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Frankfurt Travel Guide

About Frankfurt

Just because Frankfurt am Main is Germany’s economic powerhouse, that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed as a city of scurrying suits, soaring skyscrapers and bullish business breakfasts.

While there are elements of those around, this confident city is steeped in history too, so there’s no lack of curious culture or stunning architecture to be found.

Home to the European Central Bank, Germany’s fifth largest city has long benefitted from a wide array of cultural influences brought in from across the continent.

Naturally, its modern superstructures in the central business district are shiny symbols of Frankfurt's financial force. Their growth has created an aspect that’s more North American than European, earning the city the nickname 'Mainhattan'.

Cruises down the River Main give a fantastic perspective of Frankfurt’s historical progression. The river cuts the city in two and affords stunning views of the skyscrapers and the traditional buildings of Frankfurt’s Museum Embankment.

Most of Frankfurt's visitors come for one of its numerous trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses, but this city has another side. As the birthplace of Germany's most revered writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Frankfurt is at pains to impress with its cultural pedigree.

Look no further than the fantastic Orfeos Erben independent cinema, which shows art house movies and short films, or the huge celebration of the region’s favourite tipple, ebbelwoi (apple wine), each August.

The city’s nightlife is fascinating and wide-ranging. Its traditional live jazz scene is still kicking and a slew of trendy new bars offer visitors the chance to indulge on a night around town. On top of that, Frankfurt is rammed with amazing clubs for those who can happily dance into the small hours.

With nearby vineyards and spa towns in easy reach, such as the beautiful Wiesbaden, Frankfurt is a destination that has everything for either a short break or lengthy stay. Now there’s no excuse to leave the best Frankfurt has to offer to the business crowd.

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Housed in a former mill building on the south bank of the Main about 4km (2.5 miles) east of the main railway station, this small boutique hotel is where Goethe is said to have met Marianne von Willemer, who he'd later write poetry about. With only 19 rooms and suites, the hotel has very high standard in terms of comfort and service, offering a refreshing alternative to the major chain hotels that are so prevalent in Frankfurt.

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof

Destroyed during WWII and entirely rebuilt by hotelier Albert Steigenberger, this fantastic listed building combines historical glory and modern convenience. Despite the elegant furnishings, the discreet service and the majestic atmosphere, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof retains character and intimacy. The facilities are fantastic, including a wellness club and business centre. For very important guests, who require extra special treatment, the Presidential Suite even has bullet-proof windows.

Villa Kennedy

Now under the wing of the acclaimed Rocco Forte luxury hotel group the Villa Kennedy is firmly in the 5-star-plus category. Situated in the city centre, on the south bank of the Main and close to Sachsenhausen, the hotel consists of three buildings and the Villa Speyer, a building dating from the early 20th century. The Gusto restaurant vies with the very best in Frankfurt, while for those in need of rest and relaxation, there are full leisure and spa facilities including a swimming pool. The hotel also offers a number of meetings and events spaces for the business visitor and is a favourite with visiting celebrities too.

Hotel Palmenhof

The fine architecture of this elegant Westend building is more reminiscent of a historic palace than a modern hotel. However, the rooms of this small but stylish art nouveau residence, furnished throughout with sophisticated antiques, provide all the contemporary comforts of 21st-century business life. Satellite TV, private safes and wireless internet are basic standards in all rooms.

Maritim Hotel Frankfurt

Directly linked to the Trade Fair Centre, this very modern circular, glass hotel is most convenient for travellers visiting one of Frankfurt's numerous international fairs. The 5-star Maritim caters mainly for professionals, providing everything the sophisticated traveller expects, from extensive business facilities such wireless internet and digital fax machines to a laptop-sized safe. Excellent relaxation options are also available at the Maritim Sports Club.

The Pure

The Pure is one of the trendiest hotels in Frankfurt. Just around the corner from the main station this style haunt is decorated in a palette of white, white and white. The staff are warm enough to add a bit of colour and all rooms have flat screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access, air conditioning and iPod docks. The lobby bar stocks an impressive range of single malt whiskies and there’s also a modest gym for more active types, as well as a sauna and steam room.