Things to Do in Frankfurt – Top Tourist Attractions
Frankfurt is a German city located on the banks of the Main River. It is the fifth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. Frankfurt is Germany’s largest commercial and financial center. At the same time, the city is Germany’s most important transport hub. So this beautiful city deserves to be explored. So where are the places to visit and what are the best things to do in Frankfurt?
Frankfurt is highly developed in education, tourism, transportation, and trade. If you want to make an itinerary for Frankfurt, this article is for you. The places given below are the places that should be included in the list of places to visit in Frankfurt.
Best Things to Do in Frankfurt
Before moving on to our list of places to visit in Frankfurt, let’s make a few notes about the city:
Frankfurt entered the top 10 and ranked 7th in the “World’s most livable cities 2022” index published by the Intelligence Unit. (First place is Vienna). In addition to the old and historical atmosphere of the city, the skyscrapers are also very famous. For this reason, Frankfurt is referred to as the “Manhattan of Europe” and the most American-like city.
Best Places to Visit in Frankfurt
The old town (Altstadt) district, the pedestrian shopping street, and the huge parks are indispensable.
Frankfurt is the financial center of Germany. You feel it once you enter the city. It is very different from the usual German cities with huge skyscrapers.
The hometown of the German poet Goethe and the fact that the works of art collected by some wealthy families from Frankfurt from various parts of Europe are exhibited in museums here is one of the most important features of Frankfurt. So what are the must-see tourist spots in Frankfurt?
Where to Stay in Frankfurt?
One of the first things to do in Frankfurt is to visit Römerberg Square. Because it is the heart of the city and today fascinates travelers with its historical atmosphere. Thus, you can have the opportunity to observe the reflections of the impressive medieval atmosphere.
The historical buildings were rebuilt after World War II. But you can still feel the history. Also, the cafes and shops in this square are worth visiting.
Römerberg Square takes its name from the town hall, where the city has been governed for more than 600 years. The Frankfurt Cathedral in the square is one of the structures that attract the attention of visitors. Also, the Christmas market established in December is very colorful.
Before leaving here, do not forget to visit the Gothic Wharfinger’s Tower. If you wish, you can also explore the region by joining the tour that you can book on the GetYourGuide website.
2- Frankfurt Cathedral
Frankfurt Cathedral is one of the important places to visit in the city. It is also known as the Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew. Because it is dedicated to Saint Bartholomew.
The cathedral was opened for use in 1550. it has a 95 meters long tower which is awesome. So this Roman Gothic Catholic Church attracts many to the heart of the old town. Its Gothic architecture is really beautiful.
Revealing the richness of the cathedral’s treasury, the museum also exhibits contemporary works of art.
If you want to relax after spending time in the crowded square and the cathedral, you can immediately turn your route to Palmengarten.
The botanical garden adjacent to Grüneburgpark, one of the largest green spaces within the city limits, was established in 1871.
Today, the facility, which continues its activities under Frankfurt Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, offers different experiences to its visitors with the motto of “Plants, Life, Culture”.
The botanical garden, whose name means “Palm Garden” in the English language, contains many tropical greenhouses, rose gardens, bamboo groves, and rock gardens. In addition, when children come here, they have the opportunity to have fun in the playgrounds with their peers.
If you wish, you can take the train and discover the beauties waiting for you in the surrounding area or take a boat trip to the pond in the middle of the facility. You can even watch open-air concerts here in the summer.
4- Goethehaus (Goethe House)
Goethe House was completely destroyed except for the basement due to the Allied bombing and was rebuilt in accordance with its original form after the war. It has a special meaning for travelers who are interested in literature.
When you enter the 4-story house where the writer, philosopher, and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born, you can closely examine the beautiful works of art. Decorative objects in the room reflect the bourgeois-style lifestyle.
The works in the house, where items belonging to Goethe are exhibited, has the signature of important artists who lived in the German-speaking geography and adopted different styles.
In this direction, you can have the opportunity to see works having traces of different periods, from Late Baroque to Sturm and Drang, from Classicism to Biedermeier.
5- Alte Oper – Fun Things to Do in Frankfurt
The Old Opera House is another cultural facility that I would suggest you add to your list of things to do in Frankfurt. It reveals all the splendor of the Italian Renaissance style,
The building was built between 1873 and 1880, adhering to the design of Richard Lucae and with the financial support of Philipp Holzmann.
However, like most buildings, the opera house also suffered from the bombardment during the Second World War. Despite this, as a result of the works carried out, both the exterior and the main hall were rebuilt in accordance with the original.
If you do not intend to watch the beautiful performances in the main hall, the only way to visit the Old Opera House is to take guided tours.
The tours last approximately 90 minutes according to the event calendar. In addition, depending on the time and participation, 1-2 Euros can be added to the tour prices.
6- Senckenberg Natural History Museum
The Senckenberg Museum is shown as the largest cultural facility in Frankfurt focused on natural history. It also has branches in Görlitz and Dresden.
The collection has been collected for over 200 years and has rare features. So it attracts great attention to the museum. Of course, the Neo-Baroque building built between 1904 and 1907 further increases the attraction of the museum.
When you visit the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, you have the opportunity to examine Europe’s largest dinosaur fossil collection in detail. This collection also includes items brought from the excavation site in Grube Messel.
I recommend that you spend some time in the section reserved for birds in the museum. The museum, which is currently in the process of moving, is planned to move to its new building in the next 5 years. So visiting Senckenberg Natural History Museum is one of the best things to do in Frankfurt am Main.
7- St. Paul’s Church
When you decide to travel to Frankfurt for the holidays, you can have the privilege of visiting St Paul’s Church, which hosts events that allow Germany to become a united country under one flag.
The German parliament held its first session in the church. The church was built in 1848. The neo-classical religious structure also witnessed the meetings where the country’s first constitution was created.
Today, the place does not have a religious function. If you go to the building where various art collections are exhibited throughout the year. If you visit this place during the Frankfurt Book Fair, you can experience activities that will allow you to have a good time.
8- Städel Museum
You can include the Städel Museum in your itinerary to understand the changes in European art from the 14th century to the present through unique works of art.
It is founded in 1815. The museum takes its name from businessman Johann Friedrich Städel. Most of the works exhibited in the cultural facility bear traces from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Early Modern periods.
At the Städel Museum, which sheds light on the 700-year period of European art; Works bearing the signatures of masters such as Cranach, Dürer, Botticelli, Monet, and Picasso are presented to art lovers. As a result, the interest in the museum increases considerably, especially during the tourism season.
If you do not want to waste time in the long ticket queue, you can book tickets online through the official website of the institution.
9- Main Tower – Best Things to Do in Frankfurt
The Main Tower was built between 1996-1999. So it represents the modern face of Frankfurt. The tower, which houses the headquarters of globally renowned companies such as Landesbank and Merrill Lynch, actually includes two different structures.
The fact that one of these structures is designed in a classical style and the other in a more contemporary style gives Main an extraordinary style.
Two striking works of art greet visitors at the entrance of the Main Tower. In addition to these works, the skyscraper hosts many exhibitions throughout the year.
The observation terrace, which is 200 meters above the ground, offers its guests an exquisite view of the city. So one of the top things to do in Frankfurt is to watch the amazing city view here.
10- Zeil Street – Things to Do in Frankfurt
If you like to take advantage of the shopping opportunities in the cities you travel to, you can add Zeil Street to your list of places to visit in Frankfurt. Zeil street is which is 1.2 kilometers long and very crowded.
The street attracts attention with its sparkling appearance when viewed from a high point at night. So it is a really social place in the city. This street is only open to pedestrian traffic. But it is also the most important area of the city in terms of shopping thanks to the stores lined up on it.
Zeil Street is between Hauptwache and Konstablerwache. While you are strolling on Zeil Street, you can have the privilege of shopping in stores of luxury brands such as Armani and Versace.
If you intend to have products with original style, you can also turn to boutiques of independent designers.
The street with modern shopping centers called MyZeil, Nordwestzentrum, HessenCenter, and Skyline Plaza Frankfurt also offers great opportunities for those who want to get to know the local cuisine.
11- Eiserner Steg (Iron Footbridge)
If watching the city view from the Main Tower from a bird’s eye view is not enough for you, you can visit Eiserner Steg. Because it reveals the beauty of the city from different angles.
The bridge connects the Old Town district with Sachsenhausen. Because it is close to vehicle traffic, it is really safe to visit this bridge.
Until the end of the 20th century, the bridge only attracted the attention of those who wanted to watch the scenery and cross the street. However, as of 2000, couples started to hang locks symbolizing their love all over the bridge. As a result, colorful images emerged.
The Iron Footbridge was first built in 1868 over the Main River. In the period covering the years 1911-1912, it was expanded in order to meet the increasing need.
The structure you will see now is the version of the bridge that was rebuilt in 1946, right after the war. So it is also a historic bridge. You should add this bridge to the list of things to do in Frankfurt.
12- Eschenheimer Turm (Eschenheimer Tower)
The 47-meter-high Eschenheimer Turm was first built in 1349, after the city’s second expansion period. The construction of the Gothic-style door was started in 1400 by carpenter Klaus Mengoz. Although Eschenheimer Turm is a very old tower, it has survived to the present day.
Considering the year of construction, the gate remains the oldest surviving structure in the city. It is located within the boundaries of the Old City.
However, two streets have taken the place of the strong walls that used to surround them. When you visit here, you can find the opportunity to take a rest in the cafe at the bottom.
You can find the opportunity to visit most of the museums in Frankfurt during your Museumsufer tour, which is located on both banks of the Main River.
The establishment story of the area, which is the cultural center of the city, dates back to 1977. The architectural works that gave the cultural landscape area its current appearance, of which Hilmar Hoffman was the father, were mainly carried out between 1980-1990.
The part of the Museumsufer to the south of the Main River includes the Museums of Applied Arts, Ethnology, German Film, and Communication, as well as the Liebieghaus and Portikus.
In the northern part, there are Jewish and History museums. If you prefer to visit the museums on the last weekend of August, you can have the opportunity to participate in the 3-day festival.
14- The Frankfurt Zoological Garden
Frankfurt Zoological Garden was established in 1858. So that makes it Germany’s second oldest zoo. It is home to 4,500 animals from around 450 different species. The creatures in the facility, which resembles an oasis in the center of Frankfurt, continue their lives in the conditions closest to their natural environment.
Thanks to this situation, those who wonder how exotic creatures live, have the opportunity to both learn new things and have a pleasant time while visiting the zoological garden.
When you go to the Grzimek House within the Frankfurt Zoological Garden, you can observe the animal species unique to Madagascar. So one of the best things to do in Frankfurt is to visit this zoo.
After closely examining the behavior of fish, seahorses, penguins, snakes, and crocodiles in the aquarium and reptile house, you can move on to the Borgori Forest, where monkeys live. You can visit all these sections I mentioned individually, or you can participate in guided tours.
15- Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art)
Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst was opened in 1991. The ostentatious building was designed by the Viennese architect Hans Hollein,
The museum features works produced by various artists from the 1960s to the present. So it is one of the indispensable places to visit in Frankfurt for travelers interested in modern arts.
Thanks to its rich collection, the museum is among the most important cultural facilities in the world.
The permanent collection of the Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst consists of works by important artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and Joseph Beuys. However, this collection is not always on display.
That’s why I suggest you arrange your visit to the museum according to the event calendar. Otherwise, you may have to make do with the temporary exhibitions in the adjacent halls.
16- Goethestraße (Goethestrasse)
If Eiserner Steg did not meet your expectations in terms of shopping, you can try your luck at Goethestrasse. But the 290-meter street stretching between Opemplatz and Goetheplatz has entirely luxury shops.
In this direction, you can find stores belonging to brands such as Armani, Chanel, Montblanc, and Vertu on the street that was built between 1892 and 1894.
You can use U-Bahn and S-Bahn services to reach Goethestrasse. Because it is very close to the Main Tower. Frankfurt Hauptwache stops on the east and Alte Oper stops on the west. So one of the free things to do in Frankfurt Germany is strolling on Goethestraße.
If Eiserner Steg or Goethestrasse is in your itinerary, if I were you, I would draw a route via Hauptwache for transportation. So you can have a great time in the heart of the modern city center before shopping. Because the square is considered among the most interesting areas of the city due to its atmosphere and gastronomic opportunities.
They say it is of Goethe’s favorite buildings in the city. So this situation makes the region one of the must-see tourist spots in Frankfurt.
The Hauptwache was built in 1729 as the seat of the military power of Frankfurt. The building was designed in Gothic style by Johann Samhaimer. It is also used as a prison,
18- German Film Museum (Deutsches Filmmuseum)
Deutsches Filmmuseum is one of the cultural facilities you will have the opportunity to visit during your Museumsufer trip. The museum focuses on explaining the historical development of cinema and its impact on societies through various exhibitions.
Visitors can interact with the collections on display thanks to interactive applications here. You can even find the opportunity to examine some of the collections online in detail.
When you visit the German Film Museum, you can also get an idea of how perspective and storytelling are effective in filming.
The exhibitions, which focus on these two subjects and are dedicated to important names on the big screen such as Stanley Kubrick and Romy Schneider, are held at certain times of the year.
19- Old St Nicholas Church (Alte Nikolaikirche)
Located right next to the town hall, Old St Nicholas Church dates back to the middle of the 12th century.
According to written records, a smaller religious building was built in the area where the church was located at that time. The construction process of the current building was completed in the middle of the 15th century.
After its opening, the church was used for observation purposes while hosting religious ceremonies on the one hand. The watchman waiting in the bell tower of the building was in charge of notifying the boats entering and leaving the Main River.
Old St Nicholas Church attracts the attention of everyone, from seven to seventy, with the artworks that give it’s interior a rich look and the details in its decoration.
Although, children immediately head to the playground when they come here. But by participating in guided tours, II. You can get detailed information about these artifacts and objects that survived the destruction of World War II. I suggest you to add this place to your list of the best things to do in Frankfurt.
20- The German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum)
I reserved the last row of the list of places to visit in Frankfurt for the German Architecture Museum, one of the city’s most popular cultural facilities.
It is established in 1983. The museum continues to serve in an 18th-century building. At this cultural facility, 3 different temporary exhibitions with predetermined topics for each period are presented to the visitors who are interested in architecture.
In addition to these exhibitions, about which you can get detailed information through guided tours, educational activities are also carried out.
The permanent collection of the German Architecture Museum consists of 200,000 architectural plans and drawings. This collection also includes various models, paintings, and furniture. However, these resources and items are exhibited in the space on Hedderichstrasse instead of the main building of the museum.
Where to Stay?
Where to stay in Frankfurt? In my opinion, the most beautiful areas to stay in Frankfurt are Altstadt, Bahnhofsviertel & Gutleutviertel, Sachensenhausen, Gallusviertel, and Westend surroundings.
Some of the best and most comfortable hotels in Frankfurt:
- Hotel Europa Life
- THE FLAG West M.
- NH Collection Frankfurt City
- Metropolitan Hotel by Flemings
- Hilton Frankfurt City Centre
Throughout the article on places to visit in Frankfurt, I tried to give information about all the important places in the city that you should visit and see. Also, read the things to do in Munich if you plan a Germany tour.
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