Given the concentration of the media on Germany’s role in the Eurozone crisis and our own battle with Angela Merkel on the banking debt, it is easy to forget the richness of German history and culture, and just how much the country offers tourists.
Which is good news for travel fans from this region, as Ireland West Airport Knock has just begun a new route to Frankfurt Hahn airport, situated in the heart of both Germany and Europe. Buses run every 90 minutes from the airport into Frankfurt city centre, with tickets for the 90 minute journey costing €28 return.
Situated on the River Maine, Frankfurt is the financial heartland of Europe and home of the ECB, who are currently building a new skyscraper headquarters in the city. Located within the American sector after the country was divided at the end of the Second World War, the American influence is evident.
Dubbed ‘Mainhattan’ by locals, Frankfurt is the only German city with skyscrapers and the views offered from the top of the Main Tower Observation platform, at a knee-trembling 200 metres, are spectacular.
Frankfurt prides itself as an up-and-coming city where tradition and modernity mingle effortlessly. It is evident great efforts are being made to make the city an attractive destination for tourists. With very low levels of unemployment, there is an abundance of good pubs, clubs and restaurants in the city.
While it might not boast marquee attractions like other major cities, there are a number of hidden delights to be discovered. A tour of the 18th Century house of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, an author of immense importance often described as ‘Germany’s Shakespeare’ is a step back in time.
The city’s highlight is arguably the Städel Museum, a recently extended art gallery, which boasts an incredible collection of artwork testifying to seven hundred years of European art. It is worth the trip alone for the seemingly endless masterpieces on display, from Botticelli to Raphael, Manet, Matisse and Munch right up to contemporary art in the new modern art exhibition hall opened in February.
While small (everything is within walking distance or quickly reached by tram or the underground) Frankfurt is ideal for short city-breaks or as a start or end point for tours of Germany or mainland Europe, as Frankfurt is one of the best serviced transport centres on the continent.
Ryanair are now flying from Ireland West Airport Knock on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with fares starting from €14.99 one way, with the route already proving popular.
It is another success story for the airport in Knock, which is quickly developing its reputation as a leading airport, with over 28 international routes now available. For more information on Ireland West Airport Knock, Frankfurt or flights visit irelandwestairport.com, frankfurt-tourismus.de or ryanair.com.