Old square in Frankfurt

Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)

Ahhhh, Frankfurt. If it weren't for some of your streets that are still intact from the 19th century, we'd think your futuristic skyline was a playground for business types only. But you charm us time and again with your enclaves of classical, pointy-roofed German buildings that decorate the Römer. Oh how we love a city with two points of view!

Looking Forward and back

We can't talk about where Frankfurt is today without mentioning where it has been. The Roemerburg, the old city center, was mostly destroyed in World War II. Since then, it has mostly been rebuilt and remains the spot where Frankfurt is its most identifiable and most at home. Visit the cafés, shops and the cathedral around the square to soak up the uniquely German architecture that inspires thoughts of gingerbread and fairytales.

Downtown Frankfurt is known for its cloud-reaching skyscrapers that rank among some of the tallest in Europe. The Main Building is open to the public, so travelers can ride a sleek elevator to the viewing platform and take in the city from what feels like the top of the world. If you're just looking to get a glimpse of the downtown setting, however, head over to the Main River Bridge which offers the best view in town of the cityscape.

For all the talk of balance, Frankfurt knows how to splurge. A peek at restaurant menus — like the Haus Wertheym, a well-known traditional German fare restaurant — shows that Germans love their schnitzel and spaetzle. And the new batch of hip, see-and-be-seen bars showcase the city's dedication to staying young and on the edge.