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Frankfurt is the fifth largest German city in terms of population, but ranks number one as the financial capital of the country. It’s home to the headquarters of the Central European Bank, the stock exchange and the Bundesbank as well as some other major German banks – making it a truly international city. In fact, about one third of its population isn’t even of German descent. If you’re traveling there on business, let us give you some of the best tips to enjoy this city.
Located in the center of the country on the banks of the Main River. Frankfurt am Main hosts thousands of conferences, trade shows, meetings and events each year – some of them world-renowned such as the International Motor Show or IMEX Frankfurt. It’s quite possible that if you’re heading there on business, your work may take you to the Messe Frankfurt, the city’s convention center. Two of our hotels are conveniently located nearby: the NH Frankfurt Messe and the NH Frankfurt Villa, where you’ll find all of the amenities and comforts for rest and relaxation in your downtime.
But aside from work, this cosmopolitan city offers a wide variety of entertainment, museums, restaurants and walking tours to enjoy during your free moments. Below, we propose two routes to make the most of your leisure time:
- Historical Center and Museum Riverbank: If you have two hours to spare, get to know the great ambiance of the historical center of the city and the river. Start at the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew and wander around until you come to two nearby squares: Paulsplatz and Römerberg Square. The latter dates from the twelfth century, although the ancient buildings you see were rebuilt, as was virtually the entire city after the bombing suffered during World War II. If you’d like to know more about the famous German poet Goethe, nearby you can find his home and museum. Continue down Fahrtor Street until you reach the picturesque Wertheim House where you’ll reach the Main River. Cross the river by the Eiserner Steg, an iron footbridge from where you’ll have beautiful views of the city. On the other side you can find the Museumsufer, also known as the "Museum Riverbank": where no fewer than 15 world-class museums are grouped. You can choose to visit any of them depending on your time and interest, or if you prefer, you can have a snack at one of the cafes in the area, like Mainstrand (located just cross the bridge) or Maincafé.
- Financial District: Known as "Mainhattan" Frankfurt has twelve buildings that are 150 meters or more in height. You'll need at least an hour to see this area. Begin at the picturesque Alte Oper (Old Opera) building. Go south to explore the streets with skyscrapers. Make a stop at the Main Tower, a building measuring 200 meters. If you have time (and the day isn’t very cloudy), it’s worth stopping by the panoramic terrace to enjoy the amazing views of the city. There’s a restaurant and a bar if you feel like grabbing a bite to eat or a drink. Continuing on Neue Mainzer Strasse, you'll go pass the headquarters of some of Germany’s major banks such as Commerzbank and the twin towers of Deutsche Bank. Also, in front of one of the headquarters of the European Central Bank, you can take a picture with the giant image of the euro – the symbol of the power that unites this city.
From here, you can head to Frankfurt’s prime shopping area. On and around Zeil Street, a pedestrian zone, you’ll find all kinds of shops: from luxury brands (on Goethestrasse) to the more accessible retail chains. Shopping centers like Galeria Kaufhof and MyZeil, a futuristic architectural masterpiece of glass and steel, can also be found in this area.
If you’re thinking of making a pit stop, look for Grosse Bockenheimer Street. Known as the "culinary mile” because of its many delis, bakeries, cafes and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to sample some gourmet treats. Plus, it’s just a few minutes on foot from our NH Collection Frankfurt City, where you would enjoy Mainhattan Restaurant, with the amazing views over the city and an extensive range of gastronomy with local dishes, Mediterranean, Asian and Middle East food.
Across the river you’ll find the shops of local designers on Brückenstrasse in the Sachsenhausen district.
If you are looking for green spaces to take a stroll or to get some exercise, aside from the riverbanks you can also head to the Palmengarten, an oasis with more than 15,000 species of plants. Nearby is the Grüneburgpark, the city’s largest green lung.
Eating out and nightlife
The Sachsenhausen district is the area where you can find excellent local bars and taverns. The nightlife is fantastic in many of the restaurants along Schweizerstrasse and Elisabethenstrasse where you will be able to try typical German cuisine. For example, Atschel is one of the many historic taverns for casual dining.
Try the Würstchen sausages or the ones that are typical of Frankfurt, called Brühwurst (made from smoked pork). Another typical dish is the Frankfurter Rippchen or the Frankfurt chop, a cured pork cutlet cooked in beef broth and served with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and mustard. For a traditional Frankfurt dessert, ask for a bethmännchen – a delicious treat made of marzipan and almonds or hazelnuts. And don’t forget to have Apfelwein (cider) with any local dish!
If you are looking for a place to have a business lunch or dinner, make a reservation at the restaurant at the Main Tower. From the 56th floor you’ll enjoy privileged views accompanied by a dining experience at the same level. Another option for a business lunch or dinner is the Restaurante Français. It’s located in the business district and has one Michelin star.
If you want to have a drink with spectacular views, Club 101 sits at 101 meters above the ground in the Japanese Center. And if you like jazz, visit the Jazz Keller Club, where many stars have appeared since 1952.
If you travel to Frankfurt for work, don’t hesitate to make the most of your free time by getting to know the city and visiting its squares, museums and restaurants. Have a good trip!
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