From a financial perspective, Frankfurt is one of the most important cities in Europe, home to the European Central Bank since 1998 and one of the first in the world with an airport that handles more than 70 million passengers annually.
This invites the traveler to take a stopover in the German city or can also serve as a starting point for longer stays and travel comfortably to other sights. But not everything here is skyscrapers and people in suits. Frankfurt is also home to its old town, the Main, which was completely rebuilt after the Second World War, more than thirty museums and the home of the great romantic writer Goethe, who came from the German city.
8.00 Wake up in Mainhattan
Due to the large number of skyscrapers in the city, Frankfurt's financial district is often compared to Manhattan. That's why it was nicknamed Mainhattan (short for Main, the river that flows through Frankfurt and Manhattan) because there is no comparable skyline in Europe. It is known as the financial district because it houses the headquarters of the most important foreign and German banks, including the famous twin towers of Deutsche Bank (1) or Commerzbank (2), designed by Norman Foster. Also in the city center are other iconic buildings such as the Main Tower (3) (You can go up to a viewing point to enjoy the panoramic views from the 54th floor) or the One (4)so called because of its resemblance to the number one.
Walking among the skyscrapers, we discover the work of the pop artist Claes Oldenburg, which depicts an inverted tie 12 meters high (5). It perfectly symbolizes the atmosphere that reigns in this part of the city. It reflects the hectic business world with a mix of humor and irony.
“Inverted Collar and Tie”, a work by Claes Oldenburg on a Frankfurt square. Photo Agency / Alamy
The Euro sculpture is also located in this area (6) what we have seen so often in the media, as illustrated by the history of the European currency. With a height of 14 meters and a weight of 50 tons, it has become one of the city's landmarks. This currency accompanied the headquarters of the European Central Bank, which has been relocated to the eastern part of the city since 2015.
11 a.m. Walking and shopping
Frankfurt is a city with just over 750,000 inhabitants that is easy to explore on foot. As in many Central European cities, there are definitely trams and subways. We took a pleasant walk and headed towards the commercial area, but not before stopping at Opernplatz to admire the classicist Alte Oper building. (7)inaugurated on October 20, 1880. Today it is intended for concerts and cultural events of all kinds, as the operas are performed in a purpose-built new theater.
We arrive at the Zeil (8th), a long and central pedestrian zone that is considered one of Germany's most important trade routes. Here you will find everything from top brands to bargains of all kinds. In addition, the culinary offering is very diverse.
View of the Frankfurt skyline and the Main river flowing through the German city. Wirestock / iStockphoto / Getty
13.00 A “Frankfurter” to regain your strength
We can take the opportunity to make a stop and finally try the famous Frankfurters. Their main feature is that they are made only from pork, unlike the Viennese version, which mixes beef and pork. You shouldn't miss a bratwurst with pome fruit and a good local beer when visiting the Main city.
3 p.m. Tea with Goethe
Frankfurt is a city full of museums, but if there is one that attracts the most visitors, it is Goethe's House Museum (9). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) was one of the most important names in German literature of all time. Faust (1808) or The Misadventures of Young Werther (1774), which he wrote in this house, are masterpieces of world literature. Here he spent his childhood and most of his youth. The house was completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt years later while retaining the original structure.
The manor house, accessed via an internal courtyard, is spread over three floors and has several rooms decorated in detail reflecting the social and cultural level of the family. Among them, the music room, his father's library, the painting room and a beautiful puppet theater in the attic stand out.
5:00 p.m. Reconstructed Frankfurt
From Goethe's house the visit can continue towards Römerbergplatz (10)but not without making a stop at the Collegiate Church of San Bartolomé (eleven), is considered Frankfurt Cathedral. In Gothic style, it was the imperial headquarters, as the coronations of the German emperors took place here from the 15th to 18th centuries. It was destroyed twice, first by fire and later by bombing during World War II. During the war, the historic district was destroyed and more than a thousand houses disappeared, including those in the above-mentioned square. These were rebuilt based on the original structure, partly with wooden frames. Today the Römerberg is one of the city's centers, where tourists and locals meet to eat ice cream or enjoy the beautiful weather. Various events such as the book fair, Christmas markets and concerts take place here.
6.30 p.m. Romantic walk
We can get directly to the banks of the Main through one of the sides of the square. This river is the main tributary of the Rhine and, when the weather is nice, is ideal for walking, doing sports or sitting on one of its lively terraces. Another option is a one-hour cruise, which gives us a different perspective of the city.
From here we head to the southern part of Frankfurt, known as Sachsenhausen (12), crossing the river on the famous iron footbridge. This is perfect for seeing the city skyline and taking some photos. The bridge is covered with padlocks that couples leave behind as a symbol of their love.
Eiserner Steg, the iron bridge in Frankfurt, full of padlocks.Joe Daniel Price (Getty Images)
8 p.m. Let's go to dinner!
Sachsenhausen, one of the most authentic neighborhoods with its low-rise houses and cobblestone streets, was the area that suffered least from the bombing of World War II. In addition, numerous museums are concentrated here.
Atmosphere on the terraces of Sachsenhausen, one of the most authentic districts of the German city. Schöning / Alamy
The area is very lively as there are many taverns serving cider. This inexpensive, low-quality drink is typical of the city and goes perfectly with dinner. Apfelwein Wagner or Zum Gemalten Haus are two highly recommended taverns to try the local cuisine. Schnitzel (breaded fillet) or knuckle, with sauerkraut (sauerkraut) or baked potatoes and apple strudel for dessert. This is a good time to relax, enjoy the dinner and atmosphere and toast with a good cup of cider. Cheers!
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