Want to know all about the best neighborhoods to live in Frankfurt? Or where to stay in Frankfurt? In this helpful article, your reliable friend Homelike has covered the city’s best districts.
Frankfurt is massively overlooked and underrated. Yeah, you know all about Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, but here’s something you probably didn’t know: more than half of Frankfurt’s residents have a non-German background, so the nation’s fifth-biggest city is a massively popular place to start a new life.
Frankfurt is welcoming, multicultural and affordable, and people from all over the planet come to live here. It is certainly one of the best cities in Germany. With a low unemployment rate, great job opportunities and a thriving economy, it’s a fantastic place to be. And on top of all that sensible stuff, it’s a really fun city, with great nightlife, friendly people, and loads of excellent things to do.
Frankfurt is a city of contrasts—it’s most famous as a business-based financial hub, but it’s also traditional and charming, with medieval architecture, excellent local cuisine, and lots of great green spaces. No matter who you are, it can be a brilliant place to live.
But because Frankfurt is a pretty big place, it’s important to choose a good neighborhood—the city’s different districts aren’t all made the same.
So in this useful guide, your good buddy Homelike has brought you the ten best places to live in Frankfurt. We’ve stripped away all the confusion, and left behind just the juicy details. In our list of the best neighborhoods to live in Frankfurt, we’ve included the following top ten:
- Gallusviertel (and Europaviertel)
No matter what you’re looking for or how long you’re staying, there’ll be something perfect on this list.
Pack your bags and bring some sandwiches— today, Homelike is taking you around the 10 best neighborhoods in Frankfurt.
Want to know where to live in Frankfurt? Soon, you will!
Best for: Enjoying the the center of the city, being close to the Alstadt, and living like a long-term tourist
Innenstadt (which translates to ‘downtown’) is the very heart of the city, and its most busy district by far. A big area bordering the north shore of the Main River (Frankfurt’s river is known as the ‘Main’), it’s one of the largest financial hubs in Germany, famous for housing the money-stuffed Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Inside of Innenstadt, you’ll find most of the city’s major tourist attractions, including Frankfurt Cathedral, colorful Römerberg (a famous market square), and lots of museums and galleries. There’s also endless food and drink, great nightlife, and some of the most famous shopping streets in the city.
Innendstandt is also home to the Alstadt (the ‘old town’), with its timber buildings, ancient architecture and endless charm. The type of stuff you get in old towns across Europe, that’s exactly the type of stuff you get here.
If you enjoy feeling like a tourist rather than a local, you’ll love living in Innenstadt—it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt if you’re only staying for a short few months. But if you’re sticking around for longer, you’ll probably grow tired of all the busy bustle.
Like all city-center neighborhoods, it’s a pretty pricey place to live, so it’s not one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt for anyone on a budget.
Well, unless you consider finding a home in our next location…
Best for: Living centrally on a budget, enjoying an unusual part of town, and regular traveling in and out of Frankfurt
Inside the Innenstadt, you have Bahnhofsviertel. If you speak even the slightest bit of German, you’ve probably already guessed the district is named after the city’s train station, which is just to the west of the neighborhood.
A diminutive but emerging area, Bahnhofsviertel is made up of a few small but busy streets. Once a pretty shady hangout, it’s been gentrified a little, and it’s slowly emerging as a trendy place to be, full of young people and hip bohemians. But despite its edgy energy, the prices haven’t yet caught up—so it’s a good place to live centrally without throwing around wads of cash. Lots of artists and entrepreneurs live in Bahnhofsviertel to take advantage of all the budget prices, and the alluringly-low rents.
Because Bahnhofsviertel is right beside the train station, it’s also one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt for anyone who travels a lot for work (or even for fun). One of the busiest train stations in Germany, you can catch connections here to endless other parts of the nation—and even further afield.
Apart from all that handy convenient stuff, you also get good nightlife, excellent ethnic eateries and cool bars and cafes. For now, Bahnhofsviertel isn’t quite the trendiest area in Frankfurt—but it won’t be long before it is.
3. Gallusviertel (and Europaviertel)
Best for: Professionals (both young and old), finding a good job, and living close to where you work
Lots of people, when they’re deciding where to stay in Frankfurt, overlook this place. But if they’re looking for a job, they shouldn’t.
Part of the Innenstadt and just to the west of Bahnhofsviertel, Gallusviertel was once a boring and bland industrial hub, but it’s gone (and is still undergoing!) rapid development. It’s quickly becoming an upscale residential area with big blocks of apartments, bigger skyscrapers, and even bigger building sites.
The neighborhood is home to Europaviertel, which translates to ‘European Quarter’. A built-for-purpose area stuffed with trendy apartments, endless workspaces and lots of modern architecture, it’s a massively popular place for people who prioritize work. If you want to work in an office, live next to your office and hang out with your workmates, it’s the perfect place to be.
That said, if you’re looking for fun, excitement, energy and authenticity, this isn’t one of the best areas to live in Frankfurt. Yeah, it’s great for work—but it’s not so great if you value life experiences over job experiences.
Best for: Living in a quiet neighborhood, multicultural mates, and relatively affordable housing
East of Innenstadt, you have Ostend (which, as you’ve probably worked out for yourself, means ‘east end’).
Once an industrial area, it’s now much more appealing and exciting, and it’s slowly becoming a relatively popular place to live. But for now, the prices are still pretty low, great if you’re on a tight budget.
Quiet, quaint and cosy, Ostend is popular with families, young professionals, and lots more expats and internationals—in the neighborhood, you’ll find a mixed crowd of residents from around the planet. The area itself also feels pretty diverse, with a knockabout collection of architecture inspired by different eras and influences.
Ostend is home to both Frankfurt Zoo and the Schwedlersee, two great hangouts for families with kids (and people who act like them). The zoo is home to almost 500 species, while the shores of lake Schwedlersee are always packed with families, dog walkers and picnickers.
If you don’t have kids, there’s plenty of other fun stuff in Ostend, with lots of bars and restaurants, and some surprisingly-classy venues.
Overall, Ostend is one of the best areas to live in Frankfurt if you want to be in a trendy, central neighborhood without spending lots of money.
Best for: Great green spaces, affluent amigos, and enjoying an elegant existence
Confusingly, the Westend is actually north of Innenstadt. Weird.
Anyway, it’s spacious, expensive, and green, and lots of the city’s higher-class residents live here.
Broadly speaking, the area is divided into two smaller neighborhoods: Westend-Nord and Westend-Süd (which translate to West End North and West End South respectively).
Westend-Süd is the more affluent of the two, with expensive homes, classy hangouts, exclusive eateries, and some of the city’s richest residents. That said, there are also a huge number of offices in the neighborhood—so lots of the people you’ll see in Westend-Süd don’t live there; they just work in the area.
Westend-Nord, meanwhile, is a little less classy, and a little more affordable. Because it’s home to Goethe University (one of the most famous in the nation), you see pockets of students here. You also get lots of families, a pretty laid-back atmosphere, and the brilliant Grüneburg Park (the best green space in the city, with botanic gardens, an open-air theatre, and lots of lovely family-friendly spaces).
If you want a quiet, classy life, and budget isn’t an issue, Westend is a great place to get a serviced apartment in Frankfurt. But if you don’t have lots of cash to splash, you should probably look elsewhere.
Best for: Living in a popular district, being close to Bornheim, and a best-of-all-worlds life
North of the Innenstadt, you have Nordend.
Like Westend, Nordend is also broken up into two different areas: Nordend-West and Nordend-Ost. That said, they’re both pretty similar to one another, so don’t worry too much about the difference between the two.
In Nordend, you get great parks, endless places to eat and drink, and some of the city’s most beautiful architecture. Because of all those perks (and because of its sprawling size), Nordend is probably the most popular district in central Frankfurt, housing families, singles, young people, couples, and everyone in between.
If you’re not sure where to live in Frankfurt, it’s always a good place to start your search—so don’t be surprised if you wind up living here!
It’s also one of the best neighborhoods to live in Frankfurt if you’re a young professional. You get relatively affordable housing, great restaurants, trendy bars, a central location, and lots of offices and commercial buildings, perfect if you’re looking for a job.
Just east of Nordend (or maybe in Nordend, depending on who you ask), you have Bornheim, arguably the city’s most exciting district.
If you like drinking, dancing and partying, you’ll love living near Bornheim. It has the city’s biggest concentration of bars, and a young population who like thumping beats and late-night parties. The area is also home to cultural venues, live music, jazz clubs, comedy shows, and other weird and wacky events.
Best for: Endless trendy hangouts, laid-back vibes, and living on a budget
West of Westend, you have Bockenheim, another trendy district. The neighborhood plays host to perpetual parties, with endless hip hangouts to slurp on craft beer, artisan coffee, and local (and iconic!) Frankfurt apple wine.
Because Bockenheim is cheap, fun and friendly, it’s really popular with Frankfurt’s younger population—lots of students, hipsters, and young professionals live here. It’s the sort of district where everyone seems to do as little work as possible, and spend most of their time relaxing, laughing, and hanging out with friends. If that’s what you’re into, you’ll think it’s one of the best neighborhoods to live in Frankfurt.
And as a sweet little bonus, it’s a very affordable place to live—if you’re on a tight budget, it’s a perfect place to get a serviced apartment in Frankfurt.
Top tip: while you’re in the neighborhood, make sure you check out Eschenheimer Turm (a medieval watchtower), Bockenheimer Warte subway station (one of the strangest subway station entrances we’ve ever seen) and Rebstockbad, a popular tropical-themed waterpark.
Best for: Getting a job, making friends with locals, and living a quiet family life.
On the western outskirts of the city, you have Höchst. Green, quaint and cozy, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt for families.
In lots of ways, Höchst feels like a town of its own rather than a Frankfurt neighborhood—because it’s around 6 miles (10km) west of the Innenstadt, you see lots of families and locals, very few expats, and even fewer tourists. Here, you’ll be surrounded by great green areas, some lovely stretches of the Main River, and the district’s iconic medieval timber houses.
Höchst is a great place to start a family life. The neighborhood has ISF International School (one of the best international schools in Frankfurt), and a massive industrial area with a huge number of job opportunities.
And on top of that, you also get the Schwanheimer Dunes, one of Frankfurt’s best (but most underrated) green spaces. A pretty nature reserve, it has dunes, walks and wildlife, and it’s an absolutely brilliant city escape.
In short, Höchst is where to live in Frankfurt if you want a quiet family life with good jobs, good education, and a lovely laconic atmosphere.
Best for: Hiking, a very quiet life, and living on the outskirts of Frankfurt
Just outside of Frankfurt, Kronberg is actually a small town of its own, with a tiny population of around 11,500 people. But because it’s so close to Frankfurt, some people class the place as one of the city’s neighborhoods.
No matter how you want to classify the place, it’s one of the best neighborhoods to live in Frankfurt for anyone who wants a quiet life. Here, you’ll spend time hiking rather than partying, relaxing rather than hangout-hopping, and enjoying and experiencing ‘authentic’ German life (whatever that means).
All of that said, very few expats live in Kronberg, there’s not much happening in the town, and some people might find the place a bit boring. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt for families, but it’s not perfect for everyone.
Best for: Quaint cobbled streets, laid-back living, and a peaceful but central life
Perched on the southern shores of the Main River, Sachsenhausen is just over the water from the Innenstadt. But although it’s really central, it feels much more rural and remote, and a world away from the constant busy-ness (is that a word?) of Frankfurt’s northern neighborhoods.
If you want to live in a quiet but central neighborhood, it’s a great option—you’re right in the heart of all the good stuff, but without the endless bustle and the constant packs of tourists.
Sachsenhausen has lots of nearby international schools, a bunch of excellent museums, and lots of lovely riverside stretches where people come to walk, cycle and picnic. And as an added bonus, the place feels like a small town of its own, with ancient architecture, cobbled streets, and a laid-back atmosphere.
All in all, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Frankfurt for families—and one of the best areas to live in Frankfurt if you want to be central without feeling stifled.
Frankfurt Neighborhoods to Avoid
Depending on who you ask, five places north of the Main River have a vague reputation for being slightly less pleasant than some of Frankfurt’s better districts. When they’re looking for where to stay in Frankfurt, some people avoid these areas:
That said, none of those five are particularly terrible or dangerous—they just have a faint reputation for being a little less safe, especially at night. It’s also worth noting that the Red Light District of Frankfurt is in Bahnhofsviertel, close to the train station. If that’s a problem for you, you might want to avoid that area too.
Moving or traveling to Frankfurt during COVID-19
If you’re moving to Frankfurt during COVID-19 or moving to a new home in Frankfurt or simply traveling to Frankfurt, read up on all the rules and regulations that apply in the Frankfurt city website. (If you don’t speak German, download the Google Translate Plugin to translate the information into your preferred language)