Fun things to do in Frankfurt am Main

  • Kaiserdom from my balcony, Frankfurt
    Kaiserdom from my balcony, Frankfurt
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    Frankfurt on the Main
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    Alte Opera, Frankfurt
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Frankfurt am Main

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    Bridge: Eiserner Steg

    by Joumaky Updated Jan 26, 2014

    Eisner Steg is a pedestrian bridge connecting the two banks of the main river. It should be renamed "Lovers Bridge" because of the hundreds of locks hanging on either side. Lovers engrave their initials and hang the lock to ensure everlasting love

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    Former Boerneplatz Synagogue/Old Jewish Cemetery

    by Airpunk Written Jan 21, 2014

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    Frankfurt's main synagogue was built in 1882 on the spot of a hospital in the former Jewish Ghetto. On November 9th 1938, it was destroyed by Nazi mobs and pulled down afterwards. Boerneplatz (Boerne Square) itself was renamed “Dominikanerplatz” in 1935 already – Ludwig Boerne was a Jewish literary critic.
    When post-WWII reconstruction began, the streets around Boerneplatz were not rebuilt in their original way. The big Kurt-Schumacher-Strasse was built and on the spot of the former synagogue, a flower market hall and a gas station were built. Only a marble tone placed by the Allied troops in 1946 commemorated the spot of the former synagogue. The former Boerneplatz became isolated from the main streets. In the late 1970s, the flower market was demolished and Boerneplatz got its original name back again. However, it took until the 1990s, to give the area a more dignified appearance. The remains of the former Jewish Ghetto were preserved as part of the Judengasse Museum (see separate tip), a metal frame showing the shape of the former synagogue was placed in the ground. The Old Jewish cemetery was encircled with a wall, including commemoration plaques for every Jewish Frankfurt citizen who was killed during the shoa/holocaust. A monument in form of a stone cube and trees is located behind the cemetery at Rechneigrabenstrasse. All these spots form the so-called “Gedenkstätte Neuer Boerneplatz” (Memorial Place New Boerne Square).

    The Old Jewish cemetery is the second oldest of its kind in Germany and was in use since the late 12th century. In the mid-19th century, it was given up. The Nazis destroyed many of the graves in the 1930s and 1940s, especially to use the tombstones as building material. However, they did not succeed in a complete destruction and some tombs and tombstones (especially 17th and 18th century) were still intact when the war ended. The cemetery is permanently closed. A key can be borrowed from the Judengasse Museum (you'll need a passport or national ID card for that). Guided tours are provided by the museum on request as well.

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    Hammering Man

    by Airpunk Written Jan 13, 2014

    Jonathan Borofsky has placed different versions of this metal sculpture in several cities over the world. The sculpture's arm moves and in some cities, it looks like the man is hammering against a building. Frankfurt's Hammering Man is free standing and does not hit anything at all with his hammer. It was placed in front of the exhibition halls (Messe) in 1991. With 23 metres, it is the tallest of the Hammering Man series worldwide.
    The Hammering Man is often placed in business districts of wealthy cities. The sculpture stands for solidarity with the working class.

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    Sees Near The Airport

    by briantravelman Written Jan 7, 2014

    "See" is the German word for "lake". There are a lot of these small sees, located next to the airport. Most of them are artificial lakes, that were made for mining. Some of them are only for mining, but a lot of them have a mine on one side, and a swimming beach on the other side. They are also nice places for a walk.
    The most popular swimming beach is at Waldsee.
    These lakes are good places to visit, if you have a few hour stopover in Frankfurt. If you want to leave the airport, but don't want to head all the way into the city center, you can take a cab to one of the lakes, relax for a few hours, than head back to the airport, and catch your connecting flight.
    There might be a problem getting a ride back, and walking is not a good idea, but you can always have someone call a cab for you, or give you a ride back. You can also try to arrange a pick up time with your cab driver, or have him dispatch another pick up. It's a good idea to write this down on a piece of paper for him, so he will remember. It's also a good idea to jot down the number of the cab company, or ask for his cell phone number, so you can get in contact with him.
    Whatever you do, remember to be back at the airport at least 2 hours before your connecting flight.
    The lakes are close to the airport, so this shouldn't be a problem. I would limit my visit to Langener Waldsee though, it is the largest, and most popular lake, and it's close to the airport. This lake is also the site of the swimming portion of the Frankfurter Sparkasse IRONMAN.
    If you have more time, you can visit more of the lakes. You can also visit these lakes, if you're looking for a little bit of nature in Frankfurt.

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    Main Cemetery Frankfurt

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 13, 2013

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    The main cemetery of Frankfurt dates back to the 18th century; many graves date back to the 19th century. As many affluent and some famous citizens were buried here, those older tombs and gravestones often have the quality of neo-classical-style monuments. Apart from that, it is a very peaceful, quiet and beautiful place.

    One grave marked by a simple cross is dedicated to "Paulinchen". She was daughter to a friend of Heinrich Hoffmann, the author of the "Struwwelpeter" children`s book. When she died young, he dedicated a chapter in his book to the charakter "Paulinchen", thus making her immortal.

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    Eintracht Frankfurt Museum

    by Airpunk Updated Oct 1, 2013

    Football fans will enjoy the Eintracht Frankfurt Museum which has a good exhibition about Frankfurt's largest professional football club. It does not only include old jerseys, pictures and tickets, but also short films, a critical exhibition about the Eintracht in the Nazi years and thousands of other items. The exhibits regarding May 16th 1992 are hidden in a black cupboard which you have to open. On this day, Eintracht lost a match under unlucky circumstances which costed them their first Bundesliga championship. If you don't want to spoil the surprise what is in that case, skip the second picture. The only drawback about the exhibition is the language: Everything is in German...
     
    Entry fee is 5,00 EUR for adults, concessions 3,50 EUR, FrankfurtCard holders 2,50 EUR, Frankfurt Museumsufer card holders free (2013). On days where there is an Eintracht Frankfurt home match, the museum is open from two hours to fifteen minutes before the match starts. Only those with a valid ticket for the match are granted entry and you still have to pay the entry fee on top of that!
     
    This place is obviously something for football fans only, but those with a little interest in German football history and culture will enjoy it.
     
    Oh, and one info: Wearing something from a rival football club (especially Kaiserslautern and Offenbach, sometimes Mainz) is allowed, but may bring you into trouble. FSV Frankfurt stuff is surprisingly OK - both big Frankfurt clubs treat each other like older and younger siblings.

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    Urban art: Ghostown / City ghosts

    by Airpunk Updated Oct 1, 2013

    This project and style has made it around the world and the frienly ghosts can be found in many of the bigger cities worldwide. Frankfurt has probably one of the biggest concentrations and you can see over 1000 of them in the city. The most famous house is Berger Str. 8 (close to the Japanese Garden) where two artists had the permission to give their creatureas a new home.
     
    The city ghost has an unofficial website (see below), the following link shows a large gallery, mainly with Frankfurt photos:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alles-banane/sets/72157626832778114/with/6322129265/

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    Bull and Bear

    by Airpunk Written Oct 1, 2013

    The two sculptures were commissioned in 1985 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Frankfurt Stock exchange. It was placed on its current spot when the Börsenplatz was redesigned in 1988. The sculptures are well known in Germany and are the most famous work of German artist Reinhard Dachlauer.

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    Eschenheimer Turm

    by Airpunk Written Oct 1, 2013

    Once Frankfurt has a huge fortification system with over sixty towers. The Eschenheimer Turm became one of the best known landmarks in Frankfurt's old town. It was finished in 1428, but already used in the 14th century. In 1815, the local authorities decided to pull down the former city walls and towers. Only an intervention by the Napoleonic occupation forces protected the Eschenheimer Turm from destruction. It is one of only three preserved medieval towers in Frankfurt. Today, there is a restaurant located in it.
    The parks to the left and right of the tower follow the former city wall.

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    Hauptwache

    by Airpunk Written Sep 30, 2013

    When Frankfurt was a city state, its guards were policemen and soldiers in one. Their headquarters were in this building which was completed in 1730. The Hauptwache also had a small prison. During the German reunification process, Frankfurt lost the status of an independent city state in 1866 and the city guard units were dissolved and the prison given up. Until 1905, the building was used by the police for several purposes. Since then, the Hauptwache has been converted into a restaurant. In the 2nd world war, the building was completely destroyed. The restaurant moved into a provisional building in 1954. The current building is a reconstruction which was built after the metro station was finished in 1968.
    Today the Hauptwache is a traditional restaurant which is unsuccessfully trying to get a modern image.

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    Farben / Abrams / Poelzig Building

    by Nemorino Updated Aug 1, 2013

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    This is the only large building in Frankfurt that was not bombed during the Second World War. Legend has it that General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the building spared so he could use it as his post-war headquarters.

    It was built 1928-1931 for a huge German chemical trust called I.G. Farben. From the name, it sounds like a paint company, and if they had only stuck to making paint the world would perhaps be a better place, but they also made noxious chemicals including the poison gas that murdered millions at Auschwitz and elsewhere. Needless to say this company was dishonorably disbanded after the war.

    My first visit to this building was when it was the headquarters of the US Army's V Corps and was still called the I.G. Farben Building. I was in my early twenties and had to report there for a medical examination to see if I was healthy enough to be drafted into the US Army.

    At this point I had been cycling around Europe for a year and a half, so I was nothing if not healthy. The examining doctor did his best to find some obscure ailment, but in the end shrugged and said: "I'm afraid you'll do."

    (I can't find a photo of myself from this period, but I can assure you that my appearance was decidedly non-military, to say the least.)

    In 1975 the Americans renamed the building, calling it the General Creighton W. Abrams Building after one of the losing generals of the Vietnam war -- a name that never caught on locally.

    After the American military pulled out of Frankfurt in 1995, the building was again renamed. It is now the Poelzig Building, after the architect who originally designed and built it, and is the center of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University's new Westend Campus -- the first real campus they have ever had in the North American sense of the word.

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    Europaturm

    by antistar Updated Jul 22, 2013

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    On the outskirts of the city, in the suburb of Ginnheim, is Frankfurt's tallest building, the Europa Turm. Known by locals as the "Ginnheimer Spargel" (The Asparagus of Ginnheim), this giant television tower reaches up 335 meters, making it the second highest in Germany after Berlin's own Fernsehturm. When it was built, in 1979, it was tallest structure in Western Europe. It remains one of the tallest in all of Europe.

    Unfortunately its viewing platform has been closed to the public for some years now, and there are no plans to re-open it in the near future.

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    IG Farben Building

    by antistar Written Jul 22, 2013

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    From dyes to death - the IG Farben Building has had a chequered history. It started life as a fine piece of architecture - the largest office building in Europe and a masterpiece of simple administrative elegance. But then came world war two and the purveyors of dyes (farben) became the purveyors of death - the Zyklon B poison gas that killed over a million people in the Holocaust. When the war ended, so did the company, in ignominy and shame, with only its name left as a shell company to pay compensation to its victims.

    The building gained respectability after the war. It became the headquarters for the Supreme Allied Command, and some of the most significant moments in German history were planned and executed here, like the Marshall Plan which helped rebuild Germany and post-war Europe, and the designs for a new Federal German government. The US handed the building back to Germany in 1995, and since then it has been part of the University of Frankfurt. It has been renovated and re-purposed, with delightful sculptures dotting the gardens and a plaque in the entrance that commemorates the victims of its original owners.

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    Palmengarten

    by antistar Written Jul 5, 2013

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    Frankfurt's botanical gardens, the Palmengarten, are a serene getaway from the busy streets of the city centre. Within sight of the skyscrapers you can sit in peace within the sculpted gardens or step inside the beautiful greenhouses to enjoy the tropical plants. The gardens are also perfect for children, complete with a miniature railway and an extensive play area with a jungle for kids to explore and get lost in.

    A piece of history: Buffalo Bill brought his Wild West Show here in 1890.

    Entry costs 5 euros.

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    Bethmann Park

    by antistar Updated Jul 4, 2013

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    One of the many parks that ring Frankfurt's inner city, Bethmann is famous for its tranquil walled Chinese garden, built in 1990 in memory of the victims of Tienanmen Square. Inside you will be whisked away to another part of the world. The garden is an authentic design, based on the teachings of Feng Shui. Almost everything is imported from China, right down to the litter-boxes. It doesn't feel like Frankfurt at all.

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