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Frankfurt am Main
Skyline of Frankfurt am Main, Clockwise from top of left to right: Facade of the Römer and Frankfurt Cathedral, Statue of Charlemagne in Frankfurt Historical Museum, View of Frankfurt skyline and Main River
Skyline of Frankfurt am Main, Clockwise from top of left to right: Facade of the Römer and Frankfurt Cathedral, Statue of Charlemagne in Frankfurt Historical Museum, View of Frankfurt skyline and Main River
Flag of Frankfurt am Main
Coat of arms of Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main is located in Germany
Frankfurt am Main
Coordinates 50°6′42″N 8°41′9″E Coordinates: 50°6′42″N 8°41′9″E
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Urban district
City subdivisions 16 area districts (Ortsbezirke)
46 city districts (Stadtteile)
Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann ( SPD)
Governing parties CDU /  Greens
Basic statistics
Area 248.31 km2 (95.87 sq mi)
Elevation 112 m  (367 ft)
Population 691,518 (31 December 2011)
 - Density 2,785 /km2 (7,213 /sq mi)
 - Urban 2,895,000
 - Metro 5,600,000 (04/2006)
Founded 1st century
Other information
Time zone CET/ CEST ( UTC+1/ +2)
Licence plate F
Postal codes 60001–60599, 65901–65936
Area codes 069, 06109, 06101

Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt on the Main) (pron.: / ˈ f r æ ŋ k f ər t /; German pronunciation: [ˈfʁaŋkfʊɐ̯t am ˈmaɪ̯n]), commonly known as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2012 population of 704,449. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region. Since the expansion of the European Union in 2007, the geographic midpoint of the European Union is about 40 kilometres east of Frankfurt am Main.

Frankfurt is the financial and transport centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is the seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks, e.g. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and DZ Bank. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, the Frankfurter Kreuz is one of the most heavily used Autobahn interchanges in Europe. Additionally, Frankfurt's DE-CIX is the world's largest internet traffic exchange point.

Frankfurt is an international centre for finance, commerce, culture, transport, education, and tourism. It is therefore considered a global city (alpha world city) as listed by the Loughborough University group's 2010 inventory. Among global cities it was ranked 10th by the Global Power City Index 2011 and 11th by the Global City Competitiveness Index 2012. Among financial centers it was ranked 7th by the International Financial Centers Development Index 2012 and 10th by the Global Financial Centres Index 2013.

In 2011, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Frankfurt as seventh in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of cities around the world. According to The Economist cost of living survey, Frankfurt is Germany’s most expensive city, and the 10th most expensive in the world.


Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University

The three major pillars of Frankfurt's economy are finance, transport, and trade fairs.

Frankfurt has been Germany's financial centre for centuries and it is the home of a number of major banks and brokerages. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse) is by far Germany's largest, and is one of the world's most important. Frankfurt is also the seat of the European Central Bank (Europäische Zentralbank) which sets monetary policy for the Eurozone, consisting of 17 European Union member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender, and of the German Federal Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank). In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had their registered offices here including the headquarters of the major German banks, notably Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, as well as 41 representative offices of international banks.

The importance of Frankfurt as a financial centre is rising in recent years. Indications are the establishment of the European supervisory authority for insurance EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) and the installation of the EU system risk-Council, the European authority for the early detection, prevention and management of systemic risks within the financial market in the EU. Additionally, the single European supervisory mechanism for the European banking union will be controlled by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank from 2013 onwards aiming to supervise more than 6000 banks in the Euro zone.

Frankfurt has an excellent transport infrastructure: Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) is the third busiest airport by passenger traffic in Europe and is the main hub for Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe. The airport is close to the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) where two of the most heavily used motorways in Europe, Bundesautobahn 3 in west-east-direction and Bundesautobahn 5 in north-south-direction, meet. In addition, Frankfurt has three railway stations for high-speed ICE trains: Frankfurt Central Station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof), Frankfurt South station (Frankfurt Südbahnhof) and Frankfurt Airport long-distance station (Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof). Frankfurt is the busiest junction operated by Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway company, with 342 daily trains to domestic and European destinations.

Frankfurt Trade Fair (Messe Frankfurt) is the third largest trade fair in the world with a total area of 578,000 square metres (6,221,540 square feet). It has ten halls with a total of 321,754 square metres (3,463,331 square feet) of exhibition space and 96,078 square metres (1,034,175 square feet) of outdoor area more available. Many large trade fairs are held in Frankfurt each year, notably the Frankfurt Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung - IAA), the world's largest motor show, the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse), the world's largest book fair, and Musikmesse, the world's largest music fair.

Frankfurt is also home to many cultural and educational institutions including the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, many museums (e.g. Städel, Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Goethe House), and two major botanical gardens, the Palmengarten, which is Germany's largest, and the Botanical Garden of the Goethe University.

A unique feature of Frankfurt is its significant number of skyscrapers in the city centre which form the Frankfurt skyline. Frankfurt is one of only a few cities in the European Union that have such a skyline, the others being London, Milan, Warsaw, Madrid, Rotterdam and La Défense in the outer Paris region. Because of the city's skyline, Germans sometimes refer to Frankfurt am Main as "Mainhattan".

Panorama of Frankfurt seen from the Maintower observation deck


The legend of the Frankenfurt (ford of the Franks)

Frankonovurd (in old high German) or Vadum Francorum (in Latin) were the first names mentioned in written records from 794. It transformed to Frankenfort during the Middle Ages and then to Franckfort and Franckfurth in the modern era. At the beginning of the 19th century the spelling of Frankfurt was widely established. The affix "am Main" has been used regularly since the 14th century.

In English, the city's full name of Frankfurt am Main translates to "Frankfurt on the Main" (pronounced like English mine or German mein). Frankfurt is located on an ancient ford (German: Furt) on the Main river. As a part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks, thus the city's name reveals its legacy as being "the ford of the Franks on the Main river".

Among English speakers, the city is commonly known simply as Frankfurt, though Germans occasionally call it by its full name when it is necessary to distinguish it from the other (significantly smaller) German city called Frankfurt in the federated state of Brandenburg, Frankfurt (Oder) on the Polish border.

The common abbreviations for the city, which are primarily used in railway services and on road signs, are Frankfurt (Main), Frankfurt (M), Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt/Main or Frankfurt/M. The common acronym for the city is Ffm or FFM.

The older English spelling of Frankfort is now rarely seen, except for some cities, mainly in the United States.


Frankfurt in 1612
The Frankfurt Parliament at St. Paul's Church in 1848
East of Kaiserplatz business area in 1880
Aerial view of the cathedral in May 1945 after World War II
Reconstruction (1981–1984) of six houses at the east side of the Römerberg which were destroyed in World War II

In the area of the Römer, Roman settlements were established, probably in the 1st century; some artifacts from that era are found even to this day. The city district Bonames has a name probably dating back to Roman times—it is thought to be derived from bona me(n)sa. Nida (Heddernheim) was also a Roman civitas capital.

The name of Frankfurt on Main is derived from the Franconofurd of the Germanic tribe of the Franks; Furt ( cf. English ford) where the river was shallow enough to be crossed by wading. Alemanni and Franks lived there and by 794 Charlemagne presided over an imperial assembly and church synod, at which Franconofurd (-furt -vurd) was first mentioned.

Frankfurt was one of the most important cities in the following Holy Roman Empire. From 855 the German kings and emperors were elected in Frankfurt and crowned in Aachen. From 1562 the kings/emperors were also crowned in Frankfurt, Maximilian II being the first. This tradition ended in 1792, when Franz II was elected. His coronation was deliberately held on Bastille Day, 14 July, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. The elections and coronations took place in St. Bartholomäus cathedral, known as the Kaiserdom (en: Emperor's Cathedral), or in its predecessors.

The Frankfurter Messe (Frankfurt Trade Fair) was first mentioned in 1150. In 1240, Emperor Friedrich II granted an Imperial privilege to its visitors, meaning they would be protected by the Empire. The fair became particularly important when similar fairs in French Beaucaire lost attraction around 1380. Book trade fairs have been held in Frankfurt since 1478.

In 1372 Frankfurt became a Reichsstadt (en: Imperial city), i.e. directly subordinate to the Holy Roman Emperor and not to a regional ruler or a local nobleman.

Frankfurt managed to remain neutral during the Thirty Years' War, but suffered from the bubonic plague that was brought to the city by refugees. After the end of the war, Frankfurt regained its wealth.

In the Napoleonic Wars Frankfurt was occupied or bombarded several times by French troops. It nevertheless still remained a free city until the total collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1805/6. In 1806 it become part of the principality of Aschaffenburg under the Fürstprimas ( Prince-Primate), Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg. This also meant that Frankfurt was incorporated into the confederation of the Rhine. In 1810 Dalberg adopted the title of a Grand Duke of Frankfurt. Napoleon intended to make his adopted son Eugène de Beauharnais, already Prince de Venise (" prince of Venice", a newly established primogeniture in Italy), Grand Duke of Frankfurt after Dalberg's death (since the latter as a Catholic bishop had no legitimate heirs). The Grand Duchy remained a short episode lasting from 1810 to 1813, when the military tide turned in favour of the Anglo-Prussian lead allies, which overturned the Napoleonic order of central Europe. Dalberg abdicated in favour of Eugène de Beauharnais, which of course was only a symbolic action, as the latter effectively never did rule after the ruin of the French armies and Frankfurt being taken by the allies.

After Napoleon's final defeat and abdication, the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815, redrawing the map of Europe) dissolved the grand-duchy, and Frankfurt entered the newly founded German Confederation (till 1866) as a free city, becoming the seat of its Bundestag, the confederal parliament where the nominally presiding Habsburg Emperor of Austria was represented by an Austrian "presidential envoy".

After the ill-fated revolution of 1848, Frankfurt was the seat of the first democratically elected German parliament, the Frankfurt Parliament, which met in the Frankfurter Paulskirche (St. Paul's Church) and was opened on 18 May 1848. The institution failed in 1849 when the Prussian king declared that he would not accept "a crown from the gutter". In the year of its existence, the assembly developed a common constitution for a unified Germany, with the Prussian king as its monarch.

Frankfurt lost its independence after the Austro-Prussian War as Prussia in 1866 annexed several smaller states, among them the Free City of Frankfurt. The Prussian administration incorporated Frankfurt into its province of Hesse-Nassau. The formerly independent towns of Bornheim and Bockenheim were incorporated in 1890.

In 1914 the citizens of Frankfurt founded the University of Frankfurt, later called Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. This is the only civic foundation of a university in Germany; today it is one of Germany's largest universities.

From 6 April to 17 May 1920, following military intervention to put down the Ruhr Uprising, Frankfurt was occupied by French troops. The French claimed that Articles 42 to 44 of the peace treaty of Versailles concerning the demilitarisation of the Rhineland had been broken. In 1924 Ludwig Landmann became the first Jewish Mayor of the city, and led a significant expansion during the following years. However, during the Nazi era, the synagogues of Frankfurt were destroyed.

The city of Frankfurt was severely bombed in World War II (1939–1945). About 5,500 residents were killed during the raids, and the once famous medieval city centre, by that time the largest in Germany, was destroyed. Post-war reconstruction took place in a sometimes simple modern style, thus irrevocably changing the architectural face of Frankfurt. Only very few landmark buildings have been reconstructed historically, albeit in a simplified manner. The collection of historically significant Cairo Genizah documents of the Municipal Library was destroyed when the city was bombed. According to Arabist and Genizah scholar S.D. Goitein, "not even handlists indicating its contents have survived."

Frankfurt became a ground battlefield commencing 26 March 1945, when the Allied advance into Germany was forced to take the city in contested urban combat that included a river assault. The US 5th Infantry Division and US 6th Armored Division captured Frankfurt after several days of intense fighting, and it was declared largely secure on 29 March 1945. More details of this battle are provided at History of Frankfurt am Main.

After the end of the war, Frankfurt became a part of the newly founded state of Hesse, consisting of the old Hesse-(Darmstadt) and the Prussian Hesse provinces. The city was part of the American Zone of Occupation of Germany. The Military Governor for the United States Zone (1945–1949) and the United States High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG) (1949–1952) had their headquarters in the IG Farben Building, intentionally left undamaged by the Allies' wartime bombardment. Frankfurt was the original choice for the provisional capital of West Germany—they even went as far as constructing a new parliament building that has never been used for its intended purpose. Since 1949 it is used to house the radio studios of Hessischer Rundfunk. In the end, Konrad Adenauer (the first post-war Chancellor) preferred the tiny city of Bonn, for the most part because it was close to his hometown, but also for another reason; many other prominent politicians opposed the choice of Frankfurt out of concern that Frankfurt, one of the largest German cities and a former centre of the old German-dominated Holy Roman Empire, would be accepted as a "permanent" capital of Germany, thereby weakening the West German population's support for reunification and the eventual return of the Government to Berlin.

During the 1970s, the city created one of Europe's most efficient underground transportation systems. That system includes a suburban rail system ( S-Bahn) capable of reaching outlying communities as well as the city centre, and a deep underground light rail system with smaller coaches ( U-Bahn) also capable of travelling above ground on street rails.

Since the postwar period Frankfurt has emerged once again as the financial and transportation centre of Germany.


Geographic location

Frankfurt is located on both sides of the Main river south-east of the Taunus mountain range. It is the largest city in the federated state of Hesse in the south-western part of Germany. The southern part of the city contains the Frankfurt City Forest, Germany's largest forest within a city. The city area is 248.31 km2 (95.87 sq mi) and extends over 23.4 km (14.54 mi) in east-west-direction and 23.3 km (14.48 mi) in north-south-direction. The city centre of Frankfurt is located on the north side of the Main river in the city district of Altstadt (the historical centre) and the surrounding Innenstadt district. The geographical centre is located in the city district of Bockenheim near Frankfurt West station.

Frankfurt is the centre of the densely populated Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region with a population of 5.6 million. Other important cities in the region are Wiesbaden (the capital of Hesse), Mainz (the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate), Darmstadt, Offenbach am Main, Hanau, Aschaffenburg, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe and Rüsselsheim.


Frankfurt has a temperate-oceanic climate with relatively cold winters and warm summers. Its average annual temperature is 10.6 °C (51.1 °F), with monthly mean temperatures ranging from 1.6 °C (34.9 °F) in January to 20.0 °C (68.0 °F) in July.

Climate data for Frankfurt Airport, Germany for 1981–2010 (Source: DWD)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.3
Average high °C (°F) 4.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.6
Average low °C (°F) −1.1
Record low °C (°F) −19.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 44.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 50.2 80.1 121.2 177.8 211.3 218.5 233.0 219.0 155.6 102.7 51.3 41.2 1,661.9
Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst

Neighboring districts and cities

To the west, Frankfurt borders the administrative district ( Landkreis) of Main-Taunus-Kreis with cities such as Hattersheim am Main, Kriftel, Hofheim am Taunus, Kelkheim (Taunus), Liederbach am Taunus, Sulzbach (Taunus), Schwalbach am Taunus and Eschborn; to the northwest the Hochtaunuskreis with Steinbach (Taunus), Oberursel (Taunus) and Bad Homburg vor der Höhe; to the north the Wetteraukreis with Karben and Bad Vilbel; to the northeast the Main-Kinzig-Kreis with Niederdorfelden and Maintal; to the southeast the city of Offenbach am Main; to the south the Kreis Offenbach with Neu-Isenburg and to the southwest the Kreis Groß-Gerau with Mörfelden-Walldorf, Rüsselsheim and Kelsterbach.

Together with these cities (and some larger nearby cities, e.g. Hanau, Rodgau, Dreieich, Langen) Frankfurt forms a contiguous built-up urban area called Stadtregion Frankfurt which is not an official administrative district. The urban area had an estimated population of 2.3 million in 2010 and is therefore the 13th largest urban area of the European Union.



Frankfurt seen from the air

With a population of 688,249 in 2010, Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The city is considered a multicultural city because it is home to people of 180 nationalities. In addition to the ethnic German majority, the city contains sizable immigrant populations from Turkey, Italy, Colombia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Greece, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Spain, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Japan, the United States, Austria, India, the United Kingdom, Romania, Afghanistan, Russia, Bulgaria, Lebanon, and China. The Frankfurt urban area is also home to the second-largest Korean community in Europe, and to Germany's largest Sri Lankan Tamil community. Nearly 25 percent of Frankfurt's residents are foreign nationals. In addition, 40 percent of Frankfurt's residents, and 65 percent of those below the age of five, come from an immigrant background.

Frankfurt has been a Großstadt (a city with at least 100,000 residents by definition) since 1875. With 414,576 residents in 1910, it was the 9th largest city in Germany and the number of inhabitants grew to 553,464 before World War II. After the war, at the end of the year 1945, the number had dropped to 358,000. In the following years, the population grew again and reached an all-time-high of 691,257 in 1963. It dropped again to 592,411 in 1986 but has increased since then. According to the demographic forecast of the City of Frankfurt, the population will reach the 700,000 mark in 2012 and will further increase up to 725,000 in 2020.

Ancestry Number
Germans 58.1%
Other European 23%
Turks 9%
Asians 5%
Africans 3%
Other/Mixed 1.9%


Frankfurt was historically a Protestant-dominated city. However, during the 19th century an increasing number of Catholics moved there. In 2006, Catholicism was the largest religious denomination (25 percent) closely followed by Protestantism (23 percent). According to the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany) there are 7,300 Jews affiliated with Judaism in Frankfurt, giving it the third largest Jewish community (behind Berlin and Munich) in Germany.


Frankfurt is one of five independent district-free cities ( kreisfreie Städte) in Hesse which means that it does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity, in this case it is not part of a Landkreis. The other four cities are the second to fifth largest cities in Hesse: Wiesbaden, Kassel, Darmstadt and Offenbach am Main. A kreisfreie Stadt has territorial sovereignty within its defined city limits.

Since 1995 Frankfurt's municipal leader has been Lord Mayor (Oberbürgermeisterin) Petra Roth of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In 2012, Peter Feldmann (SPD) succeeded Roth as Lord Mayor. The CDU and the Alliance '90/The Greens (Bündnis '90/Die Grünen) currently form the governing parties in Frankfurt.

International relations

Frankfurt's Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD)

Twin towns and sister cities

Frankfurt twinned with, or has sister city relationships with:

  • France Blason Ville fr Lyon.svg  Lyon, France, since 1960
  • United Kingdom Arms of Birmingham.svg Birmingham, United Kingdom, since 1966
  • Italy Milano-Stemma 2.svg Milan, Italy, since 1971
  • Egypt Cairo, Egypt, since 1979
  • Israel Arms of Tel Aviv.svg Tel Aviv, Israel, since 1980
  • China Guangzhou, People's Republic of China, since 1988
  • Canada Toronto, Canada, since 1989
  • Czech Republic Praha CoA CZ small.svg Prague, Czech Republic, since 1990
  • Hungary Coa Hungary Town Budapest.svg Budapest, Hungary, since 1990
  • Germany Coat of arms of Leipzig.svg  Leipzig since 1991
  • Nicaragua Granada, Nicaragua, since 1991
  • Eritrea Arms of Asmara.svg  Asmara, Eritrea, since 1991
  • United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates, since 2005
  • Mexico Arms of Guadalajara.svg  Guadalajara, Mexico, since 2011
  • Japan Yokohama, Japan, since 2011


Partnerships are a weaker form of cooperation than the sister city relationship, being more like a fixed-term cooperation or limited to certain projects. Frankfurt has partnerships with the following cities:

  • Blason ville fr Deuil-la-Barre(Val-d'Oise).svg  Deuil-la-Barre, France, partnered with Nieder-Eschbach, since 1967; incorporated in 1972
  • PB Kraków CoA.png  Kraków, Poland, since 1991


Frankfurt's financial district

The city is divided into 46 city districts (Stadtteile), which are again divided into 118 city boroughs (Stadtbezirke) and 448 electoral districts (Wahlbezirke). The 46 city districts are combined for political reasons into 16 area districts ( Ortsbezirke), which each have a district committee and chairperson.

The largest city district by population and area is Sachsenhausen, the smallest is Altstadt, Frankfurt's historical centre. Three larger city districts (Sachsenhausen, Westend and Nordend) are divided for administrative purposes into a northern (-Nord) and a southern (-Süd) part, respectively a western (-West) and an eastern (-Ost) part, but are generally considered as one city district (that's why there are often only 43 city districts mentioned, even on the official website of the City of Frankfurt).

Some larger housing areas are often falsely called city districts, even by locals, like Nordweststadt (part of Niederursel, Heddernheim and Praunheim), Goldstein (part of Schwanheim), Riedberg (part of Kalbach-Riedberg) and Europaviertel (part of Gallus). The Bankenviertel (banking district), Frankfurt's financial district, is also not an administrative city district (it covers parts of the western Innenstadt district, the southern Westend district and the eastern Bankenviertel district).

Many city districts are incorporated suburbs ( Vororte), or were previously independent cities, like Höchst. Some like Nordend and Westend arose during the rapid growth of the city in the Gründerzeit following the Unification of Germany, while others were formed from territory which previously belonged to other city district, like Dornbusch and Riederwald.

Population by districts

Frankfurt as the centre of the Rhine Main Region
The 16 Ortsbezirke (area districts) of Frankfurt
The 46 Stadtteile (city districts) of Frankfurt
Population of the 46 city districts on 31 December 2009
City district (Stadtteil)
Area in km²
Foreign nationals
Foreign nationals in %
Area district (Ortsbezirk)
01 Altstadt 0,51 km² 3.475 1.122 32,3% 01 - Innenstadt 1
02 Innenstadt 1,52 km² 6.577 2.529 38,5% 01 - Innenstadt 1
03 Bahnhofsviertel 0,53 km² 2.125 810 38,1% 01 - Innenstadt 1
04 Westend-Süd 2,47 km² 17.288 3.445 19,9% 02 - Innenstadt 2
05 Westend-Nord 1,67 km² 8.854 2.184 24,7% 02 - Innenstadt 2
06 Nordend-West 3,07 km² 28.808 5.162 17,9% 03 - Innenstadt 3
07 Nordend-Ost 1,69 km² 26.619 5.580 21,0% 03 - Innenstadt 3
08 Ostend 5,40 km² 26.955 7.213 26,8% 04 - Innenstadt 4
09 Bornheim 2,66 km² 27.184 6.240 23,0% 04 - Innenstadt 4
10 Gutleutviertel 2,20 km² 5.843 1.953 33,4% 01 - Innenstadt 1
11 Gallus 4,22 km² 26.716 11.012 41,2% 01 - Innenstadt 1
12 Bockenheim 8,04 km² 34.740 9.034 26,0% 02 - Innenstadt 2
13 Sachsenhausen-Nord 4,24 km² 30.374 6.507 21,4% 05 - Süd
14 Sachsenhausen-Süd 34,91 km² 26.114 4.847 18,6% 05 - Süd
15 Flughafen 20,00 km² 211 14 6,6% 05 - Süd
16 Oberrad 2,74 km² 12.828 3.113 24,3% 05 - Süd
17 Niederrad 2,93 km² 22.954 6.569 28,6% 05 - Süd
18 Schwanheim 17,73 km² 20.162 3.532 17,5% 06 - West
19 Griesheim 4,90 km² 22.648 8.029 35,5% 06 - West
20 Rödelheim 5,15 km² 17.841 4.863 27,3% 07 - Mitte-West
21 Hausen 1,26 km² 7.178 2.135 29,7% 07 - Mitte-West
22/23 Praunheim 4,55 km² 15.761 3.197 20,3% 07 - Mitte-West
24 Heddernheim 2,49 km² 16.443 3.194 19,4% 08 - Nord-West
25 Niederursel 7,22 km² 16.394 3.671 22,4% 08 - Nord-West
26 Ginnheim 2,73 km² 16.444 4.024 24,5% 09 - Mitte-Nord
27 Dornbusch 2,38 km² 18.511 3.482 18,8% 09 - Mitte-Nord
28 Eschersheim 3,34 km² 14.808 2.657 17,9% 09 - Mitte-Nord
29 Eckenheim 2,23 km² 14.277 3.674 25,7% 10 - Nord-Ost
30 Preungesheim 3,74 km² 13.568 3.442 25,4% 10 - Nord-Ost
31 Bonames 1,24 km² 6.362 1.288 20,2% 10 - Nord-Ost
32 Berkersheim 3,18 km² 3.400 592 17,4% 10 - Nord-Ost
33 Riederwald 1,04 km² 4.911 1.142 23,3% 11 - Ost
34 Seckbach 8,04 km² 10.194 1.969 19,3% 11 - Ost
35 Fechenheim 7,18 km² 16.061 5.635 35,1% 11 - Ost
36 Höchst 4,73 km² 13.888 5.279 38,0% 06 - West
37 Nied 3,82 km² 17.829 5.224 29,3% 06 - West
38 Sindlingen 3,98 km² 9.032 2.076 23,0% 06 - West
39 Zeilsheim 5,47 km² 11.984 2.555 21,3% 06 - West
40 Unterliederbach 5,85 km² 14.350 3.511 24,5% 06 - West
41 Sossenheim 5,97 km² 15.853 4.235 26,7% 06 - West
42 Nieder-Erlenbach 8,34 km² 4.629 496 10,7% 13 - Nieder-Erlenbach
43 Kalbach-Riedberg 6,90 km² 8.482 1.279 15,1% 12 - Kalbach-Riedberg
44 Harheim 5,02 km² 4.294 446 10,4% 14 - Harheim
45 Nieder-Eschbach 6,35 km² 11.499 1.978 17,2% 15 - Nieder-Eschbach
46 Bergen-Enkheim 12,54 km² 17.954 2.764 15,4% 16 - Bergen-Enkheim
47 Frankfurter Berg 2,16 km² 7.149 1.715 24,0% 10 - Nord-Ost
Frankfurt am Main 248,33 km² 679.571 165.418 24,3%

History of incorporations

Until the year 1877, the city territory of Frankfurt consisted of the present-day inner-city districts of Altstadt, Innenstadt, Bahnhofsviertel, Gutleutviertel, Gallus, Westend, Nordend, Ostend and Sachsenhausen.

Bornheim, which was part of an administrative district called Landkreis Frankfurt, became part of the city on 1 January 1877, followed by Bockenheim on 1 April 1895. Seckbach, Niederrad and Oberrad followed on 1 July 1900. The Landkreis Frankfurt was finally dispersed on 1 April 1910, and therefore Berkersheim, Bonames, Eckenheim, Eschersheim, Ginnheim, Hausen, Heddernheim, Niederursel, Praunheim, Preungesheim and Rödelheim joined the City of Frankfurt. In the same year a new city district, Riederwald, was created on territory that had formerly belonged to Seckbach and Ostend.

On 1 April 1928, the City of Höchst became part of Frankfurt, as well as its city districts Sindlingen, Unterliederbach and Zeilsheim. Simultaneously the Landkreis Höchst was dispersed with its member cities either joining Frankfurt ( Fechenheim, Griesheim, Nied, Schwanheim, Sossenheim) or joining the newly established Landkreis of Main-Taunus-Kreis.

Dornbusch became a city district in 1946. It was created on territory that had formerly belonged to Eckenheim and Ginnheim.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the government of Hesse developed plans to significantly reduce the number of administrative districts in Hesse (Hessische Gebietsreform). On 1 August 1972, the smaller suburbs of Harheim, Kalbach, Nieder-Erlenbach, and Nieder-Eschbach became districts of Frankfurt while other neighbouring suburbs chose to join the Main-Taunus-Kreis, the Landkreis Offenbach, the Kreis Groß-Gerau, the Hochtaunuskreis, the Main-Kinzig-Kreis or the Wetteraukreis.

Bergen-Enkheim was the last suburb to become part of Frankfurt on 1 January 1977.

Flughafen became an official city district in 1979. It covers the area of Frankfurt Airport which had formerly belonged to Sachsenhausen and the neighbouring city of Mörfelden-Walldorf.

Frankfurt's youngest city district is Frankfurter Berg. It was part of Bonames until 1996.

Kalbach was officially renamed "Kalbach-Riedberg" in 2006 because of the large residential housing development in the area which goes by the name of Riedberg.



Saint Bartholomeus' Cathedral
Saint Paul's Church
  • Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral

Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral (Dom Sankt Bartholomäus), named after Bartholomew the Apostle, is a gothic building which was constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries on the foundation of an earlier church from the Merovingian time. From 1356 onwards, kings of the Holy Roman Empire were elected in this church, and from 1562 to 1792, the Roman-German emperors were crowned here. Today, it is the main church of Frankfurt.

Since the 18th century, St. Bartholomew's has been called "the cathedral" by the people, although it has never been a bishop's seat. In 1867, the cathedral was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in its present style. It was again partially destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in the 1950s. The height of the cathedral is 95 metres. The cathedral tower has a viewing platform open to the public at a height of 66 metres.

  • Saint Paul's Church

Saint Paul's Church (Paulskirche) is a national historic monument in Germany with great political symbolism, because it was the seat of the first democratically elected Parliament in 1848. It was established in 1789 as a Protestant church but was not completed until 1833. Its importance has its root in the Frankfurt Parliament, which met in the church during the revolutionary years of 1848/49 in order to write a constitution for a united Germany. The attempt failed because the monarchs of Prussia and Austria did not want to lose power, and in 1849, Prussian troops ended the democratic experiment by force of arms and the parliament was dissolved. Afterwards, the building was used for church services again.

St. Paul's was partially destroyed in World War II, particularly the interior of the building, which now has a modern appearance. It was quickly and symbolically rebuilt after the war; today it is not used for religious services, but mainly for exhibitions and events.

  • Archäologischer Garten Frankfurt

The Archaeological Garden contains small parts of the oldest buildings ever recovered in Frankfurt: An ancient Roman settlement and the Frankfurt Royal Palace (Kaiserpfalz Frankfurt) from the 6th century. The garden is located between the Römerberg and St. Bartholomew's. It was discovered after World War II when the area was heavily bombed and later partly rebuilt. The remains were preserved and are now open to the public. There are plans underway to construct a building on top of the garden but anyhow it is decided that the garden will stay open to the public.

  • Römer

"Römer" is the German word for "Roman" and is the name of a complex of nine houses that form the Frankfurt city hall (Rathaus). The houses were acquired by the city council in 1405 from a wealthy merchant family. The middle house became the city hall and was later connected with the neighbouring buildings. Located on the upper floor is the Kaisersaal ("Emperor's Hall") where the newly crowned emperors held their banquets. The Römer was partially destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt. The surrounding square, the Römerberg, is named after the city hall.

A 360 degree view of the Römerberg (left: Samstagsberg, middle: Alte Nikolaikirche, right: Römer)
The Alte Oper, now a concert hall, at the Opernplatz
Eschenheimer Turm
Hauptwache building
  • Haus Wertheim

Wertheim House is the only timbered house in the Altstadt district that survived the heavy bombings of World War II without any damage. It is located on the Römerberg next to the Historical Museum.

  • Saalhof

The Saalhof is the oldest conserved building in the Altstadt district which dates back to the 12th century. It was used as an exhibition hall by Dutch clothiers when trade fairs were held in Frankfurt during the 14th and 15th century. The Saalhof was partly destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt. Today it serves as a part of the Historical Museum.

  • Eiserner Steg

The Eiserner Steg (Iron Bridge) is a pedestrian-only bridge over the Main river which connects the Römerberg and Sachsenhausen. It was built in 1868 and was only the second bridge to cross the river in Frankfurt. After World War II, when it was blown up by the Wehrmacht, it was quickly rebuilt in 1946. Today around 10,000 people cross the bridge on a daily basis.

  • Alte Oper

The Alte Oper is a former opera house, hence the name "Old Opera". It was built in 1880 by architect Richard Lucae. It was one of the major opera houses in Germany until it was heavily damaged in World War II. Until the late 1970s, it was a ruin, nicknamed "Germany's Most Beautiful Ruin". There were even efforts to just blow it up. Former Frankfurt Lord Mayor Rudi Arndt called for blowing it up in the 1960s, which earned him the nickname "Dynamite-Rudi". (Later on, Arndt said he never had meant his suggestion seriously.)

Due to public pressure, it was finally fully reconstructed and reopened in 1981. Today, it functions as a famous concert hall, while operas are performed at the "new" Oper Frankfurt. The inscription on the frieze of the Alte Oper says: "Dem Wahren, Schönen, Guten" ("To the true, the beautiful, the good").

  • Eschenheimer Turm

The Eschenheim Tower (Eschenheimer Turm) was erected at the beginning of the 15th century and served as a city gate as part of the late-medieval fortifications of Frankfurt. It is the oldest and most unaltered building in the Innenstadt district.

  • Saint Catherine's Church

St. Catherine's Church (Katharinenkirche) is the largest evangelical church in Frankfurt, dedicated to the martyred early Christian saint, Catherine of Alexandria. It is located in the city centre at the entrance to the Zeil, the central shopping street.

  • Hauptwache

Although today "Hauptwache" is mostly associated with the inner-city underground train station of the same name, the name originates from a baroque building on the square above the station. The Hauptwache building was constructed in 1730 and was used as a prison, therefore the name that translates as "main guard-house". Today the square surrounding the building is also called "Hauptwache" (formal: An der Hauptwache). It is situated in the city centre opposite to St. Catherine's Church and houses a famous café.

  • Frankfurt Central Station

Frankfurt Central Station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof), which opened in 1888, was built as the central train station for Frankfurt to replace three smaller train stations in the city centre and to boost the needed capacity for travellers. It was constructed as a terminus station and was the largest train station in Europe by floor area until 1915 when Leipzig Central Station was opened. Its three main halls were constructed in a neorenaissance-style, while the later enlargement with two outer halls in 1924 were constructed in a neoclassicism-style.

  • Frankfurter Hof

The Frankfurter Hof is a landmarked hotel in the city centre at Kaiserplatz, built from 1872-1876. It is part of Steigenberger Hotels group and is considered the most prestigious hotel in Frankfurt.

20th-century architecture

Holy Cross Church in Frankfurt- Bornheim
  • Frauenfriedenskirche and Holy Cross Church, both consecrated 1929, an example of an early modernist church building.
  • Grossmarkthalle, built 1926–1928, the former wholesale market hall, currently under reconstruction to become part of the future European Central Bank Headquarters.
  • Goethe House, rebuilt 1947. The birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from 1749 was destroyed in World War II and then rebuilt true to the original.
  • Junior-Haus, built 1951, an example of early post-World War II architecture located at Kaiserplatz.
  • Bayer-Haus, built 1952, another example of early post-World War II architecture. Today it houses the 5-star Fleming's Hotel Frankfurt.
  • Museum für angewandte Kunst, built 1985, designed by Richard Meier.

The IG Farben Building, also known as Poelzig Building (Poelzig-Bau) after its architect Hans Poelzig, was built from 1928 to 1930 as the corporate headquarters of the chemical industry conglomerate I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. It is located in the Westend district and borders Grüneburgpark in the west. On its completion, the complex was the largest office building in Europe and remained so until the 1950s. The building served as headquarters for research projects relating to the development of Nazi wartime synthetic oil and rubber, and the production administration of magnesium, lubricating oil, explosives, methanol, and Zyklon B, the lethal gas used in concentration camps. After World War II, the IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the Supreme Allied Command and from 1949-1952 the High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG). It became the principal location for implementing the Marshall Plan, which largely financed the post-war reconstruction of Europe. The state apparatus of the Federal German Government was devised there. The IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the US Army's V Corps and the Northern Area Command (NACOM) until 1995 when the US Army returned control of the IG Farben Building to the German government. It was purchased on behalf of the Goethe University Frankfurt by the state of Hesse. Since October 2001 it is part of the Westend Campus of the Goethe University.

IG Farben Building, now the central lecture building of the Westend Campus of the Goethe University

21st-century architecture

The Squaire in 2011
  • Die Welle (The Wave), built 1998–2003, a complex of three wavelike-formed office buildings next to the Opernplatz.
  • Alte Stadtbibliothek, rebuilt 2003–2005, reconstruction of the old public library house which was originally built 1820–1825.
  • Palais Thurn und Taxis, rebuilt 2004–2009, reconstruction of a palace which was originally built 1731–1739.
  • MyZeil, built 2004-–2009, a shopping mall at the Zeil with an imposing vaulted glass-structure.
  • The Squaire

The Squaire (a portmanteau of the words square and air), also known as Airrail Centre Frankfurt, is a 660 m (2,165.35 ft) long and 45 m (147.64 ft) tall office building located at Frankfurt Airport. It was built from 2006–2011 on top of an existing railway station ( Frankfurt Airport long distance Station) and has a connecting bridge to Terminal 1 for pedestrians. With a total of 140,000 m² rentable floor space it is considered the largest office building in Germany. Main tenants of the Squaire are KPMG Europe LLP, two Hilton Hotels and Lufthansa.


Frankfurt skyline in August 2010, view from Goethe Tower in the south
Upper section of the Main Tower with a public observation desk at 200 metres
The Deutsche Bank Twin Towers, the headquarters of Deutsche Bank, in the banking district of Frankfurt.

Frankfurt is one of the few European cities with a significant number of skyscrapers, meaning buildings at least 150 m (492.13 ft) tall. Twelve out of a total of 13 skyscrapers in Germany are located in Frankfurt with two more ( European Central Bank Headquarters, 185 metres, and Taunusturm, 170 metres) under construction in 2011. Most of the skyscrapers and high-rise office buildings in Frankfurt are located in the financial district ( Bankenviertel) near the city centre, around the trade fair premises ( Europaviertel) and at Mainzer Landstraße, which connects the two areas.

The 12 skyscrapers in Frankfurt are:

  • Commerzbank Tower, 259 m (849.74 ft) — Europe's tallest building (1997–2003), Headquarters of Commerzbank.
  • Messeturm, 257 m (843.18 ft) — Europe's tallest building (1990–1997), Main tenant is Goldman Sachs (Germany).
  • Westend Tower, 208 m (682.41 ft) — Headquarters of DZ Bank.
  • Main Tower, 200 m (656.17 ft) — Headquarters of Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen and of Standard & Poor’s (Germany).
  • Tower 185, 200 m (656.17 ft) — Headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Germany).
  • Trianon, 186 m (610.24 ft) — Headquarters of DekaBank.
  • Opernturm, 170 m (557.74 ft) — Headquarters of UBS (Germany).
  • Silberturm, 166 m (544.62 ft) — Germany's tallest building (1978–1990), Main tenant is Deutsche Bahn.
  • Westend Gate, 159 m (521.65 ft) — Germany's tallest building (1976–1978), Main tenant is Marriott Frankfurt Hotel.
  • Deutsche Bank I, 155 m (508.53 ft) — Headquarters of Deutsche Bank.
  • Deutsche Bank II, 155 m (508.53 ft) — Headquarters of Deutsche Bank.
  • Skyper, 154 m (505.25 ft) — Main tenant is DekaBank.

Other high-rise buildings in Frankfurt include:

  • Eurotower, 148 m (485.56 ft) — Headquarters of European Central Bank.
  • Frankfurter Büro Centre, 142 m (465.88 ft) — Main tenant is Clifford Chance (Germany).
  • City-Haus, 142 m (465.88 ft) — Main tenant is DZ Bank.
  • Gallileo, 136 m (446.19 ft) — Main tenant is Commerzbank.

History of high-rise buildings

Skyline at night, seen from Deutschherrnbrücke (2011)

For centuries, St. Bartholomeus's Cathedral had been the highest structure in Frankfurt. The first building to beat the 95-metres high cathedral in terms of height was not an office building but a grain silo, the 120-metres high Henninger Turm, built from 1959-1961.

The first boom of high-rise buildings came in the 1970s when the Silberturm and the Westend Gate (then called Plaza Büro Centre) were constructed and became the tallest buildings in Germany with a height of 166 metres and 159 metres respectively. Around the same time, the Frankfurter Büro Centre and the City-Haus (both 142 metres tall) were constructed at Mainzer Landstraße and the Eurotower (148 metres) and the Garden Tower (127 metres; then called Helaba-Hochhaus) were constructed in the financial district.

During the 1980s, none of the then constructed buildings reached higher than the existing buildings. The most famous buildings from this decade are the Deutsche Bank Twin Towers at Taunusanlage, both 155 metres tall.

The second boom of high-rise buildings was in the 1990s: The Messeturm, built at the trade fair premises, reached a height of 257 metres and became the tallest building in Europe by 1991. It was beaten in terms of height by the Commerzbank Tower (259 metres) in 1997. Other tall buildings from this decade are Westend Tower (208 metres), Main Tower (200 metres) and Trianon (186 metres).

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Frankfurt has seen the construction of more high-rise buildings (e.g. Skyper, Gallileo, Westhafen Tower) but not any record-breaking heights. The last skyscrapers constructed were the Opernturm (170 metres; built 2007-2010) and the Tower 185 (200 metres; built 2008-2011).

Other tall structures

Goethe Tower
  • Europaturm

The Europe Tower is a telecommunications tower, also known as the Frankfurt TV Tower, built from 1974-1979. With a height of 337.5 metres it is the tallest tower in the city and the second tallest structure in Germany after the Fernsehturm Berlin. It was open to the public until 1999, with an entertainment establishment in the revolving top. It is normally referred to by locals as the "Ginnheimer Spargel" (Ginnheim Asparagus), which is misleading because it is not located in the Ginnheim district but stands a few metres within the neighbouring Bockenheim district.

  • Henninger Turm

The Henninger Tower is a 120-metre high grain silo built from 1959–1961 and owned by Henninger Brewery. It was the highest structure in Frankfurt until 1974 and it was the first to surpass the 95-metre high St. Bartholomeus Cathedral. The Henninger Tower has two rotating restaurants at the height of 101 and 106 metres and an open-air observation deck at the height of 110 metres. The tower has been closed to the public since October 2002. Plans to destroy the tower and replace it were abandoned because of its statuts as a local landmark building. Today there are new plans to convert it into a residential tower but these plans are also criticized because it would drastically change the external appearance of the tower. From 1962 to 2008 there was a famous yearly cycling race named after the tower, the "Radrennen Rund um den Henninger Turm" (Cycling race around Henninger Tower). The race is still a yearly event but due to a change of sponsors it has now a different name, while locals still call it by its long-established name.

  • Goetheturm

The Goethe Tower is a 43-metre high tower built entirely out of wood on the northern edge of the Frankfurt City Forest in Sachsenhausen. It is the fifth tallest wooden construction in Germany. It was built in 1931 and is still a popular place for day-trippers, especially families, as a large playground and a café have been built at the foot of the tower. Climbing the Goethe Tower is free of charge and offers a spectacular view of the Frankfurt skyline. Due to deficiencies on the wooden structure, the tower is temporarily closed (Summer 2011).

Shopping streets

The Zeil (right)
Sidewalk cafés at Freßgass
  • Zeil

The Zeil is Frankfurt's central shopping street and one of the most crowded in Germany. The street is a pedestrian-only area and is bordered by two large public squares, Hauptwache in the west and Konstablerwache in the east. It is the second most expensive street for shops to rent in Germany after the Kaufingerstraße in Munich. 85 percent of the shops there are retail store chains like H&M, Saturn, Esprit, Zara or NewYorker. In 2009 a new shopping mall named MyZeil opened on the Zeil with nearly 100 stores and new chains like Hollister. There are three more shopping malls on the Zeil: Zeilgalerie, Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt, as well as large fashion retail clothing stores from Peek & Cloppenburg and C&A. During the month before Christmas, the extended pedestrian-only zone is host to one of the largest and oldest Christmas Markets in Germany.

  • Goethestraße

Goethestraße is Frankfurt's most expensive shopping street with prestigious shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Tiffany, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Cartier, Burberry, Vertu and Bulgari. It is located between the financial district and the city centre and runs from Goetheplatz to Opernplatz.

  • Freßgass

"Freßgass" (officially Kalbächer Gasse and Große Bockenheimer Straße) is the well-established name for a pedestrian-only street section between Börsenstraße and Opernplatz in the city centre. The name literally translates as "devour alley" because of its high concentration of gastronomy, but latetly more and more prestigious shops (e.g. Apple Store, Hugo Boss, Porsche Design) move here, due to a lack of space in the neighbouring Goethestraße, and displace old-established restaurants, butchers or delicatessen.

  • Berger Straße

Berger Straße is Frankfurt's longest shopping street. It begins in the city centre, runs through Nordend and Bornheim and ends in Seckbach. The street is less crowded than the Zeil and offers more smaller shops, restaurants and cafés.

  • Braubachstraße

Brauchbachstraße in the Altstadt district, close to the historic sites of the city, offers a large variety of art galleries and second-hand bookshops.

  • Münchener Straße

Münchener Straße in the Bahnhofsviertel district, located between the central station and Willy-Brandt-Platz, is the most multicultural shopping street in Frankfurt with lots of shops that sell product mainly from Turkey, the Middle East and Asia.

  • Kaiserstraße

Kaiserstraße is one of the best-known streets in Frankfurt and considered one of the most beautiful because of its amount of Gründerzeit-style buildings. It runs parallel to Münchener Straße from the central station to the financial district. Kaiserstraße is still a synonym for Frankfurt's Red-light district although sex-oriented businesses have been moved to neighbouring streets such as Taunusstraße since the 1990s. Today Kaiserstraße houses many smaller shops, restaurants and cafés.

  • Kleinmarkthalle

The Kleinmarkthalle (literally: Small Market Hall) is a market hall in the city centre close to Konstablerwache where fresh food and flowers are sold on a daily basis. In addition to regional delicacies like green sauce there are also imported goods to purchase. Despite the name, the Kleinmarkthalle is the largest public market place in the Frankfurt urban area and attracts locals as well as tourists.

Green city

With a large forest, many parks, the Main riverbanks and the two botanical gardens, Frankfurt is considered a "green city": More than 50 percent of the area within the city limits are protected green areas.

Enkheimer Ried
Wallanlagen with Deutsche Bank Twin Towers
  • Frankfurter Grüngürtel

Frankfurt's Green Belt is a ring-shaped public green space around the city. With 8,000 ha it covers a third of the administrative area of Frankfurt. Part of the green belt - from south to west, from the west to the north and then to the east - are the Frankfurter Stadtwald ( Frankfurt City Forest, Germany's largest forest within a city), the Schwanheimer Düne ( Schwanheim Dune), the Niddatal ( Nidda Valley), the Niddapark, the Lohrberg (Lohr Mountain, Frankfurt's only vineyard), the Huthpark, the Enkheimer Ried ( Enkheim Marsh), the Seckbacher Ried ( Seckbach Marsh) and the Fechenheimer Mainbogen (a S-shaped part of the Main river in Fechenheim). The Green Belt is a protected area which means that house building is not allowed. The Green Belt was formally created in 1991 with its own constitution.

  • Mainuferpark

The Mainuferpark (Main Riverbanks Park) is the common term to describe both sides of the inner-city Main riverbanks. It is an auto-free zone with large green areas and therefore popular with strollers and tourists, especially in the summertime, when it can become very crowded. The southern riverbank, which continues further to Offenbach am Main and Hanau, offers the best views of the Frankfurt skyline. The northern riverbank ends in the west at the former Westhafen (West Harbour, now a residential housing area) but is currently being enlarged to the east: A former industrial-used area between the future European Central Bank Headquarters and the Osthafen (East Harbour) will become a new park named Hafenpark (Harbour Park).

  • Wallanlagen

The Wallanlagen (analogous: Ramparts) relate to the former ring-shaped city wall fortifications around the Altstadt and the Innenstadt district (abolished 1804-1812), now a series of parks. House building is not allowed, with a few exceptions, the most famous being the Alte Oper (built 1880) at the Opernplatz. The part between the northern Main riverbank and the Opernplatz, referred to officially as Taunusanlage and Gallusanlage, is also locally known as "Central Park" (a reference to the famous park in Manhattan), not because of its size but because of the skyscrapers which stand on both sides of the park.

  • Nizza Park

At the juncture of the northern Main riverbank and the Wallanlagen is a famous small park called Nizza. The name of the park recalls the City of Nice in southern France because it is one of the warmest areas in Frankfurt with a nearly mediterranean climate. Numerous plants from the Mediterranean flora grow here and can even survive outside during the winter.

  • Garten des Himmlischen Friedens

The Garden of Heavenly Peace, named after the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, is a Chinese-styled park in the Nordend district and part of the larger Bethmannpark. It contains Chinese buildings, with the building materials shipped in from China and built by Chinese workpeople in the 1980s, as well as traditional Chinese plants and herbs.

  • Other parks

The largest parks in Frankfurt are the Niddapark (168 ha), the Ostpark (32 ha) and the Grüneburgpark (29 ha).



The Städel
Schirn Art Gallery from above
Senckenberg Natural History Museum

With more than 30 museums, some of them considered international prestigious, Frankfurt has one of the largest variety of museums in Europe. 20 museums are part of the Museumsufer (Museums Riverbank), which means that their location is on the front row of both sides of the Main riverbank or within spitting distance.

Ten museums are located on the southern riverbank in Sachsenhausen between the Eiserner Steg and the Friedensbrücke. The street itself, Schaumainkai, is partially closed to traffic on Saturdays for Frankfurt's largest flea market.

  • Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum)
  • Deutsches Filmmuseum (German Film Museum)
  • Frankfurter Ikonenmuseum (Icon Museum Frankfurt)
  • Liebieghaus (Museum of Municipal Sculptures)
  • Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts)
  • Museum Giersch (Museum for Regional Art)
  • Museum für Kommunikation (Museum of Communications)
  • Museum der Weltkulturen (Museum of World Cultures)
  • Städel, one of the most famous art museums in Germany
  • Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum (Bible House Experience Museum)

Two museums are located on the northern riverbank:

  • Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt (Jewish Museum Frankfurt)
  • Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Historical Museum Frankfurt)

Not directly located on the northern riverbank in the Altstadt district are:

  • Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art)
  • Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Schirn Art Gallery Frankfurt)
  • Frankfurter Kunstverein (Art Association Frankfurt)
  • Museum Judengasse (Jews' Alley Museum)
  • Goethe-Haus (Goethe House)
  • Archäologisches Museum Frankfurt (Archaeological Museum Frankfurt)
  • Caricatura Museum für Komische Kunst (Caricatura Museum of Comical Art)
  • Dommuseum Frankfurt (Frankfurt Cathedral Museum)

Another important museum is located in the Westend district:

  • Naturmuseum Senckenberg (Senckenberg Natural History Museum), the second largest natural history museum in Germany

Other museums in Frankfurt are the Dialogmuseum (Dialogue Museum) in the Ostend district, Eintracht Frankfurt Museum at Commerzbank-Arena, Explora Museum+Wissenschaft+Technik (Explora Museum of Science and Engineering) in the Nordend district, the Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum e.V. (Light Railway Museum Frankfurt) in the Gallus district, the Verkehrsmuseum Frankfurt (Transport Museum Frankfurt) in the Schwanheim district, the Hammer Museum in the Bahnhofsviertel district and the Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank (Money Museum of the German Federal Bank) in the Ginnheim district.

Performing arts

Festhalle Frankfurt
Commerzbank-Arena in the city forest, skyline in the background
The English Theatre
  • Oper Frankfurt

The Frankfurt Opera is a leading opera company in Germany and one of the most important opera houses in Europe. It was elected Opera house of the year (of Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland) by German magazine Opernwelt in 1995, 1996 and 2003. It was also elected Best opera house in Germany in 2010 and 2011. Its orchestra was voted Orchestra of the year in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

  • Schauspiel Frankfurt

The Frankfurt Schauspiel is a famous theatre at Willy-Brandt-Platz in the financial district, right next to the Frankfurt Opera.

  • Festhalle Frankfurt

The Festhalle (Festival Hall) is a multi-purpose hall next to the Messeturm at the grounds of the Frankfurt Trade Fair. It is mostly used for concerts, exhibitions or sport events and can house up to 13,500 people.

  • Commerzbank-Arena

Commerzbank-Arena is the largest sports stadium in Frankfurt and is one of the ten largest in Germany. It is located in the Frankfurt City Forest near Niederrad. It is primarily used for soccer games and concerts with a capacity up to 51,500 visitors. It was opend in 1925 and underwent several major reconstructions since then. Although the official name of Commerzbank-Arena is in use for serval years now, locals still prefer to call the stadium by its traditional name, Waldstadion (Forest Stadium).

  • Alte Oper

The Alte Oper was once an opera house and is now a major concert hall.

  • Jahrhunderthalle

The Jahrhunderthalle (Century Hall) is a large concert and exhibition hall in the Unterliederbach district. It is sometimes referred to as "Jahrhunderthalle Höchst", not because of the city district with the same name, but because it was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the chemical company Hoechst AG in 1963.

  • The English Theatre

The English Theatre, located on the ground floor of the Gallileo high-rise building, is the largest anglophone theatre in continental Europe. It was established in 1979.

  • Tigerpalast

The Tigerpalast (Tiger Palace) is a varieté in the city centre near the Zeil. It was established in 1988 and houses the famous Tiger-Restaurant which was awarded a Michelin star.

  • Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

The Künsterhaus Mousonturm (House of Artists Mouson Tower) is a free theatre, which means that it has a smaller budget than traditional theatres and used more unconventional performing methods. It is located in an old factory in the Ostend district.

  • Die Schmiere

Die Schmiere (literally: The Grease) is a cabaret and the oldest private-owned theatre in Frankfurt. It is located in the Karmeliterkloster in the Altstadt district. According to its own advertising it is the worst theatre in the world.

  • Die Komödie

Die Komödie (literally: The Comedy) is a boulevard theatre in the city centre near Willy-Brandt-Platz.

Botanical gardens


Frankfurt is home to two major botanical gardens.

  • Palmengarten

The Palmengarten, located in the Westend district, is the largest botanical garden in Germany with 22 ha ground area. It opened to the public in 1871. The botanical exhibits are organized according to their origin in free-air or in climatized greenhouses, which also contain numerous tropical and subtropical plants, hence the name "Palm Garden".

  • Botanischer Garten der Goethe-Universität

The Botanical Garden of the Goethe University is the second botanical garden in Frankfurt and also an arboretum. The garden contains about 5,000 species, with special collections of Rubus (45 species) and indigenous plants of central Europe. It is organized into two major areas: The geobotanical area contains an alpine garden, arboretum, meadows, steppes, marsh, and a pond, as well as collections of plants from the Canary Islands, Caucasus, East Asia, Mediterranean, and North America and the systematic and ecological collection includes crop plants, endangered species, ornamental plants, roses, and the Neuer Senckenbergischer Arzneipflanzengarten (New Senckenberg Medicinal Plant Garden, 1200 m²). The Botanical Garden, the neighbouring Palmengarten and the neighbouring Grüneburgpark form the largest inner-city green area in Frankfurt.

Foreign culture

Amerika-Haus Frankfurt
  • Instituto Cervantes

The Cervantes Institute, named after Miguel de Cervantes, one of the most important Spanish authors, is the largest organization in the world responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture. There are currently 54 Centros Cervantes all over the world which offer Spanish language and history courses. The Frankfurt branch was officially opened in September 2008 by Felipe, Prince of Asturias and his wife Letizia, Princess of Asturias. It is located in the so-called Amerika-Haus which was previously used as the United States Information Centre after World War II until 2005.

  • Central and Eastern European Online Library

The Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L.) is an online archive providing access to full text articles from humanities and social science scholarly journals on Central, Eastern and South Eastern European topics. The subject areas include: anthropology, culture and society, economy, gender studies, history, Judaic studies, fine arts, literature, linguistics, political sciences and social sciences, philosophy, religion, reviews, etc. The C.E.E.O.L. is initiated and maintained by Questa.Soft GmbH in Frankfurt.


The Museumsuferfest in 2005
Wäldchestag in 2002
The stock exchange during the Luminale in 2008 at night
  • Museumsuferfest

A major festival in the city is the Museumsuferfest (Museums Riverbank Festival). It is one of the biggest cultural festivals in Germany which attracts more than 3 million visitors over a period of 3 days. It takes place yearly at the end of August on both sides of the Main riverbank in the city centre. More than 20 museums are located there and they are open far into the night. Furthermore there are special attractions like live-bands, dance shows, several booths for crafts, jewellery, clothes and food from all around the world. It ends with a spectacular firework display.

  • Dippemess

Frankfurt's oldest folk festival is the Dippemess (analogous: Festival of Stoneware) which takes place twice a year around Easter and the end of September in the eastern part of the city. "Dippe" is a regional Hessian dialect word meaning "pot" or "jar" which would not be understood in most other German regions. Mentioned for the first time in the 14th century as an annual marketplace it is now more of an amusement park. The name of the festival derives from its original purpose, when it was a fair where traditionally-crafted jars, pots and other stoneware were on offer.

  • Wäldchestag

The Frankfurt Wäldchestag (analogous: Day of the forest) is jocularly known as a regional holiday because until the 1990s it was common that Frankfurt's shops were closed on this day. Despite the name, the festival takes place over a period of four days after Pentecost with the actual Wäldchestag being Tuesday. What is special about this festival is its location in the Frankfurt City Forest, south-west of the city centre in Niederrad. "Wäldches" is a regional dialect of the German word "Wäldchen", meaning "small forest".

  • Nacht der Museen

At the Nacht der Museen (Night of the museums), taking place every year in April or May, 50 museums in Frankfurt and in the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main are opened to the public far into the night (2:00 am). Additionally there are special music events, dance performances, readings and guided tours. To move between the museums there is a free bus shuttle on offer. In 2010, approx 40,000 visitors were counted at the museums.

  • Nacht der Clubs

Nacht der Clubs (Night of the clubs) is an event similar to Nacht der Museen: On one night as many as 20 clubs in Frankfurt can be visited with only one ticket for €12. Usually there is also a less strict club-door-policy depending visitor's clothes to attract new customers. A free bus shuttle runs between the clubs to allow people to visit more than one location. Nacht der Clubs enjoys great popularity with 15,000 people participating in 2008.

  • Luminale

Luminale is a "festival of light" that takes place in Frankfurt and in the urban area every two years since 2000, parallel to the Light + building exhibition at the trade fair. During the festival a lot of public and private-owned buildings are especially illuminated. In 2008, more than 220 light installations could be seen and attracted 100,000 visitors. The last Luminale was held in April 2012.

  • Wolkenkratzer Festival

The Wolkenkratzer Festival (Skyscraper Festival) is unique in Germany. It takes place irregularly, the last time in May 2007 and attracted around 1.2 million visitors. For two days most of the skyscrapers in Downtown Frankfurt are open to the public, which is normally not the case, apart from the Main Tower observation deck. Sky-divers, base jumpers, fireworks and laser shows were extra attractions. The next festival will be held in 2013.

  • Sound of Frankfurt

The Sound of Frankfurt was a music festival held in the city centre. It took place regularly from 1994 to 2004. Various artists and bands performed open-air and for-free concerts on eight stages located mainly around the Zeil. Different types of music (rock, Latino, techno, house, alternative and pop) attracted about 500,000 visitors each year.


Cocoon Club
Japan Centre, home of Club 101

Frankfurt offers a large variety of restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. Many clubs are located in and around the city centre and in the Ostend district, mainly close to Hanauer Landstraße. Restaurants, bars and pubs can be found all around the city, with large concentrations in Sachsenhausen, Nordend, Bornheim and Bockenheim.

The roots of techno music can be traced back to Germany, and in particular, Frankfurt. It was here, in the early 1990s, that local DJs like Sven Väth and DJ DAG (of Dance 2 Trance) first played a harder, deeper style of acid house that became hugely popular worldwide during the next decade. One of the main venues of the early Trance music sound was the Omen nightclub in the city (closed 1998). Another very popular disco club of the 1980-1990s and one of Frankfurt's hotspots for Techno/Trance music was the Dorian Gray which was located within Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport. Because of the location at the airport the club had no restrictions regarding the opening hours. The club had to close at the end of the year 2000 because it was not longer possible to meet strict fire safety regulations. Also notable for its extraordinary design was Coocoon Club in Fechenheim that opened in 2004 was and voted best techno club of the year by music magazines "Groove" and "Raveline" in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Cocoon Club closed its door on 30 November 2012, having filed for bankruptcy protection two weeks earlier. Accordingly, some of the early and most influential Techno acts, e.g. Jam and Spoon, Dance 2 Trance, Oliver Lieb and Hardfloor, and record labels such as Harthouse and Eye Q, were based in the city in the early 1990s.

  • King Kamehameha Club

King Kamehameha Club, named after the first king of Hawaii, is a disco club at Hanauer Landstraße. It was opened in 1999 and has since then expanded its business with a beach club in Offenbach am Main and a restaurant (King Kamehameha Suite) in Frankfurt's financial district.

  • U60311

U60311 is a techno club in the city centre. "60311" is the zip code of the area. It was voted best club of the year by music magazines "Groove" and "Raveline" multiple times. Its location is an underground former pedestrian underpass.

  • Living XXL

Living XXL is a club/restaurant in the financial district, located on the ground floor of the Eurotower.

  • Club 101

Club 101 is a club in the financial district, located on the 24th floor of the Japan Centre.

  • Batschkapp

Batschkapp is an alternative rock club in Eschersheim. It opened in 1976 and attracts mostly people with a left-winged political attitude. Joschka Fischer, Germany's former Foreign Minister, was a regular guest in the 1980s.

  • Velvet Club ( Innenstadt)
  • Cooky's (Innenstadt)
  • Nachtleben (Innenstadt)
  • Silbergold (Innenstadt)
  • Sinkkasten Arts Club (Innenstadt)
  • Tanzhaus West ( Gutleutviertel)
  • Dora Brillant (Gutleutviertel)
  • Odeon ( Nordend)
  • Monza (Innenstadt)
  • Travolta (Innenstadt)

Culinary specialties

"Bembel" and "Geripptes"
Frankfurter Rippchen
  • Apfelwein

Apfelwein (apple wine or cider) is regionally known as "Ebbelwoi", "Äppler" oder "Stöffsche". It has an alcohol content of 5.5%–7% and a tart, sour taste. It is traditionally served in a lozenge-shaped glass called "Geripptes", a full glass is then called "Schoppen". Apfelwein is also available in a stoneware jar locally known as "Bembel". A group of people normally orders a "Bembel" (or two) and shares the content. Apfelwein can be ordered as "sauergespritzer", which is apfelwein blended with 30% mineral water or as "süssgespritzer", which is Apfelwein blended with lemon soda, orange soda or fresh-pressed apple juice (lemon soda being the most common). Most of the old-established pubs which serve Apfelwein are located in Sachsenhausen, which is therefore jocularly known as "Ebbelwoi district". Due to its national drink Frankfurt is sometimes called "Big Ebbel" (pronunciation with hessian dialect), a reference to Big Apple, the famous nickname of New York City.

  • Grüne Soße

Grüne Soße (green sauce), or locally "Grie Soß", is a sauce made with hard-boiled eggs, oil, vinegar, salt, and generous amount of seven fresh herbs, namely borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives, parsley, and salad burnet. Variants, often due to seasonal availability include dill, lovage, lemon balm and even spinach. Original green sauce Frankfurt-style is made of herbs that were gathered only on fields within the city limits.

  • Frankfurter Würstchen

Frankfurter Würstchen, or short "Frankfurter", are small sausages made of pork which are smoked in a specific way. They are similar to Hot dogs. The name Frankfurter Würstchen is trademarked since 1860.

  • Frankfurter Rindswurst

Frankfurter Rindswurst is a sausage made of pure beef.

  • Frankfurter Rippchen

Frankfurter Rippchen, also known as Rippchen mit Kraut, is a traditional dish which consists of cured pork cutlets, slowly heated in sauerkraut or meat broth, and usually served with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and yellow mustard.

  • Handkäs mit Musik

Handkäse is a German regional sour milk cheese (similar to Harzer) and a culinary speciality in the Rhine Main Region. The traditional way producing it is by hands, hence the name. When it is topped with chopped onions it becomes "Handkäs mit Musik" (with music) because the onions are supposed to stimulate people to pass gas.

  • Frankfurter Kranz

Frankfurter Kranz is a cake speciality believed to originate from Frankfurt.

  • Bethmännchen

Bethmännchen (German for "a little Bethmann") is a pastry made from marzipan with almond, powdered sugar, rosewater, flour, and egg. It is usually baked for Christmas.



Frankfurt Airport (with the fourth runway under construction in 2010) and the Frankfurter Kreuz (lower right corner)
  • Frankfurt Airport

The city can easily be accessed from around the world via Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 12 km (7 mi) from the city centre. The airport has four runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. Run by transport company Fraport it ranks among the world's 10 busiest airports by passenger traffic and is the busiest airport by cargo traffic in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for Condor and as the main hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa. Depending upon whether total passengers or flights are used for calculations, it ranks third or second busiest in Europe alongside London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2012 was 57.5 million. There are plans to expand the airport with a third passenger terminal to increase the capacity up to 88 million in 2020.

The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two railway stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. The S-Bahn lines S8 and S9 (direction Offenbach Ost or Hanau Hbf) departing at the regional station take 10–15 minutes from the airport to Frankfurt Central Station and onwards to the city centre ( Hauptwache station), the IC and ICE trains departing at the long-distance station take 10 minutes to Frankfurt Central Station.

  • Frankfurt Hahn Airport

Despite the name, Frankfurt Hahn Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn) is not located anywhere near Frankfurt but is instead situated approximately 120 km (75 mi) from the city in Lautzenhausen ( Rhineland-Palatinate). Hahn Airport is a major base for Low-cost carrier Ryanair. This airport can only be reached by car or bus. An hourly bus service runs from Frankfurt Central Station, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Passenger traffic at Hahn Airport in 2010 was 3.5 million.

  • Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport

Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport (Flugplatz Frankfurt-Egelsbach) is a busy general aviation airport located south-east of Frankfurt Airport, near the town of Egelsbach.


Due to its central location in Germany, Frankfurt is a traffic hub for the German motorway ( Autobahn) system. The Frankfurter Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange close to the airport, where the Bundesautobahn 3 (A3), Cologne to Würzburg, and the Bundesautobahn 5 (A5), Basel to Hannover, meet. With approximately 320,000 cars passing through it every day it is the most heavily-used interchange in Europe. The Bundesautobahn 66 (A66) connects Frankfurt with Wiesbaden in the west and Fulda in the east. The Bundesautobahn 661 (A661) is mainly a commuter motorway which starts in the south (Egelsbach), runs through the eastern part of Frankfurt and ends in the north ( Oberursel). The Bundesautobahn 648 (A648) is a very short motorway in the western part of Frankfurt which primarily serves as a fast connection between the A 66 and the Frankfurt Trade Fair. The A5 in the west, the A3 in the south and the A661 in the north-east form a ring road around the inner city districts of Frankfurt and define a Low-emission zone (Umweltzone; established in 2008), meaning that vehicles have to meet certain emission criteria otherwise they are not allowed to enter the zone.

The streets of central Frankfurt are usually congested with cars during rush hour. Some areas, especially around the shopping streets Zeil, Goethestraße and Freßgass, are pedestrian-only streets, but there are numerous car parks located throughout the city and especially in the city centre.

Railway stations

Frankfurt Central Station
ICE3 at Frankfurt Central Station
Tram at Frankfurt South station
S-Bahn at Central station (underground)
  • Frankfurt Central Station

Frankfurt Central Station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, often abbreviated as Frankfurt (Main) Hbf or F-Hbf) is the largest railway station in Germany by railway traffic. By daily passenger volume, it ranks second together with Munich Central Station (350,000 each) after Hamburg Central Station (450,000). It is located between the Gallus, the Gutleutviertel and the Bahnhofsviertel district, not far away from the trade fair and the financial district. It serves as a major hub for long-distance trains ( InterCity, ICE) and regional trains as well as for Frankfurt's public transport system. It is a stop for most of the ICE high speed lines, making it the most important station of Germany's ICE network. In addition, ICE Trains to London via the Channel Tunnel are planned for 2013. All Rhine-Main S-Bahn lines, two U-Bahn lines (U4, U5), several tram and bus lines stop here, too. Regional and local trains are integrated in the Public transport system Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), the second largest integrated public transport systems in the world. Only the integrated public transport system in Berlin ( Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg) is larger.

  • Frankfurt Airport stations

Frankfurt Airport can be accessed by two railway stations: Frankfurt Airport long-distance station (Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof) is only for long-distance traffic and connects the airport to the main rail network, with most of the ICE services using the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line. The long-distance station is located outside the actual airport ground but has a connecting bridge for pedestrians to Terminal 1, concourse B. Frankfurt Airport regional station (Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbahnhof) is for local S-Bahn trains (lines S8, S9) and regional trains. The regional station is located within Terminal 1, concourse B.

  • Frankfurt South station

Frankfurt's third long-distance station is Frankfurt South station (Frankfurt Südbahnhof, often abbreviated as Frankfurt (Main) Süd or F-Süd), located in Sachsenhausen. It is also an important destination for local trains and trams (lines 14 to 16, 19) and the terminal stop for four U-Bahn lines (U1, U2, U3, U8) and two S-Bahn lines (S5, S6).

  • Messe stations

The Frankfurt Trade Fair offers two railway stations: Messe station is for local S-Bahn trains (lines S3-S6) and is located at the centre of the trade fair premises while Festhalle/Messe station is served by U-Bahn line U4 and is located at the north-east corner of the premises.

  • Konstablerwache station and Hauptwache station

Two other major railway stations in the city centre are Konstablerwache and Hauptwache, located on both ends of the Zeil. They are the main stations to change from east-to-west-bound S-Bahn trains to north-to-south-bound U-Bahn trains. Konstablerwache station is the second-busiest railway station regarding daily passenger volume in Frankfurt (191,000) after the central station. The third-busiest railway station is Hauptwache station (181,000).

Public transport

Public transport network
Public transport map (2011)

The city has two underground railway systems: the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, as well as an above-ground tram system. Information about the U- and S-Bahn can be found on the website of the RMV.

  • S-Bahn

Nine S-Bahn lines (S1 to S9) connect Frankfurt with the densely populated Rhine Main Region. Most routes have an at least 15 minute service during the day, either by one line running every 15 minutes, or by two lines servicing one route together with a 30 minutes schedule each. All lines, except line S7, run through the Frankfurt city tunnel and serve the stations Ostendstraße, Konstablerwache, Hauptwache, Taunusanlage and Frankfurt Central Station. When leaving the city the S-Bahn travels above ground. It provides access to the trade fair (S3, S4, S5, S6), the airport (S8, S9), the stadium (S7, S8, S9) and nearby cities such as Wiesbaden, Mainz, Darmstadt, Rüsselsheim, Hanau, Offenbach am Main, Oberursel, Bad Homburg, Kronberg, Friedberg and smaller towns that are on the way.

  • U-Bahn

The U-Bahn has nine lines (U1 to U9) serving Frankfurt and the larger suburbs of Bad Homburg and Oberursel in the north. The trains which run on the line are in fact lightrails as many lines travel along a track in the middle of the street instead of underground further from the city centre. The minimum service interval is 2.5 minutes, although the usual pattern is that each line runs with a 7.5–10 minute frequency which combines to approx 3–5 minutes on the city centre sections served by more than one line.

  • Tram

Frankfurt has ten tram lines (11, 12, 14 to 21), with trams arriving usually every 10 minutes. Many sections are served by two lines, combining to give a 5 minute frequency during rush-hour. The tram runs only above ground and serve more stops than the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn.

  • Bus

A number of bus lines complete the Frankfurt public transport system. Night buses take over the service of the U-Bahn and tram at 1:30 am to 3:30 am. The central junction for the night bus service is Konstablerwache in the city centre, where all night bus lines start and end.


Taxis can usually be found outside the major S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations, at the central station, the south station, the airport, the trade fair and in the crowded inner-city shopping streets. The common way to obtain a taxi is to either call a taxi operator or to go to a taxi rank. However, although not the norm, one can hail a passing taxi on the street.


Velotaxi at the Zeil

Deutsche Bahn not only operates the German railway network, but also makes bicycles available for hire. The bicycles are stationed all over the city, including at selected railway stations. They can easily be spotted because of their eye-catching silver-red colour. To hire a specific bike one has to call a service number to get a code for unlocking the bike lock. The costs for hiring a bike are €0.06 per minute or €15 per day. To return the bike you have to lock it again within a certain area and call the service number. For more information see "Call a bike".

Velotaxis are also available in Frankfurt. A velotaxi is a cycle rickshaw, a type of tricycle designed to carry passengers in addition to the driver. The advantage of a velotaxi is that it is allowed to drive in pedestrian-only areas and is therefore practical for a sightseeing tour in the city.

Frankfurt has also a network of modern cycle routes throughout city. Many of the long distance bike routes into the city have cycle tracks that are separate from motorised vehicle traffic. A number of roads in the city centre are "bicycle streets" where the cyclist has the right of way and where motorised vehicles are only allowed access if they do not disrupt the cycle users. In addition, cyclists are allowed to ride many cramped one-way streets in both ways. This is a visible result of policy intentions to increase the number of cyclists in the city; today, 15 percent of Frankfurt's citizens use a bike and the number is expected to grow to 20 percent in the next years. For further information see .

Economy and business

Due to its high concentration of important financial institutions, Frankfurt is one of the world's most important financial centres and the leading one in Germany, Munich coming some way behind. Frankfurt was ranked 7th at the International Financial Centers Development Index (2012), 8th at the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index (2008), 10th at the Global Financial Centres Index (January 2013), 10th at the Global Power City Index (2011), 11th at the Global City Competitiveness Index (2012), 12th at the Innovation Cities Index (2011), 14th at the World City Survey (2011) and 23th at the Global Cities Index (2012).

According to an annual study by Cushman & Wakefield, the European Cities Monitor (2010), Frankfurt has been one of the top three cities for international companies in Europe, along with London and Paris, since the survey started in 1990. It is also the only German city considered to be an alpha world city (category 3) as listed by the Loughborough University group's 2010 inventory, which was a promotion from the group's 2008 inventory when it was ranked as an alpha minus world city (category 4).

Central banks

Euro sculpture in front of the Eurotower, the ECB Headquarters

Frankfurt is home to two important central banks.

  • European Central Bank

The European Central Bank (Europäische Zentralbank) is one of the world's most important central banks. The ECB sets monetary policy for the Eurozone, consisting of 17 European Union member states that have adopted the Euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender. Since its foundation in 1998 the ECB Headquarters are located in the Eurotower at Willy-Brandt-Platz and, due to a shortage of space, in two other high-rise office buildings in Frankfurt's financial district. The future European Central Bank Headquarters in the Ostend district, consisting of the former wholesale market hall ( Großmarkthalle) and a newly built 185-metres skyscraper, are expected to be completed by early 2014. The new building complex will house up to 2,300 ECB personnel. The location, which is a few miles away from the city centre and borders an industrial area as well as the Osthafen (East Harbour), was primarily chosen because of its large premises which allows the ECB to install safety arrangements without using high fences.

The City of Frankfurt honours the importance of the ECB by officially using the slogan "The City of the Euro" since 1998.

  • German Federal Bank

The German Federal Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank), located in Bockenheim, was established in 1957 as the central bank for the Federal Republic of Germany. Until the euro (€) was physically introduced in 2002, the Deutsche Bundesbank was responsible for the monetary policy of Germany and for the German currency, the Deutsche Mark (DM). The Bundesbank was greatly respected for its control of inflation through the second half of the 20th century. Today the Bundesbank is an integral part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) which is formed by all 27 European Union member states.


Deutsche Bank Twin Towers in the financial district
Westend Tower, also known as Westendstraße 1 or Crown Tower, Headquarters of DZ Bank
Opernturm, Headquarters of UBS Germany, at the Opernplatz

In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had a registered office in Frankfurt, including the headquarters of the major German banks, as well as 41 representative offices of international banks. Frankfurt is therefore well known as Bankenstadt ("City of the banks") and nicknamed "Mainhattan" (a portmanteau of the local Main river and Manhattan in New York City) or "Bankfurt". 73,200 people were employed at banks in Frankfurt in 2010.

  • Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is by far the largest commercial bank in Germany. It has a share in the market of 15 percent relating to private customers and total assets of €1,900 billion in 2010. Deutsche Bank ranks among the 30 largest banks in the world and the ten largest banks in Europe. Deutsche Bank is also listed in the DAX, the stock market index of the 30 largest German business companies at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In November 2010 Deutsche Bank bought the majority of shares of competitor Postbank. The Headquarters of Deutsche Bank are located at Taunusanlage in the financial district.

  • Commerzbank

Commerzbank is Germany's second-largest commercial bank with total assets of €754 billion (2010). In 2009, Commerzbank merged with competitor Dresdner Bank, then the third-largest German bank. Due to the merger and the higher credit risks, Commerzbank was partially nationalized (25 percent) during the financial crisis in 2009. It is listed in the DAX stock market index. The Headquarters of Commerzbank are at Commerzbank Tower (259 metres), the tallest building in the European Union, at Kaiserplatz in the financial district.

  • KfW Bankengruppe

KfW Banking Group is a government-owned development bank which was formed in 1948 as part of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Germany after World War II. Today KfW provides loans for purposes prescribed by the KfW law at lower rates than commercial banks, especially to medium-sized businesses. With total assets of €442 billion (2010), it is Germany's third-largest bank. The KfW Headquarters are located in the Westend district at Bockenheimer Landstraße and Senckenberganlage.

  • DZ Bank

DZ Bank is the central institution for more than 900 co-operative banks ( Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken) and their 12,000 branch offices in Germany and is also a corporate and investment bank. It is the fourth-largest bank (total assets: €383 billion) in Germany. As a holding, the DZ Bank Group defines itself primarily as a service provider for the local Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken and their 30 million clients. The DZ Bank headquarters are the Westend Tower and the City-Haus at Platz der Republik, not far from Frankfurt Central Station. The DZ Bank Group includes Union Investment, DVB Bank and Reisebank, which are also headquartered in Frankfurt.

  • Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, or short Helaba, is the central federal bank ( Landesbank) for the federal states of Hesse and Thuringia. As such, it is state-owned and defined as a service provider for the local German public banks (Sparkassen). Helaba is one of nine Landesbanken and is the fifth-largest in Germany. It is located in the 200-metre-tall Main Tower in the financial district, the only skyscraper in Frankfurt with an observation desk open to the public.

  • DekaBank

DekaBank is the central asset manager of the Sparkassen in Germany. The headquarters of DekaBank are located at the Trianon skyscraper at Mainzer Landstraße.

  • ING Diba Germany

ING Diba Germany is the largest direct bank in Germany, headquartered in Bockenheim.

Other major German banks include Frankfurter Volksbank, the second-largest Volksbank in Germany, Frankfurter Sparkasse and old-established private banks such as Bankhaus Metzler, Hauck & Aufhäuser and Delbrück Bethmann Maffei.

  • International banks

Many international banks have a registered or a representative office in Frakfurt, e.g. Credit Suisse, UBS, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of China, Banco do Brasil, Itaú Unibanco Société Générale, BNP Paribas, SEB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Bull and Bear in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

The roots of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse) can be traced back to the 9th century and by the 16th century Frankfurt had developed into an important European hub for trade fairs and financial services. Today the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is by far the largest in Germany with a turnover of more than 90 percent in the German stock market and is the third-largest in Europe after the London Stock Exchange and the European branch of the NYSE Euronext. The most important stock market index in Frankfurt is the DAX, the index of the 30 largest German business companies listed at the stock exchange. The stock exchange is owned and operated by Deutsche Börse, which is itself listed in the DAX. Deutsche Börse also owns the European futures exchange Eurex and the clearing company Clearstream. Today, trading takes place exclusively via the Xetra trading system, with redundant floor brokers taking on the role of market-makers on the new platform.

Since February 2011 Deutsche Börse is in negotiations with NYSE Euronext to merge and become the largest single stock exchange in the world. If the merger actually happens the headquarters of the new company will be located in Frankfurt and in New York City.

On Feb 1,2012 European Commission has blocked the proposed merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext.“The merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide,” European competition commissioner( Mr Joaquín Almunia) said.

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is located in the city centre of Frankfurt at the Börsenplatz. Deutsche Börse has its headquarters formally registered in Frankfurt but has moved most of its employees in a newly built high-rise building called "The Cube" in Eschborn in 2010, primarily due to significantly lower local corporate taxes.

Frankfurt Trade Fair

Messeturm seen from the trade fair premises

, headquarters of Goldman Sachs Germany

Trade fairs have a very long tradition in Frankfurt as they were first mentioned in the 12th century. Today, Frankfurt Trade Fair (Messe Frankfurt) has the third-largest exhibition site in the world with a total of 578,000 square metres (6,221,540 square feet). The trade fair premises are located in the western part of Frankfurt between Bockenheim, the Westend and the Gallus district. It houses ten exhibition halls with a total of 321,754 square meters (3,463,331 square feet) of space and 96,078 square metres (1,034,175 square feet) of outdoor space. Visitors can access the trade fair by public transport on two sides: Via the S-Bahn (lines S3-S6) with a stop at Messe Station located at the centre of the area or via the U-Bahn (line U4) with a stop at Festhalle/Messe Station on the north-east corner of the area.

Hosted in Frankfurt are the Frankfurt Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung - IAA), the world's largest auto show, the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse), the world's largest book fair, the Ambiente Frankfurt, the world's largest consumer goods fair, the Achema, the world's largest plant engineering fair, and many more like Paperworld, Christmasworld, Beautyworld, Tendence Lifestyle or Light+Building.

Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the owner and operator company, organized 87 exhibitions in 2010, 51 thereof in foreign countries. It is one of the largest trade fair companies with commercial activities in over 150 countries.

  • Messeturm

A landmark building of the trade fair (and of the whole city) is the Messeturm (the name translates as Fair Trade Tower), which had been the tallest building in Europe from 1991-1997. It is located on the north-east corner of the trade fair premises at the so-called city entrance. Despite the name it is not used for exhibition but serves as an office tower.


Two Lufthansa Airbus A380s at Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and is also the single largest place of work in Germany with over 500 companies which employ 71,500 people (2010).

  • Lufthansa

The largest employer at Frankfurt Airport is Lufthansa, Germany's flag carrier and also the largest airline in Europe. Although officially headquartered in Cologne, Lufthansa employs 35,000 people in Frankfurt (compared to 800 in Cologne). The Lufthansa Aviation Centre (LAC) is the main operation base of Lufthansa at Frankfurt Airport. The airport serves as Lufthansa's primary hub with 157 worldwide destinations (compared to 110 destinations at Munich Airport, Lufthansa's second-largest hub). Since 2010, Lufthansa's aircraft fleet uses the Airbus A380 for flights to and from Frankfurt which made Frankfurt one of the first European A380 destinations, along with London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. A new passenger terminal section (called A-Plus), currently under construction, will exclusively be used by Lufthansa from 2012 on with an additional capacity of 6 million passengers. Besides the passenger traffic, Lufthansa Cargo is based in Frankfurt and operates its largest cargo centre (LCC) at Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Flight Training is also based here.

  • Fraport

Fraport, the owner and operator company of Frankfurt Airport, is the second-largest employer at the airport (19,800 people in 2010). Besides Frankfurt, Fraport also operates other airports worldwide, e.g. King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima and Antalya Airport.

  • Condor

Condor is a German airline and part of Thomas Cook Group, based at Frankfurt Airport. The headquarters are currently located in nearby Kelsterbach, but Condor will move to newly built headquarters in 2012, located within Frankfurt's city limits close to the airport ground.

Accountancy and professional services

Three of the four largest international accountancy and professional services firms ( Big Four) are represented in Frankfurt.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has its German headquarters in Frankfurt, located at the Tower 185. KPMG moved its European Headquarters ( KPMG Europe LLP) to Frankfurt, based at The Squaire near Frankfurt Airport. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu are also represented in the city while Ernst & Young chose to move its office to Eschborn.

Credit rating agencies

The three major international credit rating agencies ( Big Three) - Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings - have their German offices headquartered in Frankfurt.

Investment trust companies

DWS Investments is the largest investment trust company in Germany and manages €288 billion fund assets. It is also one of the 10 largest investment trust companies in the world. Other large investment trust companies in Frankfurt are Allianz Global Investors Europe, Union Investment and Deka Investmentfonds.

Management consultancies

Many of the largest international management consultancies are represented in Frankfurt, including Arthur D. Little, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Booz & Company, Oliver Wyman, Bearing Point, Capgemini, Bain & Company and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

Real estate services companies

Located in Frankfurt are the German headquarters of Jones Lang LaSalle and BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Law firms

Frankfurt has the highest concentration of lawyers in Germany, with one lawyer per 97 inhabitants (followed by Düsseldorf with 117 lawyers and Munich with 124 lawyers) in 2005.

Most of the large international law firms maintain offices in Frankfurt, among them Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise & Plimpton, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Mayer Brown, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Norton Rose, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin, SJ Berwin, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Sullivan & Cromwell, K&L Gates, Taylor Wessing and White & Case.

Advertising agencies

Although it is best known for its banks and financial institutions, Frankfurt is also a centre for media companies. There are around 570 companies of the advertising industry and 270 public relations companies represented in the city.

According to a ranking of German FOCUS magazine (November 2007) seven of the 48 largest advertising agencies in Germany are based in Frankfurt, including McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT, and Publicis.

Food companies

Frankfurt is home to the German headquarters of Nestlé, the world's largest food company, located in Niederrad. Other important food companies are Ferrero SpA (German headquarters) and Radeberger Gruppe KG, the largest private brewery group in Germany.

Automobile companies

The South-Korean automobile manufacturer Kia Motors moved its European headquarters to Frankfurt in 2007. In the same year Italian manufacturer Fiat opened its new German headquarters in the city. The automotive supplier Continental AG has the headquarters and a major manufacturing plant of its Chassis & Safety division (formerly ITT Automotive) located in Frankfurt Rödelheim.

Construction companies

Some of the largest German construction companies have offices in Frankfurt, e.g. Bilfinger Berger, Hochtief, Züblin and BAM Deutschland.

Other businesses

Industriepark Höchst
Frankfurt Central Station, operated by Deutsche Bahn
Mainova heating plant

Frankfurt is also home to many companies from the chemical, the transportation, the telecommunication and the energy industry. Some of the larger companies are:

  • Industriepark Höchst

The Industriepark Höchst is an industrial park in Höchst. It is one of the largest in Germany with over 90 companies from the pharmaceutical, the chemical and the biotechnology industry, including Celanese, Clariant, BASF, Merck KGaA and Siemens. It was founded by chemical company Hoechst AG in 1874 which became a global corporation before World War I. At the beginning of the 1980s the Hoechst AG was the largest pharmaceutical corporation in the world relating to its business volume and the Industriepark Höchst was known as "the pharmacy of the world". The Hoechst AG merged with Rhône-Poulenc to become Aventis in 1999 and in 2004 Aventis merged with Sanofi-Synthélabo to become Sanofi-Aventis. In 2005, around 22,000 people worked at Industriepark Höchst. In 2011, Ticona, an international manufacturer of engineering polymers, moved to Industriepark Höchst because it had to abandon its location in Kelsterbach due to its closeness to the newly constructed fourth runway at Frankfurt Airport.

  • Deutsche Bahn

Until the year 2000, when Deutsche Bahn moved to Berlin, the headquarters of Germany's national railway company were located in Frankfurt. Today, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiaries DB Fernverkehr, DB Regio, DB Stadtverkehr, DB Netz and the corporate development department of Deutsche Bahn are still based in Frankfurt.

In 2010, DB Schenker, the logistics subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, announced that it would move its headquarters to Frankfurt in early 2012, together with 330 employees from offices in Berlin, Mainz and Essen.

  • Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom, the largest telecommunications company in Europe, is headquartered in Bonn, but its subsidiary T-Systems is based in Frankfurt.

  • COLT

COLT is a telecommunications company with its German headquarters based in Frankfurt.

  • Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications is an internet service provider company with its German headquarters based in Frankfurt.

  • DE-CIX

Frankfurt is an important location for electronic communication, especially the Internet. It is home to DE-CIX, the world's largest internet exchange point, and also the place where domain names are registered for the top-level-domain " .de".

  • Mainova

Mainova is the largest regional energy supplier in Germany with about one million customers in Hesse. It provides electricity, gas, heat and water. The Mainova Headquarters are located in Frankfurt.

Businesses in the urban area

Not located in Frankfurt but within the urban area are several important companies.

A well-known former Frankfurt-based company which moved its headquarters to the neighbouring City of Eschborn is Ernst & Young. The business centre of Eschborn is located right at Frankfurt's city limits in the west and attracts businesses with significantly lower corporate taxes compared to Frankfurt. Other major companies in Eschborn are Vodafone Germany, Randstad Holding and VR Leasing. Deutsche Börse moved most of its employees to Eschborn in 2010 but has its headquarters still registered in Frankfurt.

Rüsselsheim is internationally known for its automobile manufacturer Opel, one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in Germany. With 20,000 employees in 2003, Opel was one of the five largest employers in Hesse.

Offenbach am Main is home to the European headquarters of automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company, to the German headquarters of automobile manufacturer Honda, to Honeywell Germany and to Deutscher Wetterdienst, the central scientific agency that monitors weather and meteorological conditions over Germany.

Two DAX companies are located in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA and Fresenius Medical Care. Other major companies are Hewlett-Packard, Bridgestone, Deutsche Leasing and Basler Versicherungen.

Kronberg im Taunus is home of the German headquarters of automobile manufacturer Jaguar Cars as well as the German headquarters of management consulting company Accenture.

Lufthansa Systems, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, is located in Kelsterbach.

LSG Sky Chefs, another subsidiary of Lufthansa, is located in Neu-Isenburg.

The German headquarters of Thomas Cook Group are based in Oberursel (Taunus).

Langen is home to Deutsche Flugsicherung, the German air traffic control.

Working in Frankfurt

With over 922 jobs per 1,000 inhabitants, Frankfurt has the highest concentration of jobs in Germany. The high number of around 600,000 jobs with only 663,000 inhabitants of the city itself is explained by the high number of commuters who work in the city, which raises the per capita GDP of the resident population significantly. On work days and Saturdays there are around one million people within the city limits. On other days, the statistics regarding Frankfurt's wealth are reduced, in favour of the communities and towns of the so-called "Speckgürtel" (literally flab belt, meaning the suburban area), such as Bad Homburg, Königstein im Taunus, Kronberg im Taunus and Bad Soden am Taunus, many of whose inhabitants work in Frankfurt.

Living in Frankfurt

According to a ranking list (2001) produced by the University of Liverpool, Frankfurt is the richest city in Europe by GDP per capita, followed by Karlsruhe, Paris and Munich.

  • Quality of Life

Frankfurt was voted the 4th most liveable city in the world by the Global Cities Survey (2011), 7th at the Mercer Quality of Living Survey (2010) and 18th at the Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities Survey (2011). According to an annual citizen survey (2010), arranged by the city council, 66 percent of Frankfurt's inhabitants are satisfied or highly satisfied with the city, only 6 percent said that they are dissatisfied. Compared to the 1993's survey the number of satisfied inhabitants has grown about 22 percent while the number of dissatisfied inhabitants was reduced by 8 percent. 84 percent of the inhabitants like to live in Frankfurt, 13 percent would rather choose to live somewhere else. 37 percent are satisfied with the public safety in Frankfurt (1993: only 9 percent), 22 percent are dissatisfied (1993: 64 percent).

  • Crime rate

Despite that, Frankfurt constantly has the highest levels of crime per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany (15.976 crimes per annum in 2008) and is therefore dubbed the German "crime capital". However, this statistic, which implies that Frankfurt is a dangerous city to be in, is often criticized because it ignores major factors: Firstly it is calculated based on the 680,000-inhabitant figure, but on weekdays there are around one million people within the city limits(not counting the 53 million passengers passing through the airport each year), secondly most of the registered crimes are not affecting the majority of the population, like smuggling or offenses against the Air Traffic Act at the airport, fare evasion and credit card abuse. The rate for personal safety-relevant crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape or bodily harm, is 3.4 percent and therefore lower than the average compared to other German cities. Just looking at the safety-relevant crimes Frankfurt would be number 12 in the ranking (related to the official 680,000-inhabitant figure) or number 21 (related to the one-million-figure).

Property and real estate

Frankfurt has the highest concentration of home owners in Germany. This is partly attributed to number of financial workers in the city but also because of its cosmopolitan nature with a quarter of the city's population being foreigners. For this reason Frankfurt's property market often operates differently than the rest of the country where the prices are generally much flatter than Frankfurt. German property prices are pulled down nationally because of the former East Germany, however, economically sound cities like Frankfurt and other cities in the west of Germany, have a buoyant housing market, which attracts a lot of buyers from the Far East.

Governmental institutions

Westhafen Tower, home to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
  • European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is an institution of the European Union and part of the European System of Financial Supervisors which was created in response to the financial crisis. It was established on 1 January 2011, along with two more institutions, the European Banking Authority (EBA), based in London, and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), based in Paris. The EIOPA is located in the Westhafen Tower in Frankfurt.

  • Federal Financial Supervisory Authority

Frankfurt is one of two locations of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, short: BaFin), the other being Bonn. The BaFin is an independent federal institution and acts as the financial regulatory authority for Germany.

  • International Finance Corporation

Frankfurt is home to the German office of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank Group. The IFC promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.

  • German National Library

Frankfurt is one of two locations of the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek), the other being Leipzig. The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek is the largest universal library in Germany. Its task, unique in Germany, is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically all German and German-language publications from 1913 on, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945, and to make them available to the public.

Trade unions and associations

Main Forum, home to IG Metall

IG Metall, Germany's largest metalworkers trade union, is based at the Main Forum high-rise building in the Gutleutviertel district. It was founded in 1949 and had 2.2 million unionists in 2011.

IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt, a union for construction and engineering workers, Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft, a union for teachers, and Gewerkschaft Deutscher Lokomotivführer, a union for train drivers, are also based in Frankfurt.

A lot of lobbying trade associations are represented in Frankfurt, including:

  • Verband der Elektrotechnik, Elektronik und Informationstechnik (Electrotechnical, Electronic and Information Technology Association)
  • DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie (Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology Association)
  • Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Booksellers Association), which organises the Frankfurt Book Fair
  • Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels (German Catalogue Selling Association)
  • Verband der Chemischen Industrie (Chemical Industry Association)
  • Verband der Photoindustrie (Photography Industry Association)
  • Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (German Machine and Equipment Building Association)
  • Verband der Köche Deutschlands (German Cooks Association)

In 2010, the Verband der Automobilindustrie (Automobile Industry Association), or short VDA, moved from Frankfurt to Berlin. The VDA is the organiser of one of the most important trade fairs in Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the relocation does not affect this as it is agreen upon that the motor show will be held in Frankfurt until 2019 at the least.


Frankfurt hosts 92 consulates. Worldwide, only New York City and Hamburg have more foreign representations, excluding capital cities. Russia, China and Turkmenistan have recently opened general consulates in Frankfurt. The Consulate General of the United States in Frankfurt in Eckenheim is the largest American consulate in the world.


Several courts are located in Frankfurt, including:

  • Hessisches Landesarbeitsgericht (Hessian State Employment Court)
  • Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court Frankfurt)
  • Landgericht Frankfurt (Regional Court Frankfurt)
  • Amtsgericht Frankfurt (Local Court Frankfurt)
  • Sozialgericht Frankfurt (Social Court Frankfurt)
  • Arbeitsgericht Frankfurt (Employment Court Frankfurt)
  • Verwaltungsgericht Frankfurt (Administration Court Frankfurt)

Education and research

In Frankfurt am Main, there are two universities and several specialist schools. There are two Business Schools in Frankfurt; Goethe University Frankfurt's Goethe Business School and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University

The oldest and best-known university in the city is the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, with locations in Bockenheim, Westend, and Riedberg, and the university hospital in Niederrad. The prestigious Goethe Business School is part of the University's House of Finance at Campus Westend. The Business School's Full Time MBA program has over 70% international students.

Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

The Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main) was created out of several older organisations in 1971, and offers over 38 study areas, in the arts, sciences, engineering and law. Some of the most important research projects: Planet Earth Simulator, FraLine-IT-School-Service, quantitative analysis of methane in human corpses with the help of a mass spectrometer, software engineering (e.g. fraDesk), analysis of qualitative and quantitative gas in human lungs, long-term studies on photovoltaic modules (to name only a few).

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Alongside the university is the banking academy Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, formerly known as the Hochschule für Bankwirtschaft (Institution of Higher Learning for Banking Economics), with its campus in the Ostend (Eastend) neighbourhood. Since 2001, it has been a specialist institution for the teaching Economics and Management, or FOM.


Frankfurt has the State Institution of Higher Learning for Artistic Education known as the Städelschule, founded in 1817 by Johann Friedrich Städel, that was taken over by the city in 1942 and turned into a state art school.

Music School and Conservatories

Music institutions are the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, and the Hoch Conservatory (Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium) which was founded in 1878.

Other notable schools

Until September 2003, Frankfurt was also home to a school for library science and administration.

The Philosophical-Theological Institution of Saint George ( Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen')', a private institution with membership in the German Jesuit Association, has been located in Sachsenhausen since 1950.

The city is also home of three Max Planck Society institutes: the Max Planck Institute for European History of Law (MPIeR), Max Planck Institute for Biophysics, and the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research.

The Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, sponsored by several institutional and private sources, is involved in theoretical research in physics, chemistry, neuroscience, and computer science.

Frankfurt is host to the Römisch-Germanische-Kommission (RGK), the German Archaeological Institute branch for prehistoric archaeology in Germany and Europe. The RGK is involved in a variety of research projects. Its library, with over 130,000 volumes, is one of the largest specialised archaeological libraries in the world.


The Commerzbank-Arena, the home stadium of Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt hosts the following sports teams or clubs:

  • Eintracht Frankfurt, football (soccer)
  • FSV Frankfurt, football (soccer)
  • 1. FFC Frankfurt, football (soccer)
  • Frankfurter FC Germania 1894, football (soccer)
  • Rot-Weiss Frankfurt, football (soccer)
  • Frankfurt Sarsfields GAA Gaelic Football
  • Frankfurt Lions, ice hockey
  • Deutsche Bank Skyliners, basketball

Frankfurt is host to the classic cycle race Rund um den Henninger-Turm. The city hosts also the annual Frankfurt Marathon and the Iron Man European Championships.

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