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15 Best Things to do in Frankfurt (Germany)

15 Best Things to do in Frankfurt (Germany)

Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Frankfurt (Germany), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.

Dom St. Bartholomaus

Built of red sandstone in Gothic style between the 14th and 15th centuries, with a 95-meter-tall tower, the Roman Catholic Frankfurt Cathedral (Frankfurter Dom) – or to give its full name, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral (Dom St. Bartholomäus) – stands out for its lovely color, even in the city of skyscrapers like Frankfurt.

It’s one of only a handful of churches in Germany to be designated as an Imperial Cathedral, and it was here from 1562 to 1792 that the coronation of ten kings took place in the Election Chapel in the days of the Holy Roman Empire.

The cathedral’s most important relic is the skullcap of St. Bartholomew, kept in the Late Romanesque Bartholomew’s Choir. Many of the cathedral’s most important artifacts can be seen in the Dommuseum Frankfurt.

Dom St. Bartholomaus

Römerberg (Römer)

Located in the heart of Frankfurt Old Town, Römer (literally means Roman in English) is perhaps the quaintest square in the city, walled by a photogenic complex of nine medieval houses that make the City Hall, a church, and historic administrative buildings.

At its center is the Renaissance Fountain of Justice (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen), dating back to 1543. On the opposite side of the square stands the 15th-century Old St Nicholas Church, which magically came through the war without major damage.

Most of the beautiful half-timbered houses to the east and west have bar and restaurant terraces on their ground floors for an Apfelwein (or Ebbelwoi in the Hessian dialect) and pretzel.

Römerberg

Palmengarten

Opened in 1871, Frankfurt’s Botanical Garden is the largest botanic garden in Germany and one of three in Frankfurt. 

The specimens are organized according to their region: One glass pavilion contains a sub-Arctic landscape, while there’s a tropicarium for rainforest and two separate structures for the desert environment, along with a number of greenhouses containing subtropical and tropical plant species. 

Palmengarten

Photo: saiko3p / Shutterstock.com

Eschenheimer Turm

Built in the early 1400s and remains the finest relic from Frankfurt’s old town walls and the oldest unchanged landmark in Frankfurt, the 47-meter high Eschenheim Tower (Eschenheimer Turm) was designed by Madern Gerthener, who also worked on the cathedral.

Today, the tower houses a café and meeting rooms used by local historical societies, and you cannot go inside unless you get a table at the posh restaurant now based here.

Eschenheimer Turm

Photo: photo20ast / Shutterstock.com

St Paul’s Church

Located on Paulsplatz, St Paul’s Church is a building of great significance, not just for Frankfurt but also for Germany as a nation. Built between 1789 and 1833, the church was used for political meetings and became the seat of the first freely-elected German parliament in 1848.

Although the parliament meetings only lasted for a year before religious services returned, the church’s place in history was sealed as a symbol of freedom and the birthplace of German democracy.

Today, St. Paul’s is no longer used as a church but a venue for various displays and events. The most well-known event that takes place here is the annual awarding of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

St Paul’s Church in Frankfurt

Sachsenhausen

For hundreds of years, the district of Sachsenhausen was a village distinct from the rest of Frankfurt, but still granted the protection of the city’s enormous ring of walls.

That fertile left bank of the Main was given over to farming. However, when the climate became a little cooler in the Little Ice Age, apple orchards replaced vineyards, and from the 18th century, the bars in the quarter started serving cider (Apfelwein).

Nowadays, the cool, laid-back Sachsenhausen is best known for Museumsufer, a row of riverside museums exploring fine art, architecture, film, and Jewish history. 

Sachsenhausen

Photo: Christian Mueller / Shutterstock.com

Schirn Kunsthalle

Designed in the 1980s, the hall is the main venue for temporary art exhibitions in Frankfurt, is in an international network, and collaborates with the Pompidou Centre, the Guggenheim Museum, New York’s MoMa, Moscow’s Hermitage, and Britain’s Tate Gallery.

There have been celebrated retrospectives for Munch, Giacometti, Frida Kahlo, and Marc Chagall, as well as more specific exhibitions on anything from Matisse’s collages to the art of Paris during the Belle Époque.

Schirn Kunsthalle

Photo: Sergio Delle Vedove / Shutterstock.com

Deutsches Filmmuseum

The German Film Museum approaches its subject from a few different angles and topics, like the technological origins and development of cinema, tracing its invention in 1895 through the advent of sound in the 1930s into the 21st century.

There are regular in-depth exhibitions on important figures from film history: Kubrick, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Romy Schneider have all featured.

As you can expect from a film museum, of course, there’s a cinema screening artistically significant films and classics. Silent movies are accompanied by a live performance on a Wurlitzer pipe organ.

Deutsches Filmmuseum

Photo: Chris Redan / Shutterstock.com

Liebieghaus

The Liebieghaus was commissioned by the textile magnate Baron Heinrich Von Liebieg as his retirement home in the 1890s. Not long after he died, the building was acquired by the city and turned into a sculpture museum.

It now holds the sculpture collection for Frankfurt’s Städtische Galerie, which was hand-picked at the start of the 20th century to provide an overview of more than 5,000 years of sculptures.

Liebieghaus has a great mixture of sculptures of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, to the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles.

Liebieghaus

Photo: Rainer Lesniewski / Shutterstock.com

Museum Angewandte Kunst

Frankfurt’s Museum of Applied Arts is housed in a mesmerizing building by the American architect Richard Meier. Inside there are European textiles, paintings, furniture, and porcelain from the 1100s to the 2000s, as well as beautiful pieces from China and Japan.

The Museum Angewandte Kunst’s aim is to keep its finger on the pulse of currents and developments in society, with a special emphasis on design and fashion.

Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Klassikstadt

Klassikstadt is a restoration facility for privately owned prestige cars, located in a former clinker brick factory. To visit this amazing classic car attraction you have to catch an RB or RE train east to the industrial area, close to Frankfurt-Mainkur station.

The lineup of Porches, BMWs, Jaguars, Mercedes, and many more brands is a real treat, and to show how seriously the Klassikstadt takes its business, they’re stored in glass cases to regulate humidity.

You can even peek over the shoulder of experienced craftsmen and engineers servicing engines, fixing instruments, and stitching leather fittings of the cars.

Kleinmarkthalle

Close to the Zeil shopping street (aka the Fifth Avenue of Frankfurt) is a hangar-like indoor food market that trades every day of the week except Sunday.

The present hall dates from 1954, and its 1,500 square meters house 150 market stalls selling some of the finest foods in Germany. Make a lunchtime visit for tapas, a panini, fresh oysters, bratwurst, and much more at the bars above the main hall.

This is also a good place to try out the famous Frankfurt “Green Sauce” (Frankfurter Grüne Soße), a traditional condiment made of seven herbs, sour cream, and egg. 

Kleinmarkthalle

Photo: Rainer Lesniewski / Shutterstock.com

Städel Museum

One of Germany’s top cultural attractions, the Städel Museum (full name Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie) has recently been named German Museum of the Year, following an extension for contemporary art in 2012. 

The museum was founded in 1815 when the banker Johann Friedrich Städel donated an invaluable collection of old masters to the city, including a collection of paintings from the 14th century.

Of its many collections, the most important include works by old masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Goya and into the later centuries with Monet, Degas, Beckman, and Picasso. 

Städel Museum

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Frankfurt Christmas Market

One of the reasons why people want to visit Frankfurt is to visit the Christmas Market, which is one of the largest and oldest in Germany, extending from the Zeil Shopping mall to Romerberg square and the river Main and dating back to 1393. 

In those days, the market existed to provide essential supplies to the locals before winter. Gradually, it started to be more Christmas-oriented and eventually became a Christmas market, starting at the end of November and ending in January.

Nowadays, in Romerberg square, you will find a big Christmas tree and a big merry-go-round.

Frankfurt Christmas Market

Opera Frankfurt

Also known as the Old Opera House (Alte Oper), Opera Frankfurt was considered as one of the elite opera houses in Germany in the 20th century. It was inaugurated in 1880; however, the building had been severely damaged during the wars.

Alte Oper was lucky enough to be saved from demolition by a public petition, signed in 1981, which ensured that the Old Opera House would be reconstructed and reopened.

Although it had been nicknamed as “Germany’s most beautiful ruin”, the newly renovated Alte Oper complex is now the leading concert venue in the city.

Opera Frankfurt

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