Things To Do In Frankfurt
Live music, fun parades, giant masks -- they add lots of color to the annual Museum Embankment Festival in the city of Frankfurt. The festival, which is held every third week of August, is a chance for the many museums in Frankfurt to hold outdoor displays of their art collections and to put on shows and concerts. Food and drinks are also provided. This major European center has lots of activities to do and historic attractions to visit. Climb up to the observation deck of the Main Tower and have an idyllic perspective of Germany’s 2,000-year-old capital city, Frankfurt.
When To Go:
With a moderate climate and significant festivities all year round, Frankfurt is a highly developed city that can be visited any time and in all seasons. Tourists flock to this city throughout the middle of the year (summer months of June to August), when schools are on vacation and the climate is warm and ideal for a stroll in the park or museums. November and December are also very popular times to go, when the Christmas Market lights up the city and charms guests from all over the world.
The low season (January to March) is in the late winter when temperatures drop and there are not as many festive occasions or national events to celebrate. Spring and fall (September to mid November) are also perfect times to visit the city, as there are not such large crowds and both airfares and hotel accommodations tend to be discounted.
Frankfurt enjoys four seasons, generally within a mild mainland climate range. Summers might be warm, with intermittent showers and high temperatures climbing up to the 70s. Spring and fall seasons have temperatures that range between the 40s and the 60s. The winter season can get chilly with a possibility of severe storms, and the high temperature range going way down into the 30s.
These are ten of the top things to do when in the city of Frankfurt:
Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)
The Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg) holds a huge number of interesting and exciting items designed to interest and educate children. Dinosaur skeletons, stuffed birds, lizards, mammoths, a large collection of minerals, and many prehistoric animals will make the visit an exciting adventure for kids. At the entrance you will be given a museum plan and an audio guide available in English. The section for taxidermy is one of the best features of this museum. Throughout the tour, useful tips are given on which rooms you should look at to get an idea of the entire collection. There you can easily spend several hours. The highlight is of course the dinosaur skeletons.
On the second floor, there are collections of stuffed birds, preserved insects, and wild animal hunting trophies, all maintained by the curator. There are still live bees in the beehive collection -- part of the rich paleontological collection. If you are into biology and paleontology, be sure to visit and explore this old museum. The collections are not that big and almost everything can be felt and photographed. However, all the interactive panels and captions to the exhibit are mostly in the German language and lack translations into English. The Nature Museum is easily accessible by public transport or by riding an open bus (hop on, hop off) from the city center.
Frankfurt Main Tower
Reaching the top of the Main Tower is a must for any visitor in Frankfurt. From there, you can have an excellent panorama of the old, the existing, and the yet-to-be-completed Frankfurt. There are panoramic panels that explain which buildings can be seen at any point of the compass. Binoculars are available for $1.25. Here is where every traveler to Frankfurt should begin his or her visit; if it is possible to come here in the evening, the view will be even more beautiful.
At 656 feet, this 61-story tower is one of the tallest buildings in Germany. Go one floor down and you will be welcomed with pleasant music, good restaurant service, and a cocktail or a glass of wine with splendid views of the city. You can clearly see all the central streets, the Main River, and the suburbs. You can even see the airport and watch the planes land. The express elevator comes with a fee but gives discounts to students and young people. The lines are well organized and it is best to visit this place in good weather.
For lovers of modern and classical art, visit the Staedel Museum. There are famous works by Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, Vermeer and many other prominent artists. Interesting solo artist exhibitions are held here every weekend. For example, you might manage to catch an exhibition of Emil Nolde, a well-known expressionist painter in Germany.
The bottom floor is dedicated to unique and contemporary art selections. You will not only enjoy the art in this museum, but also a pleasant stroll outside, along the beautiful promenade. In Frankfurt, almost all museums are located on the same street. There is a lovely shaded walkway along the lane that will lead you to this small museum, check it out and choose this path. There is a wonderful restaurant here where you can eat in between your artistic contemplations. You will be pleased with the selection of cocktails named after Hollywood movie stars: Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, etc. Customers come here in droves, which is a big come-on for travelers to visit.
English Theatre (Frankfurt)
This is a good small theater located in the financial district of Frankfurt, not far from Taunus Theatre and the famous Theatre Square. Excellent performances are listed here, both plays and musicals. The English Theatre of Frankfurt has a very nice ambience and world-class performers and actors. It can only accommodate about 200 people, so you can sit close to the stage and have a unique theatrical experience.
The bar is a little tight but cozy. It is a great combination of a classic theater and elegant restaurant. The variety of shows presented is amusing, something dramatic or something funny, but always great -- and the fascinated audience is always at capacity. With highlights such as the recent The Who's, Tommy or Sweet Charity, it is advisable to book early; otherwise you will possibly go home empty-handed.
The Palmengarten is a wonderful park filled with rich tropical vegetation. There are lots of nice corners where masses of flowering plants and tropical trees abound. Indulge with pleasure at the café -- they have great snacks if you feel tired and hungry. There is a small lake where you can rent boats; pavilions with plants from the different climate zones; large beds of colorful tulips; and ponds with rock slides, ducks and turtles.
The best time to visit this palm garden is during the month of April, when the entire park transforms into an amazingly beautiful place filled with blooming azaleas and roses -- creating the closest thing to a fairy tale. The park has lots of secluded corners for privacy, and a large meadow where you can relax on sun loungers. The park has themed galleries, which present the flora of South Africa, the Caribbean and Mexico. The greenhouse is well maintained by its staff of gardeners. It is located near the Metro and a very pleasant place to stroll if you are tired of the noise in the city.
The Frankfurter Roemer is a great place to visit before Christmas. This is the main Christmas market of the city. Everything is decorated with Christmas lights and the area sparkles with an enchanted atmosphere. People come here to immerse themselves in the magic of Christmas stories, communicate with each other, drink a glass of mulled wine, and buy gifts or decorations for the holiday. It is a wonderful area that is surrounded by traditional German half-timbered houses.
At first, you might have the impression that Frankfurt is a town of skyscrapers --they tower on all sides, seemingly trying to outdo each other in height. But when you enter the square of Frankfurter Roemer, it becomes clear that this city is proud of its medieval architecture. There are high Gothic buildings and wooden benches to rest on. The main square is preserved in its original form. In the old times, it was the site for the coronation of the emperors -- and also where the open court decided the fate of any criminal in the presence of the citizens. Standing in the center of the square is the statue of Lady Justice, light and airy -- possibly unique in the world, as she has no blindfold.
Goethe House (Goethehaus)
It is necessary to visit the home of Frankfurt's most famous poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Goethe House was destroyed during the war and completely restored, but still conveys the character of the poet’s colorful life. Upon entering, you can get information about the rooms in English. On the second floor you can learn to write with a quill pen, dipping it in ink, as when Goethe wrote his famous poems. You will be given a sheet and samples of ancient fonts.
The idea is good and very interactive. On the upper floor, there are two rooms with lots of information about Goethe, but unfortunately it is written in German with no English translation. Just the same, walking through the rooms is like taking a leap into the past. After a tour of the house, the Goethe Museum is also worth a visit. Although it is quite small, it highlights the great collection of antique paintings and artifacts that the late poet accumulated when he was still alive.
German Film Museum (Deutsches Filmmuseum)
The German Film Museum (Deutsches Filmmuseum) consists of a permanent exhibition on two floors where you follow the birth of cinema from the first optical illusions and projections up to the special effects of today. The nice thing is that you can see how theory turns into practice through many interactive stations from simple drums and optical spins, to the mix of music and voices in some movie scenes or stills, the green screen in a game, how to count the cuts of a filming, and much more.
On the third floor there are temporary exhibitions; these are worthwhile only if you are interested in the specific topics, because you pay for an extra ticket. On the fourth floor there is finally a chance for children and young people to participate in workshops (over the weekends) and there is a beautiful green screen where you can fly with Superman, fight monsters or balance on a flying carpet that flies over Frankfurt. There are original Walt Disney drawings, and the models used by Tim Burton for his stop motion animated films. This floor is truly worth a visit due to the fact that it is particularly interactive and educational at the same time.
Frankfurt Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt/Main)
This is a very nice zoo with various species of animals. The ticket costs about $12.50, and it is easy to reach by subway; alternatively, the U6 and U7 bus lines stop right in front, or you can just walk (a few minutes from the Zeil, the road is straight and full of directions, it is hard to miss this place).
It is located in the city center and offers a wide variety of animals in open spaces, with the main nocturnal animals in a separate area and a very large space devoted to monkeys. At the Frankfurt Zoo, it is a must to see the organized colony of ants situated in the hall of reptiles. The cage of the Rhinoceros with two horns is the most popular place in this zoo.
This attraction is particularly different from other zoos all over Germany because it allows you to see not only the outside habitat where the animals mostly converge, but also where they sleep and how they live in their shelters. It is very well organized and the animals are really well cared for in this clean and impressive zoo in Frankfurt.
Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus)
The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus) is a typical Gothic cathedral with a lovely observation deck in the tower. One of the most valuable relics in Christianity is stored in the Frankfurt Cathedral, a fragment considered to be the top part of the skull of St. Bartholomew, who in the 13th century was named the patron saint of the cathedral.
The cathedral looks quiet with a relaxed atmosphere and a very modest interior that can be photographed without limitation. It is one of the coolest attractions in Frankfurt and is relatively free of crowds even on weekends. By purchasing a ticket, you can climb to the observation deck and enjoy the view of the cathedral and the nearby towering attractions of Frankfurt.
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