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20 Best Museums in Frankfurt, Germany

20 Best Museums in Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt is a picturesque town on the River Main, a destination not to miss when visiting the vibrant country of Germany. Aside from the scenic landscapes, outstanding landmarks, and delightful boat rides, checking out the museums in Frankfurt is among the best things to do in town.

There are many museums scattered across the city that is easy to reach and explore. Museums in the town showcase various displays from historical artifacts, cultural items, different art masterpieces, and other interesting exhibits.

The museums in Frankfurt offer an opportunity to know the city more and access an incredible indoor adventure to seek in Germany.

If you like such travel adventures, this list has the best museums in Frankfurt to add to your travel itinerary.

List of the best museums in Frankfurt

1. Museumsufer

Couple in a Park
image by Picturepest is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Brückenstraße 3-7, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Museumsufer (or Museum Embankment) isn’t a museum, but rather a collection of museums located along Brückenstraße. The museums are lined up against both riverbanks along the Main River.

The Museumsufer began to take shape in the early 1980s, pioneered by Hilmar Hoffmann, Frankfurt’s Kulturdezernent (a cultural politician).

Hilmar proposed the idea for a collection of museums along the same line in Frankfurt in 1977, and his proposition eventually turned out to become a welcome development.

Continuous expansions have been carried out in the various museums along this stretch. Architects involved in the creation of these other museums include Oswald Mathias Ungers, Richard Meier, Günter Behnisch, Josef Paul Kleihues, and Hans Hollein.

Some museums on the lineup include the Icon Museum, Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum Applied Arts), and Museum der Weltkulturen (Ethnological Museum).

Also, Deutsches Filmmuseum [de] (German Film Museum), German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum), Museum für Kommunikation (Communication Museum), and the world-famous Städel Museum. Each of the museums represents its own individual collections and portrayals.

Some museums above have specific content. For example, the German Film Museum is a museum dedicated to films. If you want to see ancient apparatus used in the film industry, the German Film Museum is where to be.

If you want to start off your Frankurt museum tour correctly, you’d be mad not to start here! There are also some top-quality accommodations nearby, including the swanky AMERON Frankfurt Neckarvillen Boutique hotel and the chic n’ discreet Star Apart Hotel Sachsenhausen.

See Related: Plan a Trip to Germany

2. Städel Museum

Museums in Frankfurt
image by irene. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Address: Schaumainkai 63, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Stadel Museum is dedicated to the arts. Officially, it is known as the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie. The museum displays some of the most vital German collections.

European paintings from seven countries are displayed in the museum, starting with some from the early 14th Century to the Late Gothic, the Renaissance, Baroque, and into the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries.

The Städel Museum was established in 1817. This happens to be Frankfurt Museumsufer’s oldest museum. Its collection includes:

  • 3,100 paintings
  • 660 sculptures
  • Over 4,000 photographs and drawings
  • Over 100,000 prints

The Stadel Museum displays its exhibits in a four-thousand square meter space. A library consisting of 115,000 books is incorporated into the museum.

In 2012, it won the best “Museum of the Year” title. The award came from AICA, the German art critics association. In the same year, the museum recorded the highest number of visitors (447,395 visitors) since its opening. 

During the Second World War, the museum’s items were relocated to protect them. They were to be kept secured in Schloss Rossbach, owned by Baron Thungen.

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3. Historisches Museum Frankfurt

Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Address: Saalhof 1, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The building that houses the Historisches Museum Frankfurt was built in the year 1878. It is dedicated to historical and cultural or traditional items representing the history of Frankfurt and Germany as a whole.

The museum’s current location was founded in 1955, with significant expansions being made in 1972. The extension of 1972, however, is being augmented by new contemporary developments, including an administration building.

Collections in the museum are displayed in different permanent exhibitions arranged chronologically.

There are exhibits concerning Mediaeval Frankfurt, the Late Middle Ages, the 16th to 18th Centuries, and the 19th Century city. There are also special temporary exhibitions on display in the museum that rotate throughout the year.

Examples of exhibitions in the museum include the St. Anne altarpiece from the Carmelite Church dating far back as 1500, the Heller Altarpiece dating far back as 1508, and The Reconciliation of King Otto I with his brother Henry, Duke of Bavaria.

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4. Museum for Communication Frankfurt

Robot Riding a Horse Sculpture in Museum for Communication Frankfurt
image by moochida is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Schaumainkai 53, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Museum for Communication Frankfurt, (or The Museum für Kommunikation) is one of the best museums in Frankfurt, Germany. It displays exhibits that point to different forms of communication.

It was opened in January 1958, then named Bundespostmuseum (National Postal Museum). Deutsche Bundespost was the original owner of the museum until 1994 when there was a transfer of ownership of the museum.

The current museum has been architecturally upgraded. The modern additions of large glass windows enable people to see the museum’s interior from the outside.

The architectural plan of the museum’s modern structure was designed by Gunter Behnisch. It was officially opened in 1990 and assumed a new name; The Museum for Communication Frankfurt.

Communication exhibits in this museum include the telegraph, telephones, mail, radio, television sets, and computers of different ages. The main hall for the exhibition in the museum is found on the underground level.

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5. Museum für Moderne Kunst (Modern Art Museum)

Cars Beside of Museum für Moderne Kunst Building
image by Roman SUZUKI is marked with CC BY 3.0.

Address: Domstraße 10, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Museum für Moderne Kunst is translated in English to mean the Museum of Modern Art or MMK. It is one of the art museums in Frankfurt, Germany. It was established in 1981 but was inaccessible to visitors until 1991.

The structural design for the museum was another product of Hans Hollein’s design. the aforementioned Hans Hollein was a Viennese architect whose plan won the competition set for architects to present their proposal for the new Museum für Moderne Kunst.

The museum’s design takes a triangular shape, earning it the description of “a piece of cake.” The museum’s idea came from the influential art and theater critic Peter Iden. Construction of the museum began in 1987, costing about thirty-eight million dollars.

Exhibitions in the museum occupy 3,500 square meters. The building has three exhibition levels and an area for administration on the mezzanine. The basis of collections in the museum is built around the collections of Karl Ströher, a German art collector, as well as 87 works of pop art and minimalism.

Notably in the Museum of Modern Art is the MMK Zollamt, a satellite exhibition site established by MMK in 1999.

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6. Naturmuseum Senckenberg

Bird Exhibit at Naturmuseum Senckenberg

Address: Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Naturmuseum Senckenberg museum is located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The museum’s focus is on the natural history of the region. The museum ranks second place in the list of largest museums of its kind in the entire country.

More specifically, children who love to view collections of dinosaur fossils will enjoy coming to the museum. It boasts the most extensive dinosaur exhibition in Europe. There is an impression of the footprint of a Titanosaurus on the floor, immediately noticeable once you step inside.

There are different species of birds listed here, with up to 90,000 bird skins on display and about 5,050 sets of eggs. There is a total collection of 17,000 skeletons in the museum!

The building that hosts the museum was raised in the early 1900s, close to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, established in 1914. The owner of the museum is the Senckenberg Nature Research Society.

See Related: Things to Do in Frankfurt

7. Frankfurt Archaeological Museum

Frankfurt Archaeological Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
image by Jorge Franganillo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: Karmelitergasse 1, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Frankfurt Archaeological Museum, as the name implies, is an archaeological museum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Go figure. It’s also handicap accessible.

The museum’s first domicile was the old Dominikanerkloster, which was heavily damaged during the Second World War. By the war’s end, some collections in the museum had been ruined due to the war. After the war, the museum was repaired and reopened to the public.

The museum seeks to present the natural history of the region, as well as the archaeology from Roman and Medieval times. These include recent archaeological discoveries from Frankfurt and its surroundings. Such archaeological exhibits include wide-ranging excavations.

Collections in the museum are constantly being added. This has led to a constant increase in the overall exhibits in the museum. The museum’s temporary exhibitions aim to display Europe’s vastly different cultures, (including long-forgotten ones), to the public.

Open-air archaeological sites in the city are taken care of by this museum. The Frankfurt Archaeological Museum also publishes research papers in its own newsletter and in other publications as well.

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8. Goethe House

Yellow Painted Goethe House
image by D-Stanley is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Großer Hirschgraben 23-25, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Goethe House, before it became an outstanding museum, happened to be the same building in which the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in 1749.

Here also happens to be where he wrote his most famous works, including Gotz von Berlichingen, Faust, and The Sorrows of Young Werther. The author lived in this house until he was sixteen before relocating to Leipzig to study law. The museum that now resides here was opened in 1949.

The building had been the family house of the Goethes until 1795. Goethe’s grandmother had bought the house in the year 1733. In the book, Aus Meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit, Goethe wrote about his childhood days in the house.

In 1944, during the Second World War, the building suffered some damage from allied air raids. Still, the house was restored into a better shape between 1947 and 1951.

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9. Frankfurt Cathedral Museum

Exhibit in Glass Inside the Dom-Museum

Address: Domplatz 1, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Frankfurt Cathedral (or Frankfurter Dom) is officially the Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew (or Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus).

The church is a Roman Catholic Gothic church located in the Central part of Frankfurt am Main in Germany. The Frankfurt Cathedral was a significant symbol of unity in the 19th Century.

The Frankfurt Cathedral remained a significant building in the city and once served as a collegiate church.

It is not a true cathedral but a “Kaiserdom”. That means an “Imperial great church” or imperial cathedral, just referred to as the Dom because of its significance as an election and coronation place in the Holy Roman Empire.

The current church building is the third church built on the same site. The excavations carried out in the late 19th Century revealed that the buildings were constructed on this site since the 7th Century.

The history of the church remains closely linked to that of Frankfurt and the old town of the city.

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10. Ikonen-Museum Frankfurt a. M.

Address: Brückenstraße 3-7, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Ikonene Museum Frankfurt am Main (or The Icon Museum Frankfurt am Main) is a museum exhibiting sacred art collections of Orthodox Christianity in Frankfurt. For this reason, it is also regarded as a popular spot for those interested in Christian art and artifacts.

The museum stands in the building of the Deutschordenshaus and is affiliated with the Museum of Applied Art, which Frankfurt sponsors.

The idea for this museum began in 1988, when Jorgen Schmidt-Voigt, a Konigstein doctor, donated to the city of Frankfurt up to eight hundred objects He’d made this donation with a condition; Frankfurt had to provide a room for its exhibition.

After that, Oswald Mathias Unger’s architectural design was implemented for the intended construction of the museum. The museum currently showcases exhibits dating back to the 16th Century and beyond. The Museum of Byzantine Art in Berlin permanently loaned the Icon Museum 82 post-Byzantine icons in 1999. The collections are now in excess of over one thousand icons.

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11. Museum of World Cultures

Front of Museum of World Cultures Building
image by Jukk_a is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Schaumainkai 29-37, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Museum of World Cultures (or Weltkulturen Museum) is a museum of ethnology located in Frankfurt. Three different adjacently positioned buildings on Schuaminkai house the museum.

The main building is at No. 29, the original villa at 35, and Gallery 37 at No. 37. Galaxy 37 famously displays items by artists from Africa, India, Indonesia, and Oceania.

There are more than 65,000 items on display in the museum, with each originating from all continents. The museum is open to visitors, who can come in for relaxation, educational research, or other purposes.

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12. Caricatura – Museum for Comic Art

Peach Colored Building of Museum for Comic Art

Address: Weckmarkt 17, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Caricatura Museum (or Caricatura Museum für Komische Kunst) is located in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany. This museum is dedicated to comic art and exhibits works of art done by the Neue Frankfurter Schule (the new Frankfurt School) and contemporary artists.

On 1st October 2008, the Caricatura Museum officially opened to the public in the Leinwandhaus in Altstadt.

The Caricatura Museum’s permanent exhibition features artworks by F. K. Waechter, Hans Traxler, F. W. Bernstein, Robert Gernhardt, and Chlodwig Poth. It also shows films and literary works. The main trademark associated with the Caricatura Museum is a sculpture made of bronze that stands right at the front of the building.

This bronze sculpture is known as the ‘Each Sculpture’ and was made by Hans Traxler. It carries all the names of the Neue Frankfurter Schule’s most prominent artists.

Also written on the sculpture is a popular slogan by F. W. Bernstein – “Die schärfsten Kritiker der Elche waren früher selber welche”, which translates as “The hottest critics of the moose were formerly ones themselves”.

Sage wisdom – but I bet it sounds better in German!

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13. Struwwelpeter-Museum

Building Front of Struwwelpeter Museum

Address: Hinter dem Lämmchen 2-4, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

In the heart of Frankfurt is Main, and “New Old Town” lays the Struwwelpeter museum. Struwwelpeter is a classic children’s book written by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann. The Struwwelpeter museum brings the world of the book to life in a colorful, vivid manner.

Regardless of age group, the museum offers an entertaining and informative experience. The exhibitions at the museum also showcase the versatility of the doctor and writer Heinrich Hoffmann. His work is seen and displayed in sketches, letters, first editions, and portraits at the museum.

His renowned picture book and its spread across the globe are shown in parodies, kitsch, art, and rare book exhibits. In addition to the permanent Struwwelpeter museum, there are exhibitions on children’s literature and cultural history. The museum shop has an array of books and souvenirs for sale.

The Struwwelpeter museum offers a wide range of fun activities and games for young and old visitors. The exhibition design provides an interactive experience for children, complete with a play route and story islands.

Older visitors and kids can travel around the world with “Mr. Fix von Bickenbach” in 77 days – take that, Phileas Fogg! Visitors can play dress-up in the museum theater room and re-enact stories from the Struwwelpeter book on stage.

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14. Deutsches Architekturmuseum

Building Exterior of Deutsches Architekturmuseum
image is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: Schaumainkai 43, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The German Architecture Museum (or Deutsches Architekturmuseum, frequently shortened to DAM) is located in the Museumsufer, Frankfurt, Germany. The museum is housed in an 18th Century structure. The interior of the building was redesigned in 1984 by Oswald Mathias Unger as a collection of “elemental Platonic buildings within elemental Platonic buildings.”

The museum features a permanent exhibition; “From Ancient Huts to Skyscrapers.” This exhibition showcases the architectural development history in Germany. The German Architecture Museum holds numerous symposia, lectures and conferences, and temporary exhibitions yearly.

There are about 180,000 architectural drawings and 600 models and works by contemporary and modern classics like Frank O. Gehry, Erich Mendelsohn, Archigram, and Mies van der Rohe. The museum also has a reference library with about 25,000 books and magazines.

The permanent exhibition in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum has the most impressive collection of architectural panoramic models. The 24 large-scale models in the German Architecture Museum remarkably showcase how the environment has evolved and been affected by humans.

This permanent exhibition is a stunning ‘journey through time’ that starts from Stone Age architecture. It started with a roof created from branches and leaves (the oldest man-made shelter that has been verified). Today, you can marvel at the 21st Century feats of architectural design.

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15. Liebieghaus

Address: Schaumainkai 71, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Located in Frankfurt is this late 19th Century villa known as the Liebieghaus. It houses a sculpture museum – the Städtische Galerie Liebieghaus.

This museum is part of the Museumsufer on the Sachsenhausen bank of the River Main. Since 2006, Max Hollein has held the position of director of the Städel Museum.

In 1896, the Liebieghaus was built in a historicist palatial style to serve as a retirement residence for Bohemian textile mogul Baron Heinrich von Liebig.

The Frankfurt government acquired the villa and dedicated it to preserving sculptures. In 2009, the Liebieghaus was renovated, and the “Open Depot” was added.

This new addition was publicly accessible and allowed visitors to see parts of the sculpture collection, some of which were absent from the permanent exhibition.

The Liebieghaus Museum houses Roman, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculpture. It also has Classicist, Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval pieces and artwork from the Far East. The collection in the sculpture museum was put together mainly through endowments and international purchases.

Also, the collections are universal in range and have no specific link to the history of the art of Frankfurt – it’s just a ton of gorgeous sculpture work!

A garden containing several sculptures, including a Dannecker’s Ariadne on the Panther replica, encloses the museum building. The original one was acquired in 1810 by the banker Simon Moritz von Bethmann.

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16. DialogMuseum

DialogMuseum, Frankfurt, Germany

Address: An der Hauptwache B-Ebene, Passage 10, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Dialogmuseum is not only a museum but a social enterprise. Its chief showcase is “Dialogue in the dark – an exhibition to discover the invisible.” In the museum, little groups of visitors are typically guided by visually impaired or blind experts through a ‘lightless’ tour from a themed room to a themed room.

This tour is set to bring a unique role reversal of the senses, empathy training, and an insight into how inclusion can be a reality.

This unique exhibition concept was first formulated 30 years ago in Frankfurt am Main. Presently, it is a remarkable instance of social entrepreneurship that offers blind individuals unique employment opportunities.

The DialogMuseum began operations in 2005 in Frankfurt on the Main. Since then, it has welcomed close to a million visitors. Its location within the center of Frankfurt makes it easily accessible to tourists. The museum can be reached using public transport at the Hauptwache station.

The Underground lines U1-U3, U6-U8. S-Bahn lines S1-S6, S8-S9 can be used as well. For tourists and visitors who are biking, they can leave their bikes in the Hauptwache area. Finally, the escalators from Roßmarkt are directly next to the DialogMuseum main entrance, on the B-Level, passage 10.

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17. Karmeliterkloster

Address: Münzgasse 9, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Carmelite Monastery in Frankfurt serves as the main headquarters of the Institute for City History and the Archaeological Museum. From 1246 to 1803, it was a convent of the Carmelite order. The old Carmelite Monastery has housed the Institute for City History, the old Frankfurt City Archives, since 1959.

The city established an archive in 1436 in the “Frauenmode” building in the Frankfurt city hall complex. The city archive has had its own office complete with staff since 1614. The holdings of the archive experienced mega growth in the 19th Century.

In 1803, the monasteries and their files were secularized. These holdings were moved in 1942 during the Second World War, but some valuables suffered damage during bombing raids in 1944.

When the war ended, the city archive was moved from location to location before finally finding permanent residence in the Carmelite monastery.

In 2007, to mark the Golden Bull 650th anniversary, the Die Kaisermacher (The Emperor Makers) exhibition was jointly set up by four museums in Frankfurt.

This celebrated exhibition ran from September 30th, 2006, to January 14th, 2007. The Carmelite monastery stores documents of the Golden Bull history in its refectory. The “Reich Copy,” usually placed in a safe, was made publicly accessible during this exhibition.

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18. Jewish Museum Frankfurt / Museum Judengasse

White Building Known as the Jewish Museum,
image by Infinite Ache is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Address: Bertha-Pappenheim-Platz 1, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main holds the record of being the oldest independent Jewish Museum in Germany. On November 9th, 1988 (the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht), the museum was declared open by Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

The Jewish Museum preserves, collects, and presents Frankfurt’s nine-hundred-year-old Jewish culture and history from a European point of view.

The museum has two permanent exhibitions. The Museum Judengasse at Battonstraße 47 is focused on the cultural and historical themes of Jewish life in Frankfurt during the early modern period.

The Jewish Museum in the Rothschild Palais at Untermainkai 14/15 focuses on Jewish culture and history since 1800.

The Museum collection is filled with ceremonial culture, family history, and art themes. There are extensive holdings in the Jewish Museum related to the Anne Frank family and the Rothschild family.

The Ludwig Meidner Archive is responsible for the estates of the artists Ludwig Meidner, Jacob Steinhardt, Henry Gowa, and others. In addition, the museum has an extensive library and a document and photograph collection related to German-Jewish history and culture.

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19. Museum Giersch

Cars In Front of the Museum Giersch
image by Reading Tom is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Schaumainkai 83, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Museum Giersch is located on the banks of the Frankfurt Main River, in the Museumsufer arena.

This art gallery museum began operations in 2000. It showcases a constantly changing exhibition series showing the cultural and artistic history of the Rhine-main area. The intention was to promote the cultural identity of the region.

The Museum Giersch showcases works on loan from private and public collections. The array of exhibits covers areas of graphic art, applied art, architecture, photography, sculpture, and painting.

This remarkable art museum is located in a neoclassical villa structure on the Schaumainkai. This building was constructed around 1910 for the Philipp Holzmann company. It is currently one of the few villas surviving on the riverside in Sachsenhausen.

The villa renovation and the conversion into a venue for the exhibition were undertaken by the Giersch Foundation (Stiftung Giersch). This foundation was launched in 1994 and has functioned as the sole operator of the museum.

The Museum Giersch of the Goethe University regards itself as the “University’s window” to the Rhine-Main region and the city of Frankfurt.

For many years, the Giersch Museum has recorded success in presenting and researching regional art. This particular point gives the museum an edge in the Frankfurt museum industry.

20. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Entrance

Address: Römerberg, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is a museum located in Frankfurt, Germany. It is sandwiched between Romer and Frankfurt Cathedral. This museum thrives in exhibiting modern and contemporary art.

Schirn Kunsthalle museum opened in 1986 and is managed by resources from the city and the state. It has a rich history behind it, dating back to World War II.

The term “Schirn” refers to open-air stalls for the sales of goods. Such stalls were set up here until they were destroyed during the Second World War.

After the war, the Schirn Kunsthalle museum was constructed to be an exhibition venue for modern and contemporary art.

Schirn Kunsthalle is one of the best art museums in the city and has global ties. It has partnered with the Museums of Modern Art in New York and the Center Pompidou Museum in Paris.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt has presented over 200 exhibitions since its opening. These included Viennese Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, and much more. The subjects of these exhibitions vary from shopping to art and consumption.

Some exhibitions held at this museum with most visitors include the following:

  • The Modern Eye
  • Wassily Kandinsky – The First Soviet Retrospective
  • Bohemian Life in Paris around 1900
  • Women Impressionists – Berthe Morisot
  • Marie Bracquemond
  • Henri Matisse – Drawing with Scissors

FAQ

Are museums free in Frankfurt?

Yes, but not always. Many museums in Frankfurt admit visitors for free on the last Saturday of every month. Museums and galleries offer guided tours, workshops, and special events during the Saturday Family Program.

How many museums are there in Frankfurt?

Frankfurt is one of the cities with the highest number of museums. In total, the city has 38 museums. 16 of these are municipal museums that minors can visit for free.

What does the DDR Museum Stand for?

DDR is an acronym for Deutsche Demokratische Republic (German Democratic Republic). It is a museum in the former government district of East Berlin covering the country’s division during the Cold War.

The museum attracts about a million visitors annually. It offers an insight into what everyday life was for the people of the GDR.

Is Frankfurt worth visiting?

Yes. The city is famous for museums and art galleries, but you will also get the chance to have an impressive view of the country. It gives you all the reasons to visit Germany. There are endless activities to engage in when you visit Frankfurt.

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