FRANKFURT – city of stark contrasts

For decades Frankfurt had a very bad reputation – especially in the rest of Germany: ill famed for sex and crime in contrast to cold, charmless facades of skyscrapers housing scrupulous banks overtowering a sinister sex and crime scene at the adjacent Bahnhofsviertel, the neighborhood around the main station.

Frankfurt Skyline - bye:myself
This is Frankfurt….
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)
Römerberg - bye:myself
….and this is Frankfurt, too.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

Therefore the first and for you travellers most important contrast I’d like to point out is the one between Frankfurt’s bad reputation and the reality.

Yes, the neighborhood around the main station, the ‘Bahnhofsviertel’, is still a dump with lots of sex shops, eros centers and drug trafficking going on. But once you get past this, you’ll find out that Frankfurt has very homey parts, one of Germany’s most vibrant art scenes, and all the advantages of an international metropolis and at the same time a close proximity to the rolling hills of the Taunus.

Unfortunately all the hotels with a halfway reasonable value for money ratio are located more or less around the mainstation. However, I recommend you to at least stay on the South East side of the station and avoid the dodgy streets on the West towards the convention centre. I’m not saying it’s dangerous and as a matter of fact I stayed there during my last visit; which is the reason why I recommend you to stay away.

An ok hotel a couple of minutes from the main station would be

Favored Hotel Plaza
Esslinger Straße 8
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 271 37 80

Rich vs. Poor

Already since the mediaval times Frankfurt has been one of the epicenters of European commerce and is today not only Germany’s financial center, but also the location of the ECB, the European Central Bank. And buckle up, this suite will become even stronger with the ‘Brexit’ as London hands its central position over.

So there are all these skyscrapers and glass facades that gave Frankfurt on the Main (the river flowing across the city) the nickname ‘Mainhattan’. But when you look from the financial district back towards the main station, you’re facing Franfurt’s big, dirty womb – the red light district being nothing like ‘Pretty Woman’.

A womb – that’s my key to present you the first exhibition at a really outstanding venue, the Museum für moderne Kunst MMK2, the Museum of Modern Art – ‘2’ because in total there are three MMKs, but we’ll get to that later.

So right now there is a really extraordinary exhibition taking place on the 2000 sqm / over 21,000 sq feet on the second floor of the mighty Taunustower.

I’m a problem

Rumor has it that opera singer Maria Callas swallowed a tapeworm to stay skinny. Based on this story, scene designer Ersan Mondtag created an environment reflecting all sorts of treated and mistreated bodies – very often in search of perfection. So obviously the self-perception “I’m a problem” is not a phenomenon – or rather issue- of the present time as everyone tries to create a perfect image – and many perfect selfies. The pieces in this exhibition are much older.

The centerpiece is a big inflatable tunnel standing for Maria Callas’ guts, and Mondtag arranged the museum’s most disturbing works around it – and even put some inside which you can see through transparent portholes. While you are basically walking through Ms Callas’ guts you are looking at images of mistreated or dead bodies.

 Elaine Sturtevant: Gonzalez Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform)
In the background: Two Photos by Bettina Rheims. In the front: Elaine Sturtevant Gonzalez Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform). Every other Wednesday night there is actually a go go dancer dancing on Elaine Sturtevant’s hommage to Felix Gonzalez Torres (6 p. m. to 11 p. m.). The black oversized tapeworm, that guides the visitor through the exhibition, is made by the group Plastique Fantastique.
(Photo: Axel Schneider)

It’s a really intense exhibition and I must say that after a couple of shows that I’ve seen lately I strongly believe that scene designers are the best artists and curators; but I wouldn’t visit this show necessarily with kids.

Ersan Mordag at the table where artist Martin Honert placed his alter ago all by himself. This sculpture – called Foto – was made after an old family picture where other family members where still present; now little Martin is all alone. Thank God that Mordag keeps him company….
(Photo: Axel Schneider)

Museum für Moderne Kunst 
Taunustor 1
60310 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 212 73165

Open Tuesday to Sunday 11 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Wednesday to 8 p. m.)

This brings me to the next contrast:

Sheep vs. Wolves

Yes, there are sheep and wolves in Frankfurt: The wolves at the MMK1 (the main venue of the above mentioned Museum für Moderne Kunst), where right now the graduates from the Städel art school are showing their masterpieces.

Hanna-Maria Hammari Pack of Wolves
Have some old fur blankets at home? Try to form a Pack of Wolves from them, just like up-and-coming artist Hanna-Maria Hammari from Finland did.
As a matter of fact, this work was the one that blew me away the farthest this weekend: I deeply admire how she brought this pack to life by simply wrapping cloth around wire (they have no heads, no tails and yet they look so real)

Museum für Moderne Kunst 
Domstraße 10
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 212 30447

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Wednesday to 8 p. m.)

The sheep are a permanent exhibit at the Museum für Kommunikation, the Museum of Communication, and that is a perfect venue to spend a couple of hours with your kids.

Schafe - Museum für Kommunikation
Flock of sheep by Jean-Luc Cornac – we certainly won’t be able to make something that beautiful and fun from cellphones….

Besides the exciting permanent exhibition on telecommunication (great fun: the first cellphones – big as bricks) and mail (absurd: our ancestors seemed to have written on paper) they have fantastic temporary shows mostly dealing with modern media. Right now there is a cool exhibition on the history of German music which maybe won’t be that much fun for guests from foreign, but for German visitors it’s a must: say hello to all your friends and foes.

Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt 
Schaumainkai 53
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 – 69 – 60 60 0

Open Tuesday to Friday 9 a. m. to 6 p. m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a. m. to 7 p. m.

History vs. Contemporary

Another great place for big and small alike is the Historische Museum, the historical museum on the other bank of the Main. Tracing Frankfurt’s history and development from the first finds till today’s life you get educated in a pretty fun way: Whether you climb the old tower or get informed on particular aspects by very modern and original hands on exhibits.

Stadtmodell Frankfurt
Designed by Dutch artist Herman Helle and realized by his twelve elves (i. e. assistants), this city model covering 70 square meters / over 750 square feet is made from all sort of surprising materials like i.a. toilet brushes, cell phones etc. The artist used gadgets symbolizing the respective building like e. g. a mousetrap for the state prison.
There are not only Frankfurt’s neighborhoods to be discovered!
Stadtmodell Frankfurt Brücken
Herman Helle and his people were working more than a year to realize this really one of a kind piece. From underneath the model you can hear city noises coming out of ‘rabbit holes’ and of course they did not forget to add the nine bridges crossing river Main (see below).

Historisches Museum Frankfurt
Saalhof 1
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 – 69 – 21 23 55 99

Open Tuesday to Friday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Wednesday to 9 p. m.), Saturday and Sunday 11 a. m. to 7 p. m.

Once you’re done, you just have to cross the Römerberg, the main historic square, and you get to the Kunstverein Frankfurt, the Art Association, and here it’s all state of the art.

Although already founded in 1829 and being one of Germany’s oldest Art Associations, this venue offers the young, international generation of artists a platform for experimental expressions, introduces new artistic positions and innovative perspectives.

Perception is Reality

At this moment the Kunstverein shows the group exhibition called “Perception is Reality: On the Construction of Reality and Virtual Worlds” including artists like Thomas Demand (see also my posts on Milan and Venice), Polish art darling Alicja Kwade, but also the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation. Whaaat? Yes, not only are their some creepy pieces on display, you can also wander sites of crime like a blood smeared kitchen. Virtually, that is.

You might ask yourself why I’m wearing a disposable burglar mask. Well, hygiene first is their motto and I’m next in line to put on these glasses and wander around in a blood smeared kitchen – virtually.

And that brings me to the question whether virtual reality can be considered ‘Art’.

David O'Reilly
David O’Reilly Everything
When you see your son doing this for hours in his room, you send him outside to play.
Then on Sunday you take him to a museum to admire this as art.
The world is a funny place….
(Photo: N. Miguletz © Frankfurter Kunstverein)
Marnix de Nijs Run Motherfucker, Run
It’s fun, it requires a high computer performance, but to me this is not very different from exercising with a WII.
(Photo: N. Miguletz © Frankfurter Kunstverein)

Virtual works are getting popular in the art scene – there were project like this already at the last Berlin Biennal. But I ask myself – and would love to hear your opinion on this – in how far this is more art than virtual role games: Some of them are very artistic and original and ingeniously set up, hence we tell our kids to rather go to play outside instead of wasting time with this nonsense. And then on Sunday we drag them to an art gallery to admire the exact same thing!?

Hans Op de Beeck The Garden Room
And here we are looking at my favorite installation: Hans Op De Beeck‘s The Garden Room.
Hans Op de Beeck had an amazing solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wolfsburg earlier this year.

Frankfurter Kunstverein
Steinernes Haus am Römerberg
Markt 44
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 21 93 14 – 0

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a. m. to 7 p. m. (Thursday to 9 p. m.)

Tradition vs. Modernity

Did I just mention the Römerberg? Oh, that of course is one place definitely not to be missed: A cobblestone covered square surrounded by cute little half-timer houses – and almost each of them houses a traditional restaurant on the street level – so just take your pick. And don’t forget to wash your meal down with a glass of ‘Äppelwoi’, the typical apple wine from the Hesse (the Federal country were Frankfurt is located).

We are heading towards Christmas and I know that you will all enjoy a picture of a German Christmas market – in addition in the backdrop of these cozy old buildings – does it get any more stereotyped?!?
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

Don’t miss out on the most important building on the square’s West side, the old townhall called ‘Römer’. Interestingly this building was not built for this purpose, the city bought these two merchant’s houses in the 15th century.

The infamous “Römer” – stored on every tourist’s camera.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

Across the square from the townhall is a small alley and at the end is a more modern building – showing more modern exhibition: the Schirn Kunsthalle.

The impressive patio that the art is built all around.
(© Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Photo: Norbert Miguletz)

The Schirn art gallery is one of Europe’s most prestigious art galleries. Since its opening in 1986 they’ve organized over 220 exhibitions on their floor space of about 2000 sqm / over 21,000 sq feet. The venue does not have a permanent collection, but only temporary exhibition of modern art – and at this moment there is one that fits the concept of stark contrasts just fine:

Glanz und Elend der Weimarer Republik
(Splendor and Misery in the Weimar Republic)

To understand the development of German politics to the Nazi regime, this exhibition is a must since it focuses on the time between 1918 and 1933, i. e. the period after World War I until the Nazis came to power. A period of the greatest contrasts and fastest developments both, up and down: Demoralized by the lost war, hit by inflation and mass unemployment, war widows and crip­pled soldiers vegetated next to war prof­i­teers.

Otto Dix Kriegskrüppel
Otto Dix Kriegskrüppel (War Cripples)

Latter enjoyed a frivolous enter­tain­ment industry while others saw no other way than full time or part time pros­ti­tu­tion to make a living. This polit­ical unrest and economic disas­ters resulted in extreme political positions.

Rudolf Schlichter Frau mit Pagenschnitt und Krawatte
Depicting the new type of women in the at that time very popular style of New Objectivity:
Rudolf Schlichter Porträt einer Frau mit Pagenschnitt und Krawatte
(Portrait of a Woman with Bob and Tie)

On the other hand it was an extremely libertine and progressive era: A whole new image of feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, radical and reformist artistic and social movements – which all vanished as soon as the Nazis came to power.

Lotte Laserstein
Tom boy painter Lotte Laserstein Selbstporträt mit Katze (Self-Protrait with Cat)

If you seek a better understanding of German history between the two World Wars,  ‘Splendor and misery in the Weimar republic‘ is the perfect exhibition for you.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 
60311 Frank­furt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 299 882 – 112
Email: welcome@​schirn.​de

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 7 p. m. (Wednesday and Thursday to 10 p. m.)

Matisse vs. Bonnard

Contrast yes, but two French men in a post on Frankfurt?
Yes, Frankfurt’s most famous art museum, the Städel, is presenting a substantial exhibition of these to painter friends from the pre-expressionist era. Friends, contemporaries and yet so different in their artistic expression.

guided tour at the Städel
The guide did a great job and pointed out many interesting details,….

Museum seems to be the new black since the Städel-people organized a truly cool event around this special show including a little test if you were rather the discrete – regarding his character and his painting alike – Pierre Bonnard or the flashy and outgoing Henri Matisse.

Henri Matisse
….but Henri Matisse, part of the ‘fauves’ movement, painting his self portrait in bright colors with expansive brush strokes….
Emile Bonnard
….respectively Emile Bonnard, member of the artist group Nabis, with his hesitant, rather post-impressionist way of painting in muted shades show us their techniques and artistic as well as personal positions quite clearly.

Then social media people were invited to a special guided tour and a party. A very unique and fun event and I was very happy having been there.

Renata Green
And at the end we the visitors had the chance to create our own self portraits.

A few words about the Städel Museum: Founded in 1815 by banker and businessman Johann Friedrich Städel, it owns a very complete collection from about 700 years of art – from Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque to Classicism and Romanticism. From Impressionism and Expressionism to Pop Art and Contemporary.

Probably the most iconic painting at the Städel:
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein Goethe in der Campagna (Goethe at the Campagna)

So in addition to their usually outstanding special exhibition,  their permanent collection holds some nice pieces for every taste. Especially in Summer there is also their sculpture park to enjoy: Famous pieces of art under huge trees in a lush garden.

Städel Museum
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 – 69 – 605 098 – 200

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Thursday and Friday to 9 p. m.)

Black vs. White

Fashion in black, white or over 50 shades of grey: Born in 1943 in a small village near Hamburg, Jil Sander raised in her career from a fashion journalist and small boutique owner to the international clean cut look-superstar with stores all over the world.

Eternal elegance.
Bling Bling according to Jil Sander (please do notice the gold stripes)

Respected and admired for her designs independent from the fast changing fashion dictates, the “queen of less” scored with timeless elegance – and quality, whether in her designs or in the fabrics and other materials she chose for them.

Another extra-contrast: The museum complex actually consists of two building, connected by a bridge. While the temporary exhibition is taking place at the big white open modern building, the permanent collection of old furniture is placed at the historic Villa Metzler built in 1804 in the what then used to be outskirts of Frankfurt as pharmacist Peter Salzwedel’s summer house.

The fact that the MAK allocated its entire exhibition space – 3.000 square metres/ more than 32,000 square feet – to this show, divided into different thematic sections like runway, fashion lines, accessories, cosmetics, but also architecture and garden art, underlines her magnitude as a fashion designer. However, this is by no means a retrospective: Jil Sander is still very active in the fashion circus so that this exhibition just has to be seen as a milestone.

Museum Angewandte Kunst 
Schaumainkai 17
60594 Frankfurt  am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 21 23 12 86

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Wednesday to 8 p. m.)

North vs. South

The river Main is flowing through Frankfurt from East to West. Since almost all the tourist attractions are on the Northern shore, most visitors will stay there – and maybe crossing the bridges to visit the many museums along the Museumsufer – the museum shore. But with a little extra time a walk through the old residential area of Sachsenhausen is very pleasant and gives you a feel how the real Frankfurter lives – by checking out the cute little specialty shops along the Brückenstraße and having a nice french tarte and a café au lait at L’Atelier des Tartes (you’ll find this further below in the Big vs. Small section).

There are nine very different bridges crossing the river Main at the city center – and you should walk across at least two of them:

Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)

The ‘Alte Brücke’ was mentioned for the first time in a document in 1235, so I guess it deserves its name ‘Old Bridge’. Over centuries, the old bridge was the only connection between the two banks of the Main. Initially a wooden construction, there are pictures from the early 15th century depicting it built from stone. A peculiarity is the ‘Maininsel’, an isle under the bridge that keeps changing its shape. On the island is the boat house of the Frankfurt rowing club from 1865, the city’s oldest rowing club. Another structure is the ‘Portikus‘, built in 2006 that houses a gallery for contemporary art.

Eiserner Steg (Iron Footbridge)

The ‘Eiserner Steg’ was built in 1869 and has since then been one of Frankfurt’s icons, painted e. g. by expressionist Max Beckmann. Today the iron contruction is decorated with a banner citing Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ in Greek: ΠΛΕΟΝ ΕΠΙ ΟΙΝΟΠΑ ΠΟΝΤΟΝ ΕΠ ΑΛΛΟΘΡΟΟΥΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥΣ (On the sea the color of wine sailing to other people).

You have to look twice to see Hagen Bonifer‘s work above the passersby’s heads:

Walking the romantic iron bridge, loaded with lovers’ padlocks, offers a superb view of the skyline to the right and the museums bank to the left.

Eiserner Steg – bridge with a view.

Water vs. Earth

At the Northern end of the iron bridge is the jetty from where you can take a boat cruise along the river. Since there are sooo many different cruises to chose from – and now they also add the Christmas cruises, please check their website to see which one’s for you.

Cruising on the Main.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

Note that from November to February they are cruising only on weekends.

Primus-LinieFrankfurter Personenschiffahrt
Mainkai 36
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 13 38 37 – 0

A walk in the park is possible anytime, and Frankfurt has a surprisingly large number of parks, gardens and even little forests. The closest one is of course the promenade along the Main. If you want more nature and at the same time a more sophisticated surrounding, go to the Westend area where you find one of Frankfurt’s two botanic gardens – with a size of almost 22 ha / over 54 acres on of Germany’s largest botanic garden.

An elegant park for a nice day out on a sunny day – Frankfurt’s palm garden.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

The garden was built in 1871 according to French parks like Butte-Chaumant. Besides a vast variety of plants there is the ‘Gesellschaftshaus’ (society house), an elegant neo-classicist palace, to be admired where different exhibitions and events are taking place.

Palmengarten der Stadt Frankfurt
Siesmayerstraße 61
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 21 23 39 39

The garden is accessible from February till October from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. and from November till January 9 a. m. to 4 p. m.

Entrance fee is 7 €uro, however, with the Frankfurt Card you pay only half.

Big vs. Small

Frankfurt is a good place to shop. There are the big luxury brands along the Goethestraße and along the Zeil you find all the stores that you will also see in any other big city – from Amsterdam to Zagreb. When you really want to spend your time in Frankfurt paying Zara, Mango, and H&M a visit – do as you please. But in this case pay at least the shopping center MyZeil a visit – and be it only for the special spiral architecture by star architect Massimiliano Fuksas.

Zeil 106
60313 Frankfurt
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 29 72 39 – 70

By no means I think that bigger is better, even less when it comes to shopping. While at the Goethestraße and the Zeil you’ll get everything the average shopper knows, it’s far more interesting checking out the small independent specialty shops and boutiques that are one of a kind and give a city its unique charm.
This sort of shops is to find in Sachsenhausen, my favorite hood in Frankfurt, anyway. Just cross the Alte Brücke and you’ll find yourself on the very cute and charming Brückenstraße where you can look and browse as much as you like.

Once you’re in Sachsenhausen, don’t miss out on the many small places where you can have an artisan snack and a good coffee or organic juice in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. A perfect place for a small bite is the French L’Atelier du Tarte – already mentioned above.

L’Atelier des Tartes
Kleine Brückenstrasse 3
60594 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 151 40 33 01 17

The Atelier is open Tuesday to Saturday 11 a. m. to 7 p. m.

If you go rather for hearty Hessian cuisine, you should pay the “Struwwelpeter” a visit: Here you get all the traditional food in a cozy, rustic setting. Don’t forget to order a glass of Äppelwoi!

No Frankfurt-visit is complete without a nice glass of Äppelwoi, the traditional apple wine.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)


Neuer Wall 3
60594 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 61 12 97

The Struwwelpeter (‘Slovenly Peter’) awaits you daily from 11 a. m. till late…

Although not that centrally located, Sachsenhausen is certainly also a nice area to stay during your visit. A comfortable place at a good price would be for instance

Cult Hotel Frankfurt City 
Offenbacher Landstraße 56
60599 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 96 24 46-0

Church vs. State

Paulskirche (St. Paul’s)

Despite the separation of church and state, one of the most important milestones of German history and politics is exhibited at the Paulskirche, a former church. The church was built between 1789 and 1833 and was till 1944 Frankfurt’s main protestant church (today the Katharinenkirche (St. Catherine’s) serves this purpose) The Paulskirche (St. Paul’s) houses today an exhibition and an assembly hall.

St. Paul’s – a church no more.
(Photo: Steve Collis,

From 1848 to 1849 the delegates to the Frankfurt national assembly held their meeting at this classicist rotunda. This assembly was the first freely elected parliament of Germany. Therefore the Paulskirche is considered one of the most important symbols of the democratic movement in Germany.

Frankfurter Paulskirche
Paulsplatz 11
60311 Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurter Dom/Kaiserdom St. Bartholomäus (Frankfurt Cathedral)

Frankfurt Cathedral by night.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

The Frankfurt Cathedral, officially Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, is a Roman Catholic built between 1250 and 1514 in Gothic style. The church served the Roman German emperors as their coronation church. It is one of the most important structures of the imperial history and symbol of national unity. The church tower can be climbed.

Katholische Kirchengemeinde Dom St. Bartholomäus 
Domplatz 14
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: + 49 – 69 – 29 70 32 -0


Since there are so many museums and galleries to be visited in Frankfurt, you probably wonder how much one pays for all this glory. Well, let me surprise you: 18 €uros – that’s it; if you buy a MuseumsuferTicket, a museum card that is.
For 48 hours, incredible 34 museums are covered with this little piece of cardboard and you can even visit them as often as you please.

You think that’s great and cannot be any better? Wrooong: Every month’s last Saturday is ‘Satourday’ and entrance to many museums is free and there are special events on and it’s all a big art feast. (Unfortunately some of the introduced venues do not participate, please check before you go).

Frankfurt Card

If your visit to Frankfurt should be more diverse, the Frankfurt Card grants you unlimited use of public transport (airport included), up to 50 per cent discount on museum tickets, discount on entrance to the botanic garden Palmgarten and the river cruise, sight seeing tours and much more.

A single tickets costs € 10,50 for one day and €uro 22 for two. A group ticket (2 to 5 persons) costs €uro 15,50 for one day and €uro 32 for two. You can get the ticket at the tourist information at the airport (Service points in terminal 1 and 2), the main station, the Römer square and many other places (even at some hotels) or you order it online and print it at home.


Need some orientation where to find the described attractions? Here you go: I’ve made a map with every attraction mentioned above so you can adjust your personal itinerary according to the locations:

going up!

And as always I’m happy to answer all your questions and share further information.
To get in touch, please follow my blog (check also facebook and pinterest, where you’ll find a pin to this post) and send me a message, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

41 Replies to “FRANKFURT – city of stark contrasts”

  1. My pleasure, Lau. Have a great time in Heidelberg and enjoy Frankfurt – it's really cool (don't go on a Monday, all the museums and galleries are closed 😏

  2. I love Frankfurt. Such an amazing city. I love walking along the riverbanks in the summer months. Very useful post and lots of information for the first timer here.

  3. I wouldn't have expected the art scene in Frankfurt to be so diverse with modern and traditional. I love visiting cities that share this type of diversity and cool things to see and do.

  4. Actually, Noel, when I first got there for an exhibition a couple of years ago, I didn't expect it to be so cool, neither. Since then I keep coming back because they have the best exhibitions.

  5. Such an interesting piece, Renata! I haven't really heard of this side of Frankfurt and you've successfully introduced it to me.. Those exhibits are truly unique! An exhibit showing someone's guts? And OMG.. Those wolves look real! Such a great masterpiece indeed. Great to know that there's a Frankfurt Card that one can use when checking out some of Frankfurt's attraction. 🙂 Love your post!

    1. Thank you, Marvi. Yes, the wolves look super-real, even as you stand next to them – she did a fantastic job.

  6. What an absolutely fascinating place! I mostly know Frankfurt as a place to change planes in vast terminals, so this has definitely awakened my curiosity and desire to stop off. The phone sheep are beautiful, and the strange gut museum well worth a visit. Most definitely a new addition to my list of must-visits.

    1. Yes, the airport is probably what most people know. I'm glad I was able to show that the attached city is worth a visit, too 😉

  7. What a great comprehensive guide! Very nice suggestions for the museums. The main square really reminded me the one in Tallinn, Estonia- I love this atmosphere and with Christmas it must be amazing! I should definitely take a train someday and and follow your steps in Frankfurt!

  8. I had no idea that Frankfurt had such a sordid past and reputation. The Mondtag exhibit sounds really crazy! Frankfurt sounds like an utterly fascinating place!

    1. Well, Katelyn, it's a big city with a big airport right in the middle of Germany. I think that most big cities have a not so pretty neighborhood. In Frankfurt it's concentrated around the main station where most people arrive – so the first impression is not the best one. But as soon as you get out of that area it's fine.

  9. I enjoy travelling to and through Frankfurt – I didn't realize that the city had a bad reputation back in the day. I agree – the shopping is fantastic. I haven't had much time to explore the museums and galleries, but will plan to take my family to the Historische Museum. I enjoy finding museums that are educational and fun! Thanks for the tips.

    1. Actually I've been to the Historisches Museum for the first time myself, and it's very, very recommendable since it explains many aspects of Frankfurt's history and development but in fun hands-on exhibitions and there is some new stuff (like the really ingenious model), too. Happy travels, Nancy!

  10. What an intriguing city, particularly the intertwining of modern culture with historic architecture. Frankfurt sounds like a great city to visit!

  11. We’re heading to Frankfurt next year as it’s on route to London, though maybe I should plan for a layover of a couple of days to explore a bit. Definitely sounds like it has an interesting museum scene.

    The I’m a problem exhibit sounds quite confronting – though it’s a message I think which needs to be more prominent. Really interesting question posed though about whether or not virtual reality can be art. I see art as anything creative which has been brought to life on a canvas – the virtual world is a new age form of canvas. So I think it does constitute as art. Someone has brought the images from their imagination into a platform which can be shared and appreciated by others. So I think that counts as art.

    1. Thanks, Megan. Yes, I also think that virtual reality is – or can be – art: You are creating with different tools, but you are creating. But then many of the nerds programming games are artists, too!!?! Actually the above mentioned David O'Reilly does make video games…

  12. I absolutely love the art and I am very interested in "I'm a problem". Also, I love how you structure your blog, thanks for always putting in tips with contact details! I wish to be in Frankfurt someday!

    1. My pleasure, Kim. Yes, I'm keen that people really get something out of my posts. The exhibition I'm a problem is really intense – really good.

  13. I didn't realise that Frankfurt had that bad reputation in the past. I want to see more of Germany and I'm going to Hamburg next year but perhaps I need to also visit here too as the museum and art scene is definitely way more advanced than I had realised, especially the stuff about VR. I work in tech so I find discussions like this very interesting.

  14. Hamburg is much more charming than Frankfurt, but latter has the better art scene. I'll publish a post on Hamburg end of December, though, so keep in touch! However: Gute Reise!

  15. This is such an interesting post. I love the idea of the wolves made from blankets and the sheep are such fun! This is taking avant garde to the next level.I normally just pass through Frankfurt, but I will make an effort to explore more of it the next time I am there.

    1. It's worth it, at lease for one, two days. I also love the sheep – and they graze at the museum permanently…

  16. Never been to Germany but this is a nice detailed post! Never knew that it did had a bad reputation at one time. But I would still love to visit soon.

  17. There is something to say about cities that are financial capitals – they tend to be creative and innovative (from my experience) Well these museums are definitely creative – and stark contrasts as you mentioned. From touring through the organs in one, to virtual reality in another. Hmm. I will consider giving Frankfurt another look. Thanks for the tips on the museum card — great deal for a card that gives you access to all the museums.

  18. It's unfortunately common with big cities, there will be good parts of town and bad parts of town. With a little common sense though, you usually won't find yourself in too much trouble. I think it's really cool though that you got a "behind the scenes" look into the creation of virtual reality. Would love to learn more about how it all works!

  19. Wow! I can relate to mostly everything you have written. We were there this summer! However I think we need to go again as we could not visit some of the museums. Your photos are spectacular.

  20. I enjoyed visiting Frankfurt a while back, but I didn't go to any museums. On the next visit, I'll be sure to see some modern art. The kid in me will enjoy the model of the city.

  21. Frankfurt seems so astonishing and definitely worth exploring. Your post motivated me to add it to my bucket list, Renata. I especially loved the pictures of the Schirn Kunsthalle which seems outstanding.

    1. Yes, the Schirn is great. You have to check what's currently on, though, since they have one temporary exhibitions.

  22. I used to live in Frankfurt, so the city will always hold something special in my heart. I love its squares, it's outdoor restaurants, its boat rides, its parks, its flea markets, and yes its museums. There are so many. I encourage folks to give Frankfurt a go!

  23. What a great and comprehensive guide for Frankfurt! Sadly, I've only been to Frankfurt via airport and never had the chance to get out and enjoy the city. This guide would definitely prove very useful for when that day comes! The virtual reality must be so cool to experience!

  24. Thanks for putting all this information together. I love visiting art museums and this will come in handy when I finally get the chance to visit Frankfurt.

  25. Man, save me a glass of apple wine! Between that and the art scene, this looks like a surprisingly robust destination. Thank you for the writeup!

  26. I love the format of this post, Renata! My husband sometimes travels to Frankfurt for work, and after reading this, I'm hoping to tag along on his next trip.

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