Frankfurt is the financial and geographical centre of western Germany. A center of trade for nearly a millennium, this is a shrewd, hard-working city that also now boasts dramatic architecture and an abundance of cultural activities. It is located in west central Germany, is a port on the Main River. It is a major manufacturing, financial, commercial, and transportation center, served by rail lines and the Rhine-Main Airport, the most important in Germany and the second busiest in the world.
Frankfurt's music scene is lively and the jazz is of especially high quality. Frankfurt is also notable for its local poison, a deceptively strong sort of cider called Ebbelweï. The continent’s second-largest airport and busiest train station are located there. For more than 600 years, Frankfurt has been one of Europe’s most active host cities, welcoming scores of annual international trade fairs. With European monetary union approaching, the city is poised to play a leading role in the unfolding drama, as the home of the European Monetary Institute. Frankfurt sprawls out from the Main River, although most locations of interest are relatively close together.
The historic center of the city is the Romerberg Square, located just a block north of the Main. The Justice Fountain sits in the middle of the square, which is bordered by the Romer (city hall) and Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) on one end and the Kaiserdom (Imperial Cathedral) at the other. An old iron footbridge, the Eiserner Steg, crosses the Main into old Sachsenhausen, where you’ll find interesting pubs and taverns as well as the Museumsufer (museums along the southern riverbank).
The Museum of Modern Art
This is Frankfurt’s newest museum. Its wedge shape, like a piece of pie, is continually being filled with new exhibits. Emphasizes modern art from the 1960s through the present. 7 DM. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 10 am-5 pm, Wednesday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday noon-7 pm..
The Schirn Kunsthalle
The Schirn Kunsthalle is one of Frankfurt’s newest public buildings (opened in 1986). It’s used for less mainstream art exhibits, which change every three months. Tuesday and Friday-Sunday 10 am-7 pm.
The Historical Museum
Includes a scale model of the old town of Frankfurt, fine exhibits about life in the city and a cafe that doubles as an apple wine museum. There’s also a Children’s Museum with a cassette-guided tour in English at no extra cost.
Housed in the Rothschild Palais on the north bank of the Main, it tells the story of Frankfurt’s Jews, the second-largest Jewish community in Germany before the Holocaust.
Frankfurt Zoo is one of the most visited and most pleasant in all of Europe. Among the highlights are the Grzimek House, where nocturnal animals think it’s nighttime during the day, and the Exotarium, which is filled with interesting fish, reptiles and insects.
This is bordered by the Romer, or city hall, and is the historical center of the city. Frankfurt’s first major trade fair was held there. Its beautiful Kaisersaal was the banquet hall where coronations of the Holy Roman emperors were celebrated, and portraits of all 52 German emperors and kings are still hanging there. The square is also bordered by a row of traditional half-timbered houses, dating from the 15th century.
Palmengarten is an unforgettable botanical garden with more than 300 different kinds of palms. It specializes in tropical and subtropical plants with special display areas that are temperature controlled throughout the year. The park around the gardens has a playground for children, boats for rent and a wading pool. Occasional concerts also held here.