For tourists Frankfurt does offer some sights, some intriguing restaurants in the Nordend, a variety of artistic and cultural events, and excellent shopping opportunities. Sightseeing opportunities are mostly confined to the historical core of the city, known as the Romerberg, where Charlemagne erected his fort in medieval times. Most of the original buildings were destroyed during World War II, but some have been reconstructed, including the home of Goethe, Frankfurt's famous son who became Germany's greatest writer. For shopping it is hard to beat the Zeil, Germany's equivalent to New York's Fifth Avenue.
With its excellent rail connections and Autobahn system, Frankfurt is the natural hub for travellers wishing to explore the surrounding towns and countryside. It is also the venue for numerous trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses, drawing about 12-million visitors a year to these events. The largest and best known is the annual International Book Fair, which is attended by thousands of publishers.
Frankfurt throws more money at the arts than any other European city so you'll most likely catch a ground-breaking exhibition at one of its museums. And if you do happen to get stuck at the mega-airport there's a nightclub, art gallery and X-rated cinema to help while away those in-transit hours.
The city epitomises modern Frankfurt it's home to Germany's stock exchange and 400 banking institutions. The modern architecture and financial clout give the city a decidedly American tone - though the nickname 'Mainhattan' is perhaps overdoing it.
For many, Frankfurt is primarily "Manhattan", city of finance and skyscrapers, but a closer look reveals a city of many charms: The picturesque houses of the beautifully restored Römerberg in the city centre and the unique "Museum Mile" along the banks of the Main river. Traditional cider pubs in Sachsenhausen, shops galore in the elegant Goethestrasse and the "Fressgass" - and a truly world-class cultural and arts scene.