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Things to do in Frankfurt

Things to do in  Frankfurt

Welcome to Frankfurt

It may be the financial center of Europe, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be glued to your laptop during a trip to Frankfurt, a city rich in history, culture, and stunning architecture. Set against a dramatic backdrop of skyscrapers, a tour of Frankfurt reveals a fascinating mix of old and new. Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral, Romer City Hall, and the Old Opera House exemplify classic building style; while the Squaire complex, MyZeil shopping center, and the brand-new Seat of the European Central Bank show off the cutting edge of architecture. Frankfurt's other main draw is its proximity to some of the most appealing destinations in Germany. You’ll definitely want to take a Rhine Valley cruise, making sure to sample the region’s wines and and visiting picturesque Heidelberg with its historic old town and castle. Further south, on the edge of the Black Forest, take a refreshing dip in one of Baden-Baden’s hot springs; or go all the way to the French border to visit charming Strasbourg. To the west, the fairy tale–worthy Eltz Castle awaits; while to the east, toward Munich, you’ll find the history-rich town of Nuremberg. When you return from your adventure, spend your final night in Frankfurt checking out its legendary electronic music scene.

Top 10 attractions in Frankfurt

#1

Old Opera House (Alte Oper)

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Inaugurated in 1880 Frankfurt’s Old Opera House (Alte Oper) was among Germany’s elite opera houses during its 20th-century heyday, but by 1951 the building had been badly damaged by fire and a new Opera house had sprung up to take its place. Further damage was sustained throughout the war years and it wasn’t until 1981 that the Old Opera House, saved from demolition by a public petition, was reconstructed and reopened. With its exteriors and entrance hall restored to reflect the Renaissance design of original architect Richard Lucae, the Old Opera House is now serving out its days as a magnificent concert hall and congress center. After being fated with the post-war nickname of ‘Germany’s most beautiful ruin’, the modern Alte Oper complex is now one of the city’s leading concert venues, hosting around 300 classical and popular music events throughout the year and drawing many additional visitors to its atmospheric onsite café.More
#2

St. Paul's Church (Paulskirche)

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After WWII destroyed much of Frankfurt’s historic center, it was the late 18th-century St. Paul's Church (Paulskirche) that was rebuilt first – a fitting tribute to the symbolic significance of the holy building. The landmark church is renowned as more than just a center of worship – it was also the seat of the first freely elected German parliament and the location of the German National Assembly inauguration on 18th May 1848. Since reopening in 1948 to mark the parliament’s 100th anniversary, St Paul’s has ceased to be used for church services but remains an important symbol of democratic Germany, hosting a number of ceremonies and exhibitions in its public halls. Most notable is the large-scale circular mural ‘The Path of the Representatives to St. Paul’s Church’, completed by Berlin artist Johannes Grützke in 1991, which chronicles the history of united and democratic Germany.More
#3

Frankfurt Cathedral (Frankfurter Dom)

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Frankfurter Dom is the main church of Frankfurt. From the 14th century onwards, kings of the Holy Roman Empire were elected in this Catholic church. From the mid-16th century to the late 18th century, emperors were crowned here. The cathedral has been damaged in the past by fire and warfare, most recently during the WWII. It was reconstructed in the 1950s and has undergone periodic renovation since then. It has been widely recognized as an important national symbol for Germany. The museum has an impressive collection of reliquaries and ceremonial objects.More
#4

Main River

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Flowing 527km between Mainz and Bamberg, and passing through 3 German states (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse), the Main River is one of the main tributaries of the mighty Rhine River. Running through the heart of Frankfurt, the river is not only the lifeline of the city’s industrial center, but brings with it a steady stream of cruise passengers. Frankfurt sightseeing cruises are also a popular way to take in the city’s sights, with attractions like Museumsufer (Museum Embankment), Frankfurt Cathedral, Frankfurt’s famed financial district, nicknamed ‘Little Manhattan’, and Europaturm, the city’s tallest building, all visible along the waterfront.More
#5

Goethe House & Museum (Goethehaus)

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The Goethe House & Museum is the site where the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in 1749. Goethe’s former house is a fantastic and tangible example of the living style of the 18th century Frankfurt's gentry. The house was technically Goethe's parents', and he lived here until moving to Weimar where he died in 1765. Main features include Goethe's original writing desk and the library on the fourth floor, where Goethe composed his famous epistolary, The Sorrows of Young Werther, and where he began writing Faust. The rooms are decorated with a charming mix of reproduction and original furnishing. The museum is a picture gallery dedicated to the Age of Goethe. The Goethe House & Museum offer an intriguing a peek into 18th century lifestyles and Goethe’s early years.More
#6

Iron Bridge (Eiserner Steg)

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The looming steel peaks of the Eiserner Steg, or the Iron Footbridge, have dominated Frankfurt’s skyline since 1869, a striking homage to the city’s industrial age. The iconic footbridge runs across the Main River, linking the central Römerberg plaza with Sachsenhausen on the south bank. Taking in the views from the Iron Bridge is a favorite pastime of visitors to the city, looking out over the grand villas of the famous Museumsufer (Museum Embankment), which hosts Frankfurt’s colorful Saturday flea market, the passenger boat jetty and the towering skyscrapers that frame the north bank. The distinctive bridge is engraved with a Greek quote from Homer's Odyssey and has become a popular haunt for lovers in recent years, with couples taking to engraving their names on ‘love padlocks’, before locking the padlocks onto the metal rungs of the bridge.More
#7

Frankfurt City Hall (Romer)

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With its striking three-peaked façade looming over the central Römerberg square, Frankfurt’s historic town hall, the Römer, is one of the city’s most identifiable buildings. The distinctive medieval design, characterized by three stepped gables, adorned with Neogothic embellishments and topped with a domed bell tower, was originally built in the 15th century, but reconstructed after the war to include the now-iconic central balcony. Today, the Römer also features an additional wing, added in the late 19th-century and linked to the main buildings by a pedestrian bridge, nicknamed the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ after the famous Venice bridge of the same name. Still the center of city council meetings and the house of the municipal leader, the Römer is also a civil registry office and a popular tourist attraction in its own right. For visitors, the undeniable highlight is the magnificent Kaisersaal (Emperor Hall).More
#8

Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof

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For many visitors, the first introduction to Germany’s fast-expanding business and financial center is its main railway station, a building of classical elegance and proportion. Frankfurt’s iron-and-glass Hauptbahnhof was designed by Johann Wilhelm Schwedler and Hermann Eggert and opened for business in 1888; the roof of the Neo-Renaissance central hall is topped with a vast statue of Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Since then, the station has been consistently updated, with two further passenger halls being constructed on either side of the main terminal in 1924. Although the Hauptbahnhof was damaged in World War II, expansion continued and now it has 24 mainline tracks; it is also a terminus for the S-Bahn (rapid transit commuter trains), U-Bahn (metro line) and tram services into the city.More
#9

Frankfurt Main Tower

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The Frankfurt Maintower is a 200 meter (660 foot) skyscraper in the center of the city, making it the 4th tallest building in Frankfurt. The name "Maintower" is derived from the Main River running through Frankfurt. The tower has a 40 m (131 ft) communications tower situated atop the building, as well as five underground floors and two public viewing platforms. The tower features two adjacent buildings. The smaller of the two is of a rectangular shape, the taller one circular and with an entirely blue glass exterior that features the transmitter on top. Maintower was built in the 90's and houses the Landesbank of Hesse and Thuringia, Merrill Lynch’s German office, and a television studio of the Hessischer Rundfunk, among other businesses.More
#10

Museumsufer

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With a string of world-class museums running along the banks of the Main River, Frankfurt’s Museumsufer, or Museum Embankment, is one of Germany’s most important cultural hubs. Thirteen museums call the Museumsufer home, housed in a series of beautifully restored 18th-century villas that line the waterfront of Sachsenhausen between the Friedensbrücke Bridge and Dreikönigskirche Church. The first museums to open up along the riverside were the Städel Art Institute, the Liebieg Sculpture Museum and the Museum of Communications, but by the 1980s the city had proposed the idea of creating an entire boulevard of museums. Today, residents include the Giersch Museum, the German Museum of Architecture, the German Film Museum, the Museum of World Cultures, the Museum of Applied Art, the Jewish Museum and the Icons Museum.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Frankfurt

How to Spend 2 Days in Frankfurt

Medieval Castles Near Frankfurt

Medieval Castles Near Frankfurt

Recent reviews from experiences in Frankfurt

star-5
Great way to see the city
Cathinka, Jun 2020
Frankfurt Highlights 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise
Great way to see the city.
star-5
Very good tour. It seems as though...
Mark K, Mar 2017
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
It seems as though Frankfurt is more of a business city and not as many sights as in other European cities, but this tour seemed to make the most of what there is to see in this area.
star-5
Very recomended to get to see the...
Antonie, Jul 2015
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Very recomended to get to see the whole frankfurt, its just like almost 2 hours to enjoy from the starting point and return to that, very nice.
star-5
Bike Riding is a Wonderful Way to Explore Frankfurt
Beu, Feb 2020
Discover Frankfurt with our unique E-Bikes
Our guide was great, she took her time riding with us, explaining each site and her English also was very good.
star-4
An excellent tour to see a lot in a short time.
FarAway58920, Dec 2019
7-Day European Highlights Tour From Frankfurt: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria And Switzerland
As this was my last chance to get to Europe it was a great experience to see so much in such a short time.
star-4
Its worth to see Frankfurt river sides...
Paulo, Sep 2017
Frankfurt Highlights 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise
Its worth to see Frankfurt river sides building and value for money love it.
star-5
Our tour started in Frankfurt...
Raul G, Apr 2018
7-Day European Highlights Tour From Frankfurt: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria And Switzerland
We were able to see so much in so little time.
star-5
Very relaxing, comfortable ride...
Janice B, Aug 2016
Frankfurt 100-Minute Sightseeing Cruise
The boats have good food, beer, wine, etc and an English commentary that was not obtrusive, we could carry on our own conversation if we liked.
star-4
Great way to see...
Linda Lorraine H, Sep 2015
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Great way to see Frankfurt.
star-5
We enjoyed our Frankfurt adventure...
James H, Apr 2016
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
We enjoyed our Frankfurt adventure knowing that we would only be there one day and your bus service was a wonderful way to see so many things that we could have missed.
star-4
The tour was pleasant, but the...
RICK J, Sep 2012
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
I had to do it again to see what I missed the first time (I think he even drove faster the second time).
star-4
Lot to see in Frankfurt Hop on and off...
dranandnadkarni, Sep 2016
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Lot to see in Frankfurt Hop on and off at all locations, enjoyable ride
star-5
It was an enjoyable tour of the city...
JENNY SOCK CHENG T, May 2013
Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Contrary to the starting time stated in our voucher, the bus service began at 0930 hours in summer and not 1000 hours as indicated in the voucher.

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