Unlike any other German city, Frankfurt-on-the-Main (pronounced ‘mine’) is unashamedly high-rise. It bristles with jagged skyscrapers that rise up from the Rhine–Main basin and alongside a restored Altstadt (Old Town).
As a business capital, it attracts thousands of foreign expats and exiles from other German cities who have come here to work. It is home to one of Europe’s largest stock exchanges, the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank), and the European Central Bank, the regulating bank for member countries of the European Single Currency. Its enormous airport is the region’s largest employer and, after Heathrow, Europe’s second-largest airport, handling over 50 million passengers each year. Frankfurt also hosts a string of important trade events, including the world’s largest book, consumer-goods and musical-instrument fairs.
Frankfurt has a rich collection of museums, second only to Berlin’s. In nightlife, too, it is the capital’s only serious rival, especially when it comes to the dance-music scene, centred on the ever-popular techno beat.