By Rachael Funk
The city by the river is a burgeoning hotspot for young, energetic travelers. With a population of nearly 5.5 million, Frankfurt has plenty to do to keep its inhabitants occupied. Before you start your trip, check out a few great things you can do along the way that won’t cost anything but time.
1. Go on a tour of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
If you reserve your spot ahead of time, you can take a free tour of the old building, with its famous bear and bull statues out front. Though most of its trading is now handled electronically, those with an interest in finance will still be able to explore the trading floor and learn more about the history of this iconic site.
2. Take the kids to the Waldspielpark Louisa adventure playground
Open since 1954, this enormous playground is sure to help connect you with your inner child. Features of the park include a pool for paddling, a nature maze, and a timber ship for climbing. There’s even a climbing tower for adults who want to join in on the fun!
3. Unwind in the Chinese Gardens
Located in Bethmann Park, these beautiful gardens were curated in the style of Shiukou Gardens in Huizhou, China. The gardens boast 22 landscaped views, Chinese pavilions, a marble bridge, and a waterfall. This is a great place to reset from the buzz of the city.
4. Explore the Höchst neighborhood
Annexed to the city in 1928 but dating back to the 8th century, this neighborhood is filled with idyllic timber-framed houses and winding streets. Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday morning, a market is where you can wander and take in the local atmosphere.
5. Check out the Romerberg
The old central square is the historic heart of Frankfurt and dates back to the 13th century. The centerpiece of the square is the beautiful Fountain of Justice, which was inaugurated in 1543. The buildings surrounding the square suffered damage in WWII, but were restored soon after.
6. Stop by one of the oldest churches in Germany
St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral was designated as an Imperial Cathedral and has been used as a site for electing kings since 1356. The cathedral has a museum in it and from April through October, visitors are able to climb to the top of its medieval cloister and take in the views of the city.
7. Stroll the River Main
A picturesque walk, the River Main is lined on both sides by some of Germany’s best museums. The entire area is known as “Museumsufer” and the whole area is known to be quite lovely, even if you are just passing by.
8. Visit a few museums
If you do have time to stop, many museums in Frankfurt offer free entry on the last Saturday of every month! Double check with the museums before you go, but usually the Jewish Museum and the Museum of Modern Art are among the participants in “Satourday” festivities.
9. Hit up the Spring Fair
Each year, Frankfurt hosts one of the largest spring folk festivals in the Rhine region, Dippemess. The fair dates back to the 14th century when it was a market to sell pottery. Today, it is known for its rollercoasters and fireworks.
10. Window shop on Berger Strasse
The city’s longest shopping street, Berger Strasse is crammed with boutiques, ice cream parlors, restaurants, and other fun little places to pop in and out of. Twice weekly, there is a farmer’s market along the way, as well as several festivals throughout the year.