It may be nicknamed “Mainhattan” after the steel and glass skyscrapers found in its financial district, but Germany’s fifth-largest city is not all business – travel to Frankfurt am Main from Glasgow Airport and discover classical architecture, a charming old town area, outstanding museums and a lively nightlife scene thanks to a young student population.
Frankfurt in the frame
Culture can be found here in spades, with a number of world-renowned museums lining the Main River. The Städelmuseum (Schaumainkai 63) features European art from 1815 onwards and includes works from Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir and Picasso, while the Naturmuseum Senckenberg (Senckenberganlage 25), Germany’s second largest natural history museum, includes an impressive dinosaur exhibition. The interior of the MMK Museum of Modern Art (Domstraße 10) is just as impressive as its grand, modern exterior, and features contemporary art from the 1960s through to the present day.
A walk back through time
Like the rest of the city, Frankfurt’s medieval old town, Altstadt, was damaged in the Second World War but careful restoration has preserved its historic charm. Don’t miss Römerberg market square, where Frankfurt’s origins as a trading centre began, and make sure you catch a performance at the late 18th-century Italian Renaissance-style Alter Oper, or Old Opera House (Opernplatz 1), famous for its excellent acoustics.
World cuisine and local specialties
As befits a culturally and ethnically diverse city, Frankfurt has a wide array of cuisines. Don’t miss the local specialties, though, such as apfelwein, a fermented cider with a tart taste that’s often accompanied by Handkäs mit Musik (a fermented hard cheese). The city's best nightlife can be found in Sachenhausen, a charming area with pedestrianised streets and lively bars, and the student area of Bockenheim. Frankfurt's red light district, Bahnhofsviertel, has become a hip neighbourhood in recent years and the place to find the city's trendiest nightlife.