Must see attractions in Frankfurt am Main

  • Top ChoiceSights in Frankfurt am Main

    Städel Museum

    Founded in 1815, this world-renowned art gallery has an outstanding collection of European art from masters including Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Picasso and Cézanne, dating from the Middle Ages to today. More contemporary works by artists including Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter are showcased in a subterranean extension lit by circular skylights. Admission prices can vary according to temporary exhibitions. Queues can be lengthy, so save time by pre-booking tickets online.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Frankfurt am Main

    Kaiserdom

    Frankfurt’s red-sandstone cathedral is dominated by a 95m-high Gothic tower, which can be climbed via 328 steps. Construction began in the 13th century; from 1356 to 1792, the Holy Roman Emperors were elected (and, after 1562, consecrated and crowned) in the Wahlkapelle at the end of the right aisle (look for the 'skull' altar). The cathedral was rebuilt both after an 1867 fire and after the bombings of 1944, which left it a burnt-out shell.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Museum für Moderne Kunst

    The outstanding Museum of Modern Art focuses on European and American art from the 1960s to the present, with frequent temporary exhibits. The permanent collection (not always on display) includes works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Joseph Beuys. Free English-language tours on varying topics take place at 4pm every Saturday. The main premises are referred to as MMK1; there are another two exhibition spaces, MMK2 (in the TaunusTurm at Taunustor 1) and MMK3 (opposite MMK 1 at Domstrasse 3).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Frankfurt am Main

    Senckenberg Museum

    Life-size dinosaur mock-ups guard the front of Frankfurt’s natural history museum. Inside the early 1900s neo-baroque building, exhibits cover palaeontology (including fossils from the Grube Messel site), biology and geology. Most have English signs.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Frankfurt am Main

    Römerberg

    The Römerberg is Frankfurt’s old central square. Ornately gabled half-timbered buildings, reconstructed after WWII, give an idea of how beautiful the city’s medieval core once was. In the square's centre is the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Museum Judengasse

    Most of Frankfurt’s medieval Jewish ghetto – Europe's first, dating from 1460 – on narrow Judengasse (Jews’ Street) was destroyed by a French bombardment in 1796, but you can get a sense of local Jewish life during the 15th to 18th centuries from the excavated remains of houses and ritual baths. Laws confining Frankfurt’s Jews to the ghetto were repealed in 1811. Renovated in 2016, the museum here spotlights the former residents' interactions with Frankfurt’s Christian residents, the city council and the emperor.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    IG-Farbenhaus

    The monumental seven-storey IG-Farbenhaus was erected in 1931 as the headquarters of IG-Farben (pronounced ‘ee geh far-behn’), the mammoth German chemicals conglomerate whose constituent companies included Agfa, BASF, Bayer and Hoechst. After Hitler took power, Jewish scientists and executives were fired, and the company’s products soon became central to the Nazi war effort. Inside, on the 1st to 5th floors at cross wing Q4, you can check out an informative historical exhibit (in English and German) with photographs and illustrations.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Goethe-Haus

    Completely rebuilt after WWII (only the cellar survived Allied bombing), the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) is furnished in the haute-bourgeois style of Goethe’s time, based on an inventory taken when Goethe’s family sold the property. One of the few pieces that actually belonged to the great writer, philosopher and statesman is a puppet theatre given to him at age four. The Goethe-Museum (included in admission) displays seminal paintings from Goethe's era.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Alte Oper

    Inaugurated in 1880, the Italian Renaissance-style Alte Oper anchors the western end of the Zeil-Fressgass pedestrian zone. Burnt out in 1944, it narrowly avoided being razed and replaced with 1960s cubes. It was finally reconstructed between 1976 and 1981 to resemble the original, with statues of Goethe and Mozart gracing its ornate facade. Other than the mosaics in the lobby, the interior – closed except during concerts – is modern.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Riverfront Promenade

    Beautiful parkland runs along both banks of the Main River – perfect for strolling, running, cycling or a picnic. The most popular section is between the two pedestrian bridges, Holbeinsteg and Eiserner Steg.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Wollheim Memorial

    This memorial is housed in a little pavilion marked ‘107984’ – the prisoner number of Norbert Wollheim, a forced labourer at the IG Farben’s corporate slave-labour camp, Buna/Monowitz (Auschwitz III), who filed a successful lawsuit against the company in 1951. Video testimonials by camp survivors (some in English) screen inside. It's 50m from the southwest corner of the IG-Farbenhaus building (to the left as you approach the main entrance).

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Historisches Museum Frankfurt

    Showcasing Frankfurt’s long and fascinating history, the city's revamped Historical Museum occupies a five-building complex completed in 2017. Its main permanent collection, Frankfurt Then?, spans daily life, finance, trade, military, science, children's toys, photography, paintings, graphic prints, ceramics, sculptures, media, fashion, textiles, furniture, musical instruments and technology, arranged thematically rather than chronologically. Frankfurt Now! features a scale model of the city based on contemporary residents' impressions by artist Herman Helle.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Main Tower

    Frankfurt's skyline wouldn't be the same without the Main Tower, one of the tallest and most distinctive high-rises in town. A great place to get a feel for ‘Mainhattan’ is 200m above street level, on the tower's observation platform, reached by lift in a mere 45 seconds. Pre-booking tickets online saves time queuing, but be prepared for airport-type security. It closes during adverse weather.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Schirn Kunsthalle

    Some of Germany’s most topical and talked-about art exhibitions take place at this modern and contemporary art museum, such as retrospectives of artists like Kandinsky, Chagall, Kahlo, Giacometti and Klein, as well as digital art, and themes such as 'artists and prophets'. The building's interlocking structures include a domed rotunda main entrance hall and a 140m-long central exhibition building designed to resemble the Uffizi building in Florence. Admission prices depend on the exhibition; pre-purchase tickets to avoid queueing.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Römer

    The photogenic Römer (old town hall) consists of three step-gabled 15th-century houses. In the time of the Holy Roman Empire, it was the site of celebrations during the election and coronation of emperors. Today it houses the office of Frankfurt’s mayor and serves as the registry office. The barrel-vaulted Kaisersaal is accessed from Limpurgergasse via a courtyard and carved red-sandstone spiral staircase.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Kaisersaal

    Reached from Limpurgergasse (around the south side of Römer) via a small courtyard and a spiral staircase made of carved red sandstone, the barrel-vaulted Kaisersaal is adorned with the mid-19th-century portraits of 52 rulers from between the 8th century and 1806. Official receptions and ceremonies often take place here, so check opening hours ahead of time.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Jüdisches Museum

    Frankfurt's Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum) is set in the one-time residence of the Rothschild family, the Rothschildpalais. It's closed for renovations until 2019. When it reopens, it will pick up from the Museum Judengasse, which covers Jewish history until 1800, with displays on the period from 1800 to the present day.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Junges Museum Frankfurt

    Formerly Frankfurt's Children's Museum, this museum dedicated to kids and families became the Junges Museum Frankfurt (Young Museum) in 2018 when it reopened at its original premises at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt. Exhibitions change regularly; it also runs various arts, crafts and other hands-on workshops.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    PalmenGarten

    Established in 1871, Frankfurt's botanical PalmenGarten (palm garden) is filled with tropical hothouses, rose gardens, a bamboo grove and rock garden. There are playgrounds for kids, a pond with row boats (May to September) and a mini-gauge train. Open-air concerts take place here in summer. A second entrance is located on Palmengartenstrasse.

  • Sights in Frankfurt am Main

    Museum für Angewandte Kunst

    Contemporary trends in design and fashion are featured alongside displays of beautiful furniture, textiles, metalwork, glass and ceramics from Europe (including Jugendstil) and Asia at Frankfurt's Museum of Applied Arts. It's set amid lush gardens in the 1804-built Villa Metzler; there's a swish on-site bistro with outdoor seating.