Updated January 9, 2019
I have been in Frankfurt twice, both in separate long layovers. The first time I changed from 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) in Singapore to -10 (14 F) within 10 hours. I was so cold I could barely take pictures because I couldn’t feel my hands; besides, the day was cloudy, so my impression was not too good. After my second visit eight years later, 13ºC temperature and a sunny day, my opinion just improved from “there is not much to do” to “it’s not that bad”. Those with a flight to Frankfurt will not be disappointed if they go for a walk in the city, but I consider that in Germany there are some other more interesting destinations.
Almost all attractions are within Anlagenring, a park of roughly rectangular shape which runs along the boundaries of the old town, where the old city wall used to be.
We propose the following itinerary:
From Central Station, walk southwest towards the river and cross the bridge to get to the Museum Embankment. In this lovely path along the Main are located many of the museums in Frankfurt (there will be a future post about them).
Cross the river, this time to the north, through the Eiserner Steg, a bridge apparently normal but enclosing an inevitable charm because of its views:
- The buildings on the north shore. The most prominent are the Historical Museum and Frankfurt Cathedral.
- Dreikönigskirche, a church on the south bank.
The bridge is packed with colorful padlocks placed by couples in love, which is not surprising since they are sold and graved on the spot in the very bridge.
From Eisener Steg you can get almost immediately to Frankfurt Romer (Town Hall Square). It is the central square, the most beautiful in the city. There are several wooden buildings with pointed ceilings, Central European style.
West of Romer Suare you’ll find the Gothic Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, actually not a cathedral but a “great imperial church.” From Romer to the north, in few minutes you’ll be in the commercial heart of the city, Hauptwache Square and Zeil pedestrian street, with restaurants and all kinds of usual shops in big cities.
From the Hauptwache Square to the west there is an area with nineteenth century style buildings and the Opera, which is probably the most classic looking building in the city.
Paradoxically, south from opera is the financial complex of modern skyscrapers in downtown Frankfurt, including the headquarters building of the European Central Bank until November 2014. You can climb to the rooftop of the Main Tower (it’s its proper name) for a panoramic view of the city. Admission € 6.5. Opens at 10 am and closes between 7 am and 11 pm depending on the season and the day of the week.