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Bridges of Frankfurt – The Guide

Eisener Steg im Frühling

Frankfurt am Main! As the name suggests the river Main is integral to Frankfurt’s identity. It is derived from the Franks (Germanic tribe) and Furt meaning ford. The river used to be shallow enough to cross on foot. Since then, the city and river have gone through several evolutions. It’s safe to say that we prefer our feet dry. Luckily for us numerous bridges have been constructed allowing us to cross the river safely.

There are a variety of pedestrian, traffic and railway bridges in Frankfurt which help to keep life flowing by on both sides of the river. Nearly all of Frankfurt’s bridges have gone through demolition or destruction at some point but they have all survived and are here to stay. Besides their actual function, many of the bridges are also beautiful to look at. Check out our guide and find new photo spots in Frankfurt:

Main-Neckar-Brücke Frankfurt

1 | Main-Neckar-Brücke

This is a converted steel truss railway bridge which feeds Frankfurt’s central station. It is located at the quiet and tranquil most western end of west harbour. As the bridge does not have the required height the trains glide by at a reduced speed. There is a narrow steel mesh walkway on the eastern side of the bridge offering breath taking views of the Main and West harbour. With its low bows, big bolts and graffitied steel girders this bridge nods to an industrial past.

It is here.

Friedensbrücke Frankfurt mit Westhafentower

2 | Friedensbrücke

The Peace Bridge that we see and use today stems from 1951. It was built to replace the Wilhelms bridge which was completed in 1848. The bridge was important during the war and was used to bring in American supplies. It is a road bridge built for traffic with the tram running from Central Station over Baseler Platz to Stresemannalle along the centre of the bridge. There are wide pavements and cycle lanes on both sides. However, due to the heavy traffic and close vicinity to Central Station this bridge is anything but peaceful.

You will find it here.

Holbeinsteg Frankfurt bei blauen Himmel

3 | Holbeinsteg

We love this Bridge. Slim and elegant it stretches across the river in a perfect bow. This is a pedestrian suspension bridge spanning a total of 210 meters. It was originally constructed in 1990 as a temporary replacement for the iron bridge which was being restored at the time. However, it was an instant hit and has since reached something comparable to iconic status. This bridge provides a direct route from Bahnhofsviertel to Sachsenhausen’s Museum mile. On a windy day the bridge can sway and bounce a little. However, at 458 tons of steel it’s not going to blow away any time soon.

Find it here.

Untermainbrücke mit Skyline im Hintergrund

4 | Untermainbrücke

The Lower Main Bridge links Neue Mainzer Strasse with Schweizer Strasse in Sachsenhausen. It leads into the heart of skyscraper heaven and offers fantastic views of the river Main on both sides. The bridge was designed by Peter Schmick along with the Iron and Upper Main bridge, and was the fourth bridge to be built in Frankfurt. It consists of a strong steel structure paired with soft Frankfurt red sandstone giving its heritage a modern twist.

Located here.

Eisener Steg Frankfurt

5 | Eisener Steg

The Iron bridge is definitely a highlight and a must visit when in Frankfurt. Located at the heart of the city the bridge is leading directly to and from the Frankfurt Altstadt. It is a mighty wrought iron bridge originally designed by Peter Schmick and constructed in 1868, that has gone through several painstaking reconstructions but has always stayed true to its original design. It is a pedestrian bridge and at 170 meters long one of the shortest in Frankfurt. The hefty Iron trusses and big bolts are reminiscent of a bygone era. Today it is adorned with ‘love locks’ of all shapes colours and sizes. Regardless of the weather you will always find locals and tourists alike snapping selfies of the skyline from this bridge.

This one is easy to find of course.

Alte Brücke in Frankfurt vor der Skyline

6 | Alte Brücke

As the name suggests this is the oldest bridge in Frankfurt and dates back to the middle ages. It has undergone more than 18 rebuilds in its long history but always at the same site. The bridge connects the popular Fahrgasse and Brückenstrasse in Sachsenhausen.

It experienced a series of growing pains as the city developed and was at one point demolished. What we see today is sometimes referred to as the new old bridge. It is no longer completely made of classic Frankfurt sand stone with the centre of the bridge having been replaced by steel girders.  The Bridge was last renovated in 2014. Here it received it’s 4 portal walls placed on either side in the mid-section to mark the slim steel centre.

How to find this one?

Ignatz-Bubis-Brücke

7 | Ignatz-Bubis-Brücke

This is the third bridge designed by Peter Schmick and the fifth to be built in Frankfurt. It is built primarily out of stone and is a great spot to watch the passing ships float by. It was previously known as the Obermainbrücke. In September 2000 the city council voted to change the name to Ignatz Bubis. He was a businessman and chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. It is a one-way bridge connecting the Obermainanlage with Dreieichstrasse in Sachsenhausen. Cross the bridge to head into the Altstadt of Sachsenhausen.

Have a look here.

Flößerbrücke Frankfurt

8 | Flößerbrücke

Flöße Bridge is also a one-way bridge leading from Sachsenhausen into Frankfurt’s East End. It was originally constructed to allow for the Old Bridge to be renovated. The bridge became also necessary as the city grew to help ease the flow of traffic. The bridge is easily recognisable for its light green colour and impressive bolstering pillars. It is the only bridge to cross the river at an angle of about 70 degrees. Not only is it practical but also offers some of the best views of the Frankfurt skyline.

Here you go.

Deutschherrnbrücke Frankfurt

9 | Deutschherrnbrücke

This Bridge has it all and is hands down the most exciting. It’s urban, industrial, artsy, and aspirational on a grand scale. Like the Main-Neckar bridge it is a railway bridge with a pedestrian walkway. It has the advantage that it looks west and offers amazing sunset views of the Mainhatten skyline. It is easily recognisable my its huge bowed steel trusses and connects Sachsenhausen with Osthafen park and the European Central Bank. The Blue and red spheres which you see suspended in the middle of the Bridge were erected in 2011 as part of an Art installation called “Sonic Vista” from Sam Auinger and Bruc Odland. In the evening the Bridge is usually filled with Photographers and instagrammers waiting for the perfect skyline shot.

Join them here.

10 | Osthafenbrücke and Honsell Brücke

Frankfurts‘ industrial side. This marks the eastern end of Frankfurt city. These are two separate bridges but sometimes thought of as one. They are divided by the roundabout on the East harbour peninsula. The East Harbour Bridge is so new that even we can remember it being opened in 2013. The plans for a bridge to connect Sachsenhausen’s Deutschherrn Bank with the East End go back to the beginning of the 20th century but they were never realised until recently. The Honsell Bridge has a much longer history being first completed in 1912. It is named after the Hydraulics engineer Max Honsell and underwent major reinforcement renovations in 2011 so that it could cope with modern day traffic demands. Here you can get wonderful views of the European Central Bank as well as the industrial back side of Hanauer Landstrasse.

Go there!

We hope you enjoyed criss-crossing the Main with us. Which Bridge is your favourite and why? Let us know we love to hear from you!

Still the mood for expeditions? Click here to find more english articles!

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Benjamin

British born European. Loves exercise and the outdoors. After stints in China, South East Asia and Australia now calls Frankfurt his home. Has a soft spot for champagne and can never get enough schnitzel. Avid traveller and keen photographer.