Frankfurt is a city of contrast. It is much like London in this respect – futuristic skyscrapers next to beautiful 19th century timber-framed buildings. And this is not the only thing the two cities have in common. Frankfurt has a famous skyline too, leading to its nickname Mainhattan, as it’s located on the River Main (pronounced like the English mine). The Banking District is an area in the city centre where many banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions are located. It is Germany’s most important financial centre and can be compared to London’s City and Canary Wharf.
When it comes to the size of the city, though, you’d be surprised at how small it is given it is one of the most important financial centres in the world. The last time I visited Frankfurt (the town where I’m studying is just one hour away), I went to visit the European Central Bank which sets monetary policy for all the member states of the euro zone.
You can also visit the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which is one of the most important stock exchanges in the world. In front of it, you can see the statues of two giant beasts. They are the symbols of the market trends: a bull for a downward trend, and a bear for an upward trend. With Frankfurt being such an important financial player and the European Central Bank even having its own translation department, you can imagine that a lot of translation from German to English and vice versa is required in the banking and business sector.
But it’s not all banks and brokerages in this city. Frankfurt also hosts some of the largest trade fairs in the world, such as the Book Fair, which is currently taking place (from 10th to 14th of October) and attracting book lovers from all over the world. Last year the German book market experienced a downturn, with more and more Germans buying their books online. In my opinion it would be a shame if little bookstores had to be closed down because of this. As many advantages e-books have, there is no such thing as discovering a good book in a charming little bookstore on a sunny afternoon and sitting on the banks of the Main to lose oneself in its pages.