Things to see and do in Frankfurt


It would seem that, sadly, this is going to be a rather short post. Yes, I’m quite happy that I got to spend a couple days in Frankfurt, Germany as part of the Lufthansa A380 Inaugural flight from San Francisco, but there really isn’t a ton to do in town. We got by and managed to not go too crazy, but it was tough.

The Altstadt ("Old Town") is where we spent most of our time while in town. It is convenient to the river and where our hotel was so that definitely helped keep us there. And what few tourist-focused bits of town exist are rather concentrated in that area (though we did head across the river for dinner both nights).

The European Central Bank is in the area, and it looks just like a bank building but with a nifty Euro logo out front. The Frankfurt Bourse is also in the area. They went with the more traditional bull & bear theme for their statues.

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And then there is the Dom. Like any good European town, the city of Frankfurt is more or less centered around a town square, with the local cathedral not too far away. In the case of Frankfurt Saint Bartholomeus’s Cathedral (Dom Sankt Bartholomäus) is located just a block off the central square and it is one of the main tourism spots in town.

The location has had a cathedral for several hundred years but, like much of the town, this iteration is relatively new construction from after the war. The Dom served as the election site for emperors of the Holy Roman Empire as well as providing a site for the anointing of German kings. Today it is just a cathedral, with no special powers (and not even a Bishop’s seat) but it still serves as a focal point in the community, for tourists and locals alike. Plus, at 95 meters tall it is a great navigational beacon in town.

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Within the main square there is some interesting history to go along with the very tourist-focused shops and the Römer, formerly City Hall and now used by the local government for a number of functions, including wedding facilities in some of the halls. There is a lovely statue of Justitia, holding the scales for judging and a sword for carrying out guilty verdicts.

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The square also happens to be where we got a snack our first day in town. There is a cute little würst shop selling sausages of various persuasion, along with the requisite sides, and beer. It was certainly not the best food we had during the trip but given that the options just north of the square included a Subway I’m pretty sure we made the right choice. Besides, standing out in the square eating and drinking was a great opportunity to people watch.

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And that’s pretty much it. We did spend some time in a couple different food markets (one on purpose and one by accident); that will be another post as there are too many cool photos in that one. We also took a quick trip out to Mainz for 30 minutes and that was more fun than the several hours we spent in Frankfurt.

Don’t get me wrong, Frankfurt isn’t bad, per se, but there are much better cities to visit in Germany if you’re looking for more traditional touristy things to do.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

3 Comments

  1. Seth – Next time, take the train to Heidelberg for the day (or two). It is tremendous primarily because it did not get bombed in the war like Frankfurt did. Also, while it lacks the history, Frankfurt has some great bars downtown in the old section – should have been able to find some just by walking around. I was there for work, so it was different, but yeh, not much for tourists. Cheers.

    1. I like museums well enough but I find that they’re often rather similar, particularly in “old Europe” and I’m not a fan of that. Plus they generally dont do me much more than an hour or so for fun.

      Heidelberg sounds like a good option. I’ll look into that fter I get my Mainz fix.

      Oh, and we had no trouble finding bars (and restaurants for dinner) just south of the river in Frankfurt. But I can only drink so many hours during the day. 😮

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