Hostelworld Guide for Frankfurt

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First stop in Europe for thousands of intrepid travellers day after day, Frankfurt-am-Main (as it is officially known) is best-known for its position as the financial capital of the superpower that is Germany. True, this is where the European Central Bank is headquartered, and backing it up are another 325 financial institutions. But complimenting them is Europe's most spectacular skyline, a nightlife that refuses to take a break any night of the week, plus all those stereotypical things that we love about Germany like Frankfurter sausages and boisterous beer halls. Take the time to explore it, not just rest in it.

 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By plane: Frankfurt International Airport is the busiest airport on mainland Europe and is the gateway to the continent for many travellers. Located 12km from the city centre, S8 and S9 trains from terminal 1 go to the city regularly. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes.

By train: Frankfurt has excellent connections with the rest of Germany and Europe. Hauptbahnhof, the main train station, is just west of central Frankfurt.

By bus: Like with trains, Frankfurt has good bus connections with other German and European cities. The city's main bus terminal is just behind Hauptbahnhof.

Getting Around

On foot: Central Frankfurt is extremely compact, and getting from the train station to the centre takes little over ten minutes. To get to other areas such as Sachsenhausen you will need to use public transport.

By U-Bahn (underground): The city's underground is (as you would expect) extremely reliable and efficient. There are seven lines in operation which are colour-coded on underground maps.

By tram/bus: For anywhere you can't reach by U-bahn you can get to by tram or bus.

 Useful phrases

Hello: Hallo
Goodbye: Tschüss
Please: Bitte
Thank you: Vielen Dank
You're welcome: Gern geschehen
Yes: Ja
No: Nein
Of course: Natürlich
Excuse me: Entschuldigung
How are you?: Wie geht es dir?
Open: Geöffnet
Closed: Geschlossen
What is your name?: Wie heisst du?
My name is...: Ich heisse...
How much?: Wie teuer ist es?
May I have the bill?: Kann ich die rechnung haben?


Much to the delight of the locals who live there and the thousands more who pass through it, Frankfurt enjoys a continental climate with warm summers and cool winters. The coldest months are from November to February, with temperatures climbing in March. The hottest months are from June to August, with temperatures soaring over 30°C on occasion.

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 Good to know...

Language: German
Currency: Euro
Electricity: 220 Volts, AC/50Hz
Telephone Codes: +49 (Germany), 069 (Frankfurt)
Emergency Codes: Ambulance 112, Fire 112, Police 110
Time Zone: Central European Time (GMT +1)
Central Post Offices: Karstadt, Zeil 90, 1st floor Hauptbahnhof
Main Tourist Offices: Main door, Hauptbahnhof, Romerberg 27

Consulates

USA: +49 (0)69 75 350
UK: +49 (0)69 7167 5345
Canada: +49 (0)30 203 120*
Australia: +49 (0)69 905 580
South Africa: +49 (0)69 13 620
Ireland: +49 (0)69 977 883 883
Spain: +49 (0)69 959 1660
Italy: +49 (0)69 75 310
New Zealand: +49 (0)30 206 210*
France: +49 (0)69 795 0960

*Embassy in Berlin

 
Hostelworld Guide for Frankfurt www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


Dinea, Zeil 116-126, Innerstadt While the selection and quality of food here is impressive, the view is the real attraction at this spot perched on the top floor of Galeria Kaufhof department store. Load your plate with chicken, salad or other foods, then find a table on the roof terrace for the best view in town. Open Mon-Wed 9.30am-8pm, Thurs-Sat 9.30am-9pm.

Kleinmarkthalle, Hasengasse 5-7, Altstadt Opened in 1954, Frankfurt's engaging food market is worth visiting whether hunger strikes or not. But if dealing with hunger is your main motive for checking it out, you will be treated to traditional foods, Greek and Arabian delicacies, and lots of sweet things also. Open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-4pm.

Bagel Brothers, Kaiserstrasse 49, Bahnhofsviertel Impeccably clean and boasting inexpensive, tasty food, this bright eatery makes for the perfect pitstop at lunchtime. There are many pre-made bagels to choose from, but instead get one of the chirpy staff to work their magic on a fresh one right there in front of you. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-8.30pm, Sat 8.30am-10pm, Sun 9am-7pm.

 Home of the original Frankfurter

Affentor-Schänke, Neuer Wall 9, Alt-Sachsenhausen As it is such a celebrated local specialty, washing a Frankfurter sausage down with some 'apfelweine' (apple wine) is a must in Frankfurt. This restaurant south of the river is a great place to sample the sausage and is popular with both tourists and locals alike. Open daily from 11.30am-midnight.

Bella Roma, Kaiserstrasse 38, Bahnhofsviertel Pizzas, gnocchi, and other Italian fare please the tourists, businessmen and locals who constantly flow through the doors of this no-frills Italian eatery. The perfect option for that cheap, sit-down meal after dark. Open daily from 12 noon-midnight.


Gagos Bar & Club, Zeil 1112-114, Innerstadt Slick, chic and extremely cool, Gagos Bar (located in the Zeil Gallery Shopping Mall) starts off slowly as Frankfurt's cool kids do their best to look cool. But as the night progresses, inhibitions soon go out the window when people move into the adjoining club to see who has the best moves. Bar open daily from 11am-close, club open Fri & Sat 10pm-close.

Dauth-Schneider, Neuer Wall 5-7, Alt Sachsenhausen Things are noticably more tradtitional south of the River Main in Alt Sachsenhausen, nowhere more so than in this famous 'apfelwein tavern'. Like many German beer halls, locals and tourists line the long, wooden tables and chairs, only here it is a different tipple making everyone merry. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-midnight, Sat & Sun 12 noon-midnight.

 Gay / Lesbian Frankfurt

Due to its multi-national population, Frankfurt's gay social scene is extremely open and there are many gay bars, clubs and nights found about the city, many around Konstablerwache. Blue Angel (Bronnerstrasse 17) is regarded as the best gay club in town, while Pulse Lounge (Bleichstrasse 38a) is also extremely popular. La Gata (Seehofstrasse 3) in Sachsenhausen is the city's premier 'girls only' bar.

U 60311, Rossmarkt, Innerstadt Once a pedestrian, underground passageway (U is for 'underground' and '60311' is the postcode), this club in the centre of Frankfurt attracts some revellers by word of mouth and others from vibrations - walk by here on a weekend night and the thumping techno from down below you will leave you shaking in your boots. Open Thurs-Sun 10pm-close.

Hoppla, Grosse Rittergasse 81, Alt Sachsenhausen Mixing the rustic pub complete with old wooden tables and chairs, with an energy and atmosphere roused by a young 'get-up-and-go' type crowd, Hoppla gurantees a good night. Here cocktails can be seen sipped quietly by some as jugs of beer are guzzled by others. Open daily from 6pm-3am.

Velvet, Weissfrauenstrasse 12-16, Altstadt Aside from stereotypical traditions involving long strips of pork and bushy moustaches, Germany is synonymous with is its clubbing scene. This is Frankfurt's hottest club right now and regularly attracts the world's top DJs. Open Thurs-Sun from 10pm-close.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Museum Embankment, Sachsenhausen This area on the southern banks of the river is where you will find over 15 museums, many located between Friedensbrucke and Untermainbrucke bridges. Highlights include Musuem fur Kommunikation (Schaumainkai 53) with its hands-on exhibits and the self explanatory Deutsches Filmmuseum (Schaumainkai 41). Opening hours/admissions vary.

 Not all skyscrapers...

Romerberg, Altstadt Just a stone's throw from the imposing skyscrapers is Romerberg, the city's historic square which houses the 'Romer' (old town hall), Historiches Museum and Paulskirche. Knocked to rubble during the war, most of it wasn't restored until 1983. It is still undeniably charming and shouldn't be missed.

Goethe Haus and Museum, Grosser Hirschgraben 23-25, Innerstadt Born in this house in 1749, Johann Wolfgang Goethe is Germany's most famous and celebrated writer. During a visit to the museum you get an insight into his life, but more fascinating is the walk through the house where, among other things, you can see his original writing desk. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm, admission €5.

Main Tower, Neue Mainzer Strasse 52-58, Innerstadt Since its completion in 2000, Main Tower is one of Frankfurt's most popular sites. While it is actually Frankfurt's fourth highest skyscraper, the views from the viewing deck 55 floors above ground level are breathtaking. Open Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri & Sat 10am-11pm; admission €5.00.

Frankfurter Dom, Domplatz 14, Altstadt Built between 1562 and 1792, Frankfurt's cathedral is one of the finest gothic buildings in Germany. Open Mon-Thurs & Sat 9am-12 noon, 2.30pm-6pm, Sun 2.30pm-6pm; admission free.


February - Fastnachtszug Marking the end of winter, this festival dates back to the 14th century and celebrates with a huge parade that makes its way around the city centre.

March to April - Spring Dippemess Opened and closed by huge fireworks displays, Spring Dippemess on Ratsweg is the largest folk festival in the Rhine-Main region.

May - Wäldchestag Falling on the Tuesday after Whitsunday, this festival (Forest Day) has been widely regarded for centuries as the region's national day and is one of the biggest events in the Frankfurt area, entertaining young and old alike.

June - Parade of Cultures Frankfurt's annual parade to promote cultural diversity is one of the most colourful and outlandish parades in the city. The parade starts at midday and takes two hours to complete the route. As well as the parade there is live music and much more.

July - Christopher Street Day This is one of the biggest gay and lesbian events in the whole of Germany and actually takes place over three days. During the festival over 100,000 revellers enjoy parades, marches and more.

June - Opernplatzfest For this culinary festival held in the city's Opernplatz, people gather to try different types of food and enjoy cabaret-style entertainment.

August - Mainfest Frankfurt's Main Quai and famous Romerberg are the settings for this festival which begins on a Friday and ends the following Monday. Throughout those days expect to be entertained by fairground attractions, live entertainment and more.

August - Museumsuferfest Staged along Frankfurt's celebrated Museum Embankment, this event promotes the arts and culture via the city's museums.

October - Frankfurt Marathon Upwards of 20,000 people take part in this marathon which is also watched by large numbers of people. The course of the race stretches out over 26 miles.

December - Christmas Markets Over 200 stalls take over Frankfurt's Romerberg for what is one of Germany's most important Christmas markets. Over three million people visit the market each year.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Frankfurt www.hostelworld.com

 Neighbourhood Watch


 Retail Therapy


Innerstadt Also known as 'Hauptwache' due to the square that's in the neighbourhood, this is downtown Frankfurt. Home to the city's celebrated skyscrapers, it's also one of the best areas to do damage to your flexible friend. Attractions include the Goethe Haus, the Alte Oper (Opera House), and the 'Borse' (stock exchange).

Bornheim North-east of the city centre, Bornheim is home to over 25,000 inhabitants and was the city's red light district until 120 years ago. Today it is where you can find one of the largest concentrations of bars and restaurants outside the centre, most of which are located on the lively boulevard Bergerstrasse. Take U4 to Bornheim Mitte.

 Play time

Sachsenhausen Just a short tram or U-bahn ride from the city centre, Sachsenhausen south of the River Main is unquestionably the city's most vibrant district. Clubs, bars, restaurants and cafés can all be found here, particularly in Alt-Sachsenhausen around Neuer Wall and Grosse Rittergasse. Best visited at night. Take U1, 2 or 3 to Schweizer Platz.

Altstadt When envisaging images of the financial capital of Germany, pictures of traditional German buildings don't automatically spring to mind. But Frankfurt's Atlstadt (Old Town) has held on to much of its charm even though it is largely re-built. Along with Romer, the city's main square, this small part of town is also home to various churches and museums.

Bockenheim Frankfurt's most populated neighbourhood west of the city centre, is traditionally a working-class area but also houses much of the student population resulting in a spate of cheap restaurants and lots of bars. Take U6 or U7 to Bockenheimer Warte.


Galeria Kaufhof, Zeil 116, Innerstadt As you walk through the doors of this enormous department store, you will soon begin to notice Galeria Kaufhot has it all - electrical goods on the sixth floor, men's clothing on the third, while the second is the 'world of lingerie' if you're feeling a little racy. If you're not you'll enjoy the book section in the basement. Open Mon-Wed 9.30am-8pm, Thurs-Sat 9.30am-9pm, closed Sun.

Goethestrasse Sitting quietly in the shadows of the buildings where the money is made, Goethestrasse is where the money is spent. All the world's top designer brands have stores here - Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton...the list goes on. Granted these stores may not be aimed at the budget-conscious traveller, but one can always dream.

Frankfurt Flea Market, Museumsufer Along Museum Embankment every Saturday morning is where to go for bargains. All sorts of bits and pieces can be found among the stalls although there are clothes on sale also. Open Saturdays 9am-2pm.

 Shopping 'Blade Runner' style

Zeil Gallery, Zeil 1112-114, Innerstadt The futuristic interior of Frankfurt's most modern shopping mall makes it one of the more interesting places to decide whether or not you need to buy another item of clothing to stuff into your backpack. Most of the stores here concentrate on clothing, and in this innovative mall you'll find a H&M store among others. Open Mon-Sat from 10am-9am.

Bergerstrasse This street out in the Bornheim district is entirely different to shopping in the city centre as here you'll feel like you're in a small town rather than a big city. Stores are far smaller and more specialist, and sit side by side with a large selection of bars and restaurants.


 Budget Tips


 A Day in Frankfurt...


Stroll down Saalgasse Slotted neatly between Romer and Main Quai, Saalgasse is the result of an attempt to combine the modern architectural style of the 1980s with design of the Middle Ages. The plan was to create a row of dissimilar houses and this was clearly achieved. Of the eleven houses nos 10, 16, 22 and 26 are the most fascinating.

 A gallery hopping we will go...

Go gallery hopping If you don't have the €7 to gain admission into Frankfurt's intriguing modern art musuem, but still fancy looking at some innovative art, visit the galleries on Fahrgasse and Braubachstrasse which are free to enter. These include Galerie Maurer (Fahrgasse 5), Galerie Schuster (Fahrgasse 8) and Galerie Raphael (Braubachstrasse 12),

Invest in a 'Frankfurt Card' If you're planning on packing a lot into the one day, it's worth investing in a 'Frankfurt Card'. Costing €8.90 for one day and €12.90 for two, they entitle you to free travel on the public transport system within the city districts plus discounts on many attractions. They are available in the city's tourist offices.

Chill out in Frankfurt's parks You wouldn't think it, but over 30% of Frankfurt is parkland. And as the city is quite fast-paced (in parts), you will relish the chance to chill out in one of the city's many parks. One of the most popular is Adolph von Holzhausen Park (Holzhausenstrassee) which has a small castle, while Bethmannpark is an idyllic park with Chinese Gardens. Admission to both parks is free.

Visit Paulskirche, Paulsplatz The neoclassicist Paulskirche was the seat of the first freely-elected German Parliament. Those who visit get to see the inside of the church and exhibitions (both permanent and temporary) also. Open Mon-Sun 10am-5pm; admission free.


Begin the day with a trip to the top of Main Tower. The journey to the 54th floor takes 42 seconds and the lift reaches a top speed of 15km/h. Once on top enjoy the view.

Visit the Goethe Haus (below), the house where the German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born. Learn about his life and see where he used to write.

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Go for lunch in 'Dinea' on the top floor of Galeria Kaufhof on Zeil. Take a seat on the outside roof terrace and enjoy the best view in town with your lunch.

Explore downtown Frankfurt. Check out the stores that dot Zeil and Goethestrasse and marvel at the city's skyscrapers.

Go from the 'Innerstadt' to the 'Altstadt' and visit Romer, the city's old town square. Dating back to the 12th century, it's one of Frankfurt's most important landmarks.

Check out the Frankfurter Dom in the old town, the city's famous cathedral. Also take time to visit Paulskirche, the seat of the first freely elected German parliament.

Cross the Main River via the Eisener Steg footbridge for some culture on Museum Embankment, or Museumsufer as it is known locally.

Enjoy a unique Frankfurter sausage with apfelwein in Affentor-Schänke in Alt-Sachsenhausen. After move next door to Dauth-Schneider for a few more apfelweins.

Finish the day off bar-hopping in the pubs around the Alt-Sachsenhausen area or in the cooler pubs and clubs back north of the River Main in downtown Frankfurt.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Frankfurt www.hostelworld.com