When it comes to travel, it’s nice to have an insider’s perspective. Here at Blueprint, presented by CBRE, we are fortunate to have an expansive network of local colleagues around the globe who are not only real estate experts, but also local tastemakers. We have asked them to give an insider perspective to some of the best, most iconic cities across the globe. Today we explore Frankfurt, Germany.
Nicknames: Bankfurt, Mainhattan
What is your favorite public space? Why?
The Palmengarten in the prestigious Westend district is one of two botanical gardens in Frankfurt. Located in the middle of the city, it takes visitors on a journey through the world with numerous tropical and subtropical plants. There is also a lake where visitors can go paddling, as well as open lawn spaces that are ideal for picnics. Palmengarten is the perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and take in the scenery of the area.
Where can you find the best view of the city?
Frankfurt is home to 14 of Germany’s 15 tallest buildings. The best view of the city can be seen from the Deutschherrnbrücke. The bridge is located next to the newly built European Central Bank and offers a stunning view of Frankfurt’s skyline and the river Main. Make sure to stop by the restaurant Oosten to watch the sunset from its terrace. The view from the observation deck of Frankfurt’s Maintower is also always worth a visit, as is the paternoster elevator in Fleming’s Deluxe Hotel Frankfurt-City, where patrons can enjoy an evening cocktail on the rooftop terrace overlooking Frankfurt’s skyline.
You are going for a bike ride. Where do you go?
There are two rivers that cross Frankfurt—the river Main and the river Nidda. Bike riding along the river Main offers an impressive view of Frankfurt’s skyline. Alternatively, riders can start their tour in Frankfurt’s Westend, crossing the Grüneburgpark and then heading to Niddapark, the city’s largest park. Spanning more than 420 acres, the park has plenty of bike routes to choose from. Follow the river Nidda toward Frankfurt Höchst and stop in one of the traditional Frankfurt-style restaurants to enjoy a beer and the local cuisine.
What is the best place to discover local music?
There is always something new to discover in and around Frankfurt. You can check out one of the many concert locations that offer a great variety of music styles from local and international artists. Among them are Gibson Club, a bar and night club, Batschkapp, a live rock and pop concert venue, and Festhalle Frankfurt, a multi-purpose arena where patrons can see popular concerts and opera performances.
What is the “don’t judge a book by its cover” restaurant?
Nummer 16, located in the Bornheim district. If you love mediterranean food, drop by and visit the owner Vincenzo and his family. Sardinian specialities from his own hunts, enormous portions and an overall friendly atmosphere make this spot a great addition to Frankfurt’s chic downtown restaurant scene.
Best public transportation experience?
The best way to experience Frankfurt’s local culture and see the city is to take the traditional Ebbelwei-Express. It is an old-fashioned tram that can be rented for group events and private sightseeing tours. During weekends and on public holidays, the train is available to all. Enjoy the sights of Frankfurt, as well as traditional apple wine from the famous Possmann cider press.
Favorite place to unwind?
Cross one of the city’s many bridges and you’ll find the Museumsufer. This area, located just a few minutes’ walk from the city center, offers a vast array of museums and cultural attractions. A stroll through the museum gardens provides some respite from hectic city life. At the end of the day, take in the view of the skyline from one of the deck chairs at Maincafe, while enjoying a cold beer or cider.
Favorite place to be inspired?
The best place to be inspired is the Opernplatz in the city center. The contrast between the Old Opera House, which was inaugurated in 1880, and the modern architecture of the buzzing financial center and its skyscrapers is really impressive.
Best place to be alone?
Hidden along one of the side streets of the main shopping promenade Zeil is a small church: the Liebfrauenkirche. In its backyard is the “Oasis of Silence,” a place for religious and non-religious people alike to find solace.
Best place to feel like you’re not in your city?
Bethmannpark is a hidden gem in the middle of the city. Surrounded by a wall, it is not very obvious, even to passersby. Once inside the park, you can sit on a bench and enjoy the beautiful flowerbeds and plant arrangements that line the broad walkways. The biggest surprise, however, is found behind a large wooden gate in the middle of the park. The “Garten des himmlischen Friedens,” (the garden of heavenly peace) is a little Chinese garden built in memory of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Best insider place to take the kids
Everyone with kids should make a stop at the Frankfurt Zoo, a green oasis in the middle of the city that houses more than 4,500 animals from over 450 species. Kids can also learn about science and nature at the Senckenberg Museum, one of the largest natural history museums in Germany. Its dinosaur skeleton has attained cult status, especially among children.
Best independent shopping venue?
Head to Berger Strasse, where you can find many individual shops and small independent labels, as well as a great selection of cafes and restaurants. Shoppers looking for something more exclusive can stop by Goethestrasse. Located in the central business district, it is the third busiest luxury shopping street in Germany.
Best place to get a local specialty?
Kanonesteppel is a typical Frankfurt style restaurant and one of the best kept local secrets in the Sachsenhausen district. A nice backyard with trees invites guests in summer and the cozy restaurant is also a great option in colder months. Make sure you come hungry and order a Frankfurter Schnitzel with green sauce and a local apple wine.