Formally known as Frankfurt am Main, the fifth-largest city in Germany is also one of its greatest, with a history that stretches back to the Roman Empire. Long a great center of commerce, it hosted trade fairs as long ago as 1160 AD; the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest publishing trade fair in the world, was founded in the 1600s.
The city was devastated by bombing during World War II and the site of a major Allied ground offensive in the waning days of the conflict. Much of Frankfurt’s medieval city center was razed in the fighting and rebuilt in a more modern style, and the city has thrived in Germany’s recent economic boom. Other portions of the old city survived intact, making it a place that rewards off-the-beaten-path exploration.
A cosmopolitan city with significant immigrant populations representing approximately 180 nationalities, Frankfurt combines old-world charm with modern attractions. It features a nightlife that caters to young people and professionals alike, with many clubs serving drinks until sunrise, along with more relaxed daytime attractions, like museums and botanical gardens. No matter what your preference is, you can disembark your private jet and experience the city at your own pace.
Must see: Romerberg, in Frankfurt’s restored historic city center, is a Medieval square that features the Römer, Frankfurt’s 600-year-old city hall. The square and the surrounding area are filled with cafes, restaurants, museums, medieval buildings and other attractions.
Lodging: Villa Rothschild Kempinski–Located on the northwest outskirts of the city, this hotel embodies classic luxury and features a Michelin-starred restaurant for the utmost in fine dining. Fitness, health and spa facilities coupled with a spectacular view ensure a comfortable, memorable stay.
Cuisine: Similar to a hot dog, the Frankfurter Würstchen is a traditional thin, smoked pork sausage. The sausage is boiled and usually served with bread, mustard, horseradish or potato salad.
Ground Transportation: Frankfurt has extensive, very modern public transportation. The U-Bahn rail system can take you almost anywhere you need to go within the city, while the S-Bahn provides transit into the suburbs.
Packing Tips: As with many cities, particularly old European cities, sturdy, comfortable walking shoes are a must.
Recommended Books: Frankfurt’s most famous writer is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who lived from 1749 – 1832. His 1774 epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther helped spark the Romantic movement.
Currency: The euro is the local currency.
Calling Code Germany: 49
Best Travel Dates: Weather-wise, Frankfurt is most welcoming from late spring through early autumn. However, it’s a good idea to make your trip when there are no trade fairs going on, as they bring large crowds to the city.