It is not all business in Frankfurt. The financial center of Germany is also a major student city, a showcase for live jazz, and the birthplace of tech house music. This international scene is comprised of nearly 30 percent foreign nationals meaning there is something for everyone.
This guide to nightlife in Frankfurt will show you where to go to find your party, top bars and clubs, and tips for going out in the city
Where to Party in Frankfurt
Frankfurt's diverse nightlife scene encompasses everything from fancy wine bars to jazz dens to techno clubs. Each of the city's neighborhoods has a different vibe making it easy to pick a hub depending on what you want for the night.
- Bockenheim: There are about 40,000 students in Frankfurt and many live in the east side of this neighborhood surrounding the university.
- Bahnhofsviertel:The area surrounding the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is Frankfurt's red light district. While it was once quite seedy, it is increasingly desirable and has a wide selection of bars, particularly around Kaiserstrasse.
- Bornheim: There are plenty of upscale bars in this area, especially around Berger Straße.
- Salzhaus: This central district is ideal for cocktail bars and the people who love them,
- Sachsenhausen: This traditional neighborhood south of the river is a stronghold for bars and the local favorite of ebbelwoi (apple wine) taverns. Closer to the river tends to be more touristy, cheaper, and crowded with students while further south is better suited for a relaxed crowd.
Bars in Frankfurt
Bars in Frankfurt may be upscale or chilled out or everything in-between.
- Club Voltaire: This beatnik bar was established in 1962 and is a haven for the musician and activist crowd. There are daily readings and other topical events, as well as bar food, beer, and cider. Expect a laid-back vibe with a jazz and blues soundtrack.
- Dauth-Schneider: This apfelwein (apple cider) tavern has been open for over 150 years and is the perfect setting for sitting with the locals and practicing your pronunciation of ebbelwoi.
- Luna Bar: If you fancy a drink after a long day at work or a convention, this is the best cocktail bar right in the center of the city. The furnishings are as stylish as the drinks, and there is live music on Mondays and DJs other days of the week.
- Jimmy’s Bar: This classic bar has been open since 1951, serving authentic American-style piano bar vibes. Expect a business crowd and elevated drinks, bites, and service.
- Naïv: Craft beers have been sweeping through Germany and this is the best place in Frankfurt to enjoy over 100 beers from around the world, including several house-brewed options.
- Frankfurt Art Bar: This busy bar has an active event schedule of jazz concerts, cabaret, and readings. On Fridays, there are local and international DJs offering an intimate club atmosphere.
- After-Work-Shipping: This after-work-hours cruise on the river Main covers different elements of the city's design, but also focuses on atmosphere with drinks and socializing.
Clubs in Frankfurt
Germany's club scene is legendary, and while Berlin gets most of the attention these days, Frankfurt actually paved the way with its world-renowned Cocoon Club: No matter that this club is closed, there are plenty of others to get your groove on.
- Robert Johnson: This acclaimed club on the banks of the Main river is one of the best techno clubs in the world. The tech house genre was developed here and top DJs frequently make an appearance, utilizing their top-tier sound system. This is a spot for techno devotees and with only 100 person capacity there is a strict door policy.
- Tanzhaus West: Located in an old factory, this underground club plays music ranging from cyberhouse to hip-hop to goa trance. The outdoor garden is open for DJ sets and live concerts in the summer.
- O25 Club: Once a fire shelter, this dark and smoky space features all kinds of music and caters to a young crowd.
- Club Anthrazit: This little electro club of course has a DJ, but also a VJ (Video Jockey) that projects colors, patterns, and shapes to fit the music.
- Dreikönigskeller: Since 1988, Dreikonigskeller in Sachsenhausen has and themes that differ each day like jazz and blues, music from the '60s and '70s, R&B and soul, New Wave, and more.
- The Cave Club: This underground nightclub is relaxed, cheap, and loud with alternative and heavy metal music.
- Club Travolta: A fashionable two-story club with minimalist design and music from electronic to hip-hop.
- U 60311: This is an electronic club with almost 10,000 square feet of dance space for the young and energetic. Placed in a former pedestrian tunnel, it was refurbished in 2006 and is still gritty and fun.
- Silbergold: This mega-club often has a long line waiting to get in, but once you are in you can party all night to the many different guest DJs.
- Chango Latin Palace: Chango is the largest club in Frankfurt featuring Latin music. A dance teacher offers lessons to start the evening, then club-goers salsa into the night.
- Final Destination Club: Final Destination is the place to go for anything goth, heavy metal, or hardcore.
Live Music in Frankfurt
Frankfurt also has many live music venues with a focus on jazz. Kleine Bockenheimer Strasse is also known as “Jazzgasse” for all the jazz clubs located on the street. But there are plenty of places to hear live music across all genres.
- Jazzkeller: Undoubtedly the most important jazz club in Frankfurt. Greats like Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and Dizzy Gillespie have played here.
- Jazzlokal Mampf: Another famed jazz club established in 1972, Jazzlokal Mampf holds over 150 concerts a year.
- Batschkapp: Batschkapp is an alternative club opened in 1976 which has hosted the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Pogues, and many more.
- Elfer Music Club: One of the most famous rock clubs in Germany, Elfer is an ideal venue for rock, metal,and indie music.
- Clubkeller: This basement club is an indie and alternative music club with local bands as well as international acts.
- Brotfabrik: Located inside an old bakery, Brotfabrik has two stages, an event hall, two restaurants, and a bar. You can see performances from classical musicians, indie artists, and everything in-between.
- Das Bett: Committed to doing things a little different, all the music played here is from the alternative scene. On Sundays, there is a day of “bed rest”.
- The Cave: Called Frankfurt’s “worst-lit” club, this is the place to go to party hard to loud, live music.
- Spritzehaus:In the middle of the cider district, Spritzehaus has daily concerts to bang your head to.
Outdoor Bars in Frankfurt
In summer, the party moves outside. Nearby Offenbach has several excellent Strandbars (beach bars), but here are a few worth visiting in Frankfurt.
- Mainstrand: The patio along the river is one of the best places for a drink and the a view. Choose from their wide selection of cocktails, beer, or wine as well as a choice of tapas.
- Mantis Roofgarden: The roof terrace here provides for stunning views, as well as three club rooms where you can dance from dusk until dawn.
- CityBeach Club: Sand and palm trees at this beach club help you forget that you're in the center of the city.
Tips for Going Out in Frankfurt
- Transit in Frankfurt is fairly comprehensive, but the S-bahn and U-bahn lines are limited from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
- Buses run 24 hours a day and taxis can be called at any hour. Ubers and other ride-shares have not been completely successful in Germany.
- There is no hard closing time in Germany. Generally, places stay open if they still have customers so places can be open all night, although most close around 1 a.m. on weekdays.
- Tipping is generally no more than 10 percent. Often, you can just round up to the nearest euro for small amounts.
- There are very few restrictions on alcohol consumption in public in Frankfurt. Buying a drink at a late-night shop and having a low-key drink by the river is generally acceptable.
- Many restaurants and bars are closed on Mondays.
- Prostitution is legal in Germany and the red light district in Bahnhofsviertel is becoming a popular nightlife hang out.