With a metropolitan population of over 5.6 million, Frankfurt (officially known as Frankfurt am Main) is one of the most important cities in Germany. Dubbed the financial capital of its parent country (with massive headquarters like those of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Deutsche Bank, the Commerzbank, and the DZ Bank), Frankfurt is but 40 kilometres away from the geographic centre of the European Union. Ethnically diverse, with most of its young population having a migration background, it has been designated an alpha world by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. With a futuristic skyline and a great deal of fascinating sights, Frankfurt is an excellent destination for any backpacker who wishes to catch a glimpse the brighter side of Europe.
Frankfurt is located within the bounds of the temperate-oceanic climate zone and this means that it succumbs to hefty temperature fluctuations. Summers are warm to hot whilst winters are cold to freezing. Though reaching into the freezing spectrum is rarer than in other “continentals”, Frankfurt has once seen a record low of -19.1 degrees Celsius. With an annual mean of 10.6 degrees, one cannot say that the weather there is disagreeable but one should always keep an eye on the forecast and prepare some thicker clothes during wintertime (December-February).
Frankfurt is served by the eponymous Frankfurt Airport (also known as the Rhein-Main-Flughafen) located 12 kilometres southwest of the city centre, adjacent to the Autobahn intersection Frankfurter Kreuz (where the European A3 and A5 meet). Funnelling a massive 60 million passengers annually, it is the fourth-busiest airport in Europe (behind the juggernauts of London, Paris and Amsterdam) and the 12th in the world. Serving as a hub for the AeroLogic, Condor, Lufthansa, Lufthansa CityLine, and the Lufthansa Cargo airlines and as a focus city for the SunExpress Deutschland and the TUIfly, it operates with two asphalt runways and two concrete ones. Know that the airport can be accessed by car, bus, train (S-Bahn) and taxi.
The best way to get around the city is via the U-Bahn underground and overground rail system. This will not only facilitate fast transit but will also be affordable (when considering first-world standards). If you happen to be housed in the suburbs, we recommend that you use the S-Bahn trains for they are the ones dedicated to them. Regardless of what means of transport you choose to utilise, remember that you must always purchase tickets for them beforehand from local ticket machines. Oh, and make sure you switch those machines to English if their German versions confuse you.
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES:
No matter what you may be doing in Frankfurt or what your state of mind is, you must not leave out the world-famous Goethe House. Located in the heart of the Innenstadt district of the city, the historical house is also a museum. The birthplace of writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749), the establishment showcases numerous personal items pertaining to him. Oh, and if you do choose this landmark as one of your priorities, you might want to read the masterpiece of the writer: his interpretation of Faust.
Next up, we recommend that you hop over to the Palmengarten, one of the two botanic gardens of Frankfurt. Located within the bounds of the Westend-Süd district and stretching upon an area of 22 hectares, the establishment was opened on 16 March 1871. Reachable via the Bockenheimer Warte station of the U-Bahn, the garden boasts with multiple greenhouses containing a vast plethora of tropical and subtropical plants. If you are one of those people who enjoy the warmer climate zones of Planet Earth, we assure you that this is going to be your favourite point of interest in Frankfurt. Be one of the 600,000 people who visit it annually! Oh, and while you’re at it, hit the adjacent Frankfurt Botanical Garden as well, owned by the biology department of the prestigious Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.
If you truly want to be left with a slack jaw, make sure that you do not leave Frankfurt without visiting the Naturmuseum Senckenberg, the second-largest natural history museum in Germany. If you happen to have your children along with you, this is the best possible place to take them to because it has massive dinosaur skeletons hanging all around. In fact, one of its prime attractions is an original Triceratops skull. Additionally, the establishment has a vast collection of stuffed birds (more than 2,000 specimens), a Tyrannosaurus Rex (not a live one, of course) and an exquisite representation of an Iguanodon. You might even be lucky enough to catch an evening tour/lecture.
If you haven’t had enough of the wildlife of Planet Earth yet, make a stop at the Frankfurt Zoological Garden as well. Featuring more than 4,500 animals distributed into 510 species, the establishment uses every square centimetre of its total space of 11 hectares intelligently and interestingly. If you are interested in Asiatic Lions, Gorillas, Sumatran Tigers and Spectacled Bears, then this place is just the right one for you.
Other major attractions of the city are its nightlife, its prestigious restaurants and the over-abundance of scintillating students, of course. Be one of the millions of tourists who enhance its diversity each year!
As you can see, Frankfurt will not let you go until it teaches you a thing or two. Its cultural establishments and its diversity are things to long for and we recommend you to book your flight now! And while you’re at it, check out other posts from FreeMiniMaps.com as well! Safe travels!