Last updated: 03:55 PM ET, Fri November 27 2020
Frankfurt am Main, Skyline zur blauen Stunde (photo via MissPassionPhotography / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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old town square romerberg with Justitia statue in Frankfurt Germany (photo via vichie81 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
old town square romerberg with Justitia statue in Frankfurt Germany (photo via vichie81 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Frankfurt, Germany, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in the country. Frankfurt is at the center of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. It’s located on an ancient ford on the river Main. The southern part of the city contains the Frankfurt City Forest (Frankfurter Stadtwald), Germany's largest forest within a city. The center of Frankfurt is located on the north side of the river.

There’s no shortage of things to see and do when visiting Frankfurt. The old opera house (Alte Oper) was one of the major opera houses in Germany until it was heavily damaged in World War II. Until the late 1970s it was a ruin, nicknamed "Germany's Most Beautiful Ruin." It was finally fully reconstructed and re-opened in 1981. Today it functions as a concert hall, while operas are performed in the Oper Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Opera is a leading opera company in Germany and one of the most important opera houses in Europe. The Hauptwache (Main Watch) is a baroque building built in 1730, formerly used as a prison. The Zeil is Frankfurt's main shopping street and is a pedestrian-only area bordered by two large plazas, Hauptwache in the west and Konstablerwache in the east. During the month before Christmas, the extended pedestrian-only zone is host to one of the largest and oldest Christmas Markets in Germany. Most of the skyscrapers in Frankfurt are located in the western part of the city center known as Bankenviertel (financial district). A major festival in the city is the Museumsuferfest, which takes place yearly at the end of August on both sides of the Main Riverbank in the city center. More than 20 museums are located there and they are open far into the night. Most of the museums in Frankfurt are located on both sides of the River Main in Sachsenhausen (south side) and in the old part of the city center (north side). The area is known as Museumsufer (Museums Riverbank). There are 13 museums on the south side between Eiserner Steg and Friedensbrücke, including.

Frankfurt Alte Oper at Cristmastime, Germany (photo via sborisov / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Frankfurt Alte Oper at Cristmastime, Germany (photo via sborisov / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Certainly there is no shortage of dining options in this major metropolis. But some of the local specialties that visitors might consider trying while visiting Frankfurt include: Frankfurter Rindswurst, a sausage made of pure beef meat; Apfelwein, a German variant of cider made out of apples. Bethmännchen, an almond cookie that is usually baked for Christmas; and Handkäse, a German regional sour milk cheese and a culinary specialty of Frankfurt and Offenbach am Main.

The city is accessible worldwide via the Frankfurt Airport, which is located seven miles from the city center and offers flights from major airline carriers. The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two train stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. Frankfurt Hahn Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn) is situated approximately 75 miles from the city in Lautzenhausen. Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport is a busy general aviation airport located south-east of Frankfurt International Airport, near the town of Egelsbach. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (or short Ffm Hbf) is the largest train station in Germany by railway traffic. It serves as a major hub for long-distance trains (InterCity, ICE) and regional trains as well as for Frankfurt's public transport system. The city has two underground railway systems: the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, as well as an above-ground tram system. Deutsche Bahn also rents out bicycles to the public. One finds them at many major road intersections and railway stations.

Frankfurt is one of the warmest cities in Germany. It has a temperate-oceanic climate with relatively cool winters and mild summers.