Take a walk through downtown Frankfurt, and you might think you're in midtown Manhattan. The city's sparkling skyscrapers and wide thoroughfares seem out of place in Old Europe, but after being bombed to pieces in World War II Frankfurt's 20th-century remodel is more befitting an international economic capital. Indeed, this is the second-most important financial city in Europe, and it is also home to one of the worlds busiest international airports. Chances are, whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you're bound to have a transfer at Frankfurt's Flughafen at some point. Should that stopover stretch out into a day or two, check out the busy center city and the great shopping opportunities along the Hauptwache walking mall, and explore the old alleyways for Frankfurt's historical relics. As you stand in the central Romerburg square and check out the ancient churches and Romer Rathaus, you'll forget the skyscrapers and feel you've taken a giant leap back in time.
Frankfurt has a couple of great spots for active travelers to get a good run in too. BTG recommends heading straight for the river paths that line either side of the Main River to get your miles in. You'll be close to the financial district, the old city, the museums, and the heart of the cafe action on Schweizerstraße. When you're done with your workout your work, or play, is close at hand.
- Red Light District: Those staying downtown near Frankfurt Hautbahnhof might be startled by the amount of porn stores and strip clubs clustered just of Kaiserstraße.
- Needles: BTG did not encounter any of these, but we were warned of drug addicts - and their abandoned paraphernalia - along the Main River path.
- People going to work: There are a lot of visitors here, but most of them aren't on vacation. As one of the world's centers of commerce and finance, Frankfurt is always hosting a host of business travelers from all corners of the world.
Did you know? Frankfurt's full name is Frankfurt-am-Main, meaning Frankfurt on the Main River. There is actually another city in Germany known only as Frankfurt.
Did you also know? Yes, the big body of water that runs through town is named the Main. It is the Main River, not the primary river.