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Frankfurt Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in Frankfurt
Where to Stay
Frankfurt offers many hotels for all types of travelers. The most convenient ones, but pricier, are located downtown. From the center of town you are able to get to the airport within 20 minutes, or the convention center is only 10 minutes northwest of the center. The central location allows you to enjoy the evening happenings all within a safe, walkable area. Hotels to consider are the Jumeirah, the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof or Flemings Deluxe. All 3 have comfort in mind and it shows. The Hauptwache train station is the downtown stop to reach most every hotel.
Avoid: Taking a taxi; you can walk to everything from these hotels.
Hot Tips: Go to Flemings rooftop terrace for some of the best views of the city and have a relaxing drink.
What to Eat
While in downtown, you have a plethora of restaurants to choose from. The Hauptwache train stop is where to get off in order to enjoy any of the following places. A good burger and beer can be found at Waxys Irish Pub only at Taubenstrasse 11. If you want more of a variety, visit the Galeria Kaufhof for fresh cafeteria style food along with fantastic views. Or if traveling makes you yearn for a healthy salad and homemade soup, then go to Mantis Bar & Grill behind the Church that takes up the square at the Hauptwache stop.
Caution: Nothing is free - no extras refills on coffee and water is generally purchased.
Be Sure to Sample: Grun sauce. It's a mix of herbs in a yogurt base usually served cold with potatoes.
Things to See
Frankfurt has attractions that you will find in most cities. They have a zoo which is nice and a small botanical garden. The one thing they do have, and do well, is festivals. Almost every weekend throughout the summer and fall, you'll stumble on a festival in the downtown area on the Zeil. The Zeil is an outdoor walking mall filled with shopping and food venues. The Hauptwache train stop will drop you in the middle of all the action.
Caution: Festivals get very crowded as the day gets later.
Hot Tips: To avoid the crowds, go early in the afternoon.
Places to Party
Make sure to get to Old Sachsenhausen for nightlife, which is on the south side of the Main River. It's about a 15-minute walk from the Hauptwache train station. For those who enjoy dancing in a disco atmosphere, make sure to check out the Cocoon Club. You'll need a taxi to get there since it's off the path for easy train travel. Look into an Opera at the Frankfurt Opera located on the Zeil; it's very European and everything you imagined an Opera should be.
Caution: Watch your wallet for pick-pockets.
Where to Shop
Germany is known for its handmade wooden toys, ornaments, etc. You can find these items all over. The main shopping street is downtown where you'll find an outdoor walking mall called the Zeil. The train needed is the Hauptwache stop. Make sure to wander down the side streets off of the Zeil in order to visit smaller, more local shops. Make sure to visit the 6-story retail space called MyZeil. The stores inside are average; the interest is the building itself. The glass facade that forms the building is in the shape of a vortex and architecturally intriguing.
Hot Tips: VAT tax can be refunded. Make sure you have all your receipts on hand.
Best Local Souvenir: Hand-carved wooden toy or cuckoo clocks from the Bavarian region.
Divided into North and South regions by the Main River, Frankfurt has a rich 1200-year history. Like Nuremberg, much of Frankfurt was destroyed during World War II. Unlike Nuremberg, which took pains to reconstruct its old world feel, Frankfurt opted for modernization. Today, this well-rounded city is recognized as Germany's financial hub, as well as a dynamic cultural center with many fine museums, theaters and galleries. Frankfurt is the former home of the renowned printer Johannes Gutenberg and the writer Wolfgang von Goethe, not to mention the world-famous Frankfurter. Top tourist sites include the Städelsches Kunstinstitut (one of Europe's finest collections), Goethehaus (Goethe's childhood home), the Gothic St. Bartholomäus Cathedral (which offers a great view), and Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt's preserved old quarter). Frankfurt also puts on two great international fairs — Spring Fair and Autumn Fair — which date back to the 13th century.