Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany


Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Why now?

In 2013, DJ Ata – a local household name, who already owned the
city’s most famous techno club, Robert Johnson – opened Plank, a corner bar that would
soon become an institution and kick off a spate of new openings in
the neighbourhood. A stone’s throw from the central station and
financial district, to many the Bahnhofsviertel was the notorious
red light district home to strip bars, cheap takeaway joints. The
studio-like bar – think sleek furnishings, dark walls,
floor-to-ceiling windows and bartenders who are students from local
art schools – serves up reasonably priced wine and beer to curious
creatives who flock in from all over. Today, the Bahnhofsviertel
has become an eclectically cool neighbourhood where bankers rub
shoulders with entrepreneurs, aspiring actors and artists.

The list of their hangouts is constantly growing: alongside
design-led places such as Walon&Rosetti, Maxie
and bar-slash-club Pracht, decades-old, no-frills
restaurants such as family-run Hamsilos
(Frankfurt’s best address for Turkish cuisine) are experiencing a
renaissance. Even a kiosk has made it onto the hit list: two doors
down from Plank, Yok Yok is where more cultures mix, united by an
interest for low-key drinks and works by emerging artists.

It’s easy to reduce Frankfurt to business, especially now that
it flaunts aspirations of becoming Europe’s post-Brexit financial
capital. But as soon as you step out of the skyscraper-heavy areas
and immerse yourself in the city’s cultural scene, Frankfurt easily
rivals any other big player. In fact, the Staedel Museum, Schirn Kunsthalle and Museum of Modern Art have hosted some of Europe’s
recent major art shows, while smaller venues including the Kunstverein
Familie Montez
gained attention by showcasing photographers
such as Annie Leibovitz.

Don’t miss

Bahnhofsviertel is an absolute must, while the Gallus
neighbourhood is said to be catching up in the cool stakes. Go for
a walk by the river Main, visit at least one of the museums – the
city’s collections vary from old masters such as Botticelli and
Rembrandt to works by Picasso, Monet and Degas – browse the markets
at Kleinmarkthalle and do the most touristy thing
Frankfurt has to offer: soak in the views from the Maintower, the
city’s answer to the Empire State Building.

For dinner, if you happen to be in town on a Friday, visit
Freitagskueche where a different chef (many of them
artists or other creatives) cooks each week, or try the freshest
pasta in town at Pasta Davini, handmade by Italian
housewives. For shopping, you can’t do better than concept store
Hayashi and its curated selection of designer wear
including Isabel Marant and Joseph, as well as its male
counterpart, Ubervart. Most importantly, be open
to exploring a city that’s constantly evolving, morphing from day
to night like no other.

Most likely to bump into

Expats from all over (almost one third of Frankfurt’s population
has a foreign passport).

When to go

Go in the summer, when the streets and river banks resemble that
of a southern European city.

Who to take with you

A friend who can’t get enough of Berlin.

How to get there

Frankfurt has Europe’s fourth largest airport and has regular
flights to most of the world.