Frankfurt has been a meeting point for traders and voyagers from way afar for almost a millennium – it was first officially mentioned in 794 and, for roughly eight centuries already, trade fairs are a feature of the city; the Book Fair has been a regular event since 1485. The IAA automobile show, the Musikmesse or the Achema chemical fair belong to the most important in their respective fields world wide, and every single day, Frankfurt hosts a few congresses with international character.
Busy hub in the heart of Europe
Its geo-strategic position, pretty much in the center of Europe, half-way between Lisbon and Moscow, has certainly contributed to this development, and the FRA airport (the 3rd busiest in Europe with 60 million passengers annually and 100 movements per hour), the central railway station (with 350,000 passengers a day the most frequented in Europe) and, last but not least, the Frankfurter Kreuz (the Autobahn interchange on the south side of the airport with 320,000 vehicles daily the most heavily used in Europe) are results of its advantageous location and bare evidence to Frankfurt’s position as a business center of global significance!
Home to international corporations and banks
Banking and finance also have a centuries old tradition – already in 1585, traders agreed on exchange rates for different currencies - in the city, which today hosts not only institutions of national relevance as the Bundesbank or the Stock Exchange but also international powerhouses as the ECB (European Central Bank); the leading German banks have their headquarters in Frankfurt, and over 200 international banks maintain offices in town. It is Germany’s only “alpha-city” according to the GaWC.
Despite all these grandeurs and superlatives, Frankfurt remains a small (can be crossed on a bicycle in 40 minutes), cosy, highly safe and relaxed city – behind all the concrete towers, you will find shadowy parks, “gemütlich” centuries old taverns, some shopping jewels, world class opera or ballet, fantastic museums and a lot more. The population – just recently passed the 700,000 mark – is, with approximately 30% non-Germans - the most cosmopolitan in Germany! Citizens of 170 different nationalities contribute with their culture, their cuisine and way of life to make Frankfurt, according to Mercer’s, one of the top 10 cities worldwide for quality of life.
The Rhein-Main region, with Frankfurt as its center, belongs to the economically strongest world wide metropolitan areas with uncountable representations of globally active companies…. yet it is not only business. The Taunus mountains range with wonderful spa towns like Wiesbaden and Bad Homburg, the breath taking sunny landscape of the Rheingau, one of the most distinguished wine regions of the world with centuries old abbeys and castles, invite to relax and spend an enjoyable time.
There is absolutely no reason for not having such an enjoyable time in Frankfurt as you may have in London, Paris or Rome, and a lot speaks for extending your stay a few days and visiting the surrounding area and region!
It is the intention of this guide and the people behind it to show visitors all this, to assist them when desired and to make their stay easy and enjoyable!