Set on banks of the river Main in the heart of Germany, banking city Frankfurt is one of Germany’s most dynamic and international cities.
Known as the “Main Metropolis” due to its impressive modern architecture and high number of banks, the city also boasts a rich cultural history, impressive green spaces and thirteen international schools in the surrounding areas.
Frankfurt combines traditional and modern architecture in boroughs such as Bornheim, Westend and Ostend. It is the birthplace of world-renowned poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author of German classics such as “Faust” and “The Sorrows of Young Werther”.
Things to see and do
If you prefer authentic regional food to literature, try one of the rustic restaurants in Frankfurt Alt-Sachsenhausen, were you can sample specialties such as Frankfurter sausages, Schnitzel with “Grüne Soße” (a green sauce made from seven different herbs) and Frankfurter “Kranz” (literally: wreath) cake. Located south of the river Main, which also distinguishes Frankfurt from the eponymous East German city on the Oder river, historical Alt-Sachsenhausen is a quaint setting with small alleys, little squares and cobblestone pavements. Guests often share long wooden tables and benches with strangers, socialising over a glass of “Äppelwoi” (apple) cider.
Römer and Römerberg
Frankfurt’s town hall, the Römer, is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Germany. As the seat of German emperors for more than 600 years, it was the site of negotiations before elections of German kings were held. Today, both national football teams present their trophies to the public from the Römer’s balcony, due to Frankfurt being the seat of the German Football Association. The town hall is named after its setting on the Römerberg, a picturesque hill home to historical timber-framed buildings.
Only a stone’s throw away, the ‘Kleinmarkthalle’ (little market hall) is the ideal place for a quick lunch or snack. It offers a nearly overwhelming array of fresh regional and international produce as well as baked goods and sweets on weekdays. With its helpful merchants, this market hall conveys a sense of the old Frankfurt.
St Paul’s Church
The setting of the first parliament of a united Germany in 1848, St Paul’s Church epitomises German democracy. Totally destroyed in 1944, the church was rebuilt in the post-war era. Today, a permanent exhibition traces the development of German democracy — with an obvious focus on the Paulskirche national assembly, which established the first democratic constitution of the country.
With its spacious meadows and exotic trees, Grüneburgpark in the Westend offers the ideal getaway from the banking city’s bustle. Together with the adjacent botanical gardens, the ‘Palmengarten’ (palm garden) and the Goethe University campus, Grüneburgpark is a green retreat called “Grüngürtel” (green belt), where Frankfurters love to picnic or watch open air theatre in the summer.
Unusual among German cities, Frankfurt’s skyscraper skyline fetched it the nickname “Mainhattan” in reference to the Big Apple. Especially at night the illuminated high rises make for a beautiful scenery, which is best photographed from the ‘Deutschherrnbrücke’, a railway bridge that was built over the river Main.
Frankfurt offers a wealth of public festivals throughout the year, from traditional and modern street fairs to well established cultural highlights which draw both young and old. Among them are the “Night of the Museums”, when for one night only, museums and cultural institutions in Frankfurt and nearby Offenbach open their doors to the public, creating a unique atmosphere for culture lovers and the Apfelwein Festival in celebration of the region’s most popular drink.
British-German Town Twinnings
Town twinnings between British and German cities play an important role in promoting cultural exchange. Frankfurt has been twinned with Birmingham in the West Midlands since 1966.