Frankfurt is more than just a modern city of glistening skyscrapers. Half-timbered buildings were once its defining feature, but a night air raid in 1944 destroyed them all. The old town has been reconstructed as mixed-use shops and apartments. Wander the Romerberg, a cobblestone square, once a hive of activity centuries ago.
The city abounds with museums too. Even the Deutsche Bank owns collections open public view. See some 700 years of European art, including Renaissance and Baroque works, at the Stadel Museum. Art enthusiasts will love viewing the Rembrandt, Monet, Botticelli, and Picasso paintings. If contemporary is more your style, the Museum of Modern Art is not to be missed.
Many galleries also surround St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral; climb its tower to see the whole city from above. Since its founding in 1562, 10 imperial coronations have taken place within its sacred walls. If only this place of worship could tell us what it has witnessed.
Jewish history also runs deep in Frankfurt. The Jewish Museum is housed in the Rothschild Palace, an elegant 1846 building still fitted with its original decor. The fascinating past of the community is just a bit older, dating all the way back to the 12th century.
Spend an evening in a cozy apple wine tavern and sample the drink is made from fruits grown in Germany. Take a guided walk through the historic city center to Kleinmarkthalle, a market with more than 60 vendors selling fresh food from all over the globe. Dine in Michelin-starred restaurants with a fusion of flavors, and fill your belly with hearty Debbekooche, shredded potato pancakes with bacon and onion.
Just outside of town, the landscape transforms to tranquil. Here you will find the 1,200-year-old Schloss Johannisberg/Rheingau vineyards, the world’s first Riesling estate. The UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley is an idyllic countryside pulled out of a fairytale. Rising above the Rhine and surrounded by green hills, the Schloss Stolzenfels Castle is fit for a queen. The second-largest preserved fortress in Europe, the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress dates to the year 1000 and features exhibitions about German history and archaeology. This is the spot to see the split in the rivers, or you can appreciate the beautiful landscape on a Rhine boat trip.