Frankfurt is a vast city that's home to 46 distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own charms and amenities. While Frankfurt's skyline is dominated by skyscrapers, a closer look at the city reveals historic nooks, a vibrant cultural life, notable festivals and educational institutions that make it one of the best cities in Germany to live or visit.
If you're planning a trip, here are some of the must-see neighbourhoods in Frankfurt:
Home to a large expatriate population, Bornheim features busy streets with notable cafes, bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to enjoy a late-night drink with friends. Many establishments in Bornheim are also designed with terraces where you can sit and enjoy the scenery while savouring the delectable tastes of Frankfurt. Two of Frankfurt's traditional cider houses are also in Bornheim — Apfelwein Solzer and Zur Sonne. And there's an unforgettable weekly market in the Bornheim Mitte square on Berger Straße.
One of Frankfurt's largest and most diverse neighbourhoods, Nordend harbours everyone from artists and bohemians to business people and blue-collar workers. The tight-knit, family-oriented community provides a small-town feel in the heart of Frankfurt, but it's also home to casual eateries, sidewalk cafes, the National Library and the medieval Eschenheimer Turm. Be sure to visit Nordend's green spaces, including the Chinese Garden at Bethmann Park.
- German National Library: Adickesallee 1, 60322 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- Bethmann Park: Friedberger Landstraße 8, 60316 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Westend is one of Frankfurt's wealthiest neighbourhoods and, as such, is a popular residential district for financial executives and attracts families wishing to live near the city centre. The neighbourhood is divided into two districts, Westend-Nord and Westend-Süd, although collectively they're considered Westend. Visitors can enjoy fun walking tours, theatres, escape rooms, art galleries, casual eateries, nightclubs and fine dining throughout Westend.
Don't miss the Palmengarten botanical garden at the western border of Westend. It's one of the city's most popular attractions.
- Palmengarten: Siesmayerstraße 61, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Altstadt (old city) dates back hundreds of years and is considered the backbone of Frankfurt. While Altstadt's historic structures, such as the Rathaus (City Hall) and picturesque Römer square, attract countless visitors, most of the old buildings were destroyed during World War II and rebuilt as replicas. Still, Altstadt maintains an undeniable charm and vibrance with its cobbled streets, Renaissance frescos and traditional souvenir shops.
- DomRömer Quarter: Römerberg 23, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Sachsenhausen is Frankfurt's most populated neighbourhood and provides a haven for art lovers. The Schweizer Platz is the heart of this neighbourhood. The laid-back district boasts a row of riverside museums, boisterous apple wine pubs, late-night establishments, a rich Jewish history and unparalleled architecture. You can also find some delectable Bavarian cuisine in Sachsenhausen at the many German restaurants tucked along the river.
- Schweizer Platz: 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
As the commercial heart of Frankfurt, Innenstadt is home to most of the city's banks and financial institutions. It also features some of the best shopping destinations in town, including the largest pedestrian shopping street in Germany: Zeil Street. If you're shopping for high-end brands or exclusive boutique finds, the Zeil promenade is the place to be.
Since Innenstadt boasts such a central location near major shopping destinations, don't be surprised to discover some of the best restaurants and cafes in Frankfurt.
- Zeil Promenade: 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Located on the edge of Frankfurt's inner ring, Bockenheim is home to some of the best parks in the region. The hip neighbourhood features casual, student-friendly cafes, restaurants and late-night bars that make it ideal for travellers on a budget. Staying in Bockenheim gives you easy access to Rebstockbad, a water park, walking paths and outdoor spots for enjoying an impromptu picnic.
- Rebstockbad: Zum Rebstockbad 7, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Many tourists end up in Ostend because it's home to several noted attractions, including Zoo Frankfurt, waterfront Hafenpark and the Fritz Rémond Theater. Ostend's main drag features a nice selection of converted warehouses, furniture showrooms and global eateries. You can also visit the European Central Bank Tower for unmatched views of Frankfurt's skyline. Other highlights in Ostend include the old city library, which was originally built in 1825; romantic walkways along the river; Dr. Hoch's Conservatory music academy; and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
Named after the city's main train station, which is located nearby, Bahnhofsviertel is a lively, up-and-coming neighbourhood that is packed with hotels like the upscale and accessible Holiday Inn Frankfurt – Alte Opera, late-night clubs, bars, casual restaurants and edgy theatrical performances. Thanks to its wide range of amenities and its seedy after-dark history, Bahnhofsviertel is known as Frankfurt's red-light district.
While reputed to be dangerous at night, Bahnhofsviertel has managed to shrug off much of its ill repetition over the years. You can still find heroin clinics and strip clubs among all the hipsters and boutique hotels, but Bahnhofsviertel is an exciting neighbourhood worth checking out.
- Frankfurt Bahnhofsviertel (Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof): Kaiserstraße 62-64, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
With so many neighbourhoods in Frankfurt ripe for exploring, you'll want to plan your itinerary carefully so you can take in as much of the city as possible.