The most cosmopolitan city in Germany? Such a system could become an economic giant, and Frankfurt did not disappoint its side. Walkable, well planned and with an excellent public transport network, Frankfurt is a city that is easy to get around and enjoy. Of course, the city’s planning is not a priority for visitors, but its restaurants, attractions and nightlife are worth exploring. If you’re new here and feeling a little lost, don’t worry. Keep these important tips for first-time visitors to Frankfurt in mind and feel comfortable and at ease.
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When planning your visit, take a look at Frankfurt’s events calendar. The city has a huge exhibition center, Messe Frankfurt, where trade fairs are held frequently throughout the year. On certain dates, hotel reservations can quickly fill up and prices can skyrocket.
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In most casual restaurants you won’t have to wait to be seated. Just find a table and sit down. If there is an indication that a table is booked later in the evening, make sure it is made by the appointed time.
If you’re planning on filling your time with museum visits, consider purchasing a MuseumsuferTicket, which gives you entry to 38 Frankfurt museums for two days. It’s home to some of the city’s biggest museums, as well as lesser-known gems. Family tickets are available.
Another option is to choose the Frankfurt Card (can be used by individuals or groups for 1-2 days). This card gives you up to 50% off a variety of museums, attractions and public transport, including: And the airport.
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Germans leave moderate tips, and the cost of food is usually rounded to the nearest euro. Don’t leave change on the table and include a tip when paying. If your lunch costs 15.50 euros, you can hand over a 20 euro note and say “17 please.”
Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel district (the area around the main train station) has been rapidly gentrifying in recent years and is now home to some of the city’s coolest bars and restaurants. But it remains Frankfurt’s red light district, home to dealers and drug addicts. If you want to avoid the roughest parts, stick to Münchenerstrasse and Kaiserstrasse.
Pay particular attention to distance markings to avoid designated cycle lanes that sometimes take up part of a wider pavement. If you want to explore the city by bike, try the Call A Bike service in Frankfurt, operated by Deutsche Bahn.
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Good news for those traveling with young children: many Frankfurt museums offer free entry for children under 18 on the last Saturday of every month (except August and December). Known as “SaTOURday”, this family-friendly offer also includes free workshops and excursions.
With the exception of the odd pre-planned “Sunday Shopping”, most shops in Germany are closed on Sundays. For a visitor looking to get the most out of their visit, this can be very frustrating, so keep “no shopping Sundays” in mind when planning your souvenir hunt.
Public transport in Frankfurt doesn’t run all night, and unless you want to download a ride-sharing app, you’ll have to take a taxi to get home soon. It is an easily visible beige color and can be requested, communicated or estimated over the phone.
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Bargain-seekers will love the flea market that takes place every second Saturday morning in Ostafen on the banks of the Sachsenhausen River between Eisernim-Steg and Holbeinsteg and along Lindleistraße. Find trash and treasures, including clothes and furniture, books and records, paintings, dishes and more.
) is a carbonated version that won’t make your head spin too quickly (and won’t hurt too much the next morning).
In casual restaurants, pubs and cafes, waiters will often finish their shift while you are still enjoying your drink or food. Don’t be upset if you are asked to pay your bill early. You will not be subtly asked to leave and a new server will take your place.
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If you’re used to very friendly service in busy restaurants, you might find it a little harsh in Germany. However, “rude” servers are not rude to you because you are a tourist, they are (mostly) just efficient and professional. Even if this means that the service is not always provided with a smile.
But for the most part, the area is known for being a tourist party area. Locals prefer to avoid this and instead head straight to the much less atmospheric and chaotic Sachsenhausen.
) Standing – There is a group in front of the Schirn Kunsthalle. They serve high-quality home-produced wines and mulled wine made from whole spices, which is even tastier.
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You might appreciate it (thank you very much), but Germans are likely to get carried away with English once they find out you’re not local (which can be frustrating if you want to practice your German!).
Breaking news: Frankfurt has shed its boring reputation. A steady influx of big business has transformed the city’s population and revitalized its arts and nightlife (anti-Brexit). To enjoy the best drinks all night long, here are the 10 best bars in Frankfurt.
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Surely a visit to this city of Mammon will only confirm all the boring stereotypes about hardworking and financially prudent Germans, tied to their workshops until late at night. But while Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank, which now serves as the life support system for many of Europe’s weak economies, it is also a vibrant and welcoming city.
Walk through high-rise financial buildings. Frankfurt is the only German city with skyscrapers worth describing. You’ll find cozy brewpubs, family-run restaurants and centuries-old bakeries selling gingerbread.
And the banking industry, with 218 banks (not counting those that have recently failed), contributes to a multicultural and cosmopolitan atmosphere, most noticeably reflected in the huge variety of restaurants. The passionate commitment to the arts is evident in the cultural avenue of 13 museums clustered along the southern bank of the Main River overlooking the carefully landscaped riverbanks.
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Visit now and the stereotypes will fade even further as Frankfurt’s Christmas markets unfold around the carousels of the cobbled Römerberg square. This street, full of stalls, runs through most of the old town, limited only by the river bank.
In addition to the Christmas markets, there are many historic half-timbered houses. The sail-thin pediment atop City Hall is stunning.
In the suburb of Sachsenhausen, south of the Main, you can try Ebelwei, an apple wine equivalent to Frankfurt’s homemade local grog or Teutonic cider. Be sure to check out this delightful pub where you can enjoy a hearty meal at a communal table.
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Peer through the gates of this atmospheric 13th-century cemetery on Buttonstrasse, where Mayer Rothschild, founder of the financial dynasty, is now buried. The medieval walls in front of the cemetery are lined with tributes to Nazi victims two-thirds of the way east, including Anne Frank, who was born in the city.
Strictly speaking, St. Bartholomew’s Basilica is not a cathedral, but is so named because of the medieval coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor. It has the tallest spire in the city and you can climb all 328 steps. However, you should keep your eyes peeled for the tallest skyscrapers. Enjoy the unexpectedly idyllic forested areas of Frankfurt.
Germany’s greatest writer, poet and playwright was born in this four-story house in 1749. His masterpiece about Faust and his deal with the devil appears to be becoming increasingly relevant as the financial crisis worsens. Rebuilt from military bombing, the building is incongruously located in the shadow of a high-rise financial district. This is a gem of a building. Look for astrological clocks and remnants of Goethe’s children’s puppet show.
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Frankfurt’s East End is waking up with the European Central Bank’s headquarters moving out of the city centre. The corresponding futuristic new building, a tower shaped like a swirling glass wave, won’t be completed until 2014, but the move in for stylish restaurants, trendy apartments and entertainment venues has already begun. Good bars include Vapiamo (vapiamo.de), a stylish Mediterranean fusion wine bar located at 148 Hanauer Landstrasse. But your best bet is Sue’s Soul Kitchen (122 Hanauer Landstrasse), a top restaurant. No website, no phone number, not even a house number, no fanfare. It’s only open for lunch and offers just six courses. All delicious and filling homemade Thai and Indian curries. The line for lunch speaks for itself.
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