Walking along the far side of the glittering Main River, looking for top tourist experiences in Frankfurt, I heard a song-like melody approaching me. I did not see her face, as she slowly overtook me, walking in the same direction, but her humming sounded familiar. Every sound she made with her flawless throat felt soothing. The magic of the riverside Frankfurt had perhaps overpowered me. Love was in the air!
The next thing I know is that I took a boat tour of the Frankfurt Main River. I sat next to the window, staring out, hoping to explore some tourist places for my Frankfurt travel guide. The city was indeed more beautiful than I had expected. The romantic riverside, the astonishing skyline, and the suited public, everything looked just aptly perfect.
The city, at large, appeared to me as a small village with a “touch of the city”, and that’s what it is. It’s one of those remarkable places in the northern hemisphere that are metropolitan, yet have a relaxing flair.
And speaking of top tourist experiences in Frankfurt, let’s start with our travel guide!
Frankfurt Travel Guide
‘Frankfurt am Main’, more commonly known as Frankfurt, has indeed come a long way since its foundation in the 1st century.
Today, the city might appear as one of the largest financial centres in Europe (which, in reality, it is) home to a number of national banks and stock exchanges, but there is more to the city than just money and business.
Top Tourist Experiences In Frankfurt
Explore The Parks
Frankfurt is not only a cosmopolitan city, with Germany’s most elegant skyline but a green city too. And the 200,000 trees tended across the city’s many streets and public areas justifies that fact. Of the total city area, over 50 percent comprises open spaces and water-bodies. There is a fair share of green for everyone.
I particularly loved The Chinese Bethmannpark and Koreanischer Garten with their traditional ponds, pagodas, and perfect little gardens.
“In silence, one finds the strength to new thinking,” reads the calligraphy on a panel at the water pavilion inside the Bethmannpark. The exceptional complex of Bethmannpark, as soon as you enter, exudes its tranquillity and aesthetic appeal onto you. You feel some kind of meditative calm in you.
So yea, exploring the parks is one of the top experiences I suggest in this Frankfurt travel guide.
Walk The Riverside
Enjoying an evening stroll alongside the glittering river of Main, was perhaps one of the top things to do in Frankfurt. I found a riverside stroll experience here the best among all riversides I have explored in Europe (including Ljubljana riverside – my personal favorite).
As the sun goes weary, the buildings light up making Frankfurt riverside even more romantic and far more surreal.
For example, this coffeehouse on Frankfurt riverside, glittering with a romantic yellow…
People of all mix of races and cultures fill the space, with some taking a stroll on either side of the river Main (as often was the case with me) while others sail through the water.
And that’s the thing about this city, it’s not only vibrant but also very diverse in cultures and nationalities, compared to other parts of Germany I visited (limited to the western belt so far). You can find a very diverse array of restaurants and ex-pats from all over the world, representing all social classes.
Walking the riverside is certainly one of the top tourist experiences in Frankfurt.
Explore Frankfurt Skyline
No wonder, this city in Germany can keep up with the list of cities with the most beautiful skylines. With more than 30 buildings higher than a hundred meters, including the Europaturm, Commerzbank Tower and Messeturm – the city’s towering skyline is one of its highlights offering an ever-impressive sight to behold. The skyline moreover makes for some of the most beautiful Europe pictures.
Though the buildings look no less elegant and dominating throughout the day, their authority looks even more charming after sunset (or before sunrise) as they slowly light up to life, giving a shade of red and orange and blue in the river Main.
And the Eiserner Steg pedestrian bridge, which connects the city’s Römerberg and Old Town on the north flank and Sachsenhausen on the south flank is perhaps the ideal place, to explore it.
Walking the Eiserner Steg pedestrian bridge is such a popular thing that you will read its mentions in every Frankfurt travel guide out there.
What makes Eiserner Steg even more interesting is its clusters of love-locks hanging from the bridge structure. Whatever your opinions are about these love locks, to me, they made a great compositional feature.
Old Town of Altstadt
Though the historic old town of Frankfurt was largely destroyed by the air raids during the Second World War, the streets of Altstadt still look beautiful and charming.
For some reason, I found the old town in Frankfurt more beautiful than most old towns I saw in Europe, including the ones I saw during my 24 hours in Zurich and while exploring top attractions in Munich.
Totalling some 7,000 square metres of area, the new version of the old town (after restoration) with its many small shops, restaurants, plazas, and cobbled laneways can take you to the middle age of the timber-framework era. And this particularly applies if you’re standing facing the Römer – today’s city hall.
Exploring Alstadt is one of the top tourist experiences in Frankfurt.
Rent A Bike And Explore
I loved travelling to Frankfurt more than any other capital town in Europe. And this is because of its larger-than-life perspective.
People in their business attire chasing down the streets, on their rented old-school bikes, makes Frankfurt just too colourful and far practical.
Despite being a fairly modern town, it has a small-town-like charm that you otherwise find in smaller German towns like Rothenburg ob Der Tauber and Kühlungsborn.
And even if Frankfurt is nowhere near the top bike-friendly cities in the world, the fact that despite having a modern flair Frankfurt follows an eco-friendly approach to living is something to admire.
Whether you’re into outdoor activities, architecture, or romantic riverside experiences, be assured that Frankfurt has everything.
And now, a few photos in this Frankfurt travel guide, before we discuss other things.
Where To Stay In Frankfurt
Regarding where to stay in Frankfurt, let me tell you that there is no dearth of options. However, if you want to stay in the middle of the central location, here are a few suggestions. These hotels will help you cover top tourist experiences in Frankfurt without travelling a lot…
- Grand Hotel Downtown
- a&o Hostel
- Hotel Münchner Hof
- Frankfurt Hostel
If you plan to be in Vienna for a bit longer than the average holiday, you should consider renting an apartment. Websites such as Homelike make it super easy for you to rent move-in-ready apartments in Frankfurt online within minutes.
Related Read: Rüdesheim and Bingen day trip from Frankfurt
Best Time To Travel Travel Guide
Honestly speaking, any time is a good time for Frankfurt.
If you want more backpackers around and want to enjoy open/street cafes, summer is the best time. But remember that summer is the peak season for most countries in Europe including Germany (read how to plan a Europe trip from India for more related tips).
If, however, you want to experience Christmas markets in Frankfurt and cosy indoor cafes, visit during winter. For the off-season, visit during monsoon.
I wrote this Frankfurt Travel Guide as part of my media visit with Frankfurt Tourism. Though my trip to Frankfurt was hosted, all recommendation ideas are solely mine. I only recommend what I really love and see.
If you have more top tourist experiences in Frankfurt suggestions, write me a comment below.
Well said. Frankfurt is more than just stock exchange and business!
Annther great article Dev. By the way, I am a fan of your photography 😀
Great article about Frankfurt, thank you so much!! I’m so fed up with people who say it’s just a business city that has nothing to offer…and generally those people didn’t even stay for a long time in FFM!
Anyway, nice pictures too!
PS: Holbeinsteg is actually not the bridge you are talking about. The one you are refering to in your article is called the Eiserner Steg. 😉
Thanks for your comment Laure and pointing out the mistake. Will correct it right away.
I totally agree with you, Frankfurt is more than just a corporate city as most of the people look at it. There is a very romantic side to the city as well.
Your pictures are so good Dev, which camera and lens do you use? I am also planning to take photography seriously. Any tips?