Germany’s financial hub, Frankfurt is home to one of the largest stock exchanges in Europe as well as the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank. But Frankfurt is not only about money. The city boasts a rich collection of museums, second only to Berlin. It actually rivals Berlin when it comes to its nightlife, especially the jazz and dance music scenes.
Frankfurt is also fair trade heaven – numerous fairs, exhibitions and congresses are held here throughout the year. Its full name is actually Frankfurt am Main, as it’s located on the River Main. It’s also been nicknamed ‘Mainhattan’ because its skyscrapers resemble New York City’s skyline. Frankfurt is famous for its exceptional number of excellent museums that cover art, history and science. Its outskirts are home to vineyards and spa towns that are well worth exploring.
What to expect on a Frankfurt trip
- The city boasts museums of international standard in its Museum district, called Museum Embankment, a row of 9 fascinating museums.
- It’s home to Palmengarten, a large palm house and botanical garden, with conservatories built in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
- Frankfurt is the birthplace of Germany’s most famous writer, Goethe and one can visit Goethe House, where he was born.
- The triangular-shaped Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art (MMK) is considered one of Europe’s most important contemporary art galleries.
- One can visit a relic of the city’s old town walls, the Eschenheimer Turm, built in the early 1400s.
- Enjoy sampling wines in the nearby Rheingau wine regions where excellent Riesling is produced.
Whether you travel to Frankfurt to explore Germany’s fascinating history, savour excellent food, experience the nightlife, or shop till you drop, Frankfurt has everything you need for a fabulous trip. Visit Frankfurt as part of your Germany holiday on a tailormade travel package from Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Frankfurt
Located on the River Main, Frankfurt is Germany’s most important financial and commercial centre. Its skyline is full of modern skyscrapers as well as historic buildings, and the city is a bustling, vibrant place with plenty of things to do and places to visit.
A Frankfurt holiday entails enjoying a vibrant nightlife, exploring several excellent museums in the city’s Museum District and discovering the old part of the city, the Altstadt, with its many historical monuments like the Old Town Hall and the Imperial Hall, both located on the square called Romerberg. And that’s just a taste of what’s in store on Frankfurt holiday.
Things to do in Frankfurt
- Explore the fascinating Senckenberg Natural History Museum.
- Visit the 95m tall Gothic Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, which competes with Frankfurt’s skyscrapers.
- Discover all about famous Frankfurt writer Goethe, at the Goethe Museum.
- Marvel at masterpieces at the city’s Museum of Modern Art, MMK.
- See the Eschenheimer Tower, once part of the old city walls.
- Enjoy culinary treats at the Kleinmarkthalle’s 160 stalls selling food, flowers and produce.
- Climb to the top of Frankfurt’s highest building, Commerzbank Tower, for panoramic views.
- Visit the DomRömer Quartier with its meticulously restored buildings.
- Sample Frankfurt’s favourite drink, apple wine.
- Explore Frankfurt City Forest, which dates back to the 13th Century.
Discover even more tourist attractions and hidden treasures on a Frankfurt holiday package from Thompsons Holidays.
Know before you go...
- Frankfurt enjoys a continental climate. The best seasons to visit are late spring (April to May), and early autumn (August to September) when the weather is perfect, and the landscapes are lush and green.
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
- You can fly direct from Johannesburg to Frankfurt. Flight duration from South Africa: 10 hours, 50 minutes.
- There are frequent flights from South Africa to Germany.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Germany.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
- Germany is on Central European Time, one hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs can be found throughout the city.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. Tip porters, housekeepers, concierges, doormen, taxi drivers and tour guides at your discretion.
- In restaurants, round up to the next Euro. For excellent service, add 5-10% to the bill.
- German is the official language.
- English is widely spoken.
- About 70% of the population is Christian. Catholic and Evangelical churches are the most popular.
- When visiting religious sites, dress conservatively.
- It is safe to drink tap water in Frankfurt. Bottled water is readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor workplaces as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
What must I pack?
- Depending on when you visit Frankfurt, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter. Choose items that can be layered.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Frankfurt has an excellent transport system, including the subway, trains, trams and buses.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; instead, take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other’s cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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