"The most Un-German City in Germany" Top 5 Page for this destination Frankfurt am Main by antistar

Frankfurt am Main Travel Guide: 1,754 reviews and 3,812 photos

Frankfurt has pretensions to be Germany's "Capital that Never Was". Given its central location and huge economic influence, you'd think that it has been robbed by history, but a visit to the city can change that view. It doesn't feel like a capital at all. It's certainly a big international city. It also has many important businesses and institutions, like the European Bank, but it feels a lot smaller and more provincial compared to Berlin.

Frankfurt is not much of a tourist city, but it is a great place to live. Despite its bad reputation among Germans, and its relatively high rate of crime compared to other German cities, it is consistently rated as one of the ten best cities to live in the world, as well as one of the ten safest.

The reasons for this are obvious once you live here; it's a relaxed, cosmopolitan city, with a great city transport system and fantastic transport connections. Frankfurt airport is the busiest in continental Europe, and Frankfurt's Hauptbahnhof is practically the hub of the German rail system. It's also an incredibly cheap place to live compared to similar cities, like London, New York, Milan and Paris.

Frankfurt's main tourist appeal, above its famous name and convenient location, lies in its amazing museums. Along both sides of the river, on an easily manageable stretch, are some of the greatest museums in Germany. My personal favourite was the Städel museum, which hosts an array of exceptional paintings to rival any city in the world. It's also quite a pleasant city to wander around, and the contrast of the old buildings with the modern skyscrapers is wonderful, as are the old streets of Sachsenhausen across the river from the center.

The city also makes a fantastic base for visiting a number of Germany's greatest tourist attractions. Within an hour's train journey of the city are Heidelberg, Mainz and the popular Rhine river cruises. The cities of Cologne and Stuttgart are only a little further away on the ICE, and every major city is within a few hours journey thanks to the amazing connections the city has. Even Berlin on the other side of the country is only four hours away by direct ICE link.

One of Frankfurt's other greatest strengths is that it is so uniquely un-German. It is extremely cosmopolitan, especially for a German city, and claims to have 180 different nationalities residing in the city. Many of these work at the banks that operate here and make Frankfurt one of the major financial centers in the world. This makes for possibly the best restaurant scene in Germany.

The city is also super hip, with many great clubs that are not super exclusive or super expensive. You can get into some of the best clubs in Germany for as little as 10 euro cover charge. Along with the investment bankers and lawyers, there are movie stars, artists and sport celebrities to rub shoulders with. And now also world famous computer game developers :).

Things I Love

Great food; cosmopolitan people; skyscrapers; Sachsenhausen; Bergerstrasse; Das Staedel; walking along the Main; great transport connections.

Surprises

Extremely relaxed city; very little obvious crime; not that expensive.

Disappointments

Not a great deal for the tourist to see in the city itself; the weather.

  • Intro Updated Apr 28, 2012
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Reviews (93)

Comments (15)

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Hello Tim! You have written a very nice profile page. I will be checking at your Germany travel pages. Though my boyfriend is from Germany, I like to do my own research and find some interesting places to see. We will be visiting next month to the Frankfurt area. Looking forward to being there in October.

    • antistar's Profile Photo
      Sep 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Thank you! Have fun in Germany. If you have any questions - fire away :).

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Nice page

  • australia2's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Interesting modern history? Frankfurt. The base for the Berlin Air Lift, yes?
    Incredible achievement.
    I went through the other (Oder, Odra) one. "I vonder vere de Oder Iss?"
    An old Brit radio/record comedy line.;-)

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    a lot of to see in the city...

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Hi, Tim! You live in a vibrant city!~ Thanks for you very detailed and expressive story!

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Tks for these helpful tips! Good pic of Wiesbaden (Marktkirche) & hope to see Hofheim & other places in Taunus next time in Frankfurt. Interesting read about Offenbach. (oh I like Bergerstr. a lot too!) Wish you continued happiness in this new home, Merry Christmas!

  • Sage49's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Wow, Tim. Thanks much for your tips. I am planning my trip to Germany in May and I find your Frankfurt site so helpful.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2007 at 3:18 AM

    I'll be in Frankfurt on 17th and 18th February! Quality tips, thanks for sharing

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2006 at 3:55 AM

    You've added several fine new tips since July 3, which is when I last had a look at this page. Seems you are really getting acclimatized here in Frankfurt!

  • Dec 7, 2006 at 4:08 AM

    good page! are you on the Britboard too btw? Agree fully with your review of Hannibal, I like that place. We sampled the restaurant upstairs and the food was excellent although the portions were predictably rather small

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