First-time visitors to Frankfurt should not miss:

  • a visit to the renowned Römer market square and the Paulskirche (where Germany made its first attempts at democracy in 1848)
  • a round of apple wine ("Äppler") and a sampling of the hearty local food in one of the traditional restaurants in Sachsenhausen (along the Schweizer Str or Textor Str) many of which have open-air wine gardens in the back
  • a leisurely stroll along the south side of the Main river promenade which runs parallel to the highly recommended Museum mile and offers phenomenal views of the Frankfurt skyline; most of the museums have popular cafés (especially the Liebighaus) which you can visit without buying a ticket for the museum
  • a visit atop the MainTower and its open-air public platform/bar/restaurant (there is hardly a more elevated/elevating view you'll get of a city in Europe other than from the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the "Eye" Ferris wheel in London); there is an entrance fee to get atop the building
  • a visit to the Alte Oper market square (one of the more impressive opera structures in Europe) and the adjoining Fressgass with its many outdoor cafés
  • a visit to the birthplace of Germany's most famous author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the "Goethehaus" (near the Hauptwache)
  • a cultural excursion to the Staedel Museum with its impressive collection of impressionists, expressionists, naturalists and typical local artists (the painting of Goethe in Italy being the most well-known)
  • a shopping excursion to the surprisingly spacious Kleinmarkthalle (the grocery market hall; similar to Covent Garden in London) is an absolute must (it is about half-way  from the Zeil to the Roemer); the colorfoul display of foods and plants, free food samples, intriguing aromas and hustle/bustle of the shopkeepers are a sight to behold

For an extended visit be sure not to miss:

  • a visit to the Frankfurt zoo (a family favorite) with its famous ape house
  • a visit to the Palmengarten and the Botanischer Garten with its beautiful display of lush green, exotic plants and English-inspired landscaping (also be sure to visit the Siesmayer Café)
  • a visit to the Berger Strasse in Bornheim (similarities to NYC's Greenwich Village) with a very urban, yet laid back feel. Its orientation towards students/hipsters and the many small stores, outdoor cafes and bars (i.e. Wacker's cafe, Ginko's, Oma Rink's Sterntaler) is a crowd magnet especially in the summer
  • a visit to the beautifully laid-out parks Grüneburgpark (and the lovely university campus next door) and Holzhausenpark (in the gorgeous Holzhausenviertel) to get a feel for the leisurely side of this financial hub city
  • a visit to the Long Island Summer Lounge situated atop a parking garage (7th floor) right next to the Boerse (behind the Frankfurter Volksbank building), this open air bar (the size of a football field) is probably the most breathtaking view you're going to get of Frankfurt. If that weren't enough, the whole place is meant to look like the Hamptons (NY). The drinks are pricy, but it beats all other beach clubs in Germany
  • a visit to the neighborhood of Sachsenhausen with the most impressive architecture of 19th century apartment buildings and chiq boutiques along the Schweizer Strasse.