Often called Bankfurt because it is the financial centre of Germany, Frankfurt has more than 300 banks and the European Central Bank, German Federal Bank, and stock exchange. Another nickname is Mainhatten, due to its skyscrapers that include the Commerzbank Tower, Deutsche Bank Twin Towers and Maintower (with observation deck at 200m). It is a fantastic and little-known city to visit on a weekend break. Cheap flights to Frankfurt depart from several UK airports and its hotels’ weekend rates are competitive.
It is where the Romans and Charlemagne held court and where kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned. German democracy was born here in 1848. Its Christmas market, held in Romerberg Square, dates back to 1393.
In common with other German cities such as Munich and Berlin, Frankfurt was bombed during the Second World War, but small pockets of its original Old Town remain and a meticulous building programme has restored it to its medieval glory.
Frankfurt provides more support to the arts than any other city in Europe. The Sachsenhausen stretch of the main embankment boasts 16 newish museums focusing on subjects such as art, natural history, film, communications and ethnology.
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Summers are warm and fluctuate between sunny and rainy. Spring and autumn are mild with temperatures in the 10s and teens (Celsius), and winter is cold with wet days. July and August are the warmest months with temperatures usually in the mid-20s. January is the coldest month with below-zero temperatures.
The tourist season runs from May to late October, and the major convention season covers March through May, September, and October.
Even with the heat, rain, and crowds of June and August, you can find cheaper Frankfurt flights than in the spring and autumn. The cold and stormy weather of November through February generally brings fewer visitors than the rest of the year.
Frankfurt has a great public transport system. The RMV (Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund) sends efficient, modern subways, trams and buses all over the city. You can get unlimited travel around Frankfurt with a Frankfurt Card. Renting a car is an option. You can find reasonably priced parking downtown, but battling traffic, construction and accidents could eat into your sightseeing time.