All about Frankfurt
Although Frankfurt was the electoral city and later also the coronation site for Holy Roman (first German Reich) emperors, it was never actually the seat of imperial power. Moreover, most of its old landmarks and monuments were either torn down in the 19th century or destroyed in World War II bombing. What Frankfurt does have is modern and postmodern architecture in the form of museums and skyscrapers. The skyline is one of a kind in Germany and lends Frankfurt am Main the nickname "Mainhattan."
Most sightseeing attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other. The best place to start is north of the Main River at the Romerberg, the main square and historical center of the city. There you'll find the Romer (city hall), with its impressive Kaisersaal, and beautiful half-timbered houses. Not far from the square is the Kaiserdom, the towering cathedral where Holy Roman emperors were crowned.
Most museums are located near the Romerberg or lined up along the southern embankment, called Museumsufer. Paintings by Old Masters and more recent German artists can be seen at the Stadel Institute. Modern and contemporary art is shown in the Museum fur Moderne Kunst and the Schirn Kunsthalle. For a look at Frankfurt's history, visit the Historisches Museum, Goethehaus or the Judisches Museum. If you're interested in tropical and subtropical plants, the Palmengarten is a must-see.
LANDMARKS AND HISTORIC SITES
Goethehaus—The house where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—Germany's leading literary and intellectual figure—was born (in 1749) and grew up has been faithfully reproduced. It's open for touring. The museum next door has paintings that depict Goethe's life after Frankfurt (in Weimar and Italy) and works by Goethe's contemporaries. 7 DM. 1 April-30 September: Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-4 pm. 1 October-31 March: Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-4 pm. Grosser Hirschgraben 23-25, phone 138-800.
Romerberg—This square is bordered by the Romer, or city hall, and is the historical center of the city. It was also a center for Frankfurt's bustling trade fairs for more than 200 years. The beautiful Kaisersaal hosted celebratory banquets after the coronations of Holy Roman emperors, and portraits of all 52 German emperors and kings are still hanging there. The square is also bordered by a row of traditional half-timbered houses, faithful reconstructions of the original 15th-century buildings.
Many museums in Frankfurt are free on Wednesdays. Expect to pay extra fees for special exhibitions. Fifty-percent discounts to 15 museums (and the Palmengarten and the zoo) are valid with the Frankfurt Card (12 DM for one day, 19 DM for two), sold at three locations: the tourist information office at the Romer; City Info on the Zeil; and in the Hauptbahnhof at DB-Reisenzentrum, the Deutsche Bahn service center. Please note that almost all museums are closed on Mondays.
Deutsches Architektur-Museum—The German Architecture Museum is housed in a 19th-century estate. Drawings, models, photos and special exhibits track the history of architecture. 8 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Schaumainkai 43, phone 2123-8844.
Deutsches Filmmuseum—The German Film Museum has exhibits as well as film screenings. 5 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday and Saturday to 8 pm). Screenings are primarily held in the evenings. Schaumainkai 41, phone 2123-8830.
Historisches Museum—The Historical Museum includes a scale model of the old town of Frankfurt, fine exhibits about life in the city and a cafe that doubles as an apfelwein (apple wine) museum. There's also a Children's Museum. 8 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Saalgasse 19, phone 2123-5599.
Judengasse Museum—This annex of the Judisches Museum, located adjacent to an office building basement, displays remains of the Jewish ghetto's ceremonial baths found there, as well as special exhibitions. 5 DM (also includes admission to the Judisches Museum). Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Kurt Schumacher Strasse 10, phone 297-7419 or 2123-8804.
Judisches Museum—The Jewish Museum is housed in the Rothschilds' first mansion (called the Rothschild Palais) after leaving the Frankfurt Jewish ghetto. It tells the story of Frankfurt's Jews, the second-largest Jewish community in Germany before the Holocaust. 5 DM (also includes admission to the Judengasse Museum). Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Untermainkai 14-15, phone 2123-5000.
Museum fur Kunsthandwerk—The Museum of Decorative Arts has a rich variety of European and Asian handicrafts, including furniture, ceramics and glass. It's housed in a building designed by U.S. architect Richard Meier. 8 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Schaumainkai 17, phone 2123-4037.
Museum fur Moderne Kunst—The Museum of Modern Art is Frankfurt's newest museum. Its wedge shape, like a piece of pie, is continually being filled with new exhibits. Emphasis is on modern art from the 1960s through the present. 7 DM. Tuesday-Friday and Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm), Saturday noon-7 pm. Domstrasse 10, phone 2123-0447.
Museum fur Post und Kommunikation—The Museum of Mail and Communication is especially child-friendly. Multimedia exhibits and such artifacts as an old-fashioned mail car depict postal history in Germany and abroad. Free. Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm. Schaumainkai 53, phone 60600.
Schirn Kunsthalle—One of Frankfurt's more recent museums, the Schirn specializes in less traditional art. Regularly changing exhibitions. 6 DM-9 DM, depending on the exhibition. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-7 pm (Wednesday and Thursday to 10 pm). Romerberg, phone 299-8820.
Stadelsches Kunstinstitut und Stadtische Galerie—This art institute and its municipal gallery contain a fine collection of paintings from the 14th-20th centuries, with masterpieces from each period. Artists include Botticelli, Rembrandt, Rubens and such German masters as Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein the Younger and Max Beckmann (who taught there in the 1930s before fleeing the Nazis). 8 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Schaumainkai 63, phone 605-0980.
Stadtische Galerie Liebieghaus—Known simply as Liebieghaus, this nearby neighbor of the Stadel specializes in sculpture from the Roman to the baroque periods. 5 DM. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm (Wednesday to 8 pm). Schaumainkai 71, phone 2123-8617.
PARKS AND GARDENS
Palmengarten—This unforgettable botanical garden, with more than 300 different kinds of palms, specializes in tropical and subtropical plants. Special display areas are temperature controlled throughout the year. The park around the gardens has a playground for children, boats for rent and a wading pool. Occasional concerts, too. 7 DM. Monday-Sunday 9 am-6 pm (closes at 4 pm in winter). Siesmayerstrasse 63, phone 2123-3939.
Stadtwald—Located southwest of Sachsenhausen, this city-owned woods attracts local people for weekend strolling and cultivating small, private gardens, but on weekdays the place tends to be deserted. With Frankfurt Airport nearby, it's never quiet. Take Bus 36 to the last stop (bus marked Sachsenhausen Hainer Weg) or Tram 14 to the Louisa stop. Near the Hainerweg bus stop is part of the Stadtwald called Louisa Park, which has three small lakes, walking paths and more low-flying planes. This part can also be reached via the S-Bahn S3 or S4 to the Louisa station.
RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL SITES
Church of St. Bartholomew—This church is also known as the Kaiserdom (or simply the Dom—cathedral) because the Holy Roman emperors were crowned there. Its red sandstone facade and Gothic styling make it one of Frankfurt's most identifiable buildings. Though it was largely rebuilt after World War II, it houses a number of the original Gothic carvings. Free. Domstrasse (east of the Romerberg).
ZOOS AND WILDLIFE
Frankfurt Zoo—This is one of the most visited and most pleasant zoos in Europe. Among the highlights are the Grzimek House, where nocturnal animals think it's nighttime during the day, and the Exotarium, which is filled with interesting fish, reptiles and insects. 11 DM. Daily 9 am-7 pm. Alfred Brehm Platz 16, phone 2123-3731.
Frankfurt Skyline—Currently, the most accessible view of Frankfurt's skyline from the heart of the city is from the eighth-floor observation platform atop the Zeilgalerie, next to the Kaufhof department store. It's free, and you can ride up the escalator (or take a small elevator) and walk back down a ramp past 50 stores and restaurants. Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Zeil 112-114. Phone 920-734.
Main Tower—One of Frankfurt's tallest buildings (54 stories), Main Tower is the new headquarters of Helaba—the central bank for the states of Hesse and Thuringia. It's the first local skyscraper open to the public, with an observation platform, an upscale restaurant, and TV and radio studios, all on the top floor. Junghofstrasse 18-26, near the Fressgass.
"Food & Drink"
A couple of Frankfurt specialties are grune sosse (green sauce: rich cream or mayonnaise base with herbs, including cress, chives, sorrel and parsley) and rippchen mit kraut (pork chop and sauerkraut). Another local food to try is Handkas mit Musik, a form of curd cheese served with raw onions, oil and vinegar and almost always eaten with bread and butter. It's too strong for some tastes, and its music comes from the gas it produces. The classic Frankfurt drink is apfelwein (known in the local dialect as ebbelwoi), an apple wine served in a decorative clay pitcher (called a bembel).
Travelers with expense accounts have driven up prices in some restaurants, but in most places you'll find them quite reasonable. Reservations are recommended for most restaurants in Frankfurt, especially during trade fairs. Restaurants, if you need to look one up in the phone book, are usually listed under Gaststatten.
Fressen is the German word for "devour," and the Fressgass, a nickname for Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse, is the premier eating district in the city. Cafes, delicatessens, restaurants and many other palate pleasers can be found there. It's near the business district and is popular with the city's residents, particularly during the frequent festivals that fill the streets. Another popular area is the pedestrian zone of Alt Sachsenhausen, where you'll find apfelwein taverns as well as pubs and restaurants.
Below is a sampling of restaurants in town. Expect to pay within these general guidelines based on the cost of a dinner for one, not including drinks (price ranges here include taxes and service fees): $ = less than 20 DM; $$ = 20 DM-30 DM; $$$ = 31 DM-70 DM; $$$$ = more than 70 DM.
Eichkatzerl—They serve a solid battery of German dishes ready to be washed down with homemade apfelwein (or beer for the uninitiated). All that plus an authentic tavern atmosphere. Tuesday-Sunday 3 pm-midnight. $$. No credit cards. Dreieichstrasse 29, Frankfurt. Phone 617-480.
Bombay Palace—The menu includes a broad range of Indo-Pakistani dishes: chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian. The restaurant also boasts the only operating Tandoori oven in town. Lunch Tuesday-Sunday noon-3 pm, dinner nightly 6 pm-midnight. $$. Most major credit cards. Abtsgasschen 8. Phone 626-310.
Rainbow Garden—Rococo Thai decor sets the stage for exquisite Thai cuisine. The extensive menu features all the standards as well as little-known dishes from the Isarn province. Daily 11:30 am-3 pm and 5:30 pm-midnight. $$$. Most major credit cards. Dusseldorfer Strasse 1-7. Phone 252-066. There's another branch in the Arabella Grand hotel.
Tao—This is far and away the area's best Vietnamese restaurant, offering a wide range of styles and tastes. Weekly and monthly specials add to the extensive standing menu. Tuesday-Friday noon-2:30 pm and 6-11 pm, Saturday 6-11 pm, Sunday noon-2:30 pm and 6-11 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Friedberger Anlage 14 (Bornheim). Phone 449-844.
Utage—Authentic Japanese fare comes with precision service and beautifully decorated dining areas. Sushi bar and teppan grill. Monday-Saturday noon-3 pm and 6-10 pm. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards. Taunustor 2. Phone 253-826.
Erno's Bistro—This Michelin-star kitchen turns out classic French dishes in addition to innovative nouvelle and post-nouvelle cuisine. Try the homemade pates. Meat and fish entrees are always superb, as are the desserts. The atmosphere is true country bistro style. Monday-Friday noon-2 pm and 7-10 pm. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Liebigstrasse 15. Phone 721-997.
Schuch's—A handsome, cozy, three-sectioned complex (one of which is nonsmoking), Schuch's offers lighter versions of Hessian classics. Try the grune sosse, the apple sherry steak or the Hessian sauerkraut plate. Tuesday-Friday 11 am-2:30 pm and 5 pm-midnight, Saturday 11 am-midnight, Sunday 11 am-11 pm. $$$. MasterCard only. Alt Praunheim 11, Frankfurt. Phone 761-005.
Waldches—Substantial and tasty German fare is served in hearty portions at this rustic eatery. The real star is the homemade beer. In winter, you can watch it being made from your table. In warmer weather, sit outside in the garden setting. Monday-Saturday noon-12:30 am (in winter it opens at 4 pm), Sunday noon-11 pm. $-$$. No credit cards. Woogstrasse 52 (Ginnheim), Frankfurt. Phone 520-522.
Zum Rad—This popular, down-home place is in the more rustic Seckbach section of town. Apfelwein is served with a wide selection of hearty and light local dishes. We liked the Kassler pork chop and the pork shoulder with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. It's most appealing when fine weather allows for wining and dining in the tree-shaded garden. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 5 pm-midnight, Sunday 3 pm-midnight. $$. No credit cards. Leonhardsgasse 2, Frankfurt. Phone 479-128.
Exedra—Excellent Hellenic fare is served up in ample portions. Fish and lamb dishes are highly recommended, as are the mixed starter plates. Good selection of Greek wines, too. Monday-Saturday 11:30 am-midnight, Sunday 4 pm-midnight. $$$. Most major credit cards. Heiligkreuzgasse 29. Phone 287-397.
ITALIAN (INCLUDING PIZZERIAS)
Cafe im Filmmuseum—This is possibly the best value-for-money eatery in Frankfurt. The kitchen prepares flavorful Sardinian dishes at very reasonable prices. Pasta in rich sauces, seafood and Sardinian-style lamb and rabbit are highlights. It also has standard cafe fare—coffees and desserts. Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-midnight. $$. No credit cards. Schaumainkai 41. Phone 617-191.
Da Claudio—This much-loved bastion of hearty Italian cuisine is sure to please. The rustic atmosphere fits the kitchen style perfectly. We especially liked the pasta trio and the mixed seafood plate. Monday-Friday noon-2:30 pm and 6-11 pm, Sunday 6-11 pm. Closed Saturday. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Zum Jungen Strasse 10. Phone 565-471.
La Rosticceria—This infectiously friendly spot has found its niche in Italian-style fast food. A gallery of antipasti, pizzas and pastas and an excellent daily special. Excellent espresso and cappuccino. Monday-Friday 7 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 8 am-2 pm. $. No credit cards. Allianz Passage, Shop No. 50. Phone 292-640.
La Trattoria—Their excellent preparations range from familiar Italian classics to imaginative creations. The good wine list, attractive decor and friendly, informed service add to the enjoyment. Portions are rather small, but you're required to order two courses. Monday-Friday noon-2 pm and 6-10 pm. During major trade fairs, also Saturday 6-10 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Furstenbergstrasse 179. Phone 552-130.
Turkis—This smallish, attractive boite near Frankfurt's historic Romer features Turkish delights. The soups, stews and grilled meat specialties are especially commendable, but the Turkish wines and unusual desserts also merit attention. Tuesday-Friday 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5 pm-midnight, Saturday and Sunday 5 pm-midnight. $$$. Most major credit cards. Bethmannstrasse 11. Phone 296-694.
A'mir Sandwich—Top-notch Lebanese street food: lamb and chicken schawarma in pita bread, falafel, salads and meat and vegetarian turnovers. It's a great stop before or after an Alt Sachsenhausen pub crawl. Sunday-Thursday 11 am-2 am, Friday and Saturday 11 am-3 am. (Open till 4 am during trade fairs.) $. No credit cards. Paradiesgasse 46. Phone 623-333.
Gebruder Bauer—Twin brothers run the place, and they switch duties annually: While one mans the kitchen, the other provides informed, attentive service. The changing menu features seasonal specialties that fuse local traditions with international trends. The clientele is an easy-going mix, and just about everyone fits in. Sunday-Thursday 6 pm-1 am, Friday and Saturday 6 pm-2 am. Reduced menu after 11 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Sandweg 113, Frankfurt. Phone 4059-2744.
Hessler—Owner-chef Doris Hessler is one of Germany's culinary superstars. In her attractive, suburban hotel-restaurant, she creates outstanding cuisine by fusing styles from all over the world. Try the tuna with Asian pesto sauce or the lamb with Arabian spices on couscous. Superb wine list. Wednesday-Sunday noon-3 pm and 7 pm-1 am. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Am Bootshaven 4, Maintal-Dornigheim, Frankfurt. Phone 06181-24662.
King Creole—The Big Easy comes alive with rich Cajun and creole cooking and jazz background music. The seafood gumbo, lamb creole and crab-stuffed chicken are winners. Daily 6 pm-1 am (kitchen closes at 11 pm). $$$. Most major credit cards. Eckenheimer Landstrasse 346. Phone 542-172.
Lounge—This bar-cum-restaurant draws a mixed crowd of young professionals and scene-savvy types. The changing menu is big on multicultural dishes that show off creative impulses of the kitchen. It's a bit overpriced, and service can be cool and inattentive to some, but that's typical of Frankfurt's trendy spots. Monday-Saturday 11 am-10:30 pm, Sunday 6-10:30 pm. Bar is open till 1 am weekdays, 2 am weekends. $$$-$$$$. No credit cards. Weissadlergasse 15, Frankfurt. Phone 288-233.
Meyer's—One of the area's best bistros, Meyer's features international cuisine in addition to local dishes. The atmosphere is classic bistro, with tables close together and bustling staff. It's very popular, so it can get crowded and smoky. Monday-Saturday noon-midnight. Reservations recommended. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards. Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse 54, Frankfurt. Phone 9139-7070.
Sevres—This restaurant and hotel across from the Messe are owned by the Prince of Hesse, and his family's collection of rare Sevres porcelain is displayed in floor-to-ceiling glass cases around the dining room. The menu features light renditions of haute cuisine. Except during big trade fairs, there is a set lunch and dinner menu (three courses plus wine, mineral water and coffee for 49 DM) that's an amazing value for the money. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Hessischer Hof Hotel, Friedrich Ebert Anlage 40, Frankfurt. Phone 7540-2938.
Tigerpalast—Located downstairs at Frankfurt's top Variete theater, Tigerpalast is known for its special theater meals and good-value set menus (meat, seafood and vegetarian selections). Desserts are obligatory: They're fantastic. Decor is show-biz funky. Tuesday-Sunday 5:30 pm-1 am. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Heiligkreuzgasse 16-20, Frankfurt. Phone 9200-2225.
The heart of Frankfurt consumerism is undeniably the Zeil pedestrian zone, which stretches east from the Hauptwache to the Konstablerwache. More upscale stores can be found in the side streets and alleys leading away from the Zeil, Hauptwache and Fressgass. East of the Konstablerwache, the shopping becomes more downmarket, with many low-price, no-frills stores.
Goethestrasse is the place for designer clothes and internationally recognizable shops. (You'll find Tiffany, Cartier and Luis Vuitton.) Schillerstrasse is another good spur near the Zeil. South of the Hauptwache, Rossmarkt is lined with interesting jewelry shops. Nordwest Zentrum and Zeilgalerie are shopping malls. And then there's always the Saturday flea market along the Main River.
Most stores are open Monday-Friday 8 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 7 am-2 pm. Although Germany's restrictive store-closing laws have been somewhat relaxed, only about one-third of the stores—usually department stores and other large establishments—have extended their business hours to 8 pm on weekdays and 4 pm on Saturday (till 6 pm the four Saturdays before Christmas). Most stores outside the city center still close at 6:30 pm on weekdays, 1 or 2 pm on Saturday.
If you need something after hours or on a Sunday, your only options are the stores at the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the Frankfurt Flughafen or a gas station convenience store.
Upscale antique shops tend to be clustered along the streets that wrap around the outside of the Kaiserdom: Braubachstrasse, Fahrgasse and Weckmarkt. Try the Saturday flea market along the Schaumainkai, but be advised that worthwhile antiques are the exception rather than the rule there.
The British Bookshop—This is a good source for English-language materials. Monday-Friday 9 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-4 pm. Borsenstrasse 17, phone 280-492.
Hugendubel—This store has a well-stocked English-language section on the third floor. There are reading niches and couches for those who want to browse through the books, as well as a cafe on the lower level. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 9 am-4 pm. Between Hauptwache and Rathenauplatz at Steinweg 12, phone 299-820.
Sussmann's Presse and Buch—They stock books in French, Spanish and Italian, but mainly English. Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm (Thursday till 8 pm), Saturday 9 am-4 pm. Zeil 127, phone 131-0751.
Hertie—This store is more upscale than Kaufhof, offering a much larger range of products. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 9 am-4 pm. Zeil 90, phone 294-848.
Kaufhof—A chain on par with JCPenney, Kaufhof is located at the Hauptwache on the Zeil. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 9 am-4 pm. Phone 21910.
Numerous galleries in the city sell very high quality work. Fortunately, they're clustered together and easy to find. The area around the Museum fur Moderne Kunst has attracted the most galleries, and others are concentrated around Domstrasse, Braubachstrasse and Fahrgasse.
MALLS AND SHOPPING AREAS
Nordwest Zentrum—This is the closest thing Frankfurt has to an upscale mall. Constructed atop the remains of an ancient Roman colony, it has more than 100 stores, ranging from fashion boutiques to specialty stores for holography and body piercing. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-4 pm. Erich Ollenhauer Ring, phone 580-9020.
Zeilgalerie—This vertical (eight-story) shopping mall has an observation deck on the roof. Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Zeil 112-114, phone 920-734.
Farmers Markets—Markets take place in different parts of the city on different days of the week: Tuesday in Dornbusch on Eschersheimer Landstrasse, Wednesday in Bornheim Mitte beneath the clock tower, Thursday in front of the Bockenheimer Warte at the university, Friday in Sachsenhausen at Sudbahnhof, Saturday on the Konstablerwache. Probably the largest and certainly the easiest to find is at Konstablerwache (a square at the intersection of the Zeil and Kurt Schumacher Strasse). Generally the markets operate 8 am-6:30 pm, except Saturday 7 am-1 pm. They are closed on public holidays.
Flea Market—One of Europe's largest flea markets lines the southern bank of the Main River on Saturday from 9 am-2 pm. There are relatively few nice things to be found amidst the vast quantities of junk. Professional dealers have taken over, selling used clothes and appliances and driving out the amateurs with good junk and attic treasures. But the market is a good place to people-watch and see the diversity of Frankfurt's population.
Kleinmarkthalle—Products from around the world are peddled there. Meats, cheeses, wines, spices and specialty foods overflow from the many stalls contained inside. Monday-Friday 8 am-6 pm, Saturday 8 am-3 pm. It's just a few blocks north of the Romerberg at Hasengasse 5-7.
Das Spielzimmer—They stock a great selection of wooden games and handmade dolls. Monday-Friday 10 am-7 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Grosse Friedberger Strasse 32, phone 285-171.
Hannah Kley—You'll find the largest selection of charming wooden toys, finely crafted. Monday-Friday 10 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Near the Hauptwache at Rossmarkt 12 (Steinweg Passage), phone 284-811.
John Montag Meissen Porzellan—The Meissen porcelain factory is Europe's oldest, predating the Hochst operation by 36 years. Many still consider Meissen's products to be the best. In addition to the fine porcelain, this shop also carries exquisite silverware, lead crystal, Bohemian jewelry and ivory miniatures. Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm, Saturday 9 am-4 pm. Kaiserstrasse 41, phone 233-032.
Weingut der Stadt Frankfurt am Main—They sell bottles of wine from the city's own Rheingau vineyard at prices ranging from 5.80 DM-160 DM. Monday-Friday 9 am-12:30 pm. Limpurger Gasse 2 on the Romerberg, phone 2123-3680.
UNIQUE OR UNUSUAL
Hochster Porzellan—This porcelain company was founded in 1746 by two Frankfurt merchants and an expert from Meissen. The factory is in Hochst (accessible by S-Bahn), but they have a shop in downtown Frankfurt. Monday-Friday 10 am-7 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Berliner Strasse 60, phone 295-299.
The Alt Sachsenhausen pedestrian zone is ideal if barhopping is your thing. The many foreign-owned bars have altered the village-like character there, but a few traditional apfelwein (apple wine) taverns remain. While the rest of Germany is tossing back liters of pils and weissen beers, Frankfurters are tossing back pitcher after pitcher of their characteristic apfelwein (also known as ebbelwoi in the local dialect). Sample it at Adolf Wagner.
Live music also screams out of bars throughout Alt Sachsenhausen. The best of Frankfurt's live-music scene centers around its excellent jazz venues—Jazzkeller is the most famous. And if you're interested in dancing, try out these two popular clubs: King Kamehameha Club and L.O.F.T. House (both in another hot nightlife spot: Hanauer Landstrasse).
BARS, TAVERNS AND PUBS
Adolf Wagner—A traditional apfelwein tavern. Schweizer Strasse 71, phone 612-565.
Jimmy's Bar—Attached to the Frankfurt Hessischer Hof Hotel, Jimmy's bills itself as an "American piano bar" and is often crowded, especially during trade fairs. It's best if you have an expense account—the prices may seem a bit rich if you're paying. Friedrich Ebert Anlage 40, phone 754-0961.
Lifestyle Bar—This bar is in the Maritim Hotel, which is built into the trade fair grounds, so trade fair visitors often make this their first stop after a busy day. It has twice been named Germany's top bar within the last few years. Theodor Heuss Strasse 3, phone 75780.
O'Dwyer's—Frankfurt boasts a handful of Irish pubs, and this one in Alt Sachsenhausen is the current favorite. Full range of Irish and German potables. Klappergasse 19, phone 9620-1322.
Blue Angel—A disco for gay people of all ages. Open nightly at 11 pm. Bronnerstrasse 17, phone 282-772.
Discotheque Zone—This popular gay disco welcomes crowds Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Alte Gasse 5, phone 291-356.
Galerie—This club is popular with younger hipsters. Three dance floors, live performances, art exhibits and food. Dusseldorfer Strasse 1-7, phone 230-171.
King Kamehameha Club—Frequently voted Frankfurt's best disco, they've recently added a bit of live music. Hanauer Landstrasse 192, phone 9441-1015.
L.O.F.T. House—Music ranges from techno to '60s rock to '70s disco, sometimes live and sometimes with deejays. Hanauer Landstrasse 181-185, phone 943-4480.
U60311—This "in" club of the moment is a true mecca for techno fans because it's the home base for internationally famed deejay Sven Vath. Rossmarkt, phone 2970-60311.
Jazz Haus—As the name suggests, jazz and just jazz. Kleine Bockenheimer Strasse 12, phone 287-194.
Jazz Kneipe—Fans of swing music and dancing flock there. Berliner Strasse 70, phone 287-173.
Jazz Life Podium—In addition to jazz, performances include rock 'n' roll and soul. Kleine Rittergasse 22, phone 626-346.
Jazzkeller—The most famous of Frankfurt's jazz clubs is just around the corner from the Fressgass. Kleine Bockenheimer Strasse 18a, phone 288-537.
"Things to do"
The Stadtwald (city forest) is the best spot for walking, jogging or bike rides. Gruneburg Park is another good place to go jogging. There are nice bike paths along the Main River (easy) and Nidda River (more strenuous). If you're looking for indoor activities, try Titus Thermen. In addition to its swimming pool and sauna, it also has squash courts and a bowling alley.
The Stadtwald is probably the easiest place to go biking. It can be reached within 20 minutes from downtown via Sachsenhausen (with one long, steep hill). To avoid traffic, take a bus or the S-Bahn. Take Bus 36 to the last stop (bus marked Sachsenhausen Hainer Weg). Or take S-Bahn S3 or S4 to the Louisa station. Bikes are allowed on buses and subways outside rush hours (Monday-Friday after 8:30 am and not from 4-6:30 pm).
An excellent bike path follows the Nidda River out of town. If you continue on it far enough, you'll end up in the Taunus Mountains. Note that this is a route for serious cyclists! You can take a much easier bike ride along the Main River all the way to Hochst. The bike path takes you to the Hochst Castle, built circa 1360 as a customs station for the archbishops of Mainz.
Frankfurter Golf Club e.V.—This is one of the country's top courses. Membership card from another club is required to play, and your handicap must be less than 28. Greens fee: 100 DM weekdays, 115 DM weekends and holidays. Golfplatz Golfstrasse 41, phone 666-2318.
Fitness Company Judokan GmbH—It's located at the Hauptwache. Hours vary by season, but generally they are 10 am-10 pm (till 8 pm on weekends). 35 DM for a full day. Zeil 109, phone 9637-3100.
HIKING AND WALKING
The Stadtwald is the best bet for in-town walking. Traversing the entire length provides a healthy walk. For interesting excursions out from the city, try hikes in the nearby Taunus Mountains or the Spessart Mountains.
Eissporthalle Frankfurt—Skating sessions run year round. Daily 9 am-10:30 pm. 10 DM adults, 8 DM for children. Skate rental costs 6 DM for three hours. Bornheimer Hang 4, phone 2123-0825.
You'll find jogging trails in several parks around town. One of the best areas is in the Gruneburg Park, adjoining the Palmengarten. The Ostpark in Roderbergweg is the city's largest park and a favorite of joggers. In the Stadtwald, trails wind among trees and bird sanctuaries and other animal enclosures. The Waldlehrpfad is an interesting, well-marked trail through the Stadtwald that leads past rare trees.
Rebstockbad—Wave pool, slides, heated indoor and outdoor pools, sunbeds, saunas, cafe and more. Monday 2-10 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-10 pm. Entrance to the swimming hall costs 8 DM for a weekday three-hour ticket. If you want to to swim and partake of the other offerings, you'll pay 25 DM for four hours. August Euler Strasse 7 (near the Messe), phone 708-078.
Titus Thermen—This is one fancy swimming pool, sauna and steam bath complex. Swimming hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am-10 pm, Sunday 9 am-8 pm. Swimming is included in the sauna price (7 DM for two hours, 25 DM for a full day). For swimming only, you still pay 7 DM for two hours, 10 DM for four hours. Walter Moller Platz 2 (Nordwest Zentrum, take the U1), phone 958-050. In the same complex are squash courts (phone 586-000) and a bowling alley (phone 958-0100).
"Places to stay"
Frankfurt has more than 150 hotels with more than 20,000 beds. Hotels tend to be very expensive, although some offer weekend discounts. Because of excellent commuter-train service, nearby cities such as Mainz and Wiesbaden can be very pleasant alternatives to staying in Frankfurt. During the numerous international trade fairs, many hotels impose surcharges and are frequently filled to capacity. Try to avoid Frankfurt at these times, unless you have business or interest in the fairs. Advance reservations are always advisable.
Below is a sampling of hotels; it is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Expect costs to fall within these general guidelines, based on the standard rate for a single room (when a trade fair is not in progress): $ = 100 DM-200 DM; $$ = 201 DM-300 DM; and $$$ = more than 300 DM.
Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel & Conf Center—No hotel is more convenient to the airport. It runs parallel to Terminal 1 and is connected by a walkway in Section C. Four-paned glass windows keep the comfortable guest rooms very quiet. Large, functional desks, the availability of fax machines in guest rooms, modem connections and proximity to downtown and the airport make it ideal for business travelers. Several very good restaurants, including the well-regarded Papillon, serve the hotel. Conferences for groups of six to 1,200 people. Business center, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and tanning beds. $$$. Flughafen Frankfurt/Main Terminal 1, Frankfurt. Phone 69-69770. Toll-free 00800-325-3535. Fax 69-6977-2209.
Steigenberger Airport Hotel Frankfurt—The main feature of a room there is the view of the airport's Terminal 2. It's a far cry from the luxury of the flagship hotel in downtown Frankfurt, but rooms are comfortable. Shuttle provided from Hall A in Terminal 1 and Exit DE in Terminal 2. Swimming pool and sauna. $$$. Unterschweinstiege 16, Frankfurt. Phone 69-69750. Toll-free 800-223-5652. Fax 69-75-25-05.
An der Messe Hotel—It's just half a block away from a major road, but that's distance enough to give this hotel more of a neighborhood feel. It's walking distance to the Festhalle, and even a standard room has the feel of a suite. $$. Westendstrasse 104, Frankfurt. Phone 69-74-79-79. Fax 69-74-83-49.
ArabellaSheraton Grand Hotel—This elegant hotel provides very lush surroundings. It's less than 10 years old and still looks new. Marble finishes and beautiful wood furnishings add to the stylishness. Rooms are comfortable, suites are enormous. The health club includes a pool, gym, sauna and tanning beds. Several excellent restaurants and a popular piano bar. Conference facilities hold 500. $$$. Konrad Adenauer Strasse 7, Frankfurt. Phone 69-29810. Toll-free 800-325-3535. Fax 69-298-1810.
Falk Hotel—A small, relatively low-cost, modern hotel located in the lively university neighborhood. $. Falkstrasse 38 A, Frankfurt. Phone 69-70-80-94.
Frankfurt Luxor Hotel—One of the better hotels in its price range. The only disadvantages are noisy traffic when the windows are open and the lack of air-conditioning. $-$$. Allerheiligentor 2-4, Frankfurt. Phone 69-29-30-67. Toll-free 800-448-8355. Fax 69-28-77-66.
Hilton Frankfurt—The latest top-class hotel and the first Hilton in town is one block from the stock exchange and not much farther from the Fressgass and Alte Oper. It received a prime location in the downtown greenbelt by agreeing to include a landmark public indoor swimming pool (open weekdays with admission charge, 6:30 am-3:30 pm). Has 342 rooms, a business center, 16 conference rooms (accommodating up to 585 persons) and video conference facilities. A special team called Meeting 2000 is on hand to organize in-house events. Also a fitness center, two restaurants and a bar. $$$. Hochstrasse 4, Frankfurt. Phone 69-1338-000. Toll-free 800-445-8667. Fax 69-1338-1338.
Hotel Hessischer Hof—Only the entrance suggests that this boxy building houses one of the classier hotels in town. Inside, the Old World feel of the dark lobby is a comfortable contrast to the bustle of the streets and the nearby Frankfurt Messe. Standard rooms are stocked with fresh fruit, bottled water, personal exercise equipment and even heated towels. People come from all over the city to enjoy Jimmy's American Piano Bar. Every evening from 6-8 pm, guests are invited to free drinks and snacks. Conference facilities for 120 people (up to 600 for buffet). $$$. Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 40, Frankfurt. Phone 69-75400. Toll-free 800-223-6800. Fax 69-7540-2924.
Hotel Inter-Continental Frankfurt—A 21-story international luxury hotel overlooking the river. Has restaurants, bars and fitness facilities, including swimming pool, sauna and gym. Also 16 conference rooms, banquet rooms and a ballroom for up to 800 people. Within walking distance of the Hauptbahnhof (five minutes) and Messe Frankfurt (15 minutes). $$$. Wilhelm-Leuschner Strasse 43, Frankfurt. Phone 69-26050. Toll-free 800-327-0200. Fax 69-25-24-67.
Hotel Munchner Hof—This moderately priced hotel with recently renovated rooms is a few minutes from the Hauptbahnhof and a 15-minute walk from Messe Frankfurt. Room price includes breakfast buffet. $. Munchner Strasse 46, Frankfurt. Phone 69-23-00-66.
Hotel Pension West—This small hotel is a low-cost alternative. Rooms are spare, but everything is clean and the staff is friendly. Located near the university and not too far from the Messe. $. Grafstrasse 81, Frankfurt. Phone 69-247-9020. Fax 69-707-5309.
Le Meridien Parkhotel—This historic luxury hotel dates from 1905 (last renovated in 1996) and served as the U.S. press center after World War II. Its facade enjoys the status of a historic monument. Has sauna, fitness center, 14 banquet and meeting rooms for up to 240 persons, business services, a gourmet restaurant and bars. Stands across a broad square from the Hauptbahnhof and is also a 15-minute walk from Messe Frankfurt. $$$. Wiesenhuettenplatz 28-38, Frankfurt. Phone 69-26970. Toll-free 800-543-4300. Fax 69-269-7884.
Marriott Hotel—A tall, white tower in the business center of Frankfurt. Guest rooms are on the 27th to 44th floors. Large lobby and guest rooms, excellent service, friendly staff. Health club with well-stocked fitness area. Conference facilities for 10 to 1,000. Secretarial services available. $$. Hamburger Allee 2-10, Frankfurt. Phone 69-79550. Toll-free 800-228-9290. Fax 69-7955-2432.
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof—Since 1872, this has been a first-class hotel—known locally as the Frankfurter Hof. Elegant courtyard and elaborately decorated halls and stairways. Outstanding service and well-appointed rooms. Conference facilities for 10-450 people. $$$. Am Kaiserplatz, PO Box 160361, Frankfurt. Phone 69-21502. Toll-free 0-180 524 2828. Fax 69-21-59-00.
"Whats going on in 2002"
Frankfurt, more than just a hub for transport and commerce, is also known as the "City of Festivals." Notable among these celebrations are the Book Fair, Christmas markets and the spring and fall Dippemess. Concerts—both classical and pop—take place nightly at Frankfurt's Alte Oper; pop stars often perform at the Festhalle. The famous Tigerpalast (Heiligkreuzgasse 16-20, phone 920-0220) is a magnet, always drawing crowds with its unusual theater-nightclub-circus productions. A good source of information about events taking place is the Frankfurter Journal.
If you call any of the telephone numbers listed below from outside Germany, you must first dial your country's international access code, then Germany's country code, 49, followed by Frankfurt's city code, 69.
Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.
1 Jan—New Year's Day. Public holiday.
1-6 Jan—Art Exhibit. "Duane Hanson: More Than Reality." More than 30 works by the U.S. artist. Schirn Kunsthalle, Am Romerberg 6a. Phone 2998-8211. Concludes 6 Jan.
1-27 Jan—Exhibit. "Blood: Symbol of Power, Belief and Sickness." The multifaceted symbolic role of blood in Mayan religious sacrifice, Christian tradition, powerful political dynasties and 20th-century Western art. Schirn Kunsthalle, Am Romerberg 6a. Phone 2998-8211. Concludes 27 Jan.
Throughout January—Dance. Ballett Frankfurt performs regularly in the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz and at the Bockenheimer Depot, U-Bahnhof Bockenheimer Warte. For tickets, call 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout January—Opera. Oper Frankfurt performs regularly at the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz. For schedule information and tickets, phone 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout January—Art Exhibit. "Change of Scene XX" is the Museum of Modern Art's latest showing of its contemporary international works. Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Domstrasse 10. Phone 2123-0447. Continues through mid March.
Throughout February—Dance. Ballett Frankfurt performs regularly in the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz and at the Bockenheimer Depot, U-Bahnhof Bockenheimer Warte. For tickets, call 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout February—Opera. Oper Frankfurt performs regularly at the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz. For schedule information and tickets, phone 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout February—Art Exhibit. "Change of Scene XX" is the Museum of Modern Art's latest showing of its contemporary international works. Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Domstrasse 10. Phone 2123-0447. Continues through mid March.
Early-Mid March—Art Exhibit. "Change of Scene XX" is the Museum of Modern Art's latest showing of its contemporary international works. Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Domstrasse 10. Phone 2123-0447. Concludes mid March.
29 Mar—Good Friday. Public holiday.
31 Mar—Easter Holidays. Public holidays. Continues through 1 Apr.
Throughout March—Dance. Ballett Frankfurt performs regularly in the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz and at the Bockenheimer Depot, U-Bahnhof Bockenheimer Warte. For tickets, call 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout March—Opera. Oper Frankfurt performs regularly at the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz. For schedule information and tickets, phone 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
1 Apr—Easter Holidays. Public holidays. Final day.
Throughout April—Dance. Ballett Frankfurt performs regularly in the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz and at the Bockenheimer Depot, U-Bahnhof Bockenheimer Warte. For tickets, call 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout April—Opera. Oper Frankfurt performs regularly at the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz. For schedule information and tickets, phone 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
1 May—Labor Day. Public holiday.
9 May—Ascension. Public holiday.
20 May—Whitmonday. Public holiday.
30 May—Corpus Christi. Public holiday.
Throughout May—Dance. Ballett Frankfurt performs regularly in the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz and at the Bockenheimer Depot, U-Bahnhof Bockenheimer Warte. For tickets, call 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.
Throughout May—Opera. Oper Frankfurt performs regularly at the Opernhaus on Willy Brandt Platz. For schedule information and tickets, phone 2123-7999 or fax 2123-7222. Continues through late June.