Frankfurt

Thanks to several factors and assets that include excellent location, an elaborate communications network, and a range of leisure activities, Frankfurt is not only a major trade fair city but also a wonderful place to visit for a holiday.

The city is a mega center for the arts, with numerous theatre groups, actors’ guilds, cabarets, music ensembles, and repertory companies. While the Frankfurt Municipal Opera is world-renowned, several others are also famous. Backing this are cinemas, theatres, music concerts, and club and street festivals, that combine to make this a huge hub for all manner of performing arts.

If you are fond of museums, head for the ‘Museumsufer’, the ‘museums row’ of the city, with several institutions along the Main River, including the big names like the Stadelsche Art Institute. Immaculately maintained parklike surroundings make this pleasant ensemble of urban culture an international rendezvous.

Your city sightseeing experience will be enriched by a host of attractions. The center of things is ‘Der Romerberg’, the square that marks the historical focal point of the city. On its west stands the ‘Romer’, Frankfurt’s signature monument and City Hall for over four centuries, an architectural masterpiece with a gable-shaped façade dating back to the Gothic period. The Kaisersaal, scene of the coronation banquets, is open to visitors, as is the Fifteenth Century Fountain of Justice, which has played a pivotal role in German history.

The ‘Church of our Lady’ is a magnificent structure built some five centuries ago, and its famous symbol, the Rococo Fountain, is a favorite spot to be photographed in. The ‘Church of St. Catherine’ where Goethe was baptized and confirmed, and his birthplace, ‘Das Goethehaus’ are other ‘must-see’ spots.

It is always a pleasure to drop in at one of the cheerful café houses in ‘Die Hauptwache’, smack in the heart of the city, a popular hangout for tourists and locals seeking ‘tavern fun’.

While the whole of Germany is famous for its good food and beverages, Frankfurt has a special place in this department. The city’s cuisine showpiece is the celebrated ‘Grune Sobe’, carefully prepared using seven different green herbs. If you have a sweet tooth, try the local cake called Frankfurter Kranz, and the tasty little Bethmarnchen. One has a choice of fancy, candlelit dinners at one of dozens of sophisticated downtown restaurants, or the typical ‘gemutlich’ as the neighborhood restaurants are known. Smaller taverns and cafes greet one at every turn of every street. Comes night, and the entertainment comprises a world of cabarets, nightclubs, and classy discos.

Thanks to a wide range of shops and boutiques, shopping is a local highlight. The center of the city boasts the Hauptwache, which has dozens of department stores and specialty shops selling everything from flowers to jewelry, watches, records, books, fashion items, and photo equipment. Seconds away is the Zeil, Germany’s biggest, best-stocked, and busiest shopping area.

No matter what your personal tastes and preferences, your visit to the city will be a rewarding experience.

Inder Raj Ahluwalia

Inder Raj Ahluwalia is an internationally renowned travel and aviation journalist and author who has been recognised several times over as the ‘most – awarded’, ‘most – honoured’ and ‘best travel journalist in the world‘.

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