Frankfurt am Main (map) is considered the business and financial centre of Germany. It is the fifth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
Frankfurt is a city of contrasts. Wealthy bankers, students and hippie drop-outs coexist in a city that has some of the highest, most avant-garde skyscrapers of Europe next to well maintained old buildings. The downtown area, especially Römer square (map) and the museums at the River Main, draw millions of tourists every year.
On the other hand, many off-the-beaten-track neighbourhoods, such as Bockenheim, Bornheim, Nordend and Sachsenhausen, with their intact beautiful 19th-century streets and parks are often overlooked by visitors.
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Frankfurt has many high-rise buildings in the city centre, forming the Frankfurt skyline. It is one of the few cities in the European Union (EU) to have such a skyline, which is why Germans sometimes refer to Frankfurt as Mainhattan, combining the local river Main and “Manhattan”.
For a view of the skyline try the Main river bridges. The eastern bridges offer the best view, in particular the Ignaz-Bubis-Brücke (map) and also the Alte Brücke (map).
There are of course restaurants all over Frankfurt. One notable area for dining may be what is locally known as the Fressgass (a literal translation would be “munching alley”). The correct name of this street is Große Bockenheimer Straße (map). As the nickname implies, the Fressgass features many cafés, restaurants, and deli food stores. It is a popular area to dine after going shopping.
Kaiserstraße (map) – One of the best-known streets and considered one of the most beautiful because of its amount of Gründerzeit-style buildings. Kaiserstraße is still a synonym for Frankfurt’s Red-light district although sex-oriented businesses moved to neighbouring streets such as Taunusstrasse.
Many of the hotels in Frankfurt are located around the Hauptbahnhof (map), but this is also the red light district in Frankfurt and is also known for the many beggars and druggies who hang around. Although the area is well policed and quite safe, many tourists are often left with a somewhat negative impression of Frankfurt after staying in this area.