Frankfurt: the Manhattan of Europe by Daniel Collins
With the largest population of any other member state in the European Union and the third largest economy by GDP in the world, it's probably fair to say that Germany is up there with only a handful of other nations as one of the world's true superpowers. In addition, if asked to name a major German metropolis, then Berlin or Munich would perhaps spring to most people's minds. But, it is actually Germany's fifth largest city, Frankfurt that has emerged as one of the two largest financial centres in continental Europe, as well as being among the world's financial elite.
Indeed, with the abundance of banks and large businesses situated in the city, this has helped craft an impressive skyline. In fact, two of the four tallest buildings in Europe are found in Frankfurt, giving rise to the suitable nickname of "Little Manhattan". Furthermore, you can experience stunning views of the cityscape at night from the Eiserner Steg Bridge, which is a major highlight for anyone who makes a trip to this city.
Frankfurt is also a city immersed with history; this can be experienced if you take the time and wander around the half-timbered, 16th century Romerberg Square, which has been home to the medieval 'Romer', or city-hall, for 600 years. Also, situated along the banks of the River Main is the Museum Embankment area. This area is popular for all culture vultures alike, with a wide range of museums to see including the Museum of Applied Arts, the German Film Museum, the German Architecture Museum and the Staedel Art Gallery.
And for those looking to engage in a little retail therapy, then there is 'the Zeil', the most famous shopping street in the Whole of Germany, which is located in Frankfurt's city centre. Bordered by two large plazas, the street is a pedestrian-only zone; with the enthusiastic locals and tourists only contributing further to the vibrant feel of the city.
Frankfurt is also well served for transport options; in fact, Frankfurt International Airport is among the top ten busiest airports in the world, having received over fifty four million passengers in 2007. Moreover, flights to Frankfurt take a little under two hours from London, meaning it's just as accessible for those on short business trips as it is for people who are visiting for a long weekend or extended vacation.
And this accessibility will only help to cement Frankfurt's place as a major player on the European and world stage. As a major financial centre and tourist hotspot, Frankfurt really is up there with the best of them, and may even give New York's Manhattan a run for its money!
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Latest update: April 16, 2013