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“Frankfurt? That’s only for banks and business. There’s nothing to see there.”
That’s a statement I often hear from people around the world when they talk about Frankfurt. The city is known for its skyscrapers and its big airport but not much else. So imagine my surprise when I moved here a year and a half ago and found out that there are so many things to do and see, I still have a long list of places I want to visit.
If you’re here on business, you’re in luck. You will find plenty of amazing things to do and see after five.
If you’re very short on time, make sure to at least walk through the historic centre. Römer, as we call it, was completely destroyed during the war and has been rebuilt during the past years. You will find the city’s most beautiful houses here as well as some traditional restaurants.
How to Get to Frankfurt
Getting to Frankfurt is easy. The airport is one of the biggest in Europe, so you will have no problems finding flights. From here, you can easily reach the city centre by S-Bahn. Just get into the train and get off at either Hauptwache or Konstablerwache and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Frankfurt.
If you come from one of Germany’s neighbouring countries (or Germany itself), you can arrive by train. Many high-speed trains stop at both the airport and the main station. It is faster to get off at the main station and follow the signs to the U4/U5, which will both take you to Hauptwache or Konstablerwache.
Getting around Frankfurt is easy and straight-forward. Public transport works well in the city and you never have to wait for long to catch the next train. Note that we have different kinds of trains. The S-Bahn is the fastest with the biggest distances in-between stations. The U-Bahn is our regular subway and is a great way if you want to move quickly around the city. And last, we have trams and busses which connect everywhere you cannot get by S-Bahn or U-Bahn. You can find maps at all big stations, but the easiest way to get around is to download the RMV-app and enter your starting point and destination. It’ll show you the fastest connection and has made travel so much easier for me.
Where to Eat in Frankfurt for Dinner
Almost one-third of all people living in Frankfurt own a non-German passport. The city claims that people from more than 170 countries around the world live here. As a consequence, you can find cuisines from all over the world in Frankfurt. Georgian? Ethiopian? No problem at all. Besides that, Frankfurt also has many traditional German restaurants in which you can sample the local cuisine.
Daheim im Lorsbacher Thal, Große Rittergasse 49 // If you’re visiting in summer, you need to go to this restaurant. Daheim im Lorsbacher Thal serves traditional German cuisine from the Frankfurt area. Most ingredients are sourced locally and the menu gives you information about the farms where the owners buy their meat. The food is absolutely delicious, but the biggest draw is the outdoor terrace. Take a seat in the shade, look up at the wine growing above you and order an Apfelwein, Frankfurt’s wine made from apples.
Haus Wertheym, Fahrtor 1 // Haus Wertheym is another traditional German restaurant that is worth visiting. Located in the historic centre, in a house more than 500 years old, this restaurant is famous for its interior decoration. They serve a wide range of local dishes from Frankfurt as well as German cuisine from all over the country.
Ariston, Heiligkreuzgasse 29 // Ariston is the best Greek restaurant I have ever been to. The seafood dishes are especially delicious, but I think that no matter what you order, it will be good. The chef is very talented at combining traditional Greek dishes with modern elements and creating mouth-watering food.
Emir Et, Allerheiligenstr. 21 // Who would have thought that Turkish food is so delicious? Emir Et is always bursting with people, and for a good reason. They offer the best Turkish food you can find in Frankfurt. The portions are huge and you will receive homemade bread as a starter. Turkish cuisine is heavy on meat, and the mixed grill platters are delicious, but you can also find a few vegetarian dishes on the menu. If there’s a queue when you arrive, don’t worry. They have lots of tables so waiting times are usually short.
Yam Yam Döner, Holzgraben 11 // I usually wouldn’t include a fast food place, but this list wouldn’t be complete without Frankfurt’s best döner restaurant. Döner kebab was invented in Germany and you shouldn’t leave without trying one. Yam Yam Döner, located right in the city centre, is the best place to do so. They have a few tables so you can sit down and enjoy your food. I love coming here not just because the food is delicious but also because the owner is very friendly.
Things to See in Frankfurt at Night
See the historic centre // I already mentioned this above. If you can only see one thing in Frankfurt, it should be the historic centre. Do you know those traditional German houses that look so pretty on postcards? Go to Römer and you will find them there. While looking at the houses, keep in mind that Frankfurt’s city centre was almost completely destroyed during the war. The restoration works are pretty impressive, right? Make sure to go behind the highest houses, in the direction of the cathedral, as you can find more beautiful architecture there.
Take a walk along the riverfront // While in Frankfurt, you have to go down to the river Main. It is not just a great place to get fresh air and to watch the locals, you can also have a great view of Frankfurt’s skyline from here. Remember the historic centre I talked about before? From there, go down to the waterfront and you will come across a pedestrian bridge called Eiserner Steg. This bridge is one of the most popular photo spots in the city. Sunset is a great time to come here, but it’s beautiful at any time of the day. If you cross the bridge, you will end up in Sachsenhausen, a neighbourhood famous for its bars and restaurants. This brings me to the next highlight in Frankfurt.
Drink Apfelwein in Sachsenhausen // Apfelwein literally translates to apple wine. And yes, it is different to cider. Apfelwein is made from a different kind of apples. Plus, the process of making it varies slightly. In the end, the main difference is the taste, with cider being much sweeter than Apfelwein. Waiters traditionally serve it in a Bembel, a ceramic jug decorated in grey and blue. The best place to do so is in Sachsenhausen, the neighbourhood south of the river, where you will find many small bars. One of the restaurants I mentioned above, Daheim im Lorsbacher Thal, serves amazing Apfelwein and also great food and is totally worth a visit. But if you look around, you will discover many more pubs where you can easily spend two or three hours.
Explore one of Frankfurt’s many museums // Frankfurt is home to so many museums that it’s hard to not find at least one that you like. And you’re in luck. Many of those museums have long opening hours during at least one day of the week. On Tuesday, I recommend you to go to the Museum Judengasse. The Judengasse, which translates to Jewish Alley, used to be a ghetto. During Napoleon’s attack on the city, the ghetto got destroyed. The few houses that survived crumbled more than a hundred years later during World War II and eventually, the locals forgot about their existence. By chance, workers discovered the remains that are now visible in this museum. And when I say visible, I mean that the basements of some houses are still standing and are in a good enough condition to walk through them. It’s a really cool place that you shouldn’t miss.
If you happen to be in Frankfurt on Wednesday, I can recommend the historical museum. It houses exhibitions about everything you ever wanted to know about Frankfurt, the city’s history and its inhabitants. Another option on Wednesday is the Senckenberg Museum with its great nature and science exhibitions. If you want to see a dinosaur skeleton, this is the place to go.
If you like art, go to the Städel Museum. The paintings and sculptures here cover 700 years of European art history. And the best part is that this museum is open until 7 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday, so you have plenty of time to look around the exhibitions.
Enjoy the view from the Main Tower // If you want to have a great view of Frankfurt, you need to go to the Main Tower. The viewing platforms are located at a height of almost 200 meters, so you’re guaranteed to be higher than most skyscrapers. In fact, even though the Main Tower does not compare with the Burj Khalifa, it is the fourth highest skyscraper in Germany. Try to time your visit so you can enjoy sunset from the top.
Also check out:
- Bilbao, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Copenhagen, Denmark After 5:00 pm
- Sol Area of Madrid, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Brussels, Belgium After 5:00 pm
- Dubrovnik, Croatia After 5:00 pm
- Nuremberg, Germany After 5:00 pm