18 Apr 2019
Looming over the banks of the River Main, Frankfurt was once a key stronghold of the Holy Roman Empire. Today it exists as one of the financial centres of the world, with a major airport, internationally renowned institutions (Goethe University), concert halls (Alte Oper), book and motor fairs, sleepy botanical gardens and a grand landscape of museums centred around the Museumsufer. Escape your meetings and drift into rivers of business tourists as they spill out from the high-powered Bankenviertel district (Germany’s answer to Manhattan, with ten of the country’s tallest skyscrapers) in search of traditional German experiences, foraging for churches, cobbled food districts, taverns stocking sweet Apfelwein and bustling trade fairs. Here’s our pick of five things to do in Frankfurt between meetings:
FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE AT STÄDEL MUSEUM
The Städel is Germany’s oldest museum foundation, frequented by German art critics and well-informed tourists. The modern horde burgeoned from Johann Städel’s personal selection of paintings, engravings and art objects. Today there are around 2,700 paintings, 100,000 drawings, 600 sculptures and 100,000 books arranged under a single roof. The works are mostly of European origin, ranging from the early 14th century to the present day, and including the works of Jan Vermeer, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet.
TRY TRADITIONAL FOOD AT BASELER ECK
Wield a stein or two at this happy German tavern, with smiling service, a merry atmosphere, locally-sourced produce and the kind of big wooden tables you want from a traditional German inn. Soak-in the homely décor crowded with airline memorabilia, boards pinned with beer mats and dusty shelves of wine bottles and glasses. Stay for traditional German food, like bratwurst, and sauerbraten, and join the cheery crowds, supplied at intervals with beer and wine by the charming owners/hosts/bartenders.
GO WANDERING IN THE KLEINMARKTHALLE
Frankfurt’s indoor market is a culinary paradise – a place to get lost amongst regional specialties and gourmet delights. Wander freely amongst the 160 different market stalls, rifling through freshly prepared food, produce and flowers: cured meats, handmade pasta and stacks of nostril-twitching cheese… All tastes and cravings are catered for here, with a long list of European imports and longer queues leading to the venders, especially on one of the upper terraces, where you’ll find a balcony dressed in flowers.
GET YOUR HISTORY FIX IN RÖMERBERG SQUARE
For something a little more medieval, visit the ornate buildings and courtyards of Römerberg. Learn a little of the local history (this is where JFK addressed a doting crowd in 1963). Stand in the grand presence of the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen fountain at the centre of the square, where a bronze statue of the Roman Goddess of Justice holds aloft both sword and scales. Wander amongst gorgeous 15th-16th century architecture, restored in the aftermath of World War II air raids. Finally, discover cobbled squares visited by merchants for fairs and markets since the Middle Ages. And, if your business trip falls into the festive season, take part in the famous Römerberg Christmas markets, when they hoist-up a 30-metre Christmas tree and serve warm local delicacies, like apple wine and marzipan cookies.
ESCAPE THE BUSTLE AT PALMENGARTEN
First opened to the public in 1871, Frankfurt’s 22-hectare botanical garden, Palmengarten, is a green roaming-ground for plant species from around the world. Scattered around the palm garden you’ll find several indoor areas with exotic specimens arranged by region, including a glass pavilion housing sub-Arctic vegetation and blooming flowers soaring to dizzying heights in a humid tropical greenhouse. A few of these installations date back to the 19th century. There are also exciting exhibitions and performances held here throughout the year, like the 60-year-old event series, Jazz im Palmengarten – the world’s oldest open-air jazz festival.
When in Frankfurt for business stay in our wonderful Jumeirah Frankfurt hotel with a central location and all the facilities needed to impress your clients.