The Station District – Gateway to Frankfurt
Unique and highly diverse.
Frankfurt/Main, 04th May 2014 (tcf): Frankfurt’s station district is a place that is in a seemingly constant state of change. It is also a place with a great deal of flair, having been voted one of the “places to be” by no lesser publication than the New York Times. No other Frankfurt city district is as rich in colour and contrast as the station district. It is, simply put, the beating heart of the city, a place where multiculturalism meets the hustle and bustle of a European metropolis. Aside from its banks and office buildings, the station district also brims with restaurants and retail. With a share of 52.3 percent, the station district has the highest proportion of foreign residents in all of Frankfurt. And thus, unsurprisingly, the neighbourhood with its exotic restaurants and international shops exudes a truly global flair. In contrast to popular belief, the station district’s “red-light industry” is relatively small, being located mainly along Taunusstraße and in some areas of its cross-streets, primarily the northern reaches of Elbestraße und Weserstraße, where a number of brothels are to be found. A special guide for Frankfurt’s station district was recently published to help visitors become better acquainted with this colourful locality, entitled “Bars, Bazaars & Bohéme – 99 Highlights of the Frankfurt Station District”. This handy brochure offers tips and information on restaurants, art institutions, culture and nightlife. Currently, it is only available in German, an English-language version is however in the making.
Frankfurt’s station district is, naturally, a culinary dream-come-true. Here, visitors will find a seemingly endless range of international specialities, exotic delicacies and creatively prepared classics. Münchener Straße is particularly colourful and multicultural, its restaurants, snack bars and grocery shops representing the four corners of the Earth. “Maxie Eisen” (Münchener Straße 18), for example, is a Jewish delicatessen of true “kosher nostra” style, offering a delectable variety of Jewish foods. The speciality of the house is the Jewish-American pastrami sandwich. If you prefer the al-fresco atmosphere of a street market, then come to the “Kaisermarkt”, held every Tuesday and Thursday, where you’ll find fresh produce, hearty lunch meals and foods from near and far.
The station district is also home to a number of cultural establishments, some of which have been situated here for many decades. One particularly interesting place is the Hammer Museum (Münchener Straße 36), which ranks amongst the world’s eleven most curious museums. Here, more than 1,500 hammers – from small multipurpose hammers from the late 19th century to massive sledgehammers – are displayed on 50 square metres of exhibition space. The museum even features one of the hammers used to tear down the Berlin Wall. Admission is free of charge.
Taunustor 1, nestled between the station and banking districts, is the home of one of the branch offices of the Museum of Modern Art (MMK). Known as MMK2, it presents two changing exhibitions a year. The current exhibition, entitled “Boom She Boom”, will be on show until 14th June 2015. The English Theatre Frankfurt (Gallusanlage 7), known to be the largest English-language theatre on the European continent, attracts audiences with a rich repertoire of plays and musicals. Art enthusiasts will find a range of art galleries and studios in the station district, with open doors inviting interested parties to peek over the artist’s shoulder and perhaps even make an unexpected purchase.
Night owls and party animals are guaranteed to find the station district to their liking. Revellers like to meet at “Bar Plank” (Elbestraße 15), for example, from where they venture forth to clubs like the “Orange Peel” (Kaiserstraße 39), the “Kiez Praline” (Elbestraße 34) and “The Lido” (Moselstraße 32). “Changó”, one of the world’s best-known Latin clubs, has people dancing to rhythmic beats until the early morning hours (Münchener Straße 57).
Those who prefer to spend time at an oasis of quiet to rejuvenate body and soul are recommended to pay a visit to the Latin-American cosmetic studio and hairdressers’ salon, “Las Bonitas” (Kaiserstraße 60), the “Beauty Lounge” (Kaiserstraße 37) or the men’s barber shop, “Goldene Schere” (Münchener Straße 25).
The station district is also well known for its shopping opportunities. A touch of oriental flair may be found in the “Kaiserpassage” (Kaiserstraße 62), while “Südseite” (Kaiserstraße 55) sells books and magazines from around the world. “Heidinger” (Münchener Straße 43), meanwhile, stands for four generations of finest pastries and baked products. Music lovers, on the other hand, are urged to drop into the music supplies shop, “Cream-Music”. Legends like the Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, Elvis Presley and John Lennon are known to have shopped here back in the day. Yet another popular shopping destination is “Schuhmacherei Lenz” (Münchener Straße 36), a time-honoured custom shoemaker and shoe repair shop.
Thanks to its central location, the station district is easy to reach via the local public transport system. Frankfurt’s main train station offers connections to countless regional and longer-distance destinations. Our tourist information office in the station’s reception hall offers visitors up-to-date information as well as a variety of helpful services. The office also serves as the starting point for the two-hour guided tour of the station district (group bookings only).