The Top 12 Attractions in Frankfurt, Germany

This internationally-diverse city has plenty to offer

Often relegated to "the gateway to Europe," Frankfurt has more to see than just the Frankfurt International Airport. Frankfurt is the financial capital of Germany and thanks to its skyscrapers and the river Main, Frankfurt's playfully reputation as "Main-hattan" makes it unique within Germany.

Even though it only has 700,000 residents, Frankfurt is a remarkably diverse city —more than half of its residents are non-German and more than 100 different languages are spoken. With this in mind, it's no surprise that Frankfurt has many great things to offer, from the arts, ​outdoors, and shopping, to historic buildings and high-rises. Here are the 12 best Frankfurt attractions you don't want to miss.​​

01 of 12

Stroll Through Historic Römerberg

Romerberg square, the Zum Standesamtchen restaurant and the Romer, with the Commerzbank Tower in the background, Frankfurt, Germany
Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images
Address
Römerberg 26, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 21238800

The Römerberg ("Roman Mountain") is the historic heart of Frankfurt. It is the only part of the modern city that was recreated to look like all of Frankfurt once did.

It is home to its Rathaus (City Hall) which dates back to 1405 and is flanked by half-timbered houses. This historic square used to be the place for Frankfurt's first trade fairs in the 13th century. Today it still hosts its historic Christmas market.

02 of 12

Head Up to the Main Tower

Frankfurt Main Tower
Getty Images /Hans-Peter Merten  
Address
Main Tower, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

There is no better way to see Frankfurt than from the top of the Main Tower, the city's only high-rise open to the public. The building is named after the German river Main, which runs through Frankfurt's city center.

Take the elevator up to the 650-feet high platform to enjoy sweeping views of Frankfurt’s skyline. Here you can enjoy a cocktail and meal at the Main Tower Restaurant & Lounge, located on the upper floor of the tower. The restaurant offers international cuisine and 26-foot panoramic windows.

03 of 12

Tour the Goethe House

Goethe House and Goethe Museum in Frankfurt
Werner Dieterich / Getty Images
Address
Großer Hirschgraben 23-25, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 138800

Frankfurt is the birthplace of Germany's most important writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, born in 1749.

Although Goethe's house was destroyed in World War II, it was fully restored with the original furniture, paintings, and books belonging to the family. Take inspiration from the writing desk, where Goethe wrote "The Sorrows of Young Werther."

The house is located at Grosser Hirschgraben 23, near Römerberg.

04 of 12

See Europe's Largest Dinosaur Skeleton

Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany
Ingolf Pompe/LOOK-foto/Getty Images
Address
Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 75420

The world-renowned Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt is one of the largest museums of natural history in Germany. Popular with children and adults alike, it showcases thousands of exhibits ranging from fossils to Egyptian mummies to the museum's most famous attraction: the largest dinosaur skeleton in Europe.

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05 of 12

Sip Cider in Sachsenhausen

Guests in an apple wine pub, Alt-Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany
Ingolf Pompe/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

The signature drink of Frankfurt is apfelwein or ebbelwoi as the Frankfurters say. It is a crisp and alcoholic apple cider that is locally produced in the regions around Frankfurt.

You can find some of the best and oldest apple cider taverns in the cobblestone streets of Frankfurt's historic Sachsenhausen district,  south of the Old Town. Or combine a tour of the city with its favored drink on the Ebbelwei Express, a landmark tram that drives through the town to the tunes of traditional schlager music.

06 of 12

Visit Paulskirche

Paulskirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Peter Langer/Getty Images
Address
Paulsplatz 11, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

St. Paul's Church was built between 1789 and 1833 and is the cradle of German democracy: The church was used for political meetings and became the seat of the first freely-elected German parliament in 1848.

Today, Paulskirche is no longer a church and serves as an exhibition space for events like the annual awarding of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade during the Frankfurt Book Fair. It's located in Römerberg.

07 of 12

Spend an Afternoon Admiring Fine Art

Stadel Art Museum Interior, Frankfurt
Stephen Spraggon/Getty Images
Address
Schaumainkai 41, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 961220220

Take a walk along the river Main through Frankfurt's Museumsufer, a corridor of some of the best museums in the country. Among them is the superb German Film Museum and the world-famous Städel Museum, which focuses on the fine art of the old masters.

On Saturdays, the area comes alive with other kinds of old things in the form of Frankfurt's largest flea market.

08 of 12

Take in the Flora at Palmengarten

Germany, Hessen, Frankfurt-am-Main, Palmengarten,
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
Address
Siesmayerstraße 61, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 21233939

Founded in 1868 by a group of Frankfurt citizens, the Botanical Garden takes you on a horticultural journey from the African savanna and the exotic plants of the rain forests, to the blooming flower gardens in Europe. Spread across 50 open acres and various greenhouses, you can see more than 6,000 different botanical species from all around the world.

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09 of 12

Shop on the "Fifth Avenue of Germany"

People on the Zeil, main shopping street in Frankfurt
Maremagnum/Getty Images
Address
Zeil 106, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The premier place to shop in Frankfurt is the bustling pedestrian zone called Zeil. Also known as "The Fifth Avenue of Germany," this shopping street offers everything from chic boutiques to international department chains to a modern 10-floor shopping center, the "Zeil Galerie."

10 of 12

Admire Modern Architecture and Art

Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), a room with in the foreground: Sturtevant, Gonzalez-Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform) (1995), in the background: Andy Warhol, Cow Wallpaper (1966), on the left Roy Lichtenstein, Yellow and Green
Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images
Address
Domstraße 10, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 21230447

The Museum of Modern Art (MMK) is not only famous for its extensive art collection, which includes artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, and Gerhardt Richter, but also for its bold architecture. Designed by the Viennese architect Hans Hollering, the museum has a triangular shape and is called Frankfurter Küche or "the slice of cake" by locals.

11 of 12

Experience a Museum You Can't "See"

Address
Hanauer Landstraße 145, 60314 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 90432144

You go to a museum to "see" artifacts, right? Not so at Frankfurt's unique DialogMuseum.

This one-of-a-kind museum takes visitors on a one-hour tour through four pitch-black rooms. Guests will experience daily life without any visual cues, just as those are blind or visually-impaired do. All tour guides are also visually-impaired. 

12 of 12

Skip the Meat at Vevay

Address
Neue Mainzer Str. 20, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone
+49 69 26918760

Eating vegetarian or vegan food in Frankfurt seems blasphemous. After all, you're in the land of the Frankfurter!

But Frankfurt is home to Vevay, a delicious meat-free restaurant that serves up fare so hearty you won't even miss the meat. Try the colorful and filling superfood salad, loaded with quinoa, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sprouts, all topped with a soy-mint dressing. P.S. Bring cash!

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12 Things to See in Frankfurt, Germany Besides the Airport