Destination insight: Frankfurt
Frankfurt-on-the-Main is a renowned business hub, home to one of the world's largest stock exchanges and many high-powered companies, but it also offers a wealth of traditional culture, art, entertainment and more. From the half-timbered houses in Römerberg to an array of art museums and the tranquil palm garden – Frankfurt is an attractive destination for tourists and business travellers alike.
5 things to see and do in Frankfurt
1. Explore the old town and Central Square at Römerberg
Dating back to the ninth century, the Römerberg has been the site of markets and fairs, tournaments and festivals, executions, imperial elections and coronations. But it's probably best known for it's beautiful half-timbered houses that were rebuilt after they were destroyed in World War two. While you're there, don't miss the Fountain of Justice, the Historical Museum, and the early Gothic Old Nikolai Church (Alte Nikolaikirche).
2. Visit the Wildlife at Frankfurt Zoo
As the second oldest in Germany, Frankfurt Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals and at least 450 different species. Discover a Madagascan world inside Grzimek House; watch out for the crocs, penguins, fish and snakes at the Exotarium (aquarium and reptile house); and experience a 'genuine' jungle atmosphere in the Borgori Forest ape house.
3. Soak up some culture at one of Frankfurt's art museums
Depending on your taste, you can visit the Goethe Museum [link to: http://www.goethehaus-frankfurt.de/] for stunning German art from the baroque period to the romantic era or head to the Museum for Modern Art [link to: http://mmk-frankfurt.de/en/home/] for post-war art including works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon.
4. Escape the hustle and bustle in the Palm Garden
Relax and unwind as you wander through the Palmengarten – the largest of its kind in Germany. The botanical garden is famous for its ample collection of native, tropical and subtropic flora. It also offers a variety of activities including guided tours, summer concerts, evening festivals and exhibitions.
5. Annual events in Frankfurt
Depending on the time of year you travel, there are lots of seasonal highlights. Every April, there is Nacht der Museen (Night of the Museums), where over 50 museums stay open until 2am with music and dance performances. Enjoy traditional food and colourful rides at Frankfurt’s oldest folk festival, Dippemass – held every spring and at the end of September. While the last weekend in August is known for the Museums Riverbank Festival.
How to get there
Frankfurt Airport is the main airport, 12km southwest of the city centre. It offers airport transfers on the S-Bahn (lines S8 and S9 in the direction Offenbach Ost (or Hanau Hauptbahnhof) taking only 10-15 minutes from the airport to the main city centre and costing €4.35 one way. A taxi is €25 on average and takes around 20-30 minutes to the city.
International services from Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and beyond, arrive into Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof. Eurostar trains from London St Pancras to Frankfurt can take around six hours with a change in Brussels to connect with an ICE train.
The main approach to Frankfurt is via the A3 to the Frankfurter Kreuz – a major Autobahn interchange close to the airport. The streets of central Frankfurt are usually congested during rush hour. Some areas, especially around the shopping streets Zeil, Goethestraße and Freßgass, are pedestrian-only streets.
Frankfurt U-Bahn and S-Bahn
These two rapid transit systems offer easy access to the city. The U-Bahn operates a service every 2.5 minutes, while the S-Bahn operates at 15-minute intervals. A single-fare ticket costs around €3.30 and covers a two-hour journey through the city. A day travel ticket costs €30 and a group day ticket for up to five people costs €17.50 in central zones. Find out more here: www.rmv.de/en.
Frankfurt’s 10 tram lines operate a service approximately every 10 minutes and most destinations are served by two lines. It serves more stops than the U-Bahn or S-Bahn. Find out more: www.vgf-ffm.de.
Taxis are available outside all stations and at taxi ranks or by calling a taxi operator.