Frankfurt has the reputation of being a banking city and little else: it’s the HQ of the European Central Bank, after all. Ask the locals, however, and they’ll tell you a completely different story about their internationally known “small town”. Read these tips by our Frankfurt locals and see why you just might have to include Frankfurt in your bucket list.
See a live studio recording
Have you ever attended a live studio recording? At Lotte Lindenberg Records, you can check their recording schedule, get a drink and relax anywhere in the studio in the basement of the Libertine Hotel, while seeing and listening to the musicians. Note that each session will hardly fit more than 30 people, so it’s a good thing that the recordings are also broadcast in each room in the hotel!
A Berlinesque bar
Moloko+ is a trip in space and time – to ‘70s Berlin, in fact. You’ll struggle to find the distinct laid-back attitude, unfinished building look, yet homey feeling in most other bars in the city. Choose a cocktail from the handwritten menu, come before 8 p.m. and enjoy mingling with the growing crowds and watching the people on the square through the big windows.
Casual pizza joint
If you’re looking for a calm meal, this is not the place for you. Ask a random person in Frankfurt where to go for a pizza and chances are they’ll tell you to head over to Pizzeria da Cimino. It’s the perfect place for a casual lunch or a night-out stomach-filler. It has the gift of bringing people of all backgrounds together. As for the pizza: it’s very good, especially if thin crust is your thing.
Germany’s largest palm garden
“Palmengarten is a botanical garden we can be very proud of,” writes local Nina Kristin Gür. If you like plants, this one’s a must. It was opened in 1871 and is the largest of its kind in Germany. It has several different greenhouses (such as the tropicarium, the blossom house and the impressive palm house) and you can spend hours just walking around its footpaths. Catch a ride on the miniature train “Palmenexpress” and relax at the nearby cafe.
A corner shop that’s so much more
“Das Mühlberglädchen is a neighborhood shop – no, it’s a newspaper stall, or rather a little cafe or a coffee shop…actually, it’s an event location…. it’s simply all of that! Just recently it won the award “Wasserhäuschen of the year”, even though it’s definitely not a “Wasserhäuschen”.” This is the beginning of local Aroon Nagersheth’s description of this place. Friday evenings are the best to drop by, where the owner Zoltan also sells legendary burgers and runs poetry slams, while also selling lottery tickets. An absolute local favorite!
Perfect sunset skyline views
Frankfurt wouldn’t remotely be the same without the river Main, and there’s nothing quite like a walk along its shore in the evening or at the weekend. People running and cycling by the water, lying down on the grass on a blanket, street musicians… All the ingredients to make your late afternoon magical are here. It’s below street level, so there are no cars either. Local Josefine Winkler always considers renting one of the pedal boats, but ends up enjoying some apple wine instead.
Enjoy local dishes and drinks in a happy atmosphere
On the topic of apple wine, there’s probably no better place to enjoy it than Fichtekränzi, a typical Frankfurter restaurant (one of the oldest of its kind, actually) serving apple wine, or Apfelwein, a kind of tart apple cider, by the Bembel-ful. Community spirit abounds here – everyone is equal around the typical Frankfurt dishes garnished with Grüne Soße, or green sauce, a mix of herbs and cream that typically comes with boiled eggs and potatoes, but also schnitzel and bratwurst. Local Alexandra Sepúlveda loves coming here in winter, when the contrast between the warmth and joy inside and the cold outside is strongest.
Did you know that Frankfurt’s commercial center has the nickname “Main-hattan”? Spiderman must have mixed up his GPS location with the original Manhattan across the Atlantic, as he can actually be found on various buildings around Frankfurt. There are seven Spiderman statues around the city in all, the most acrobatic being the one on Taunusstraße. Can you find the rest?
For more local favorites across Europe, check out Spotted by Locals.
Header image by: Sascha Hormel (from Pexels)
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