Frankfurt, Bankfurt, Mainhattan, the "smallest metropolis in the world"—call it what you will, Frankfurt am Main is a German city with a difference. It’s the financial capital of continental Europe and Germany’s transportation center (boasting the country’s biggest and busiest airport), endowed with a skyline spiked with skyscrapers and host to some of Europe’s biggest trade fares.
But for all its muscular economic clout, Frankfurt has a sensitive side; it is a city full of museums, artistic innovation, and great music. Cultural highlights include the Museumsufer, a collection of 11 museums lined up on either side of the Main River. The Frankfurt Opera House, meanwhile, has been named Opera House of the Year on three separate occasions.
It is also a city with great theater (check out the English Theatre and International Theatre) and dance (Tiger Palace Variety Theatre), an impressive zoo, and the Römer. Of course, much of the joy of this city can be found by simply strolling around its streets and taking in the juxtaposition of older buildings with the city’s gleaming skyscrapers.
Frankfurt has a fantastic restaurant scene, too. This isn’t so much to do with the moneyed bankers who fill the tables of the city’s top restaurants as with the local chefs who are taking the German dining scene by storm. The city glitters with Michelin stars—Sra Bua by Juan Amador, Villa Merton, Tiger-Gourmet restaurant, Carmelo Greco, Ernos Bistro, Français, Lafleur, and Weinsinn each has a Michelin star to its name.
However, you needn’t spend a fortune to eat well in Frankfurt; there are abundant appetizing options at affordable prices. And since Frankfurt boasts an exceptionally diverse population, with inhabitants hailing from all across Europe, there’s something to suit every palate. (There’s even a smattering of "beachside" establishments, such as Maincafé and Frankfurt institution King Kamehameha Beach.)
Flights to Frankfurt are bound to leave a lasting impression on you; you’ll be just as taken with the soaring skyscrapers as you will with the city’s quaint medieval center. Frankfurt offers an invaluable insight into Germany’s past and its future, making it one of the most exciting destinations in Germany, if not Europe.