The Manhattan of Europe
14 April, 2014
By Tensi Sánchez from Actitudes Magazine
Frankfurt on the Main, commonly known as Frankfurt, is one of the most important cities in Germany and one of Europe’s leading economic and financial centres.
Tradition and modernity live side by side in this German city on the banks of the River Main. Its skyline of metal and glass buildings is reminiscent of the famous views of Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River. Although modernity has made its mark on this Bavarian metropolis, many architectural treasures still remain of what was, centuries ago, one of the most important cities in the German empire.
A perfect symbiosis that endows Frankfurt on the Main with a timeless ambience, where conservative German style, contemporary architecture, classic European art and cutting edge design create a fusion that makes this city an ideal destination for all types of tourism.
From Haupbanhof, the city’s main station, we can explore almost the entire city without having to use public transport. As we stroll among Frankfurt’s modern building’s, the old city begins to make its presence felt ever more clearly with each step. Along the cobbled streets in the city centre, we discover magnificent examples of classic German architecture: balconies teeming with flowers, houses with red tile roofs and picturesque buildings that reflect the history of a Medieval city.
The main artery of the city is the Zeil and adjoining streets, all full of shops and shopping arcades. We recommend visiting Zeil Galerie, where we find shops like The Hub, a concept store offering such brands as Acne and Filippa K, as well as the boutique Balmain, Mathew Williamson and vintage articles at Moschino, Vivienne Westwood and Issey Miyake, among others. Another great option is Superette du design, a spectacular shop selling decorative items and gadgets, or Leonid Matthias, a multi-brand store with articles by both German and international designers. From the Zeil Galerie roof-top terrace, you can enjoy fabulous views over the city centre.
The city’s old quarter is home to many famous buildings, such as the former Römer city hall inRömerberg square, Hauptwache, Frankfurt opera house, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, the Stock Exchange guarded by a bronze bull and a bear that represent the ups and downs of the stock market. The historic city centre boasts modern, state-of-the-art buildings such as the European Central Bank and theMMK Museum of Modern Art, one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world. Its vast collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Mario Merz, Jeff Wall, Marlene Dumas, Bruce Nauman… The museum is also home to the Club Michel City restaurant, offering a pop-art ambience, the perfect place to take a break and wind down.
On the banks of the River Main we find the museum area, popularly known as Museumufer (Museum Embankment) a series of ten wonderfully restored villas converted into cultural spaces, all with cafés, shops and extensive gardens. One of the finest is the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), where you can find fashion design and Asian decor alongside locally designed furniture from 1925 through to 1985. The museum also has a concept store and restaurant. Another great museum in Frankfurt is the Städel Art Museum, which houses one of the finest collections in Germany: Rembrandt, Edgar Degas, Johannes Vermeer, Botticcelli…along with other great masters.
One of the city’s greatest attractions must be the Frankfurter Skyline, which includes some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, towering over 331 metres. And some of the city’s bridges offer fabulous views of the sunset.
The Frankfurter Skyline encompasses over 26 skyscrapers, including: Commerzbank Towerdesignedby Norman Foster and at 259 m is considered the tallest building in Frankfurt and the second tallest in the European Union, although it is surpassed in height by Europaturm at 331m, but this observation tower is not generally regarded as a building as it has no consecutive floors that can be occupied.
It is also worth mentioning Westendtower, Opernturm, Tower 185 and Main Tower, the latter being one of the most visited by tourists (entrance charged) and has an excellent restaurant known as Main Tower Restaurant & Lounge.
The Eurotheum skyscraper is home to INNSIDE Frankfurt Eurothem, the ideal place to relax in the evening, located as from the 22nd floor and serving wonderful cocktails to the sound of live piano music while we marvel at the breathtaking views. A truly unique experience. While this hotel is quite incredible, those who are not too keen on heights and prefer a more relaxed atmosphere can stay at the vanguard hotel that is part of the same chain,INNSIDE Frankfurt Niederrad, just one stop from the main train station and the perfect place to relax and wind down after exploring the city.
Picture by Rubén Seco
What are you waiting for to book your vueling? The perfect way to enjoy a weekend break.
14 April, 2014