Unless you’re in business or finance, Frankfurt is unlikely to be at the top of your list for a go-to fun destination. The European center of finance has an unfair reputation as being dull, gray and soulless – kind of like the industries it supports. This could not be further from the truth. You might think that Frankfurt hasn’t much to offer in the way of touristic entertainment, but scratch the surface and you won’t believe what lies beneath.
Travel Back in Time At the Römer You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a wormhole when you come across Frankfurt’s city hall, or Römer, as it is locally known. The building dates back to medieval times and is situated on a large beautiful square in Altstadt, a district of the city. Named after a merchant family that once owned it, the building, along with two others that make up a plaza known as Römerberg, Römer has been carefully restored after being damaged in World War Two. If you’re a history buff, it’s a must-see. While it isn’t officially open to the public due to its function as a city hall, weddings are often held there and you might be lucky enough to see a happy couple emerging onto the square after tying the knot!
Flash Your Cash On Zeil Zeil is Frankfurt’s main shopping district and it caters to all tastes and budgets. It is entirely pedestrianized, meaning you don’t have to worry about traffic while you admire the goods on sale in shop windows. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for souvenirs, designer purses or a classic bargain in Primark – Zeil has every shop your consumer heart could dream of. However, a lot of German shops don’t open on a Sunday, so try to plan your shopping for another day if possible.
Worry About the Economy At the ECB Building Yes, we know we said that Frankfurt wasn’t just for bankers, but the brand new European Central Bank (ECB) building is definitely worth a look. You won’t be able to go inside unless you have a contact, but the twin skyscrapers are breathtaking even if you have no idea what an interest rate is. It cost about €1.4 billion, which didn’t go down too well with disgruntled European citizens at the height of the recession, but the towers have proven themselves a newly iconic part of Frankfurt’s landscape since they were opened in 2015.
Practice Your Lines At Filmmuseum We’re sure that you’re shocked that Frankfurt is home to one of Europe’s best film museums, but it’s true! As well as holding permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum also has an in-house cinema if you fancy catching a movie on your break away. The permanent museum is divided into two sections. Filmic vision explores how the world of cinema is created and exhibits lots of different kinds of equipment involved in filmmaking, some from the very birth of cinema! The filmic narrative shows how the structure of a film, including script, lighting, acting and other elements, can transport us to another dimension while sat in a theater. For more information and to check out what exhibitions are upcoming, see their website here.
Act Professional at Frankfurt Book Fair Frankfurt’s annual book fair usually takes place in the second week of October. It is during this time that the convention center is converted into the largest gathering of publishing houses, authors and other professionals involved in the publishing industry. Worried about fitting in? Fear not! The fair runs from Wednesday to Sunday and is open to the public on the Saturday and Sunday. We’d recommend visiting early on Sunday as the publishing houses are beginning to pack up and most will be selling their books at slashed prices so they don’t have to bring them back to their home countries! Whether you’re into children’s literature or massive art books, there’s something for everyone and you might even catch one of your favorite authors speaking. Booking in advance is recommended but not necessary. You can buy tickets in person or at their website here.
See the World in a Whole New Way at DialogMuseum If you’re not blind, it’s very difficult to comprehend how people of differing visual ability can navigate the world. DialogMuseum offers those with a good vision the chance to see how people who are visually impaired go about daily tasks. You are navigated through a range of scenarios, including shopping for food, crossing the street and going for a drink, in total darkness with a guide. The interesting thing is that your guide will be visually impaired and will tell you how they experience life as someone with a disability. It’s a truly unique experience and booking in advance is essential. This can be done at their website here.
Don’t forget to note everything in your BUCKiTDREAM planner as well as uploading to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your followers won’t believe you’ve had such fun in a city that no one knows is full of culture!