The climax of a visit to Frankfurt is the view from the observation deck of the Maintower, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in town. The city is at ones feet from the 199m (652ft) high office tower. The tower stands in the middle of the finacial district, with other skyscrapers nearby. Presuming good weather the Taunus mountain range northwards and the Odenwald Mountains southwards are visible. You should plan a waiting time of 15-30 minutes until you have passed the security check and reached the elevator on the top floor. The magnificent view of the banking metropolis is unique.
The opera house was built in 1880 according to plans by the Berlin architect Richard Lucae. It was destroyed by bombs in the Second World War and was rebuilt in 1981. In the 1970s, the ruins were still to be blown up. A community foundation raised the money for the reconstruction. Under the front tympanum it says: "The True, Beautiful and Good." As the name "Alte Oper" suggests, there is a new opera in Frankfurt in which operas are performed. Concerts are mostly held in the "Alte Oper". The "Alte Oper" stands in the former rampart, which was converted into a park after the city walls were torn down. The entrance to the opera is in the west, so the afternoon sun shines on the facade. To ensure that the sun shines on the facade even in winter, high-rise buildings in the west of the old opera house are limited in hight.
The historic old town of Frankfurt was destroyed in 1944 by American air raids. In 1974, the Technical City Hall was built on the property. The concrete block consisted of three office towers and did not respect the location and history of the site. In 2007, the city council voted for the demolition of the Technical City Hall and the reconstruction of Frankfurt's Old Town. The Technical City Hall was demolished in 2010, in 2012 the reconstruction of the historic center began.
Of the 35 new buildings 15 were built as a historical reconstruction, the most beautiful is the half-timbered house Goldene Waage (photo). At the "Hühnermarkt" (chicken market), the Stoltze-Fountain was rebuilt. The new buildings adhere to urban planning principles of the old town, such as steep saddle roofs, but the facades are modern. This creates a mix of old and new houses that does not look like the historic center of Frankfurt, but revives the character of the old town. The reconstruction was finished in 2018.
The Römer has served as Frankfurt City Hall since 1405. The building complex consists of several buildings that were gradually bought by the city. The Römer also served as the election site of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations. The Kaisersaal (Imperial Hall) is a famous room with pictures of all German emperors. The pictures were stored during the war and survived the destruction of Frankfurt's old town unscathed. The Römer was destroyed by fire, only the facade remained. You can visit the Imperial Hall, the entrance is on the south side of the building. The city parliament and the registry office are located in the building today. The striking gable facade of the Römer is the symbol of the city of Frankfurt am Main.
The Ostzeile (eastern row) of the Römerberg was destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt in 1983 based on historical models. The project was mocked by the opponents as "Mickey Mouse architecture". At that time, the reconstruction of historical buildings was still considered a historical falsification. Today it is perceived more as a city repair. The success of the Ostzeile ultimately led to the reconstruction of Frankfurt's historic old town.
The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations were crowned in St. Bartholomew from 1562 until 1792. Constructionof the Frankfurt Cahtedral began in 1235 and the German emperors were elected here from 1356 onward. A cathedral is usually only the church of a bishop, but since Frankfurt is not a bishopric, St. Bartholomew became the imperial cathedral. However, this is not an official title, nevertheless this Catholic church in Frankfurt is called "Dom" wich means cathedral. The cathedral treasure can be visited in the cathedral museum, next to the entrance. From the 92 m high tower you have a wonderful view on the city. The entrance to the tower is outside the church on the south side.
The "Paulskirche" (St Paul's church) was erected as the protestant main church in 1833. The first "German National Assembly" was held there in 1848. The interiors and the steep roof were destroyed during World War II. Since its reconstruction in 1948 the church is regarded as the House of all Germans. The "Peace Prize of the German Book Trade" is being awarded there. The "Paulskirche" was the first German Parliament and is a national symbol of democracy.
The pedestrian bridge from 1869 connects Sachsenhausen with Frankfurt's old town. The "Eiserne Steg" was built by the merchants of the city of Frankfurt and was financed by a bridge toll. When the costs were recovered, the Iron Bridge was transferred to the city. The approximately 174 m long bridge is covered with colorful locks that lovers attach on the railing to express their love. Above the bridge is a signboard written in Greek letters: "Sailing on a wine-colored sea to people who speak other languages." by the artist Hagen Bonifer.
When the weather is nice, you should definitely take a river cruise on the Main. The ships operate between the two locks in Offenbach and Frankfurt-Griesheim. Tours start every hour between 11am and 5pm. Fewer trips are offered in winter. On the tour towards Gerbermühle you can see the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt skyline from the most beautiful side. On the tour towards Griesheim you drive along the Museum Bank and see the Westhafen (photo), with expensive residential buildings right on the water and the Frankfurt skyscrapers in the background. The jetties of Primus and Köln-Düsseldorfer shipping lines are on the north side of the Eiserner Steg. For timetables and prices check the links below.
The main guard was built in 1730 as a police station and prison. Executions were also carried out on the square in front of the building. The Hauptwache has served as a café since 1904. In the 1970s, it was demolished for the construction of the S-Bahn and rebuilt a few meters away from it'r original site. The Hauptwache is the center of Frankfurt, where several subway lines meet with the region's S-Bahn trains. The Zeil shopping street and Kaiserstraße, which leads to the main train station, start at the Hauptwache.
The third city wall with 60 towers was built to expand the city in 1333. The Eschenheimer Tor was one of the most important city gates of Frankfurt. From 1802 the city fortifications were demolished and the Frankfurt ramparts were transformed into a park. The Eschenheimer Turm and the Rententurm are the only towers of the medieval city wall that were not torn down. The weather vane at the top of the tower is famous because the poacher Hans Winkelsee, who was imprisoned in the Eschenheim tower, shot 9 holes in the flag with nine shots and thus escaped the gallows. A copy of the Eschenheimer Turm was built in the Babelsberg Park in Potsdam. Today there is a café in the historic tower.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in this house in 1749. He lived here with his parents and sister Cornelia until he went to Leipzig to study law in 1765. Between 1770 and 1775 he lived in Strasbourg and Frankfurt before moving to Weimar. The historic half-timbered house was damaged in World War II and was rebuilt in 1949. Today the Goethe House is a museum and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Frankfurt. The exhibition shows the rooms at the time of the great poet.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange was foundet more than 400 years ago. It emerged from an currency exchange office that set the exchange rates between the various currencies during the Frankfurt trade fairs. The first stock exchange building stood next to the Paulskirche. The current building was completed in 1879 by the architects Heinrich Burnitz and Oskar Sommer. The famous trading room, from which the TV stations broadcast their stock market reports, can be visited. Deutsche Börse is one of the largest in the world, and its best-known product is the DAX.
The bull and bear sculpture stands in front of the stock exchange. The bull stands for rising prices, the bear for falling prices. The two animals are a popular Insagram spot.
The euro symbol in front of the former European Central Bank has become famous due to the financial crisis. At that time, thousands of demonstrators camped in tents on the meadow in front of the € symbol. After the bank moved to the new ECB tower in Frankfurt's Ostend, the euro symbol, which had been battered by the Blockupy protests, was completely renovated. The work of art does not belong to the ECB but to the Frankfurt Culture Committee. The famous plastic sculpture was created by Ottmar Hörl. The artist built the sculpture in 1990. One copy was set up at Frankfurt Airport. The second copy was placed in the Gallusanlage at Willy-Brandt-Platz in 2002. The euro sculpture is a popular Instagram spot, it is illuminated at night.
The Zeil is the largest shopping street in Frankfurt. The large department stores and shopping centers are located on the 500 m long pedestrian zone. With around 14,000 visitors per hour, the Zeil is one of the top shopping streets in Europe. In comparison, the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin has around 7,000 visitors per hour. The "MyZeil" (photo) is the largest shopping center in downtown Frankfurt. The MyZeil was designed by the Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The shopping center opened in 2009 and has a spectacular facade, with a curved hole in the middle through which you can see the sky. There is a food court on the top floor with many different restaurants.
The "Freßgass" (Guzzle Way) got its name from the many delicatessen shops and cafés. The official name of the street is Große Bockenheimer Straße and Kalbächer Gasse. At lunchtime, bankers and traders flock to the streets to eat. The prices are high but not excessive, and inexpensive meals can be found in the soup kitchens. The "Freßgass" is increasingly becoming the address of luxury brands. The southern parallel street is Goethestrasse, with many boutiques of global luxury brands that are spreading ever further. But cafés still determine the appearance of the Freßgass.
Alt-Sachsenhausen is a pub district in the old town of Sachsenhausen, with cute half-timbered houses. In Alt-Sachsenhausen there are almost only pubs, which means that the area is almost deserted during the day. In the evenings, and especially in summer, it can get very crowded. Attention! The fountain sculpture Frau Rauscher stands in the Klappergasse and sprays water on unsuspecting passers-by. In Alt-Sachsenhausen it is best to go to an apple wine bar like the "Lorsbacher Thal", "Dauth-Schneider" or "Zum Eichkatzerl". But there are also international bars and restaurants.
The many skyscrapers in Frankfurt can hardly be seen in the center, the towers block one another's gaze. There are around 40 high-rise buildings in Frankfurt that are over 100 m tall. Only from a distance can you see the skyline as a whole. You have the most beautiful view from the bridges east of the city center, here the view from the Flößerbrücke. On the Alte-Brücke you are closer to the skyline. For more information about the skyscrapers check out » Architecture Frankfurt. The skyline grows every year, 7 high-rise buildings over 100 m are currently under construction. The tallest skyscraper is the Commerzbank Tower with 267 m without antenna.
Welcome to Frankfurt
Frankfurt is the German financial center with the European Central Bank and many national and international banks. This capital power is constantly creating new skyscrapers.
Most tourists only discover the city center, but the most beautiful parts of Frankfurt are situated around the historic center. The Frankfurters live in Sachsenhausen, Nordend, Bornhein or Bockenheim. Districts that normal tourists don't visit. But this is exactly where Frankfurt is a very beautiful and lovely city. Those who really want to get to know Frankfurt should visit the streets Berger Straße, Schweizer Straße and Leipziger Straße.
Arts and Culture
If you really want to get to know Frankfurt, you can discover a lot. In addition to the sights, the city also has a large number of museums to offer. Among the best in Germany are the Städel Museum, the Senckenberg Museum, the German Architecture Museum, the Schirn Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art.
Nature, Parks and Gardens
Frankfurt is a city with a lot of forest and meadows, which are protected by the greenbelt. In the city there are many spacious parks such as the Grüneburg Park, the Palmen Garten, the Lohrberg or the Bethmann Park with the Frankfurt Chinese Garden.
From Frankfurt you can take the subway to the Taunus for hiking. The Rhine Valley can be reached in about 45 minutes by car. You drive to Heidelberg for about an hour. For Wiesbaden, Mainz and Darmstadt you can take the S-Bahn.
Frankfurt has its own local food with Handkäs, Grüner Sauce and the famous Frankfurt sausages. In Frankfurt you can drink "Äppelwoi", which is served in the "Bembel" a kind of cider pitcher. Frankfurt is also an international city with very good restaurants from all over the world. Under Restaurants Frankfurt we have put together a selection of famous and typical restaurants.