My Favorite Locations to Shoot Street in Frankfurt

Introduction

Back in September 2011, I moved to Frankfurt, Germany, which is my home to this day. Frankfurt is often referred to as Germany’s financial center – and maybe even Europe’s. Due to all the banks associated with capitalism, Frankfurt’s reputation hasn’t been very good. However, in my opinion, this has changed in recent years. Frankfurt is home to a variety of cultures and thus you can find lots of different people here. This makes Frankfurt an intriguing place to shoot Street Photography. I will take you on a small virtual trip through my home city, sharing my favorite spots for Street Photography with you.

The Obvious

Frankfurt Central Station

If you come to Frankfurt by train, you will probably arrive at the central station. I personally think we have a pretty central station. The large main hall is built with lots of steel and concrete. The central station has 24 tracks on ground level, plus subway, tram and S-Bahn tracks. You will have the best light between late afternoon and evening, right before the sun goes down. Then the sun will shine right into the main hall and you can shoot amazing silhouettes and reflections.

Zeil, MyZeil and Hauptwache

The Zeil is Frankfurt’s largest shopping mile right in the city center. You will find lots of people there on the weekends shopping for all sorts of stuff. The Zeil itself is just like every other shopping mile on this planet. However, there is one highlight: the MyZeil, a shopping mall with a unique architecture. The roof of the MyZeil looks like a giant triangle mesh made out of glass. The best light and reflections can be found on the topmost floor. At the end of Zeil, you’ll find the Hauptwache, which used to be a prison a very long time ago. Today, the old prison building is a cafe and the area around it forms the main city center. In summer, you’ll see lots of skaters, sports people, rappers and people chilling.

Stock Exchange

To be honest, I’ve never been in the actual building of the stock exchange in Frankfurt. But the front entrance is a nice place. You’ll find the bull and the bear – symbols of the stock exchange. On weekdays, lots of workers will have lunch or drink a coffee in one of the nearby cafes.

 

Markets

There are several farmer’s markets in Frankfurt. The most central and famous one is the Kleinmarkthalle, which is an indoor market very close to Konstablerwache station and open from Monday to Saturday. My recommendation is to avoid the weekend and go there on a regular weekday in the morning hours. Additionally, you can find outdoor markets on certain days in various districts like Bornheim, Sachsenhausen and Bockenheim. Here is a list with further information on the opening hours.

Neighbourhoods

Now this is where it gets interesting! We all know that the actual “life” of a city doesn’t take place downtown, where all the malls and tourists are. It’s the surrounding districts and neighbourhoods where the actual inhabitants have lunch, take naps, do small talk or chat about the weather. Well, if you want to see genuine Frankfurters, go and see at least one of the following districts:

  • Bornheim (U4 to Bornheim Mitte)
    • Stroll along Berger Straße in either direction
  • Bockenheim (U4/6/7 to Bockenheimer Warte)
    • Walk along Leipziger Straße; Lots of students and Kiosks
  • Sachsenhausen (Anything with wheels will take you to F-Süd)
    • Walk along Schweizer Straße; Lots of Äppler (Cider)
  • Bahnhofsviertel (Area around central station)
    • Walk along Münchner Straße; Lots of Barber Shops!

Subway Stations

They say you should always end with your favorite thing, right? Well, here we go:

Ostendstraße

This S-Bahn station was spraypainted by professional street artists in 2016, when Frankfurt’s S-Bahn tunnel was renovated. The station itself is rather boring, because it has a typical tube shape. However, the graffiti covering the entirety of the station makes it special for me. It shows lots of hands and fingers, which you can incorporate into your photos. Frankfurt’s S-Bahn trains are red and the walls are basically red, so you can also shoot complementary colors.

Willy-Brandt-Platz

This station has famous quotes written all over the place. The main hall after the entrance has a very interesting ceiling made out of a large number of triangles. You can reach the station with the lines U1/2/3/4/5. There are three levels, so there are lots of opportunities and hidden places to find something interesting. I could stay there all day long.

Hauptwache

This is Frankfurt’s largest subway and S-Bahn station. The b-level (B-Ebene) is a very large hall connecting surrounding streets with the tracks. I personally prefer the S-Bahn tracks of this station, because the contrast is superb there. The floor and walls are rather bright. I love to hang out at the beginning/end of the tracks, where fewer people are waiting.

Central Station

I really love our central station. The main hall has 24 tracks and it’s built out of lots of steel and concrete. The highlight of this station is the ground level. The best light will be right before blue hour, when the sun starts to go down. Then, the sun will shine right into the main hall and you can get some amazing silhouettes. The S-Bahn tracks in the underground are also interesting, but nothing really special.

Festhalle/Messe

This is the subway station of the fair and exhibition center. You can reach it with the U4 line. It’s rather modern in terms of architecture. The ceiling is higher and everything looks pretty clean. Color shooters might like this location, because it has some clean and distinct colors on the walls. Both entrances have some interesting cone shaped windows on the top, which are also an interesting subject.