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The ancient Romans settled some of Frankfurt, but the city’s modern history can be traced back to Charlemagne, who built his Imperial Palace and lived on the Main River for almost a year.
Since that time, Frankfurt has been an important centre for trade. Since the 11th century, there have been trade fairs in Frankfurt, which helped the city prosper.
In 1152, Friedrich Barbarossa became king of Germany. It was the first of 33 imperial elections that were held in Frankfurt.
Eventually, the Holy Roman Empire collapsed in 1806, but the city managed to remain independent. In 1848, Germany’s first parliament convened in Frankfurt to outline a constitution and form a federation, but it could not be realized because the King of Prussia rejected the crown.
In 1866, Prussian troops took over the city and Frankfurt was absorbed into the Kingdom of Prussia. Because there was already a city called Frankfurt in Prussia, “am Main”, meaning “on the River Main” was added so that it would not be confused with Frankfurt an der Oder.
During World War II, bombing destroyed most of the city and killed 6,000 people. The city was reconstructed in quite a modern style, with many skyscrapers and few of the old buildings restored. Frankfurt continued as the financial capital of Germany, and now the city boasts a lovely skyline, including the tallest building in all of Europe, the Commerzbank building.
Spend a weekend in Frankfurt, a thoroughly cosmopolitan and high-rise German city. Home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, as well as the European Central Bank, Frankfurt is an important business centre.
However, Frankfurt is not only a hotspot for businessmen; it is also extremely attractive to tourists. The city abounds with museums, phenomenal restaurants, and nightlife.
Board a flight to Frankfurt and discover all the riches of a magnificent city!
The Church of St. Bartholomew, as it is officially known, dates back to sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries, although it was rebuilt a handful of times, including after a fire in 1867 and after World War II. It has beautiful stonework and a frieze of St. Bartholomew, part of the original design. You will also see a very famous sculpture of the crucifixion by Hans Backoffen. For centuries, emperors were crowned at the altar of this important imperial cathedral.
This garden contains wondrous plants from every part of the planet. There are many spectacularly designed gardens and greenhouses, including an underwater plant-life display and a ‘tropicarium’ that displays the flora and fauna of several tropical landscapes. Come take advantage of the changing exhibitions, a pond area with rowing boats, the little railway, and a miniature golf course. And in June, take part in the beautiful Rose and Light Festival.
These buildings stand at the place of author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s birthplace. Bombs destroyed the original 17th-century house during World War II, but the building and its furnishings have since been carefully restored to honour the original. The museum houses an impressive collection of paintings and busts dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, showcasing the author’s affinity for art.
The people of Frankfurt, with civic protests and numerous donations, demanded that this significant landmark from the Wilhelminian era be rebuilt. It had suffered heavy bombing, leaving only its foundation walls. In August of 1981, the goal was finally realised; the Old Opera House celebrated its inauguration. There is a wide variety of entertainment to choose from here, including the subscription series, musicals, jazz, rock, and family concerts. The beautiful structure can also be used for meetings, receptions, and company presentations, and it hosts the annual Opera Ball.
Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday
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At the Zeil street, home to a mile of shopping destinations, tourists can find just about anything they want. The large department stores are located here, as well as other shops and boutiques, offering many assorted goods. There are many cafes and restaurants, as well as a farmers’ market on Thursdays and Saturdays. For those whose tastes run more expensively, check out Goethestraße, which is full of high-end designer shops, from Versace to Cartier and Tiffany’s.
Before Frankfurt hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Commerzbank Arena was completely rebuilt for that occasion. The local team, Eintracht Frankfurt (Bundesliga) now plays there for an enthusiastic, sell-out crowd of fans. Check out a game for an insight into German sport culture. There is also a big hockey team in town, the Frankfurt Lions, with a good deal of talent.
There are many companies that provide mini cruises of the Main River. The views of Frankfurt are unbeatable from the boats. These cruises can be as brief as half an hour to as long as several days of floating down the Main and then on to the Rhine. To book a tour, you can check the local listings or simply walk along the river and hop on a boat from there.
Only 75 miles from Frankfurt is the starting point to the famous Romantic Road, a breathtaking 261-mile scenic route through Bavaria. The trip ends 82 miles from Munich. Along the drive, you will see picturesque landscapes, old monasteries, medieval castles, and vineyards.
After travelling through the Bavarian Alps, you will reach the trip’s destination, the romantic Neuschwanstein castle. The route gets quite popular during summer, so it would be better to plan your trip for winter, spring, or autumn. The Romantic Road can be seen by bus as well, which makes for a beautiful, relaxing journey.
The Westin Grand Frankfurt Hotel is a remarkably luxurious, modern place to stay, and it is located quite close to the Zeil shopping area. The staff is polite and accommodating, and the hotel is ideal for business travellers, as there are 12 sleek conference rooms. There is also a health centre with pool, sauna, and a spa providing numerous rejuvenating treatments.
The Center Plaza Frankfurt Hotel opened in 2006, so everything is new and clean, and being situated right in the heart of Frankfurt, it is convenient for business travellers as well as tourists. The hotel is very elegant, providing guests with free breakfasts, a health centre, room service, and a restaurant.
The InterCity Frankfurt Hotel is modern and superbly located in the centre of Frankfurt. Even more, it offers guests free access to all of the city’s public transport. The 382 guestrooms and two suites have tea and coffee machines and free wireless Internet. Free newspapers are also provided.
The Hilton Frankfurt Hotel is gorgeous, situated right next to the stock exchange. The Alte Oper concert hall and Main Tower are also located within walking distance. The hotel has a beautiful indoor heated swimming pool and a health centre. Indulge yourself with the hotel’s spa services or with fresh Californian cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, Pacific Colors. Lovely garden or city views can be enjoyed from each guestroom. And there is no need to feel guilty for leaving Fluffy at home; four-legged guests are welcome too!
Flughafen Frankfurt-am-Main is the largest airport in the country. There are local trains and S-Bahn connections located below Terminal 1. Trains from the local station run between 5 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. There are ticket machines located in Terminal 1, Level 0.
There are also plenty of taxis that can be hailed outside of either of the airport’s terminals—be sure to use one with a meter. Also, many hotels in Frankfurt run shuttles every half hour or every hour from the airport.
Frankfurt has an exceptional transport service (RMV) that incorporates all tram, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and bus lines. Single tickets can be bought from the machines at any stop. Zone 50 encompasses the majority of Frankfurt.
Taxi ranks dot the city, but taxis are pricey in Frankfurt.
The city is ideal for bicyclists, with plenty of well-maintained bike lanes. Günter Storch at Rödelheim train station rents bicycles for €12/day. Make sure to bring your passport with you.
If you are planning to travel around outside of Frankfurt, there are long-distance buses that depart from the south part of the Hauptbahnhof where a Eurolines office is located. German Eurolines services are run by Deutsche Touring.
The Hauptbahnhof is the train station, and the information office, where tickets are purchased, is at platform 9. Take advantage of the Hessenticket for €25; it grants a whole day of regional travelling by train for up to five passengers.
Consider car hire in Frankfurt as well, as driving is relatively straightforward both in the city and beyond.
Strategically located inside the nightclub Cocoon Club, the hip restaurant Silk (Karl Benz Strasse 21) attracts a chic crowd. Diners remove their shoes upon entering the restaurant and then jump onto big bed-sofas enclosed with white curtains, while a DJ spins world-beat music. Everyone eats from the multi-course tasting menu, which uses only fresh seasonal ingredients and includes surprising yet delectable combinations of flavours, such as buffalo served with porcini mushrooms and pimentos. All in all, this is a sensory feast you need to experience for yourself!
For a cosy, low-profile atmosphere with delicious regional cuisine, head to Grossfeld-Gastraum der Sinne (Erbsengasse 16), hidden away in a residential area. You have a choice from not one, but two menus: experimental and traditional. The experimental menu contains items such as goose-liver parfait served alongside a rhubarb ragout, but the traditional menu also contains some bold endeavours, such as jellied oxtail with beef tartare and wasabi cream. But the old standby, wiener schnitzel, is also offered.
For a stylish restaurant featuring Continental cuisine, try Gargantua (Liebigstrasse 47). This charming restaurant is situated on a street corner and decked out in green and white. A local food writer, Klaus Trebes, and his wife are behind the delightful dishes. They also have extensive knowledge of Italian, German, and Austrian wines. Try the rib-eye steak served with vegetable flan.
The water is potable. There is also good-quality bottled water recommended and readily available.
The health infrastructure is excellent. Before you leave, ask a Social Security centre for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not the same as medical insurance, but entitles you to the same level of urgent treatment as a German national.
In an emergency, dial 112 for medical emergencies or the fire department. For police, dial 110.
Though Frankfurt is, on the whole, a safe city, do not walk unaccompanied at night or in poorly lit areas wearing jewellery or carrying large quantities of cash.
In bars, do not accept consumables from unknowns.
Make photocopies of all travel documents, keeping the copies with you and the originals in a safe place in your hotel in Frankfurt.
If you hire a car, make sure you respect the German speed limits when driving. There are no specific dangers on public transport, though an elevated risk of terrorism throughout Europe means you should always remain vigilant.