Despite Frankfurt’s varied history as a medieval merchant city and a hotspot of the 1968 revolution, as the financial centre of Europe it’s never quite shaken off its reputation as a boring city full of soulless bankers. But today, Frankfurt is finally starting to realise its potential as a dynamic international city. In 48 hours, you’ll discover a vibrant arts and culture scene, beautiful green spaces, traditional taverns and Michelin-starred restaurants, and an ever-increasing number of hip bars and nightclubs—all set against a striking juxtaposition of medieval buildings and towering skyscrapers. It’s not an obvious choice for a weekend getaway, but give it a chance and Frankfurt may well win your heart.
Proving there’s more to Germany than its trendy capital, Frankfurt makes for a unique visit. Here, slick skyscrapers sidle up to historic neo-gothic and Medieval buildings, with the Rhine River running along the west side, leading to the stunning Rhine Valley. Whether you’re looking to take in Frankfurt’s sights and attractions on a leisurely stroll, a hop-on hop-off bus tour or a river cruise, we’ve selected some of the best tours and day trips available in this fascinating German city.
Sure, Frankfurt has its fair share of high-rise buildings in the city center of Germany’s financial capital, but the rest of the cityscape is diverse. There's the conservative locale catering to the banking community and, elsewhere, the bohemian enclave attracting an entirely different sort. Does a villa with a moat float your boat? Or how about the district known for its dedication to the local tipple, applewein (apple wine)? Or maybe a central location is what you're after? Here are the five best districts to stay in Frankfurt, with insider tips for where to eat, drink, sleep and play. RECOMMENDED: Your essential Frankfurt travel guide
Frankfurt is not a city short on hotels; Germany’s financial capital annually holds some of the world’s most important trade fairs and attracts some 500,000 visitors a month, and hoteliers have met the demand. However, until recently many of these hotels were all business, no pleasure—and rather stiff as a result. In part due to a hospitality trend turning towards a more holistic lifestyle approach, times are changing. From a boutique hotel built on the narrative of a well-traveled fictional character or a popular chain hotel branch that is a homage to Levis jeans to a design hotel dedicated to the friends and lovers of German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, here are the ten best hotels in Frankfurt. Luckily for visitors, most of these are within walking distance of the cities top attractions and tastiest restaurants, so no matter which you choose, you can sightsee in style.
Grub in Germany varies depending on which federal state you’re in. Since Frankfurt sits in traditional-minded Hesse, restaurants tend to serve heavy meats and the region’s famous green sauce with boiled potatoes and eggs – and apfelwein (apple wine), of course! That’s the sour, fermented liquid that doesn’t taste quite like beer or apple cider, though it looks similar, and can be found in pretty much every restaurant and bar. The fare in Frankfurt goes far beyond the time-honoured, however, and you'll find a tremendous range of cuisine, from ramen to vegan food. What’s more, service is taken seriously here, so kind employees will often make your experience unforgettable. So after a day of checking out all the great attractions the city has to offer, there's nothing better than sitting down to eat in one of Frankfurt's best restaurants. Just keep in mind that the majority of Frankfurt’s restaurants are closed on Mondays, so double check hours before making the trip. Guten Appetit!
People are fast beginning to realise that Frankfurt has shed its boring reputation. The traditional cultural heritage of Germany’s financial capital is still going strong, with plenty of great things to do attracting big crowds. But it is also increasingly mixing culturally and ethnically due to the steady influx of big business, with foreign nationals comprising 25 percent of its population. This international flavour, combined with a global understanding of what makes a great night out, translates into a lively and diverse bar scene meeting just about any drinking desire. You’ll find your drink here, whether in a cocktail bar that’s firmly bitten on to the speakeasy trend, a back-to-basics pub or a hard-to find wine bar with an inviting, roaring fireplace. Check out our pick of the best bars in Frankfurt.
Much of Frankfurt was pummeled beyond repair during World War II, so most of the buildings that look weathered – like the Old Opera House, for example – are in fact less than 50 years old. The destruction, though sad, has given way to a forward thinking, innovative city with plenty of things to do. Frankfurt is so much more than Germany’s business center and home of the European Central Bank. You can see the famous book fair in October, dine at one of the many amazing restaurants, marvel at the timber-framed architecture in the old town and spy the impressive graffiti around the skateboarding parks. The city has an entire museum embankment that puts some of the world’s top cultural institutions in the space of just a few blocks. As you go from attraction to attraction, you’ll notice the kindness of the locals that gives this city a small-town feel. Check out our selection of the best attractions in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is famous as a city of business and finance, rather than leisure and pleasure. And for good reason; the largest city in the State of Hesse is the de-facto financial capital of Germany and its soaring skyscrapers (among the tallest in Europe) are home to the European and international headquarters of some of the world’s biggest companies and institutions. Howver, there’s much more to Frankfurt than closed-off corporate cathedrals and men in suits. Dig beneath the surface and you’ll discover a truly international city that’s home to people from across the globe - and that's developed cultural offerings to suit the various needs of the many nationalities that live and work here. Whether it’s secret acoustic gigs, tiny nightclubs with incredible sound-systems or hip bike-share programs, leave the suit and tie behind and get to grips with the best things to do in Frankfurt.
On a mission to bring people together, Absolut Vodka has created an online Travellers Exchange. Anyone and everyone is invited to share their tips and recommendations on the places they love in their home cities. Absolut has marked this mission with a new limited edition, Absolut World, a collectable bottle of its award-winning Original Vodka, designed by Swedish illustrator Kari Modén (below). Available exclusively in major airports for a limited time, it’s a treasure only a traveller can uncover – making it a gift worth sharing with family and friends on your next travels. To get involved, simply upload a selfie to reveal a mosaic made up of other travellers that will unlock local hotspots from around the world. Here in Frankfurt, we asked local editors to share brand new places they think are worthy of a spot on Absolut’s neon world map. Enjoy Absolut responsibly.
Frankfurt has plenty to offer both short and long term visitors, but as a city that’s centrally located and boasting excellent public transport networks, it’s also a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding regions, from wine country and sprawling forests to medieval villages and riverside towns. The airport may connect Frankfurt with the rest of Europe and the world, but the excellent local and national trains make possible a huge range of options for day-long adventures, whether you’re a food-lover, a history buff or a tech or culture nerd. In less than 90 minutes, you can find yourself visiting a shrine to a Hungarian princess, bathing in natural thermal baths or inspecting a Russian spacecraft. From the seemingly endless options for day trips from Frankfurt, the following suggestions are all much-loved for their food and wine, individual culture, sites and history.