London Stansted to Frankfurt Hahn AirportFrankfurt is Germany’s financial centre as well as being home to the European central bank. Although Frankfurt was badly destroyed during Second World War bombing raids, many of the city’s older buildings have been sympathetically restored and there are enough museums – the south bank of the River Main which flows through Frankfurt has been dubbed ‘Museum Embankment – to keep any visitor occupied.
Visitors to Frankfurt can benefit from the purchase of a Frankfurt Card available from railway stations and tourist offices. The card entitles holders to free transport within the city, half price admission to many museums and attractions, and discounts on river cruises and city tours.
Flights between London Stansted and Frankfurt Hahn Airport are operated by Ryanair. The airport is situated about 120km (70 miles) from the centre of Frankfurt. Buses operate every 2 hours from Frankfurt Hahn to Mainz railway station 60km (36 miles) away. From Mainz there are regular trains to the centre of Frankfurt.
Places of interest in Frankfurt include:
- Botanic Gardens. The 20-acre Palmengarten is probably the finest of the numerous parks and gardens found in Frankfurt. Visitors are taken on a journey through the plant kingdom, from North American hardwoods to the African Savannah, and from flowers of the tropical rainforest to vegetation of the Sub-Antarctic. In all there are more than 6,000 species of plants. In the last few years many of the historic conservatories have been completely rebuilt and new ones, such as the Tropicarium and the Entrance Conservatory with its insect-eating plants, have been added. There is also a small boating lake.
- Goethe-Haus. Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe, one of Germany’s finest writers, was born in this house in 1749. Although the building was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, it has now been restored to something like its former glory and contains a museum dedicated to Goethe’s life. Items on display include personal documents and manuscripts.
- Romenberg. Although Frankfurt lost most of its historic monuments to the Allied bombing raids of the Second World War, the medieval buildings of the Romerberg in the Altstadt (Old Town) have been impressively restored. The most important of these include the former town hall of Romer with its noteworthy gables and the Imperial Hall (Kaisersaal) whose banqueting hall is lined with the portraits of 52 emperors.
- Dom St Bartholomaus. A sole survivor of the 1944 bombing raids is the cathedral with its enormous tower of red sandstone dominating the Altstadt. Dating back to the 15th century, the Dom’s chapels had been the venue for the crowning of the Holy Roman emperors for over 300 years. A number of the coronation robes, some over 500 years old, are on display in the cathedral’s museum.
- Museum of Modern Art. Known to the locals as the ‘slice of cake’ due to its unusual triangular shape, the museum houses works by artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein and Johns.
- German Film Museum. Exhibits tracing the history of film from the late 19th century onwards are on display downstairs, while the second floor has continuous showings of some early, pioneering films.