It maybe home to the Bundesbank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the European Central Bank, which is a familiar sight to all of us on our television news reports, but the city of Frankfurt has a lot more to offer than just finance and it is now only a short flight away from Ireland West Airport Knock thanks to Ryanair.
While the city is the centre of European business and finance, it does not have the feel of a sprawling metropolis of some other European cities and that is down to the fact that in this German city rather than growing out, Frankfurt grew up. You see, Frankfurt is the only city in Germany that allows skyscrapers, which dot the skyline of this city of around 700,000 people. These sky scrapers are home to some of the more than 200 banks that operate in the city and the new European Central Bank building can be seen growing steadily towards the sky in the city.
If you want to get a good look at all these buildings and the city as a whole, then you will have to stop at the Main Tower, a glass fronted behemoth circular building that rises more than 200 metres and 56 floors off the ground which from the top viewing platform offers a fantastic panoramic view of the city right out to the forests that seem to surround the city in an almost perfect circle. It is the only skyscraper in the city that has a public viewing tower and is the fourth tallest building in Frankfurt, therefore also the fourth tallest building in Germany.
But moving away from the finance and the buildings, Frankfurt is a cultural hub in Germany. The city has numerous museums and collections, but none as interesting and facisinating as the Stadel which is an independent museum that was first established in 1815 by Johann Fredirch Standal and is one of Germany’s oldest museums. It holds more than 3,000 paintings, 600 sculptures, 100,000 drawings, and 500 photographs. The museum has recently opened up a new massive 7,500 square metre extension to cope with the sheer demand for space. Situated on the left of the Hobeinsteg the Stadel is a place you can lose yourself in for a few hours from the collection from Rembrandt through to Monet and beyond.
The city also has its own famous son with Johann Wolfgang Goethe an artist, writer, and politician of much fame, whose family home has been lovingly restored.
If you are into a more outdoors life, then the Palmen Garten is a must see where the wonderful world of plants and other botanic life is lovingly maintained for everyone to enjoy. This 22 hectare garden is the largest botanical garden in the whole of Germany and has been open since 1871, and the botanic exhibits in their different climate greenhouses take you on a fascinating journey from the central European climate to the sub tropical growths in the Palm Garden.
Cable cars and boat trips
If you just want to stroll around the city, the public transport system is fast and efficient and will let you explore places such as the Romerberg Old Town Square, Emperors Cathedral, St Paul’s Church, or just wander around the numerous shops in the city. Just be warned on Sundays most retail shops still close down in Frankfurt, so get your shopping done before then.
If city life is not all you are looking for then an hour’s train ride away is the beautiful town of Rudesheim am Rhine, this lovely little get away town is the perfect mix of cobbled streets, hidden away bars and restaurants for you to relax and unwind in. Situated on the eastern bank of the Rhine, the town is a major tourist attraction and a wine growing area, be sure to try some of the local produce. There is plenty for the more energetic to do, starting with a cable car ride to the top of the hills that surround the town over the vineyards to the Niederwlad monument through where you can walk through the forest before descending to the town of Assmannshaussen where you can return to Rudesheim by boat trip along the Rhine.
Ryanair flies three times a week to Frankfurt Hahn on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from Ireland West Airport Knock. Flights start from €14.99 each one way on www.ryanair.com Transport from Frankfurt Hann to Frankfurt is by way of bus and it costs €28 for the return journey and takes around 90 minutes. There are some 28 international destinations to choose from Ireland West Airport Knock, for more information visit www.irelandwedtairport.com, and from more information on what to do in Frankfurt check out www.frankfurt-tourisim.de