SIGHTS in Frankfurt:
Roses, stone, heath and rhododendron garden, long walking paths lined by tropical plants and then a romantic waterfall. If you need some downtime from the stress in the city, if you want to take a deep breath, and be one with nature, the Palmengarten (palm garden) is right for you. With 22 hectares this is the biggest palm garden in Germany, and if you manage to go with the calm flow, you'll feel like in paradise. Aside from beautifully designed walking paths, a boat rental at the pond as well as shady green areas with reclining chairs, the different exhibition spaces such as the palm house, the petal or the subantarctic house invite you to discover botanical diversity. With an entry-fee of only 5 euros for adults, the green oasis is a reasonably-priced option for relaxing and revitalizing in the middle of the city.
Look up once with awe, tie your shoes, take a deep breath and go for it... 196 steps are ahead of you. But they are worth the effort! And then? Look down in awe, shake out your legs and take a deep breath...The 43 metre high Goethe Tower is the highest wooden tower in Germany. Its foundation is located 147 metres above sea level, 54 metres higher than the Main, and that's definitely impressive. The reward of the trip up: A beautiful view of the skyline, the Stadtwald forest, the entire Rhein-Main area, plus the feeling to be above all that. Afterwards the paths in the Stadtwald around the tower invite you for a stroll in the woods, and if you are here with kids, you'll have to make a stop at the Waldspielpark playground with its giant slide, paddling pools and adventurous rides.
Der Eiserne Steg
How do pedestrians from the Frankfurt Old Town, the Römerberg, get across the Main to the opposite neighbourhood of Sachsenhausen? Of course, via the Eiserne Steg. Luckily, this important connection has been free-of-charge since 1886. Before it became municipal property, people had to pay for using it. The Eiserne Steg is a neo-Gothic, 170 metres-long pedestrian bridge, the architectural counter piece of the Holbeinsteg. Because of its location, and its characteristic silhouette, the Eiserne Steg has become a beautiful landmark of Frankfurt. From the bridge you also have a great of of the Frankfurt skyline and the Museumsufer. Tip: Every two weeks, directly at the Main shore, at the southern end of the Eiserne Steg, the well-known Frankfurt flea market takes place. You can find things that you definitely won't find anywhere else, and that you didn't even think you would ever need.
STAY in Frankfurt:
Hotel am Berg
The Hotel am Berg is a secret tip, a Wilhelminian style villa, which has been owned by one family since 1950 and become one of the most popular mid-range hotels. Cultural travellers, in particular, like to come here, so you should reserve beforehand. Often the hotel is booked up. The family atmosphere and beautiful hillside location make it a real jewel. The rooms are individually designed and lovingly furnished; the small garden invites you, if the weather permits, to relax. If you want to spend your time in Frankfurt in a truly charming hotel, this is the one for you: Upon your first step over the threshold you'll find yourself cordially welcomed and thoroughly at home. Doubles start at 67,- euros at night.
If you are looking for a cheap yet comfortable pension in Frankfurt, this is the place for you. Ideally located, only ten minutes from the Frankfurt Trade Fair and 15 minutes from the city centre, the Pension Backer offers the perfect base camp for outings and projects of all kinds. The rooms are clean and nicely furnished, the breakfast room welcomes you with the charm of the 50s. It's a place to feel at home, though you cannot expect too much comfort - the guests of the 25 rooms share the showers. The flip side is the reasonable price. In any event, the Pension Backer is a good alternative to a youth hostel and very popular among backpackers. No wonder, with prices like 25,- euros for singles and 40,- euros for doubles a night
Motel One makes it into the top 3 budget hotels in Germany. Stiftung Warentest (German testing organization) gave Motel One the overall mark of 2.1 (pretty good), and you should do the same. At an absolutely cheap price (doubles start at 75,- euros) you will experience tasty design and a perfect service in this hotel. The rooms are stylishly furnished and very clean, the rain shower in the bathroom revitalises you after a tiring day, and in the queen-size or twin bed you will rest wonderfully afterwards. Start the next day in the comfy One Lounge. It's fitted with design furniture and bodies of light, allowing for a perfect start into the day with a generous breakfast buffet. If you get hungry during the day, you can get warm and cold snacks as well as drinks in the One Lounge, easily making you forget about the fact that there's no room service.
EAT in Frankfurt:
You'll realize that the Tiger Restaurant is something very special upon entering: The walls are decorated with posters from the world of performing artists, as well as relevant wall paintings. Delve into this world of high-flying dreams. The food in this international gourmet restaurant is just as great as the variety show in the house. Enjoy the light, French cooking that follows the seasons. Taste a shellfish cream soup with shrimp balls, peas and mint, after that a tranche of deer's back with celery nut crust and barberry sauce and as a dessert toffee brittle bar with compote and pear sorbet. This doesn't only sound delicious, it is, and it is confirmed by the star, which the international hotel and restaurant guide Michelin has been awarding since 1997. The menu is excellent, the wine selection, too, and the service team around the chef and sommelier Miguel Martin top class. Tip: Enjoy a menu in the Tiger Restaurant and a late show of the excellent artists and acrobats.
When Orfeo's Erben (heirs) was opened in January 1999, as a successor of one of the most renowned art house cinemas in Germany, nobody had an idea that Andreas Lucas and Harry Dehnhardt had hit on an excellent concept: They made the Orfeo's into a unique, public cinema restaurant, which is unrivalled in Germany. Both sides of the business are a great deal. In the smallest THX cinema in Germany you see movies, trailers and the latest production of aspiring German film-makers. The open bar and restaurant area has also got many fans. Who's surprised? The atmosphere is great, and the food, too. Trade Fair visitors, neighbours, regulars, and movie lovers are repeat customers here. You find delicious international dishes on the menu: Crunchy salads with a sophisticated dressing, pasta, fish and meat. If you are lucky you get one of the sought-after tables next to the screening room - then you can enjoy your food with a good movie.
The name EDMW stands for EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN of the Ang Lee movie. The topic? Asian cuisine arts and human relationships. The name says it all. In the unadorned restaurant you'll receive liquid and solid delicacies of Asian cooking: Buddha rolls, spring rolls, shrimp skewers in peanut sauce. If you want to taste it all, choose the Tapas - a perfect cross-section of the edible Asia. DRINK is part of the programme, too. At the bar you get all sorts of colourful cocktails, including Martini Cocktails, Gin Fizz, Pina Colada, Swimmingpool and Vodka Sour. The open room concept invites you to have good conversations in large groups, and those who prefer two-some privacy can choose one of the calm, more intimate corners. The ambiance is classy but still inviting. Giant aquariums create a bluish light; the fish calmly swim their rounds and make the EDMW a perfect place to start into the night.
SHOPPING in Frankfurt:
This hip second-hand shop is located at the popular shopping mile Zeil-Konstablerwache. If you don't find any bargains here, where will you? The secret recipe: A lot of time. If you have enough of it and are in the mood for rummaging, you'll surely find something. There are some new clothes and a great selection of second-hand fashion, including bell-bottoms and ruffled blouses from the 1960s or the most recent fashion. Look closely, there are many labels such as Nike, Adidas or Lacoste. A tip for those who are searching for even steeper bargains: Every Wednesday there are four Happy Hours. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. you'll get another 20% discount on everything - a great deal considering that it's already unbeatably cheap.
Never before has eco fashion, also beyond the eco scene, been as hip as it is today. There are more and more shops that fit this category. Organicc is a special one among them: Owner Gerd Palmer only sells clothes and accessories that were produced under fair working conditions. Moreover, they should be made of organic or recycled materials. The cotton for the clothes is grown in an environmentally friendly way, and the switch to different cultivation methods is supported financially. Child labour or the exploitation of workers are a taboo. For Palmer, eco is not a hip trend that you can turn into gold, but an attitude towards life. Designers such as Katherine E Hamnett, Bono's label EDUN or Ivana Basilotta are part of the collection, as are shoes by Terra Plana!. The selection of wearable and modern street ware is great, and on top of that you'll get the feeling of having shopped responsibly for free.
The building itself is already worth a visit. The Italian star architect Massimiliano Fuksas set his hand to the design. His innovative plan looked as follows: he took the aerial image of a dried-out course of a river and used it as the basis for his groun d plan. In this way a building without any edges came into existence - round, curved and bent. Above a glass roof lies down like a rapid stream in waves. And what's under the roof? On six floors there are jeans and casual wear by Guess, G-star, Hilfiger Denim, Replay and Pepe, as well as lace lingerie by Princess Tam Tam and Passionata, additionally there's functional clothing by The North Face and Columbia or surf clothing by Chiemsee or Quicksilver. A 47 metre long express escalator takes you directly to the culinary boulevard where various international cuisines are on the menu.