Monday, November 25, 2013

5 Must-See Attractions in Frankfurt

Is there a city that punches above its weight class quite like Germany’s fifth-largest? Right there is part of your answer. Because Frankfurt is not Germany’s capital or flagship city. It isn’t even the capital of its own state (that would be Wiesbaden).

Frankfurt, Germany Skyline
What Frankfurt is, however, is a dynamo of a financial centre. Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne may have more people (though to be fair, the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region ranks second) but even Germany’s capital can’t match Frankfurt’s economic clout.

On this front Frankfurt has much going for it. The Hesse city practically occupies the centre of the European Union. The European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and many powerful commercial banks are all headquartered in Frankfurt. Not too shabby. Now you know why no other Alpha city (that all-important classification from the Globalization and World Cities Research Network) has less people.

Not entirely coincidentally, Frankfurt is also a nonpareil transport hub in continental Europe. Only Amsterdam, and maybe Brussels, can touch it. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's best and, indeed, busiest international airports by passenger traffic. It’s also ground zero for Lufthansa, Germany's flag carrier and Europe’s largest airline. Moreover, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest rail terminals on the continent.

A lot of people, then, do business in and pass through the city every single day. But when they book luxury hotels in Frankfurt, what is there for them to see outside of the boardroom? Tons of remarkable stuff, as luck as it.

People often think of Frankfurt as a modern, contemporary city and those descriptors are apt. Architecturally, the city has its state of the art and borderline futuristic stars, from The Squaire to the Palais Quartier development. But there’s so much more than steel and glass to enjoy in this buzzing metropolis. Frankfurt’s restaurant and bar scene, for one, has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade (with seven Michelin star restaurants at last count). Museums in the city are truly top-notch as well.

With all that in mind, here’s a useful list of interesting attractions in Frankfurt to keep handy.

German Architecture Museum
It makes sense, in a way, to start here. Frankfurt is a vital nerve centre for world architecture and, certainly, for German Architecture. The Deutsches Architekturmuseum, or DAM, bestows several important prizes in the field every year but, most vitally, for visitors, unfurls a terrific collection of exhibits and documents.

German Film Institute
Located, like the DAM, on Frankfurt’s Museumsufer on the south embankment of the Main River, the Deutsches Filminstitut contains one of the most prolific archives of cinematographic and cinematic material. A must for amateur and avid cinephiles alike, the DIF is a wonderful place to geek out on film.

Städel
The Städel art museum has one of the most significant collections in all of Europe, all housed in a handsome building re-designed by local architect Johannes Krahn in the 1960s. But back to that collection: try 2,700 paintings, 100,000 drawings and prints, over 600 sculptures and a huge reference library.

Senckenberg Natural History Museum
Frankfurt’s Naturmuseum Senckenberg is second only to Berlin’s natural history museum in importance but takes first place in a few categories. The world’s largest collection of avian taxidermy, for one, and some remarkable dinosaur skeletons. Over half a million people visit the museum every year.

Palmengarten
The largest botanical garden in Germany takes up a whopping 22 hectares and is located in the tony Westend-Süd district of Frankfurt. Palmengarten has a long history but was completely overhauled in the early 1990s. It’s now one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Having been in Germany for many years now, Elise has traveled to various locations and wants to inform everyone of the highlights on a number of different cities.

3 comments:

  1. Germany is one of the countries in Europe that I want to travel. Hopefully, not in a distant future.

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  2. Woo, 22 hectares of botanical garden. That would be heaven for plant lovers like me. :)

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  3. Looks like there are many places to visit in Frankfurt. I would add it to my bucket list.

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