Frankfurt is one of those financial industry-driven cities in which you can find crazy apartments for crazy prices. Finding a good apartment here can be a challenge for any newcomers due to the high amount of requests per apartment. Answering the million-dollar question of “where to live in Frankfurt” is actually easy: anywhere except Bahnhofsviertel.
For any newcomer in this wonderful city, we would highly recommend getting temporary apartments before settling down in a long term contract. As there are many people coming and going, it’s a better approach just to actually visit the apartments that you plan to sign, before signing.
The main city districts of Mainhattan:
We will start with Bockenheim because I am biased towards this district. Very low key and mostly inhabited by students. Leipziger Straße, which is the key street in this neighborhood is a cool place to visit as well. I personally like it because all the supermarket chains have big branches and for almost everything, you don’t have to get out of the neighborhood.
Think of Bornheim as the small cafe places with old buildings and a lot of people around. There is a vibe and it’s filled with small hipster type of restaurant. It’s a great place to live in but as most of the buildings tend to be old.
As a general rule, in most of the German cities, the “not so great areas” are always near the Hauptbahnhof i.e The central train station. For a weekend in Frankfurt, it’s a great location – but for long term living – forget about it. The Bahnhofsviertel is the area of the Red Light district in Frankfurt and there are a whole lot of other things going on over there as well. Having said that – there are some amazing places to eat for cheap there.
Gallus is something of an up and coming place. It used to be worse the Bahnhofsviertel area but it has been rejuvenated and has the tendency to be something of a comfortable place to live. Featuring a whole lot of new residential buildings, a big large main street and great accessibility. I have found a great collection of somewhat bigger apartments there.
Innenstadt is the commercial hub of Frankfurt, known for the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and packed with fancy bars, expensive boutiques, and a great selection of casual places to eat. It also includes the shopping areas called the Zeil. In terms of living here, it’s expensive, loud, busy and mainly filled with hotels and Airbnb.
My first apartment in Frankfurt was in Nordend. It is a very big residential area. Most of the places that you will end up checking out are in the Nordend area. To be honest, there is nothing special (at least from my perspective) but you can find some great places to live there. Also it’s generally fairly quiet.
The posh part of the city. Apartment prices are ridiculous, yet they are matched with the randomly parked Ferraris and Porches on the street. It’s quiet, pretty and has a whole lot of fancy little places to eat. Pricing point here is above of whatever you were thinking. If you can afford it, then live here.
Close to Bornheim, Ostend is near the river, with high humidity and quite locale. All the landlords will tell you to constantly open the windows to breathe in the apartment
This similar to Bornheim – with a lot of cool places to grab brunch, hip young crowd, and go to places to grab a drink at night. This is also considered the old part of the city – as it was not bombed(that much) in WW2. Most of the apartments are typically old school german places. Has a great vibe but it’s quite hard to find a proper place to live in. Would highly recommend limiting yourselves in the neighborhood of Schweizer Platz
Where to actually live in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is small. Awfully small! Compared to Berlin or Munich it’s literally a village. Not only you can get from one corner to another via the U-bahn in 10-15 minutes but you can literally bike everywhere. Having said that, as per my personal opinion, I would live anywhere in Frankfurt except near the Hauptbahnhof area.
What else is there around Frankfurt
Frankfurt is beautifully connected with smaller towns around the area. You can find simple and amazing places if you do not mind the train ride or the bike ride. For example, I have recently been amazed by Niederrad which is literally one very interesting part of town and yet, just one S-Bahn station away from the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Also do not underestimate Offenbach am Main, which regardless of its notorious vibe, it’s actually quite a calm place to live in.
In other words, if you do not really mind the train ride, you do not have to live in Frankfurt all the time! It’s expensive, crazy busy and sometimes you cant find a place to stay. Anywhere from Wiesbaden to Hanau and from Bad Hamburg to Darmstadt is where I would live in Frankfurt.