Read Caption
The Alte Oper in spring (Photograph by Daniel Schoenen, Getty)

Oliver’s Frankfurt

Oliver Weiss is a born and bred Frankfurter. And though he’s a fervent traveler, he’s always happy to return to his home base–which he describes as a village with a “touch of city.” In fact, Oliver has so much love for his hometown that he’s willing to share his insider intel with the world for Spotted by Locals. Here are some of Oliver’s favorite things about this German gem.

Frankfurt is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to the beautiful square in front of the Alte Oper, which, despite its origins as an opera house is now a great venue for local concerts and events.

My city’s best museum is the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History, because it houses boasts the largest exhibition of large dinosaurs in Europe.

The Hessenshop is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

You can see my city best from the far side of the Main River.

Locals know to skip Frankfurt’s main street, Kaiserstrasse, once the demi monde section of town (though it’s been successful at changing its image with the support of city officials), and check out the Hauptwache area instead.

Summer is the best time to visit my city because most locals are out of town on vacation and the place is yours.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is possibly the Kamea Beach Club, particularly during summer, or else at the riverside.

My city really knows how to celebrate local and international food because we know how to enjoy the good things in life.

You can tell if someone is from my city if you ask him for a destination, say the Goethe House, and he answers, “I used to know… as a child” and then tells you to locate it via GPS to be on the safe side.

For a fancy night out, I go to the Rotes Pferd (Red Horse) in Sachsenhausen–which is a bit like a mini Mardi Gras.

Just outside my city, you can visit the Taunus Mountains, which are free of charge. Or you could hop on the bus to Bad Homburg (the ride is free) to check out the casino there.

My city is known for being cosmopolitan, since people from all over the world flock here to do business, but it’s really a vibrant place to live.

The best outdoor market in my city can be found at the so-called Konstabler Wache.

Café Mozart in Frankfurt’s downtown area is my favorite place to grab breakfast–that or the Mainkai Café for the great view.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read FRIZZ, a free print magazine that you can find in restaurants, hotels, and many public places around town.

My city’s biggest sports event is when the Eintracht Frankfurt team is playing soccer. Watch them score at the Commerzbank Arena.

To escape the crowds, I go on a boat tour down the Main River. If I sit next to the window, I can stare out the window and meditate while the larger-than-life landscape slowly passes by.

The dish that represents my city best is, believe it or not, “Frankfurters sausage” (served with potato salad) and Apfelwein (local apple cider) is my city’s signature drink.

The city hall, Römer, is my favorite building in town because it represents a history of several hundred years. Numerous kings were crowned here and made Frankfurt almost a capital.

The most random thing about my city is that there are many pedestrian-only streets.

The Festhalle is the best place to see live music, but if you are in the mood to dance, check out Robert Johnson–but only if you like disco.

In the spring you should visit the Palmengarten, built in the 19th century by a famous gardener in the middle of town. It’s quite large and offers various flower shows depending on the time of year.

In the summer you should enjoy outdoor activities, such as joining a private BBQ. Many of them are held in public parks, where you can easily get an invite. Give it a chance.

In the fall you should visit our zoo, where most animals are not held behind bars. Look for the Exotarium, which is open until late at night and offers a fascinating glimpse into an underwater world.

In the winter you should explore the city’s many museums.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss a helicopter trip over Frankfurt from nearby Egelsbach airport, or hire a small plane to take you through the most beautiful parts of the Rhine valley with its magnificent castles and ruins. It’s worth it.

The best book about my city is 111 Gründe Frankfurt zu lieben (111 Reasons to Love Frankfurt) for those who can read German.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to my mind is “Hurra, Hurra, die Frankfurter sind da,” as interpreted by Hassan Annouri.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s one of the most remarkable places in the northern hemisphere with a metropolitan, yet relaxing flair. You won’t be disappointed.