Frankfurt—No Longer Bankfurt- page 2 | Rick Steves | Smithsonian
Current Issue
July / August 2014  magazine cover

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

With its forest of skyscrapers perched on the banks of the Main River, Frankfurt has been dubbed Germany's "Mainhattan." (Courtesy of Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door)

Frankfurt—No Longer Bankfurt

Home to Germany’s banking district, Frankfurt also boasts major museums, winter gardens and bustling main square

When you’re done sightseeing and ready to unwind, go to Frankfurt’s apple-wine pub district. The cobbled, cozy Sachsenhausen neighborhood is both a well-heeled residential area and an eating-and-drinking zone, enjoyed by tourists and Frankfurters alike. More than a hundred characteristic apple-wine pubs have taken root here (alongside plenty of other options).

Apfelwein, drunk around here since Charlemagne’s time 1,200 years ago, became more popular in the 16th century, when local grapes suffered from disease. Apple wine is about the strength of beer (5.5 percent alcohol), and is served spiced and warm in winter, cold in summer. To complement your traditional drink with a traditional meal, order Frankfurt sausage or pork chops and kraut.

From the seedy to the sublime, from Goethe to apple wine, even two or three hours in Frankfurt leaves you with some powerful impressions. You’ll have seen 21st-century Germany, beyond the country’s cliches of old castles and cute, cobbled squares. For years, Frankfurt was a city to avoid...but today, its energy makes it worth a look.

Rick Steves ( writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Email him at, or write to him c/o P.O. Box 2009, Edmonds, WA 98020.

© 2010 Rick Steves

About Rick Steves
Rick Steves

Rick Steves is a travel writer and televsion personality. He coordinated with Smithsonian magazine to produce a special travel issue Travels with Rick Steves.

Read more from this author

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus