Frankfurt’s skyscraper-crowned skyline is a testament to the city’s status as a European centre for business and finance. Playing host to the world’s most important trade fairs, which attract business moguls, glitterati and business heads from every corner of the globe, has resulted in Frankfurt reaching the pinnacle of luxury establishments. But this bustling metropolis has a calmer side, too. With verdant, leafy parks and bustling boutiques, the birthplace of Goethe is not without its charms. Though the skyscrapers of Frankfurt may suggest otherwise, the inner city is surrounded by lush parks and forests and visitors will be delighted to discover the greener side of Frankfurt.
Frankfurter finesse: The best 5 star stays in the financial heart of Germany
Altstadt (Old City) & Messe: Trade shows & Designer shopping
The huge town square enclosed by beautifully restored medieval buildings, notable churches, museums, and historic restaurants creates a charming cultural landscape in Frankfurt’s Altstadt (Old City). The old town area has been reconstructed as a modern version of its former self, housing gourmet eateries in the "Fressgasse" (Eating alley) and hip jazz clubs alongside cultural and historical gems such as the Römerberg and the Alte Oper (Old Opera). Do not miss an opportunity to take a boat tour along the River Main, best enjoyed from April through to October, with a glass of champagne or apple wine. Frankfurt’s trade fairs are known to have taken place as early as 1160, so it’s no wonder that Messe Frankfurt has grown into one of the world’s largest exhibition centres. The Frankfurt Book Fair and the Motor Show are the two largest and most popular events drawing millions of visitors. Frankfurt’s most fashionable shopping street is Zeil, a pedestrianized thoroughfare beginning at Hauptwache stretching all the way to Konstablerwache and bookended by the city’s biggest department stores. Zeil allures shoppers with the finest luxury brands of clothing, leather goods and shoes at high-end boutiques. Be sure to go to the rooftop terrace on Zeilgalerie, a ten-storey shopping that is worth a visit. Goethestraße is Frankfurt’s answer to Fifth Avenue in New York with luxury outlets the likes of Versace, Tiffany’s, Louis Vuitton, Armani and Cartier. For all the jewelery your heart desires head to nearby Schweizerstrasse. Plan your trip to Frankfurt to coincide with the annual fashion and design festival, Stillblüten, to be the first to know about local German designers. No matter which shopping district you visit or when you arrive, one thing is certain: Frankfurt is always dressed to impress.
Sachsenhausen & Museumsufer: Notable museums & Green spaces
Museumsufer (Museum Embankment) is the place to go to quench your cultural thirst while staying at a 5 star hotel in Frankfurt. Located between Eiserner Steg and Friedensbrücke, the Frankfurt Museum Embankment boasts 13 museums along the river housing art from antiquity to modern day as well as specialist collections and themes ranging from literature and architecture to communication and world culture. The most popular time to visit is the last weekend in August, when the Museumsufer festival takes place. Museumsufer forms part of the Frankfurt’s larger museum scene which compromises 26 museums on both sides of the river spilling over into the Altstadt, adding up to 60 museums in total. Goethe House in the Altstadt is not to be missed. Goethe’s writing desk and pictorial gallery give visitors fascinating insights into the life and times of the world-famous writer. It’s not all hustle and bustle and concrete jungle in Frankfurt. Venture a little further away from the inner city and you will find cosy apple-wine taverns serving hearty, regional cuisine, outdoor cafes and boutiques in Sachsenhausen. This district was a village up until the end of the 19th century, and attracts visitors with its rustic apple wine pubs, narrow lanes and historical timber-framed houses. There are also beautiful parks here with spectacular gardens and riverside paths inviting you to take a walk and discover the city’s green spaces. Take a trip to Gruneberg Park or the Stadtwald (City Forest) which is considered the largest inner-city forest in Germany at around 48km². Frankfurt’s 8000 hectare green belt, with spectacular meadows and orchads lined with beech and oak trees, is a joy to explore in the springtime. So forget Manhattan and Central Park and head to "Mainhattan" with its huge city forest instead.
Rheingau & Outskirts: Wine tasting & Castle route
When wine connoisseurs and travelers think of wine, Italy or France usually spring to mind. Fewer realize that Frankfurt sits on the outskirts of one of the most famous of Germany’s wine regions, the Rheingau (Rhine District). Stretching from east to west, this is one of the most distinguished wine regions of the world where two grape varieties, namely the Riesling and the Spätburgunder, dominate and yield elegant wines. Sample the fine vintages of the Rheingau, be it sweet apple or cherry wine, or a premium vintage of Riesling, while taking a water cruise on the beautiful Rhine River. Showcasing the rolling vineyards as they merge with verdant forests and fields, these luxury yachts sail from Frankfurt to Nuremberg in the west, Heidelberg in the south and as far as Cologne in the north. A 5 star hotel in Frankfurt is also the ideal starting point from which to explore the world-famous Burgenstraße, or Castle Road, stretching from Mannheim through Bavaria to the Czech Republic, passing majestic castles, palaces and royal residences along the way. This royalty themed route has been rendering travelers speechless since the 1950s as they explore the unique history, culture and architecture of Germany.
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