Frankfurt is located on the riverbanks of the Main. The city is the financial heart of Germany and continental Europe. The shining skyscrapers that dominate the city center remind you of Manhattan in New York, therefore Frankfurt is also called ‘Mainhattan’. The city is an important intersection for both road and railroad transport as well as air traffic.
Germans generally call the city by its full name, Frankfurt am Main, to distinguish it from the smaller Frankfurt an der Oder in the German state of Brandenburg.
The city has well over 650,000 inhabitants. No less than 20% of the inhabitants are foreigners, varying from bank directors to migrant workers. Remarkably the number of inhabitants has almost remained unchanged since the sixties.
Frankfurt is centrally located in Germany on both riverbanks of the Main (the river that empties in the Rhine River, 35 kilometers to the west of the city). On the northeast of the city the Taunus low mountain range is situated.
The heart of the economy of Frankfurt is the financial service sector. The largest stock exchange in the European mainland is based in the city and the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank and the largest German bank corporations have their head office in Frankfurt. Furthermore, the city is an important center for international congresses and fairs, such as the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (the world's largest auto show) and the Frankfurter Buchmesse (the world's largest book fair).
Frankfurt is one of the European cities that have the highest income per capita.
The international Frankfurt Rhein Main Airport is located 12 kilometers outside the city, with almost 55 million annual passengers it is the third largest airport in Europe.
Budget airlines fly to Frankfurt Hahn Airport, its name is somewhat misleading as the airport is situated 120 kilometers to the west of the city.
Frankfurt has an excellent public transport network. There are seven subway lines (U-Bahn), nine streetcar lines and 42 bus lines. On Fridays and Saturdays there is a bus service that runs during the night.
The S-Bahn (a suburban rail system) takes you to destinations outside Frankfurt and has good connections within the entire Rhine Main Area.
Traffic and parking
Like some other German cities, the city center of Frankfurt is a so-called ‘Umweltzone’ (low emission zone). Only cars that have a special sticker on their windshield are allowed in this zone. The requirements for cars allowed in this zone will be tightened up in years to come.
It is not hard to find a parking space in Frankfurt, except during large international exhibitions. The city has a dynamic parking system that leads car drivers to available parking spaces in one of the 19 parking garages.
On the city border there are several Park & Ride parking lots, you can leave your car behind and continue by public transport to the city center.
Frankfurt has a vast range of hotels to offer, in all price ranges. Be aware that it will be hard to find accommodation during the large fairs and shows, and moreover the prices of even the simple hotels are shooting up.
For more information about Frankfurt, we recommend Google and the following sources: