Home to one of the largest financial centres of continental Europe and the region’s second busiest airport, Frankfurt is considered one of the 10 most liveable cities in the world. A transport and tourism hub with a thriving cultural scene, the city boasts numerous museums – second only to the capital, Berlin.
Frankfurt hosts the world’s largest motor show (internationale automobil-ausstellung) as well as the biggest book (Frankfurter Buchmesse) and music (musikmesse) fairs. Unless you are attending, these are the only times you should avoid the city – it gets that busy.
A gastronomer's delight, Gargantua restaurant located at An der Welle 3 is an elegant fusion of German and international foods. Owner chef Klaus Trebes originally wanted to create a restaurant that reflected a family run kitchen, one-dish-a-day type meals like the provincial restaurants of Italy and France. Gargantua was such a resounding success it could no longer support that type of menu. The result is a robust a la cart menu and matching wine list which has only contributed to the restaurants popularity.
For a truly alpine kitsch dining experience head to Steinernes Haus (The Inn). Built around 500 years ago, it was the only stone building in an area otherwise made up of traditional wood homes. It has been in operation as a restaurant for the past 100 years. The menu reflects the owner’s penchant for tradition. Here you can enjoy house made brawn, ox brisket with Frankfurter green sauce and steaming hot apfel (apple) strudel with cinnamon and cream. You’ll find them at Braubachstr. 35 near the Römer.
For a quintessential local dining experience, head to Apfelwein Wagner. An old apple wine tavern, locals share bench seats at long wooden tables - a great value eatery which attracts family and group celebrations. Tuck into time-honoured German dishes like pork shoulder with sauerkraut, liver dumplings and home fried potatoes. Located at Schweizer Strasse 71, there’s plenty of cider to enjoy with the lively locals too.
Frankfurt’s most popular shopping mile – the Zeil is home to well known German department stores Galeria Kaufhot and Karstadt. Here you can find high-end designers as well as perennial favourites Zara and H & M. The street itself has one of the highest turnovers of any shopping strip in Europe, there are actual lockers for you to stow your bags while you continue to shop!
A visit to the Zeilgalerie shopping mall is a multi-sensory experience. Finished in 2010, shoppers can marvel at its complex glass façade which features a programmed light installation. The mall also boasts its own rooftop viewing platform –giving shoppers an impressive view of the cities famous skyscrapers all the way to the Taunus Mountains.
For a much more traditional German shopping experience (and one much lighter on the purse strings) head to the growers market at Konstablerwache. Here you can buy farm fresh vegetables, gourmet cheese and German sweets like Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Kraplen (donuts). You can also taste some of the regions local specialties like Frankfurt green sauce and eggs, Frankfurter würstchen (smoked sausage) and of course apfelwein (apple wine).