Frankfurt am Main, or more popularly known as Frankfurt, is the fifth largest city in Germany and the largest in the state of Hessen. It is located in the center of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. It is a major air, rail and highway transport hub due to it being centrally located within Germany and Europe. It also considered to be the center for commerce, culture, education and tourism. Frankfurt is also well-known for its beautiful skyline as it is a unique feature wherein you can see a significant number of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. It is one of the few cities in Europe that have such a skyline.
Frankfurt enjoys a temperate climate with warm summers and moderately cold winters. It averages a temperature of 10 to 11 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest months with an average of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius while July can be the warmest with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
Frankfurt is home to many gorgeous landmarks such as the Römer and historical religious destinations such as the Frankfurt Cathedral and Saint Paul’s Church. Römer is a complex of nine houses wherein the middle house now serves as the city hall. On the upper floors is the Emperor’s Hall or the Kaisersaal where newly crowned emperors usually hold their banquets. Meanwhile the Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as the Saint Bartholomew’s Cathedral, is a gothic building that is now considered to be the main church of Frankfurt.
The city is also home to many museums such as the Städel, Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and Goethe House. If you’re pressed for time, the one museum to visit would have to be the Städel. It is officially known as the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie and is an art museum which houses one of the most important collections in Germany. The museum owns over 2,700 paintings, 100,000 drawings and prints, and 600 sculptures. It also has a library of over 100,000 books and 400 periodicals. The museum is usually open from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening. Hours extends to 9 in the evening every Thursday and Friday while staying closed on Mondays. The library, mediatheque and study room of the Department of Prints and Drawings have different hours so it is best to check their official website for the most updated information. Visitors pay a fee to enter the museum while children to the age of 12 can enter for free.
It is also home to two major botanical gardens – the Palmengarten and the Botanical Garden of the Goethe University. The Palmengarten is the largest garden in Germany and located in the Westend-Süd district. It is a public garden where you can see botanical exhibits in free-air or climatized greenhouses for tropical and subtropical plants. Right across you will the Botanical Garden of the Goethe University, also known as the Frankfurt Botanical Garden. This botanical garden and arboretum contains over 5,000 species with special collections and is open daily in the warmer months.
How to get around Frankfurt
U-Bahn is the best way to travel around Frankfurt. It is an underground and over ground system of trams and buses. You can easily identify the stations as they are easily marked with a white capital “U” with a blue background. If you wish to travel to the suburbs, you can use the S-Bahn which are signed with a white “S” on a green background. Both lines come together in the station of central Frankfurt.
Frankfurt also has plenty of taxis. However, fares can be expensive. There are also human-powered “bike taxis” in main tourist areas that can take one or two passengers. This may be a good way to see the sights if you’re not too keen on doing it on foot.
Frankfurt is also bike friendly with an extensive network of bike lanes. You can easily rent a bike from various rental companies in the city. However, they are rare and may be located in inconvenient areas for travelers. A more convenient way to rent bikes would be from Deutsche Bahn. They are marked in red and white with the letters “DB”. Deutsche Bahn bikes are available from April to December and can usually be found at street corners.
How to get to Frankfurt
As Frankfurt is located in the heart of central Germany, it is a national transportation hub which makes it easy to reach and depart from. It can be easily accessed by air, rail or road.
If traveling by air, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is one of world’s busiest airport and is home to Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa. All major airlines and airline alliances fly frequently through Frankfurt which makes connections to any major city in the world very easy. Frankfurt Airport has two terminals. Lufthansa and Star Alliance airlines operate out of Terminal 1 while all other airlines operate out of Terminal 2. Getting to and from the airport is also easy as it is connected to the city center via taxi, bus or most conveniently via the S-Bahn which is the city’s fast commuter trains.
Frankfurt also has a smaller airport called Frankfurt/Hahn (HHN) and is mostly used for no-frills airlines. It is further away from Frankfurt and can take around 2 hours to drive from the city center.
Frankfurt Central Station, or the Hauptbahnhof, is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe and is considered to be one of the busiest junctions operated by Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn. It has around 340 daily trains to domestic and European destinations. However, do not that with a few exceptions, inter-city trains that stop at the airport don’t usually stop at the Central Station.
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