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skyline of Frankfurt at night

Frankfurt am Main, also known as Mainhattan and Bankfurt, is a rich city in central Germany with 650.000 inhabitants. For many travellers coming from overseas it will be the first point of call in Europe, because of its airport, the leading freight airport in Europe and second largest in terms of passengers. Frankfurt is a city with two faces: on the one hand it is the cut-throat financial capital of Germany and on the other it is a civilized place which spends more per year on the arts than any other city in Europe. And although other German towns have done a better job in preserving their beautiful traditional city centres, a stay in Frankfurt will permit you to discover a very lively and international city with many things to do, both during daytime and at night.

In fact, Frankfurt is a thriving cultural centre for the whole of Hesse, with a good selection of theatres and galleries, and an even better range of museums, amongst them some architectural highlights. Over half of the city, including almost all of the centre, was destroyed during world war II and the rebuilders opted for innovation rather restauration. The result is a skyline that smacks more of Chicago than of Germany.

Each year, Frankfurt hosts a multitude of overseas and domestic visitors. It is a dynamic European metropolis and a melting pot of cultures, languages and lifestyles. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the most famous German writer, was born in this liberal-minded city almost 250 years ago. More than 150 years ago the city was the centre of the German parliamentary movement of 1848/49 and the meeting place of the "Frankfurt National Assembly” which was of historical importance for the democratic development of Germany. In 1948 it was Frankfurt, where the first steps were taken to found the Federal Republic of Germany.

The city is spread out on the banks of the Main river, the biggest part of town lies on the north bank. The city centre is east from the central station, this is where most banks and other institutions are as well. The south bank is known as Sachsenhausen and is very nice to explore as well. Most of the museums are located on the Museumsufer, the south bank of the main, near the city centre. Römerplatz is the place where the old medieval heart used to beat and a good spot from which to explore the historical buildings of that area, such as the Römer and the St. Bartholomäus church.

If you have more time to spend, Frankfurt is a perfect starting point for daytrips up the Rhine river towards Rudesheim or Heidelberg and only a 30 minutes train trip away from Wiesbaden, Mainz or Marburg.


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