Frankfurt sights in the city center
What does Frankfurt am Main offer? Which Frankfurt sights in the city center are worth a visit? We discovered on a flying visit that Frankfurt sightseeing is exciting. Driving through the city center after our Journey through Hessen we noticed how attractive the city on the Main is. High-rise buildings, which have earned the city the nickname Mainhattan, indicate its financial strength. With their diversity, they inspire fans of modern architecture. But there is also the old town. There you will find the town hall from the 15th century. With its stepped gable facade, the Römer is one of the city's landmarks. There are also half-timbered houses in Sachsenhausen. Bars are grouped along the cobbled streets where the innkeepers serve apple wine to accompany specialties from the region.
Sights Frankfurt am Main – What is there to discover in Frankfurt?
Marita Sinden was born in Frankfurt. She knows the attractions in the city on the Main and knows which ones are worth a visit. She introduces them in her guest post. Discover the sights in downtown Frankfurt while sightseeing in Frankfurt.
10 sights in downtown Frankfurt
Maintower, Römer, Goethehaus, Museumufer and much more. The sights of downtown Frankfurt can be easily reached on foot in one day.
I grew up near Frankfurt and have already guided many visitors through Frankfurt, showing them the sights and drawing their attention to Frankfurt's specialties.
Frankfurt city center map
Frankfurter Zeil – Frankfurt attraction for shopping fans
We start our walk at the Hauptwache S- and U-Bahn station. This is where the Zeil, Frankfurt's shopping mile, begins. The Zeil was already a grand street in the 18th century and is now one of Europe's top-selling shopping streets.
Before we get lost in the jumble of shops, we walk in the direction of the old town and Römer, past the baroque St. Katharinenkirche, the main Protestant community in Frankfurt, in the direction of the Main.
On the way it is worth stopping at the Paulskirche, which is considered the birthplace of democracy in Germany. The first representatives of the people met here in 1848. An exhibition in the church is a reminder of this.
Frankfurt old town
A visit to Frankfurt's old town is also recommended. It was almost completely destroyed in World War II. Office buildings were built here in the post-war period. But between 2012 and 2018 the old town was reconstructed according to old plans. The project was very controversial at the beginning. Critics called it a "project of the political elites". Nowadays, the reconstruction is considered successful. It has won awards and attracts visitors. Here is also the Struwwelpeter Museum, which is reminiscent of the children's book by the Frankfurt doctor Heinrich Hoffmann from 1844.
Sachsenhausen old town
Not far from there is Sachsenhausen's old town. This is where the cider pubs, bars and restaurants are concentrated. The best known is the Klappergasse. Irish pubs, shisha bars, Cubanitas, Hooters, but also Bavarian beer bars are concentrated in Kleine Rittergasse. It's quieter on Wallstrasse.
Römer – famous building in Frankfurt
The Römer has been the city's town hall and landmark since the 15th century. That is why many buildings from the past are grouped on the Römerberg.
Are to be mentioned
- Alte Nikolaikirche
- Frauenstein and Salzhaus houses
- Well of Justice
- Half-timbered row of houses
- Historical Museum.
Folk festivals have been celebrated here since the 12th century. Those who are lucky enough to visit Frankfurt during Advent will find the Frankfurt Christmas Market here.
Kaiserdom - Frankfurt landmark in the city center
St. Bartholomäus is the most imposing church in Frankfurt. It is actually not a cathedral because a bishop never resided here. But the honorary title is justified by the role as the electoral and coronation church of the Roman-German emperors. In the 19th century in particular, the cathedral was a symbol of national unity. Friends of church art should visit the cathedral museum. If you feel like it, you can also climb the 66 meter high tower and enjoy a view over Frankfurt, with the skyline of the bank towers and the outline of the Taunus Mountains behind.
What cool things can you do in Frankfurt?
Culinary highlights and sights in downtown Frankfurt
If you are hungry now, you can get supplies in the old town. A good selection of Restaurants in downtown Frankfurt here.
The House of the Golden Scales is one of the Renaissance half-timbered houses destroyed by the bombing of March 1944. It is one of the reconstructions of the Dom-Römer project. It can now be visited again through the entrance to the Historical Museum.
But now there is also one in the Golden Libra coffeehouse. There you can taste cakes like the Frankfurter Kranz and other delicacies.
The Old town butcher and sausage roastery Dey has all Frankfurt sausage specialties. The meat sausage in particular should be tried here. If you get hungry, you can also try a grilled Frankfurt beef sausage here. Because “Wurstbraterei” is an old word for “snack bar.”
If you would like to take souvenirs home with you, visit the Kleinmarkthalle. The market hall was first put into operation in 1879. During the Second World War it was completely destroyed. Since 1954 it has been rebuilt. Here you will find sausage, cheese, baked goods and antipasti. A must for every gourmet.
Eiserner Steg - View of the Frankfurt sights in the city center
The Iron Bridge is a pedestrian bridge. It connects Frankfurt's old town with the district of Sachsenhausen. The locks of Frankfurters who have just fallen in love hang on this bridge.
In addition to the Eiserner Steg, you have the opportunity to take a boat trip across the Main. In good weather this is definitely recommended.
Museumsufer walk to the Frankfurt sights in the city center
On the other side of the Eiserner Steg one arrives at the Museumsufer in Frankfurt.
There are ten museums in Frankfurt alone. Above all the Städel Museum, one of the most important German art collections. If you would like to visit one of the museums, it is best to find out beforehand this website, as there are always special exhibitions on top of that. These are Frankfurt sights in the city center.
From the Museumsufer you also have a view of the city side of Frankfurt. We walk west along the banks of the Main, lined with poplars.
After a short walk we come to the Untermainbrücke, which we cross and walk towards the Goethe House.
Goethe-Haus - one of the Frankfurt sights in the city center
The Goethe House is located on the Großer Hirschgraben. The poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born here in 1749. Apart from his studies in Leipzig, he lived there until he went to Weimar in 1775. The house where he was born is now a museum, offering a glimpse into the poet's early life. There is also a picture gallery with works from the time of Goethe. These are sights in Frankfurt's city center that are worth a visit.
Alte Oper - one of the Frankfurt attractions in the city center
We then return to the main station. From there it goes via the Fressgasse, as the street is popularly known because of the restaurants, to the Alte Oper.
The opera house, built at the end of the 19th century, was completely destroyed in an air raid in 1944. Reconstruction of the building did not begin until 1976. In 1981 it was finally reopened as a concert and congress hall. The Opernplatz with the fountain is a meeting place for Frankfurters and the Opernplatzfest takes place here in summer, offering culinary delights.
Main Tower - one of the Frankfurt sights in the city center
If you still haven't had enough, you can also visit the MAIN TOWER at the Taunusanlage. At a height of 200 meters you can enjoy a view over Frankfurt, the Main and the Taunus with the 881 meter high Feldberg on a clear day.
Excursions in Frankfurt
Anyway, here you can Day trips from Frankfurt*
Beautiful places on the Main and excursion destinations in the area
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a mobile home? Then you will find information and a selection of here booking options. Rent a motorhome or a camper near you here. Or would you prefer to stay overnight in a roof tent on the car? In addition, the overnight stay in camping tent is possible.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- At the Mainkur campsite, Frankfurter Landstraße 107, 63477 Maintal, you can stay overnight directly on the Main. But there are more campsites near Frankfurt. There you can after a day trip in a Dutch Oven or on the portable grill or maybe on that Campfire after a day trip .
- Practical accessories for the mobile home you can also find here.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
About the co-author
Marita Sinden grew up near Frankfurt. She runs the blog, MyDinner.co.uk in English, presenting German food culture and recipes in English for international readers. She lived in England for a long time and now lives in Bremen with her family. We thank her for her contribution about the sights in Frankfurt's city center.
Questions and Answers
How many inhabitants does Frankfurt have?
With around 765.000 inhabitants, Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in Hesse and the fifth largest city in Germany.
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Frankfurt has the largest airport in Germany. Flights from all over the world also land here. It is also possible to travel by train.
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Guest article about Frankfurt attractions city center
Text Frankfurt Sights downtown: (c) Marita Sinden
Photos of Frankfurt sights of the city center: (c) see captions