accommodation here. Mid-range visitors can choose from a stellar selection of boutique hotels, including the iconic Pearl Hotel (Gutleutstrasse 173) in the Westhafen area of the city. Travelling on a budget? The A&O Frankfurt Galluswarte (Mainzer Landstrasse 226-230) is a welcoming hostel with a rooftop bar and cosy rooms.