For many visitors to Frankfurt, this small district of the city center will be your first port of call. That’s because its name translates to train station quarter, as it lays adjacent to Frankfurt’s busy central station. Bahnhofsviertel has long had a reputation that was hard to shake, known more for its red-light district and slew of bars than its cultural offerings. However, recent years have seen a transformation and the grittiness has been offered a new light. Visit the Bahnhofsviertel for student bars, affordable restaurants and some of the city’s best nightlife.
Low rents and a central location are largely responsible for Bahnhofsviertel’s rejuvenation, with large numbers of students and artists occupying the previously undesirable apartments that line the streets. Many of the buildings on Kaiserstrasse and Münchener Strasse, two of the streets that lead towards Willy-Brandt-Platz from the station, pre-date World War II so there is plenty of fascinating architecture to take in.
Wander from the station by day to experience the eclectic blend of cultures and characters in the area. Stop for cheap food at a kebab store or a hip café before continuing to explore the area. By night a number of the city’s coolest bars become crowded and lively.
Spend an afternoon relaxing on the Main Riverbank. Located at the southern edge of Bahnhofsviertel, the grassy area is a meeting place for Frankfurt’s locals and in summer is a popular destination. People-watch or read a book as you mix with the locals.
While the region is far safer than it used to be, parts of Bahnhofsviertel remain places to avoid at night. Frankfurt’s red-light district is largely confined to Taunusstrasse and the streets that join it and photography is not appreciated in these areas.
Bahnhofsviertel is serviced by Frankfurt’s central station but can also be reached from the Willy-Brandt-Platz underground station.