Frankfurt’s many charms are often blurred by its banking reputation. But there’s a lot more to this German city than meets the eye. For decades — and perhaps unfairly — Frankfurt has suffered a bad rap among foreigners who buy into stereotypes that it’s boring.
The city’s staid, respectable reputation as continental Europe’s most important financial centre means it’s rarely the first choice for visitors, expats or students. Instead, they usually prefer other German cities, such as cosmopolitan and political Berlin, beautiful, Alpine Munich, or the party city of Cologne.
But there’s much more to Frankfurt than meets the eye. This is a city with a multicultural population and thriving cultural scene. Indeed, every third person in Frankfurt is a foreigner, and more than two million people visit roughly 60 exhibition centres each year, according to the city.
And now, with Brexit on the horizon, Frankfurt’s star is on the rise. It stands to benefit from an influx of up to 20,000 additional bankers who may be moved here by employers who want to secure access to the European Union if London loses access to the single market. And with these highly paid workers, there’s likely to be an increased demand for services. Right after the “yes” vote for Brexit, Frankfurt and cities like Amsterdam and Paris began courting London-based banks.
But, Frankfurt — as the financial capital of Europe’s economy — has an edge over the competition. It’s already the home of the European Central Bank and some of Germany’s largest banks, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, KfW, and HypoVereinsbank.
In addition, the city hosts Europe’s third-largest airport, after London and Paris. Other bonuses include Frankfurt’s relatively low cost of living compared to London, burgeoning museum row, temperate weather, and hiking, mountain biking and vineyards nearby. All in all, it offers big-city flair with small-city distances and an expat community feel.
If given a chance, Frankfurt will grow on you, says Jason Peterson, an American who has been in Germany more than 25 years. “The practical points will win you over,” said Peterson, who works as a real-estate agent for Remax near Frankfurt.
The German way
Most natives will tell you that Germans have a strong need for peace and quiet, which explains the high frequency of laws to ban noise and the lack of Sunday shopping, prevalent in many European countries. But the upside of these rules is that it’s easy to switch off outside of work hours. Instead, Frankfurters frequent the cafes on Sunday, stroll or skate along the Main river, or head to the Taunus mountains for a bike ride followed by a cool beer at a beer garden.
The Sunday pace leaves time to take in museum row, with gems like the Staedel Museum, which offers a near complete survey of seven hundred years of European art from the early fourteenth century to the present through some 3,000 paintings, 600 sculptures, more than 4,000 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints by artists such as Dürer, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso and more. In summer, catch an outdoor film in the museum garden.
For those new to the city, internet resources such as expat groups on Facebook and an online newcomer’s guide that provides helpful information in English. But, if you prefer a more face-to-face approach, the city hosts a newcomer’s festivaleach September. There you can learn about companies, non-profits and government institutions with services targeting the international community. These may include language and driving schools, tax advisors, international clubs and theatres, schools, and museums.
Getting set up in Frankfurt is a chicken-and-egg scenario, according to Justin Crane, an American who relocated here recently from outside Detroit, Michigan, to take a job at automaker Opel. If you want to get an apartment, you usually need a bank account to do so. And if you want a bank account, you’ll need an address for that. Also, getting an internet connection at your new place can take a while. “If you can swing it, use a relocation agent,” he says. Crane’s agent helped by providing a temporary address, and his internet connection was in the works well before he arrived with his wife, Meghan. If you don’t use an agent, you’ll probably have to be patient and wing it for a while, but other expats at social clubs or on forums will help show you the way...
Questions 1-8: Write no more than three words AND/OR a number for each question.
1. The ____________________ largely accounts for the global popularity of Frankfurt.
2. An evidence for Frankfurt’s multicultural population is that ____________________ is a foreigner.
3. Frankfurt is named as the ____________________ of the European commmunity.
4. An advantage of Frankfurt over the capital of England is cheaper ____________________
5. No shopping on Sundays is a regulation that explains the demand of people in Frankfurt for ____________________
6. The ____________________ with multiple destination choices are an ideal way to relax on a Sunday after a long week of hard work.
7. The annual festival for people who have just lived to Frankfurt for a short period of time is suitable for those favouring a ____________________
8. The help of a ____________________ is useful in finding accommodation and solving Internet provision problems when living in Frankfurt.
Please find the key here.
Have you ever visited Frankfurt? If yes, how was your experience? Please share it with others by leaving a comment.
Watch this video produced by Expedia to explore the travel tips for tourists who are planning to visit the German city of Frankfurt.