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Hauptwache

Once the headquarters of Frankfurt’s militia, this baroque building is now a café. It marks Frankfurt’s city center.

The Hauptwache, meaning “Main Watch,” is a holdover from Frankfurt’s past as a self-protected city-state. The old building houses a café that looks out over a busy plaza. The building was completed in 1730 as the headquarters for the city’s militia, although it lost this role in the 19th century when Frankfurt was annexed by Prussia.

Today, the Hauptwache is a preserved baroque-style building in the center of reconstructed and modernized Frankfurt. Notice the curved roof and the detailed redbrick molding on the building’s many windows.

The Hauptwache has served as a café since 1905. Take a seat for a taste of a Frankfurt specialty: green sauce with eggs and potatoes alongside a glass of apple wine.

The plaza around the Hauptwache is one of the busiest places in Frankfurt. It is located in the center of the city’s main districts; most subway lines intersect at its train station. Walk from the Hauptwache to some of Frankfurt’s famous shopping districts, including the Zeil to the east and Goethestrasse to the west.

Look across the plaza from the Hauptwache to see St. Catherine’s Church. This is where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German author born in Frankfurt, was baptized in 1749. It was completely destroyed by Allied bombs during World War II, so the church you see today is a reconstruction.

While the Hauptwache is one of Frankfurt’s oldest surviving buildings, from its doors you can see some of the city’s most unconventional modern structures. The Nextower, which is northeast of the Hauptwache, is built in such a way that it appears ready to fall to pieces. The MyZeil building, east of the Hauptwache, looks like a gigantic hole has been punched from the outside into its glass facade.

You can easily reach the Hauptwache from anywhere in the city because the majority of U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines pass through the train station here. The café is open every day.


Guide to Exploring around Hauptwache


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Map

Lodging Near Hauptwache

See all 395 Hotels near Hauptwache
NH Collection Frankfurt City $98
NH Collection Frankfurt City

NH Collection Frankfurt City

Vilbeler Str. 2, Frankfurt
     
    4.1
    of 5, from 721 reviews
    4.5 out of 5.0

    Located in Altstadt, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Konstablerwache, Museum of Modern Art, and Zeilgalerie. St. Paul's Church and Frankfurt Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

    Steigenberger Metropolitan $144
    Steigenberger Metropolitan

    Steigenberger Metropolitan

    Poststr. 6, Frankfurt
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 1,329 reviews
      5.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Gutleutviertel, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of English Theatre, Congress Center Messe Frankfurt, and Maintower. Frankfurt Opera House and Staedel Museum are also within 15 minutes.

      Jumeirah Frankfurt
      Jumeirah Frankfurt

      Jumeirah Frankfurt

      Thurn-und-Taxis-Platz 2, Frankfurt
         
        4.6
        of 5, from 603 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Altstadt, this luxury hotel is steps from Stock Exchange and Zeilgalerie. St. Paul's Church and Alte Oper are also within 10 minutes.

        Hotel Zentrum
        Hotel Zentrum

        Hotel Zentrum

        Rossmarkt 7, Frankfurt
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 271 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Altstadt, this hotel is steps from Hauptwache and Zeilgalerie. St. Paul's Church and Stock Exchange are also within 10 minutes.

          Ramada Hotel Frankfurt City Center
          Ramada Hotel Frankfurt City Center

          Ramada Hotel Frankfurt City Center

          Weserstrasse 17, Frankfurt
             
            3.3
            of 5, from 816 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Bahnhofsviertel, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of English Theatre, Frankfurt Opera House, and Maintower. Staedel Museum and St. Paul's Church are also within 15 minutes.

            Hilton Frankfurt City Centre
            Hilton Frankfurt City Centre

            Hilton Frankfurt City Centre

            Hochstrasse 4, Frankfurt
               
              4.3
              of 5, from 727 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Central hotel set in parkland in the main business and banking district, next to the Opera House and 300 metres from Goethestrasse. The city’s most popular shopping districts and tourist attractions are within walking distance.

              INNSIDE by Meliá Frankfurt Eurotheum $105
              INNSIDE by Meliá Frankfurt Eurotheum

              INNSIDE by Meliá Frankfurt Eurotheum

              Neue Mainzer Str. 66-68, Frankfurt
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 278 reviews
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Altstadt, this boutique apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Maintower and Alte Oper. Stock Exchange and Zeilgalerie are also within 10 minutes.

                Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof $196
                Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof

                Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof

                Am Kaiserplatz, Frankfurt
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 949 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  Luxury hotel on the Kaiserplatz in central Frankfurt, less than 500 metres from the Opera House; Alte Oper and Goethehaus are within walking distance. Shopping on the Kaiserstrasse is a few steps away.