While Frankfurt‘s looming skyscrapers are widely known to contain Germany’s business hub, the city also boasts an unbeatable art scene that deserves proper recognition. Whether you’re in Frankfurt for business or pleasure, don’t underestimate the cultural possibilities in store for you: the city is pulsing with creative vitality, offering travelers a range of great galleries specializing in both contemporary and classic art.
Städel Museum houses one of Germany’s most impressive collections of classical European art, including works by masters like Renoir and Botticelli. With 2,700 paintings (600 of which are displayed at a time), 100,000 drawings, 600 sculptures and counting, you are guaranteed an enriching experience packed with art to visually guide you through Europe’s cultural history. While it would be impossible to soak everything up in one visit, plan to stay at least a few hours to get the most out of this powerhouse museum. Opening hours: Tue-Wed 10am-6pm; Thu-Fri 1am-9pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Founded in 1981 in the heart of the city, Frankfurt’s Museum Für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art) has since amassed a permanent collection of 4,500 international pieces, ranging from the 1960s to present day. Many paintings were bequeathed to the museum by a small handful of legendary German collectors, including minimalist and Pop art creations by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The museum also hosts regular expositions of emerging modern-day artists, so for lovers of contemporary art, a trip to this beautifully designed building is an absolute necessity.
Known as the “Young Art Museum” since 1994, Museum Junge Kunst has specialized in showcasing the talent of the GDR since 1965, and is now home to the largest permanent collection of art from East Germany. The contrast of contemporary art against the historic architectural backdrop of the building, originally Frankfurt’s Town Hall, makes for a striking visual juxtaposition. This is a perfect fit for those who love modern artwork but also hunger for a bit of local history. Opening hours: Tues-Sun 11am-5pm
Centrally located in the old city between the Römer and the Frankfurt Cathedral, Schirn Kunsthalleis Frankfurt’s main hub for exciting temporary exhibitions. Their displays include both classic and contemporary art, ranging from Frida Kahlo to Chagall to Dali to Yoko Ono. This is the place to update yourself on the latest important expositions in Europe, and get an early glimpse of hot new up-and-comers on the Frankfurt arts scene. Opening hours: Tue 10am-10pm, Wed-Thu 10am-7pm
The German Architecture Museum (DAM) has been at the forefront of architectural reflection since its inception in 1984. Housed in a 19th century building, the interior is astonishingly modern after a redesign by German architect Oswald Mathias Ungers to create a more rationalist aesthetic. The museum’s permanent exhibition “From Ancient Huts to Skyscrapers” provides a comprehensive look into the history of German architecture, while its immense collection of architectural drawings will familiarize you with contemporary greats such as Germany’s own Erich Mendelsohn and Canadian designer Frank Gehry. The DAM also hosts several temporary exhibitions a year, with a focus on contemporary architecture. Opening hours: Sun 11am-7pm, Tue 11am-6pm, Wed 11am-8pm, Thu-Sat 11am-8pm.