Frankfurt is the biggest city in the State of Hessen, the financial and business capital of Germany. The city is notorious for its futuristic skyline and one of the busiest European airports. Conveniently positioned on the river Main, Frankfurt is the transportation and logistics hub of Europe and an essential financial cluster for the world economy. It is home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Frankfurt is an eclectic city filled with contrasts. The most avant-garde skyscrapers peacefully coexist with a carefully preserved medieval legacy, while the wealthiest bankers live side by side with auspicious students. The center of the city, which encircles the Romer square, boasts an exceptional cultural landscape and museums that attract millions of tourists every year. At the same time, neighborhoods like Nordend, Sachsenhausen, and Bockenheim offer visitors and residents charming 19th-century streets and parks.
Frankfurt is a European powerhouse and one of the best locations to look for a job in Germany. It is the backbone of international banking and finance, as well as the headquarters of many tech, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies. The city is also a key transportation hub and always has plenty of jobs to offer for high-skilled employees from the logistics sector. Frankfurt is truly cosmopolitan and willing to accept newcomers with a basic to mediocre level of German. The city is also an attractive destination for young professional expats.
The most pleasant time of the year in Frankfurt is late spring to early autumn. The summer is usually warm and sunny, with a median temperature of 77°F (25°C). However, be prepared for the occasional heat waves with temperatures reaching 95°F (35°C) and weeks with light rain. Winters here tend to be mild with rare snow. The temperature rarely goes below 14°F (-10°C).
There are all sorts of cuisines and gourmet venues in Frankfurt. The most popular dining spot among the city residents is the area known as Fressgass, the name of which — the Grazing Street speaks for itself. Fressgass features a diverse array of delis, cafes, and restaurants conveniently located next to the biggest shopping centers, so it’s a perfect spot for a lunch break in between your shopping spree. This street also hosts food festivals with stands of the local producers.
The city is culturally and ethnically diverse, with the highest percentage of people with foreign citizenship in the country — they represent about 28% of Frankfurt residents. Additionally, around 51% of the population has immigrant background. Frankfurt has a large immigrant population from Turkey, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Japan, and India. It also has the second-largest Korean diaspora in Europe, as well as Germany’s largest Sri Lankan community. When it comes to religion, historically, Frankfurt was a city dominated by protestants. Although, starting from the 19th century, other denominations overtook the number of protestants. As of 2014, Protestants amounted to 20% of the population, and Catholics represented 23% of inhabitants. The Muslim community comprises approximately 12% of the city residents.
Frankfurt is generally safer than major metropolitan areas in the United States or Asia. Nevertheless, it’s the city with the highest crime rate per capita in the country. This can be partially attributed to bureaucratic issues. For instance, any fraud concerning credit cards is registered in Frankfurt since the majority of credit card clearing companies are based here. Similarly, every smuggling case that happens in the Frankfurt airport — one of the main European gateways — is also registered here. The violent crime rate is relatively low, with those crimes concentrated around central train stations and certain parts of Bahnhofsviertel. Those areas are considered the main centers of drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Generally, Frankfurt is a safe city with a low frequency of actual physical crimes — if you follow common sense safety precautions, you should be alright.
The city on Main is an exemplary place for shopping. It caters to tourists’ needs and those of locals, so here you can find both great bargains and luxurious upscale things. The majority of shopping venues are located in the city center. The majority of shops are open until 8 PM, though some of the larger malls may close at 9 PM or 10 PM. In general, shops are closed on Sundays. Start at Zeil — the most popular shopping street in Frankfurt that also hosts a beautiful Christmas market. Further on, you can go to Goethestrasse, which is home to luxury boutiques, or head to Berger street with many smaller independent stores.
Frankfurt is a place where all major railways and autobahns intersect in Germany. In addition to 710,000 residents of the city, 350,000 people commute from the metropolitan area every day. What’s more, around 3 million people visit the city each week from nearby towns. Frankfurt has a vast and well-established transport infrastructure that consists of the S-Bahn urban rail system, underground metro, trams, and buses. The public transit in the city is integrated with the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund network that includes multiple carriers which all use the same fare system. Thanks to this system, you can switch up to seven modes of transportation on a single-fair ticket. A single ticket costs between €1.80 and €2.80, and a trip to the outskirts of town will cost you between €4.65 and €9.10.
Sachsenhausen is known as the old center of Frankfurt. Its cobbled streets and small squares give the area plenty of character and a bohemian feel. Sachsenhausen is famous for apple wine, and it has a high concentration of bars, which is ideal for pub crawls and tasting tours. You can always head to one of the countless pubs, cafes, or clubs if you want to spend the night out. However, this district also has plenty to offer those who have other interests, such as shopping. The main retail street Schweizer Strasse provides an eclectic mix of boutiques that are perfect for picking up souvenirs to take home. Sachsenhausen is one of the most populated neighborhoods, popular among young people who are attracted to this vibrant district. Here you can find apartments for rent for a relatively low price.
Höchst became world-famous as the location of the industrial site of the former Hoechst AG company. Not so many people know that this district has a picturesque historic old town with timber-framed buildings. Ideally placed on the bank of the Main River, Höchst is a noteworthy stop, with medieval streets to walk through and historical sites to look at. Starting from 1972, Frankfurt's oldest district has been an officially preserved site of historical interest. It boasts iconic buildings such as the Bolongaro Palace, the city fortifications, the Customs Tower, and the Old Town Hall.
Until a few years ago, Kalbach, with its cozy town center, was one of those peaceful suburban villages. Everything changed when the new residential development areas and, more importantly, commercial areas were planned. By 2004, here was built the Frankfurt Fresh Produce Centre — the central wholesale market in the city. Nonetheless, this neighborhood is like no other part of Frankfurt, and it still maintains its small-town feel and friendly residents. The neighborhood is famous for its large sports and leisure center that meets Olympic requirements. The Riedberg has been transformed into the largest new development area in the city. By 2017, authorities built 6,000 apartments and houses for over 15,000 people. Many of them work at the Frankfurt University, which has already established various campuses here. The Max Planck Institute for Biophysics, Frankfurt Innovation Center for Biotechnology, and Merz Pharma are located in the new Science City as well.
Rödelheim is booming right now — firstly, thanks to the German air traffic control office, which decided to establish their headquarters in this charming district. On the streets of Rödelheim, you can also notice many IT professionals — the largest Frankfurt IT cluster is situated here on Eschborner Landstrasse and brings several hundred jobs to the district. Despite all this upheaval, there is also tranquil Rödelheim which its residents know and love. The Petri House in the quiet Brentano park is a magnet for creative artists — a certain gentleman named Goethe is said to have spent the night there.
Niederrad is one of the smaller districts of Frankfurt, but it has some spectacular sights to offer. The old town in this area undoubtedly preserved its charm. However, the district architecture is more characterized by the Bruchfeldstrasse housing development, designed and built in 1927 by the Frankfurt city planner and architect Ernst May. Due to its unique angular facade arrangement, it is also called “zigzag houses.” The Blue Towers are another well-known spot — thousands of people work here every day. In the summer months, the Niederrad Main bank is a popular vacation spot — on the upstream Main Island, the Frankfurt residents enjoy the sun and relax. Another green oasis loved by many is Elli Lucht Park.
Everyone in Germany knows Ostend for its most famous trademark — Frankfurt Zoo. But, there are so many other things to explore in the area! A great example could be the Fritz Rémond Theater and Dr. Hoch's Conservatory. Generally, Ostend is filled with cultural institutions and has something to offer to any art lover, whether they seek a theater, cinema, art gallery, or live concert. You can go to the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm theater, the former Naxoshalle factory that became a cultural center, or the International Ensemble Modern Academy. It is always wild and loud in the clubs along Hanauer Landstrasse, which has transformed from a grubby industrial area into a trendy creative street with striking architecture that continues to evolve and develop. An illustration of gentrification is Union Halle — what once was an old brewery became a creative space with offices, clubs, restaurants, bars, and shops around.
Since its incorporation into Frankfurt, Bockenheim has been an integral part of the city. This district accommodates one of the campuses of Goethe University Frankfurt, that’s why a large part of Bockenhein is always filled with students. This spirit is even stronger thanks to the university library, various theaters, little cafes, and typically German pubs. Of course, you will also not be disappointed if you want to spend a night out. But, if you get tired of the constant hassle of promising young students and the never-ending party near Bockenheimer Warte, there are plenty of places for escape! Start with the beautiful Rebstockpark, where you can have a picnic, explore nature, or simply enjoy the sunny day.