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Best things to do in Frankfurt

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Germany  /  Hesse  /  Frankfurt
Things to do in Frankfurt include visits to Romer, the city's central attraction, which once served as the setting for coronation feasts during the Holy Roman Empire. The ruins of Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg) hang above the city, offering impressive views from its ramparts. Art enthusiasts are invited to check out Stadel, one of Germany's major art collections, featuring works by Botticelli and Rembrandt.

Frankfurt is best known for its Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, and Lookouts.

Top 15 things to do in Frankfurt

1. Romer

The 15th-century Romer has served as Frankfurt's city hall for nearly 600 years. The building's major tourist attraction is its best-known room--Emperor Hall--on the second floor. This was the setting for the coronation banquets during the Holy Roman Empire. One of the city's major landmarks, this medieval building once belonged to the wealthy Romer family. They sold it to the city in 1405. The entire three-story complex occupies about 10,000 sq m (108,000 sq ft), with nine buildings encircling six courtyards. The front of the building, featuring the city hall's main entrance, faces a large public square. You can see a vast collection of 19th-century portraits of emperors here. Look especially for works by renowned artist Eduard Von Steinle.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Main Tower

Main Tower offers several stylish ways to unwind after a busy day, all of them with impressive views over the city rooftops. Opened in 1999, the 200 m (656 ft) skyscraper remains one of the tallest buildings in Germany and the only one in Frankfurt with a public observation deck. Before you head up, take time to appreciate two important pieces of contemporary art in the foyer--a video installation by Bill Viola and a wall mosaic by Stephan Huber. Europe's highest fitness club occupies the 53rd and 54th floors of the building, and if you need to fill an empty stomach after a workout head to the restaurant on the 53rd floor.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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3. Palmengarten

Wander through 22 hectares (54.4 acres) of lush, landscaped gardens at Frankfurt's Palmengarten. Holding the title for the largest garden of its kind in Germany, the botanical wonderland features an exotic array of plants and trees from around the world. Explore the 14-building greenhouse complex to admire rare tropical and subtropical plant species. Or visit the 18 m (59 ft) tall iron palm house. It was modeled after the magnificent World's Fair palaces in London and Paris. Be sure to carry cash. Credit cards are not accepted for the entrance fee.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Stadel Museum

A Frankfurt native founded one of Germany's premier art collections, Stadel Museum, in 1815. Its 600 paintings, 600 sculptures, and more than 100,000 prints and sketches represent nearly 700 years of art. You'll find a variety of styles, schools, and techniques. Look for works by Botticelli, Van Eyck, Rembrandt, and other famous artists. Art history buffs may reach nirvana in the museum's library, which contains more than 100,000 books from different eras. The gift shop sells an astounding 6,000 prints and books. The onsite cafe offers city skyline views.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus)

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus), one of the finest examples of Gothic style in Germany, opened its doors in the 14th century. Built on the foundation of an even older church, the cathedral features a restored, 95 m (311 ft) tall spire with great views from the top. The spire survived a fire in 1867 and a fire during World War II that burned the interior. The building was reconstructed in the 1950s. Inside, you can see the supposed skull fragment of St. Bartholomew.The museum in the cloister houses a collection of artifacts discovered nearby.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Liebieghaus

Liebieghaus, a sculpture museum, is housed in a 19th-century villa. During your visit, you will see a large, fascinating collection of figures from a range of cultures, including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and even the Far East. Statues are displayed both inside and outside in the surrounding garden. Some of the pieces include a Romanesque king's head from a statue from the Île-de-France, a marble statue of Athena, and an Ottonian crucifix.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Iron Bridge

Built in 1867 to support horse and carriage traffic over the River Main to the train station, Iron Bridge offers stunning views of Frankfurt's skyline and most historic buildings. Cars are not allowed on the bridge, making it an ideal place for a romantic walk or a pensive stroll. Along the railings and bridge structure, you'll find hundreds of padlocks placed here by couples as a symbol of their unending love. The bridge connects the city's historic quarter with the Sachsenhausen district, where plentiful museums and pubs serve typical German cider.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Goethe House

Goethe House is the author's birthplace. The house was built in wooden-fronted medieval style in 1600. In 1755, Goethe's father completely remodelled it. The home was destroyed during the war but was rebuilt and opened in 1952. A magnificent staircase connects the floors. The top floor features an exhibit on the home's history and its residents; next, a floor with the room where Goethe likely was born, as well as his sister's bedroom; below that, a music room; and finally the entrance hall and kitchen. Consider using the audio guide as you tour the building.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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9. Zoo Frankfurt

Visit Germany's second oldest zoo, Zoo Frankfurt, to see a 13 hectare (32 acre) green oasis of wild animals. The zoo features more than 4,500 animals from more than 450 species. Discover the true kings of the jungle in the Borgori Forest Ape House. Or you can explore the many fish, penguins, and crocodiles that inhabit the Exotarium. Consider taking the city's underground metro to the zoo to avoid paying high parking fees.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Phantasialand, Bruhl

Spend a day of adrenaline-pumping adventure at the famous Phantasialand. Opened as a family fun center in the 1960s, the park has transformed over the years to cater to the thrill-seeking clients with dozens of exciting rides. Ride through the Wild West on the Colorado Adventure rollercoaster and the River Quest rapid-river ride. Next, get spooked while walking through the haunted Mystery Castle. You'll find plenty of family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and accommodations, too. Try to arrive in the morning to avoid long lines and crowds.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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11. Museum Embankment

This river embankment is called Museum Embankment because of its large concentration of museums. Set off on a walk by the Main and pop into a few museums. The most famous of the bunch is the Städel art gallery. Visit the Ikonen Museum to see its collection of Russian, Bulgarian, Greek, and other religious icons, or try the Deutsches Filmmuseum to learn about the development of movie-making. Many of the museums are home to trendy restaurants or cafes. If it's a clear day, have a bite to eat in the Museum Angewandte's bistro, which offers view of Metzler Park. The lawns by the riverbanks make an ideal picnic spot.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Würzburg Residence, Wurzburg

See the world's largest ceiling fresco at Würzburg Residence, the majestic residence of the prince-bishops of Würzburg. Constructed in the early 18th century, the palace combines aspects of French chateau and Viennese Baroque architecture. The fresco is above the palace's grand royal staircase. You can wander through the Imperial Hall with its stucco sculptures, colorful murals, and gold ornamentation. Although you must pay to enter the palace, you can roam the tranquil residence gardens free of charge. This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)

Say hello to Lucy, the replica skeleton of one of humanity's oldest ancestors, at Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg). Attracting nearly 400,000 visitors each year, this is one of Germany's finest natural history museums. You'll see remains of prehistoric, extinct, and rare animals. Don't miss the fossilized Edmontosaurus, complete with incredibly rare skin imprints. Massive skeletons and lifelike models are spread out throughout the complex. Check the website for special events, temporary exhibitions, and guided tours.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Cologne Cathedral, Cologne

World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral is one of the country's most-visited landmarks. Its imposing spires are visible from many locations around the city. This is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, measuring 144 m (474 ft) long, 86 m (284 ft) wide, and 157 m (515 ft) high. Begun in 1248, the cathedral wasn't finished until 1880, when its two spires gave it the largest facade of any church in the world. The city's medieval builders planned this grand structure as a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being left incomplete for so many centuries, the cathedral was always seen as a masterpiece of architecture and an important reminder of Christianity's strength in medieval Europe. For unbeatable views of the surrounding area, take the 509 stairs to the top of the south tower.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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