One of the best way to explore a city is by walking with a local who knows his or her town by heart. Discover Frankfurt am Main by taking the Free Alternative Walking tour with a local student is a highly-recommended choice to discover different sides and stories of Frankfurt. There is always something interesting going on in different corners of the city that can captivate travelers’ attention, other than massive tourist attractions.
To join the alternative walking tour, head to Kaiserstraße 69 (find the shining Gold Exchange sign!) at 2pm on any day of the week. This street lies just opposite to the front entrance of the Central Station. It takes only 5 minutes walk from there to the meeting point. The tour lasts 2 to 2.5 hours. Here’s how the guide will show you Frankfurt’s history, mysterious hidden places and the diverse lifestyles of the local population.
Walking through the Red Light District
Unlike other tours, Frankfurt alternative walking tour starts with a short history of the Central Station and the red light district. Located at the Station Quarter near the main station are many brothels, strip bars, sex shops, adult clubs, pornographic cinemas, etc. By the end of the day, come back here to take a look at the colorful lightened buildings, but be mindful not to go alone.
During the Cold War when Frankfurt was a major military headquarters for the Allies, this was the recreational center for many soldiers and off duty service men. Back then, the sex industry was many times larger than what it is currently. Nowadays, prostitution and consuming marijuana under strict conditions have been made legal in Germany. In case you happen to be waiting for a friend or the bus in this area, do not be too surprised if you are being offered to buy some weed.
Be awed by modern skyscrapers
Another highlight of this city can be found in the same area where banks and rich residents’ households are located next to strip clubs and brothels. Among the 10 tallest buildings in Germany, the Commerzbank tower was the tallest building in the world till 2003 and Messeturm was the tallest building in Europe until 1997. Keep an eye out for the Main Tower, which is the 4th tallest building in Frankfurt that offers incredible view from the top. For your info, many bankers or visitors in Frankfurt travel through red light district within an hour or two before their next work shift or train. Watch out for pickpockets in this area, and make sure you get what you pay for!
Learn German’s literature by visiting Goethe House
Walking about 10-15 minutes from the Station Quarter to the northeastern part of the city, the guide will take you farther to explore German literature at Frankfurt Goethe House. Here’s where the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born and grew up. Your guide will stop outside the house for approximately 15 to 20 minutes to share more about his life story. Or visit the Goethe Museum lying right next to the Goethe House to know more about this author of a massive collection of epic and lyric poetry. If you wish to explore further about Goethe, you may come back here at the end of the tour.
Be transported to the 90s at the Römer
If you are into the classic medieval beauty and history of Frankfurt, continue on to Römer with your guide! This is one of the city’s most important landmarks with the Römerberg, Altstadt (Old Town), Saint Nicholas church, and Frankfurt Cathedral lying on the same square - St Paul’s Square or Paulsplatz. This is also a major location for the outdoor Frankfurt Christmas Market opening from late November until Christmas. All the buildings here have been renovated to look like what they have been in the past.
Fall in love at the 'Love Lock Bridge' of Frankfurt
It takes only 5 minutes walking from the Römer to Eiserner Steg Bridge, that connects the two parts of Frankfurt. Resembling the ‘Love Lock Bridge’ in Paris, Eiserner Steg offers splendid sunset view of Main River every afternoon at around 5 to 6PM during November. Put your love lock here on the bridge and make sure it would never fall down the river. Across the bridge lies the city’s Southern side whereby Frankfurt’s vibrant nightlife can be found at Sachsenhausen.
Go shopping and enjoy the city’s paranormal view
Last but not least, your guide will walk you quickly (5 to 10 minutes) to Zeil - the biggest shopping street of Frankfurt. Dozens of department stores, retail chains, and specialty shops will lure visitors to the fancy leisure of shopping spree. The tour ends with a spectacular panoramic view of Frankfurt as a whole from the top floor of Zeil Gallery. In the end, your guide will provide further tips based on your own interest.
There are way more exciting to-dos and stories from the Frankfurt alternative walking tour guide such as ‘searching for Spider Man’, collecting a list of must-try food and drink in Frankfurt, etc. Explore Frankfurt today without any booking fee. The tour is totally casual and free of charge, but don’t forget to leave a tip for your brilliant guide!
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