SPONSORED BY JUMEIRAH FRANKFURT
Frankfurt is known as the “Gateway to Europe” — and travelers often only pass through, using it as a transit point to other major destination cities. However, Frankfurt has emerged as an up-and-coming travel destination because of its stunning sightseeing, great restaurants, and luxury hotels. Frankfurt has been called the Manhattan of Germany and locals have even nicknamed it “Mainhattan” because of the skyscrapers that line the Main River! In this guide, I’m going to show you the best things to do in this modern German metropolis!
WATCH THE FRANKFURT TRAVEL GUIDE!
INTERACTIVE MAP TO BRING WITH YOU WHILE YOU EXPLORE!
I have put together a color coded map of sightseeing, entertainment, restaurants, cafes, and bars suggested to me by locals and my followers on Instagram who have been to Frankfurt, in addition to places that I loved while I was there. This map covers the best of the best. I recommend you click here to view the Google map on your phone while you explore the city. It will make it easier to see everything you can while you’re in town!
- Tip: Press the box with the arrow in it in the upper left corner to see the different categories by color.
WHERE TO STAY:
Where you stay can define your trip, which is why I recommend staying at the luxurious Jumeirah Frankfurt hotel. It won the award for Germany’s leading hotel four times already! It is located in the heart of the city, walking distance to the Opera House, the New Old Town, the banking quarter, and famous shopping streets. As the highest hotel in the city, it offers great views of the city’s skyline and has a modern yet timeless design. One of the most unique things that Jumeirah offers is a rooftop apiary (beehive), where they have 40,000 honeybees making fresh honey that is used in the restaurant, bar and spa! It is one of the only hotels in the world offering this special service.
They also have great dining options. Jumeirah Frankfurt’s dining options consist of the modern grill restaurant Max on One Grillroom, El Rayyan Lebanese Restaurant (belly dancing Saturdays at 7pm), and the elegant Ember Bar & Lounge. Every morning I had breakfast at Max on One Grillroom.
Art lovers will also adore Jumeirah Frankfurt because there is local art hung throughout the space that takes you on a poetic visual journey thanks to local German artist Hartwig Ebersbach. In each room as well as in the hotel’s public areas, you can find one of the Leipzig artist’s large-size original paintings, the largest collection worldwide. Central themes in the artworks are dreams, tales and legends. Between the artwork and the stunning view the Jumeirah Frankfurt is a visual feast!
HISTORY AND SIGHTSEEING
Understanding Frankfurt’s history will allow you to connect with it in a deeper way, which is I recommend taking a history tour. There are many options for tour companies but I recommend a private tour because it is a more personal experience and the guide can tailor the tour to your unique interests.
One area you must visit (tour guide or not) is Römerberg. Frankfurt suffered such extensive damage during World War II that much of its Altstadt (old town) had to be rebuilt. The restoration project, which started in the 1950s, was just completed in 2017. Fifteen historic houses were reconstructed and 20 new ones were built in the traditional style. Visitors can now enjoy the timber-framed buildings popular in Germany, as well as the lively square in the heart of Römerberg. Some of the most notable buildings there are the Old St. Nicholas Church and the Haus Römer, which together with the Goldener Schwan (Golden Swan) building belonged to the Römer merchant family in the 15th century.
TRY THE LOCAL FOOD & DRINK:
Germany’s food is one of the main things that define it so you should try the local food and drink while you’re here! I recommend using my map linked above while you explore so you always have my top suggestions on food and drink. Did you know Frankfurt is known for its apple wine? You can try it at most restaurants but one of my favorites is Affentorschänke a modern German restaurant located in the traditional area Sachsenhausen.
Another great option for a dinner with a stunning view, isFranziska. It is situated atop the Henninger Turm, features floor to ceiling glazed panoramic windows, allowing guests to enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside and the impressive skyline. It is the perfect place for a breathtaking view and holiday dinner. Franziska also has a completely open show kitchen with an integrated kitchen counter. The imposing panoramic restaurant thus combines two of the most popular gastronomic trends in the world right now: firstly, chef’s table-counter and, secondly, rooftop dining. The menu is progressive German vintage cuisine, inspired by the recipes of the great-aunt of Christian Mook. Franziska offers exciting German cuisine with a modern twist – a cuisine that’s not limited by conventions, ingredients or techniques.
Kleinmarkthalle is an amazing food market with tons of German food. There are hundreds of different stands in this market selling every type of German food you could imagine, plus international food. If you’ve been to Chelsea Market in New York it reminded me of this!
VISIT DURING THEIR ANNUAL EVENTS
Frankfurt has a number of exciting seasonal events worth noting on your calendar, such as Museumsuferfest in August and the annual Christmas market in December. There is something interesting happening in Frankfurt at any given time of the year. I’m here for their Christmas Market. To see a full experience of what that was like, watch my Christmas in Frankfurt video below. In that video, I’ll show you how to spend your best Christmas ever in Frankfurt!
VISIT A MUSEUM
Frankfurt is a museum lovers haven – it has over 60 different museums in the city alone. Art lovers should not miss the 200 year old Stadel Museum. It has one of the most important art collections in Germany with 2,700 paintings, 100,000 drawings and prints, and 600 sculptures. Its most famous attraction at the moment (only temporary exhibition until February) is the Van Gogh Exhibit.
The exhibition focuses on the creation of the “legend of Van Gogh” around 1900 as well as his significance to modern art in Germany. It unites more than 120 paintings and works on paper. At the heart of the exhibition are 50 key works by Vincent van Gogh from all phases of his artistic work. It is the most comprehensive presentation in Germany to include works by the painter for nearly 20 years.
- Tip 1: Most museums are free to those under 18 the last Saturday of every month.
- Tip 2: If you’re planning to fill your time with museum visits, then it’s worth getting a MuseumuferTicket, which grants entry to 16 of Frankfurt’s museums. Some of the city’s biggest museums are included, as well as the less well known. Family tickets and reductions are available.
Since Frankfurt is the financial hub of Europe it has a great shopping scene! The pedestrian-only Zeil Strasse, which is conveniently attached to the Jumeirah Frankfurt, is where you will find a variety of big department stores like Peek & Cloppenburg, Galeria Kaufhof, and Karstadt, and brands like Zara, Mango, and C&A. If you’re looking for more upscale options head to the nearby Goethestrasse. Here you’ll find Chanel, Gucci, and Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques. The entire area between Kurt-Schumacher Strasse and Taunusanlange Park and the Opera is also a shopper’s paradise with smaller, independent boutiques featuring European labels. For specific store suggestions see my Frankfurt map.
- Tip: Please note that most shops are closed on Sundays so you’ll need to plan around this.
Once an area locals stayed away from, Frankfurt’s red light district is now a cool place to go out at night. It is lined with restaurants, cafes, and bars. One of my favorite bars is Kinly Bar, which has become known for its excellent cocktail art and recently been awarded the best bar in Germany. It offers mix art at the highest level, and in an unpretentious atmosphere. An inconspicuous dark door is the gateway to happiness. Shortly after pressing the bell button, the door opens, and you go down a staircase – and into another time. The two rooms of the Kinly Bar are decorated with all sorts of pictures and furniture from the 1920s and radiate an instant, comfortable underground salon atmosphere. The Kinly is now almost synonymous with a novel concept of bar and mixology.
TALISE SPA AT JUMEIRAH FRANKFURT:
No vacation is complete without a relaxing spa experience! The exclusive Talise Spa at Jumeirah Frankfurt features two separate saunas, dedicated relaxation areas, five treatment rooms and an extensive range of tailor-made experiences in a luxurious atmosphere. Since they are one of the only hotels in the world with an apiary producing fresh honey, they offer several unique spa experiences using the honey from the honey bees!
Frankfurt is a city that every traveler needs to add to their bucket list. It is so much more than a layover city, there are tons of amazing things to do here! If you enjoyed this guide, please share with friends and have a great time in Frankfurt!