While Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany, there’s much more to this city along the Main River than the European Central Bank. Goethe’s house, a crashed tram and a peeing tree are among a handful of the quirkiest sights in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt has a lot to offer even the most discerning traveller, boasting a rich collection of museums and historic buildings. But if you’re happy to step off the beaten path, the city has some quirky, hidden gems that shouldn’t be missed. Here’s our list of the coolest things to do in the city.
While the rest of Germany swears by beer, Frankfurt’s favourite drink is apple wine. Frau Rauscher, a feisty German woman from nobody-knows-when, achieved legendary status thanks to her love for apple wine. As legend has it, she used to unabashedly pinch apple wine from patrons enjoying a drink outdoors. When admonished, she would spit the drink back and go on a drunken rant about there being no need for hassle as the drink was already “returned.” In a corner of the cobbled Klappergasse lane, you will find a spitting statue of Frau Rauscher outside an eponymous restaurant.
While you are never too far from a playground in Germany, few are as enchanting as Waldspielpark Goetheturm. This playground sits in the lap of a pristine forest and delights little ones with slides, a splash pool and a maze. This forest was Goethe’s favourite spot to pen his iconic words. This is a wonderful place to bring a picnic, go on a lazy stroll or simply enjoy precious solitude.
As part of the Frankfurt art initiative Komische Kunst (Comic Art), artist Friedrich Karl Waechter decided to give a tree at Lake Jacobiweiher, near the Oberschweinstiege, a voice to express itself. The tree looks perfectly normal until you get close, and then out of nowhere you are sprinkled on! Once passers-by get over the initial shock, it usually tickles their sense of humour. A sign near the Pinkelbaum (peeing tree) reads, “For 300 years I was peed on, starting today I pee back” (translated from German).
Frankfurt is the business hub of Germany and home to large banks and the stock exchange. It’s only fitting that the financial heritage of the city is celebrated with a Money Museum (Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank). Walk through the process of money printing and the role of the European Central Bank, explained through interactive displays – seriously, it’s actually much more fun than it sounds. And the best part? It’s totally free to visit.
Anwesha Ray contributed additional reporting to this article.