Frankfurt am Main or 'Mainhattan'
Thanks to a skyline crammed with more skyscrapers than other European city, Frankfurt is known locally as ‘Mainhattan’. It's also a centre of culture and learning, that's equally well known for being the birthplace of the poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe as for its giant Book Fair.
Get to the heart of Frankfurt’s history in the Römerberg square, where the City Hall or Römer is an ornate collection of (reconstructed) medieval houses. Other notable monuments include the Dom or St. Bartholomew's Cathedral, the Paulskirche (Saint Paul's Church) , which hosted the first German National Assembly in 1848, and Goethe’s family home, the Goethe Haus, and the Goethe Museum. The Museumsufer (Museum river bank) is also a top attraction because of its substantial collection of museums, including the Städel.
Sightseeing or shopping on Frankfurt’s Zeil (shopping mile) will work up an appetite, so stop off for a snack in the street nicknamed ‘Fressgass’ (actual name Große Bockenheimer Straße). During the Rheingau Wine Festival each August, hundreds of wines, including Riesling, are sampled here. Hungry visitors can also buy cheese, wine, baked goods and chocolate at the Kleinmarkthalle. In the evening head to a traditional tavern in lively Alt-Sachsenhausen on the south bank of the River Main to try the local cider known as Äppelwoi or Ebbelwei.
Frankfurt has excellent transport links, including high-speed ICE trains from Brussels, making this tourist and business centre easily accessible from the UK and mainland Europe. Exploring on foot is pleasant: there are plenty of pedestrian zones and green spaces, such as the Palmengarten (Germany’s largest botanical garden) and walks along the River bank. A large network of trams, buses, underground (U-Bahn) and S-Bahn trains makes getting around easy. Fancy a trip out of town? Hop on a regional train to Mainz (an important wine centre and birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg) or the charming spa town, Wiesbaden.