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It's a miracle that the oldest part of Frankfurt's downtown survived World War II unscathed and visitors and locals are still grateful for this. The medieval houses and beautiful squares make the historic centre a romantic setting for shopping, eating and drinking.
Frankfurt may be one of the financial centres of the world with ultra-modern, gleaming high-rise buildings, but the historic centre on the Main – the river that flows through the city – still evokes the days of carriages and goose quill pens. Stroll through narrow streets with medieval façades to the Römerberg, a market square packed with old cafés and beautiful shops. The square is lined with beautiful historic buildings; the old city hall is one of the most striking constructions.
Because of its high rises and financial institutions, Frankfurt is also referred to as Main-hattan. You will understand why when you take the lift to the top of the Main Tower. This skyscraper, the only one that is accessible to the public, rises 200 metres above sea level. The Main Tower is not the tallest building in the city but its central location ensures great views over Frankfurt and in particular the old town, which is located at the foot of the building.
Plan your walking tours from the tower’s large panorama terrace, or enjoy a snack and a drink in the restaurant on the top floor. Admission to the tower costs 6.50 euro for adults, a family of 2 parents and 2 children between 6 and 12 years pays 17.50 euro. Tip: book a tour of the fascinating artwork belonging to the Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, one of the tower’s prominent tenants.
“You will find art and culture on every street corner of Frankfurt’s historical centre”
The Germans are very proud of Frankfurt’s city centre. And because it takes effort to protect the historic centre, the city decided to embark on an ambitious project to preserve the vulnerable brick houses for the future. The renovation has been going on for years and so far has cost more than 100 million euros. To date, 35 centuries-old houses on the old market square have been fully reconstructed and the square itself has been restored to its original condition.
Frankfurt’s Altstadt is one of Germany’s largest medieval city centres. Throughout history many famous thinkers, poets and composers were drawn to the city. The coffee houses in this charming heart of Frankfurt attracted enlightened minds such as writer, poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, writer Clemens Brentano, and composer Georg Philipp Teleman. Their spirit still permeates this district, which for many centuries has been dedicated to culture. Step inside Goethe’s house, or visit different art galleries and cafés where presentations and lectures are held. Museum visitors can treat themselves to the MMK (Museum of Modern Art), the History Museum and the Caricatura Museum. The latter museum is devoted entirely to 'comic art' and will surely put a smile on your face.