Photograph by Lumen-art-images.de, Getty Images

 

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Frankfurt, Germany, sits along the banks of the Main River.

Photograph by Lumen-art-images.de, Getty Images

 

Everything to Know About Frankfurt

Here's how to plan the best possible trip to this European hub.

Frankfurt is evolving and shaking off its boring reputation. While the city certainly is the financial hub of Germany and every fifth worker is a suit-clad banker, many of the creatives who fled the city in the 1990s have been moving back. With them they bring pop-up restaurants, sexy urban bars, and a laid-back vibe that most people in this city can only benefit from.

When to Go

May to September are the nicest months to enjoy outdoor activities and make the most of what the city and surrounding areas have to offer. Make sure to wrap up in layers. October might feel like an Indian Summer—sunny and clear and with above average temperatures—but it might also be cold and rainy. Be prepared for temperatures to be freezing when you visit the Christmas markets, yet another reason to enjoy some of the lovely mulled wine served all around the city.

Celebrate

The Frankfurt Oktoberfest is a fun experience with a number of events in September and October each year. Enjoy German DJs and bands and sample the local cuisine such as roast chicken, pretzels, white sausage, meat loaf, and Schweinshaxn. For a more relaxed and romantic experience, visit the city in December and stroll around the Christmas Market. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of Germany’s largest and the scenic surroundings on the Römerberg and St. Paul's Square make it one of Germany's most beautiful, too.

What to Eat

Could any meal be more iconic than the one named after the city? Frankfurter sausages, originally from the 13th century, are now known and enjoyed all over the world. Usually served with mustard and bread or potato salad, they make for a budget-friendly meal—even on the go. Pair it with some abbelwoi (apple wine) and you have the perfect combo. It’s the drink of the region and according to some people, it’s an acquired taste. The area around Frankfurt is one of the main fruit-producing regions in Germany and therefore it should come as no surprise that some of it is allowed to ferment and become alcoholic.

Souvenir to Take Home

You may not remember everything that happened after that first bottle of apple wine, but you can always bring a bottle back home to remember Frankfurt. Or better yet, buy a Bembel. A Bembel is the stoneware pitcher your wine was probably served in. It is usually gray in color with a simple blue design behind the glaze and keeps your wine cool in summer.

Sustainable Travel Tip

Frankfurt is flat and dense and the best way to get a feel for the city is to explore it by foot. You can see the varying facets of this city of contrasts by joining one of the free walking tours. Explore the Medieval Old Town, the Römer, the cathedral, and numerous hidden gems and local secrets from the friendly, authentic local guides.

Instagram-Worthy View

Head out to Eisener Steg (Iron Footbridge) for the perfect shot of the Frankfurt skyline. This famous iron and concrete footbridge connects the city center with the old town of Sachsenhausen on the southern banks of the river Main. It’s also the site for thousands of locks of love.