This European economic capital on the Main River features world-class museums, sweet apple wine and Germany’s only skyscrapers.
Frankfurt is the financial center of Europe. It is home to the European Central Bank and is one of the wealthiest cities in Germany. As the only city in the country to feature skyscrapers, Frankfurt has a skyline that is its best-known landmark. The city is also known for its world-class museums and apple wine.
The city is not just modern buildings. Visit the Old Town (Altstadt) to get a sense of how Frankfurt looked before it became the financial capital of the European Union. Though much of the city was destroyed in Allied bombing during World War II, many of the buildings of the Old Town were salvaged or faithfully rebuilt. Gabled townhouses make up the Römer, Frankfurt’s town hall since the 15th century. The gothic clock tower of the ancient Frankfurt Cathedral looms overhead.
Frankfurt has many world-class museums. More than 10 of them are located in Museumsufer (Museum Embankment), an area along the south side of the Main River in the Sachsenhausen district. Among the museums is the German Museum of Architecture, the Senckenberg, a natural history museum, and the Städel, which has an impressive collection of art that spans more than 700 years. Across the river, visit the Museum of Modern Art to see one of the best collections of post-World War II and contemporary art in the world.
In addition to the German staples of beer and sausage, Frankfurt has its own culinary specialties. Eat Handkäse mit Musik, which is a tart cheese served with onions, or Grüne Soße, a tangy green sauce typically served with eggs and potatoes. Accompany it with Ebbelwoi, apple wine. Sachsenhausen provides plenty of traditional bars and restaurants in which to sample these special Frankfurt concoctions.
Frankfurt has one of the most extensive subway systems in the world. Split between the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, public transportation serves nearly the whole city, as well as the surrounding areas. If you are driving, it is recommended to park near an outer station and take the train from there, because inner-city garages quickly fill up.