A half-timbered heart of tradition, enfolded by an ultramodern warren of skyscrapers

Dispersed either side of the Main River, this international nucleus, a financial hub and a futuristic flurry of towering skyscrapers, banks and major headquarters, is a hotspot for business travellers. However, beyond the stock exchanges and the trade shows lies another side to ‘Muinhattan’, as it’s nicknamed – one that’s inundated with tradition and charmingly cultured.

  • Peruse the Museumsufer (Museum Embankment), which is home to 12 museums.
  • Soak up the cityscape from the lofty Main Tower, the fourth tallest building in Frankfurt.
  • Visit the famous residence of the German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
  • Seek out the red-sandstone, Gothic tower of Frankfurt Cathedral.
  • Wander around Römerberg, a public square in the centre of Frankfurt’s old town.
  • Stroll across the botanical gardens of Palmengarten, which date back to 1871.

Frankfurt’s old town, Altstadt, presents a striking contrast to the otherwise modern façade, and it’s here that you can see remnants of the past. Wander past medieval structures, like the Römer, an iconic landmark, which can be found by the pleasant square of Römerberg, where a festive Christmas market is held, and venture down narrow, atmospheric lanes that lead to one of the city’s many green spaces.

The city has no shortage of museums either, offering various windows into its timeline. If the list proves too overwhelming to conquer, it’s best to start with the Städel Museum, an epic art gallery that displays one of the most important collections in the country.

The Senckenberg Museum, another top choice, is a natural history museum housed within a 1900s neo-baroque building, as is Museum Judengasse, which depicts the history and culture of Jews in Frankfurt during the early modern period.

Famed German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was born in Frankfurt, and his former home, now the Goethe House Museum, is another must-see attraction. Further cultural immersion can be sought at the concert hall, Alte Oper, Europe’s largest English theatre, and no experience beats seeing the city’s sights from the tranquil waters of the river.

As the financial centre of Europe, Frankfurt was never really a place that sparked my interest. But hear me out - its very much worth a visit. The city knows how to honour the local culture with their apple wine, but also welcome diversity. My favourite thing to do on a summer evening is to take a stroll along the river promenade and stop for some frankfurter würstchen.

Hanna Fischer
Travel Designer
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