Thrusting, dynamic FRANKFURT is the beating heart of Germany’s financial sector and home to the European Central Bank. It has an impressive skyline bristling with eye-catching skyscrapers, earning it the nickname Mainhattan, and business travellers flock here for the trade shows, which include the world’s largest book fair. It’s an important transport hub too, with Germany’s busiest Autobahn intersection and its largest international airport, linked directly to the high-speed ICE rail network.

First impressions of limousines, office towers and briefcases can suggest Germany’s fifth largest city is all work and no play, and among business travellers it sometimes commands more respect than affection. Yet if Frankfurt’s charms are occasionally elusive, they’re real enough, from alfresco Apfelwein-imbibing in Sachsenhausen to museum-hopping on the Museumsufer or Ibiza-style DJ bars atop city-centre car parks. Spend time discovering them and you’ll find this sophisticated, cosmopolitan city repays your investment with interest.

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