WHAT TO SEE - FRANKFURTNovember 04, 2015
Frankfurt is the largest financial centre in mainland Europe and as a result, it's often associated with towering office blocks and investment banks, however there's so much more to the city than just that. From shopping and dining to its cultural and historic intrigue, Frankfurt has the makings of an ideal city break destination. So allow me to show the the side of Frankfurt that is a little less business and a little more pleasure.
I would highly recommend taking a walk down to the Eiserner Steg, the large iron bridge that sits between the museum quarter and the old town. It boasts some of the best panoramic views of the city and the Main River. Just like Paris' famous Pont des Arts, love locks have accumulated on the Eiserner Steg, where couples symbolise their everlasting love by attaching a padlock and throwing the key in the water. For an even better view, there's also the option of a boat tour which will take you down the Main River if you want to witness the city from the water.
You can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to the Palmengarten Botanic Gardens, where there are vibrant displays of exotic plans and flowers and modern greenhouses, making for the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll. The Palmengarten is 22 hectares in size and is the largest of its kind in the whole country, making it an unmissable destination when visiting the city.
Frankfurt also boats an exciting food scene; the city is scattered with high-end restaurants that serve international cuisines, often to the hungry business elite. From skyscraper dining to its many Michelin-starred restaurants, Frankfurt is a city that has plenty of premier culinary venues. Whether it's for dinner or just drinks, my pick is pan-Asian restaurant and bar Breeze, which happens to be one of my favourite venues in Europe.
If you are looking for some serious retail therapy then the Zeil is the place to do it. Not only is it the city's top shopping destination but it also ranks as one of the top shopping destinations on the continent. The Zeil consists of a plethora of large department stores, exclusive designer stores as well as weekly farmers markets. It's also a hotspot for cafes and restaurants so you can take 5 to refuel during your spending spree.
Kaiserdom St Bartholomäus
The large cathedral that you can see in the picture above (on the right in the distance) is known as Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus and was historically viewed as a symbol for national unity in Germany. There's a museum inside and it's possible to climb 324 steps up the steeple for a magnificent panoramic view of the city.
Old and New
Frankfurt's architecture consists of a contrast between the traditional Germanic style buildings and the shiny high-rise office blocks, for which it is sometimes referred to as 'Mainhattan'. The highlight of the city’s cultural scene is undoubtedly the Museumsufer, where 11 well- known museums are lined up on an embankment by the river, which is well worth checking out, particularly if you are a history lover.
Frankfurter Romer is one of the city's main landmarks and acts as Frankfurt's city hall. The Romer is actually the middle of the three stunning, traditional German gothic buildings, which are located in the historic heart of the city, within Römerberg square. It's my personal favourite part of the city and if you happen to visit in December, it hosts a wonderful German Christmas market.