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Frankfurt/Main: Shopping

When it comes to shopping, Frankfurt has everything. The specialty shops here are so much like those in the United States that most visitors from America will feel right at home. Most stores are open Monday to Friday 9 or 10am to 6 or 6:30pm, and Saturday 9 or 10am to 2pm.

In Frankfurt, the shopping scene is divided into different regions. On "The Golden Mile," the Zeil, a pedestrian zone between the Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, you'll find department stores, clothing shops, shoe stores, and furniture outlets. Once one of the most famous shopping streets on the Continent, the Zeil was destroyed in the war and hasn't regained all of its former prestige, though it has the highest sales of any shopping area in Germany. Still the Fifth Avenue of Germany and one of Europe's best places to shop, the shopping on the Zeil now faces too much competition to enjoy the prestige it once had. In the 14th century, it was a cattle market. Nearby is the Kleinmarkthalle, a covered market with international grocery products.

The Hauptwache, in the center of Frankfurt, has two shopping areas, one above and one below ground. Groceries, book dealers, flowers, clothing, tobacco, photo supplies, recordings, and sporting equipment abound. In the Hauptwache-Passage are restaurants, travel agencies, and banks.

Schillerstrasse, another pedestrian zone, lies between Hauptwache and Eschenheimer Turm, near the stock exchange. Walking from Schillerstrasse northeast toward Eschenheimer Tor, you'll pass many elegant boutiques and specialty shops.

Southwest of the Hauptwache is the Alte Oper. You can reach it by taking either the Goethestrasse, with exclusive stores evocative of Paris or Milan, or the parallel Grosse Bockenheimerstrasse, traditionally nicknamed Fressgasse or "Pig-Out Alley." Most wine dealers, delis, and butcher shops here look back on a long and venerable past. Opernplatz has a variety of restaurants and cafes.

West of the Hauptwache is Rossmarkt, leading to Kaiserstrasse. It passes the BFG skyscraper, which has three floors of exclusive retail stores, boutiques, and restaurants, and directly connects the downtown area to the Hauptbahnhof. Kaiserstrasse is also known for its large selection of stores selling clothing, audio and photography equipment, and stainless-steel ware. The heart of the fur trade in Frankfurt is Dɒsseldorfer Strasse, opposite the Hauptbahnhof. Most book dealers are located around the Hauptwache and Goetheplatz. Antiques, old books, etchings, and paintings on Braubachstrasse can be found near the RɆmer, at the Dom, and on Fahrgasse.

Art and antiques are the domain of Alt-Sachsenhausen, an appealing and original neighborhood. The Frankfurt Flea Market takes place here every Saturday 8am to 2pm along the Main River on the Sachsenhausen side. To get there, walk from the RɆmer toward the river and cross the Eisener Steg bridge.

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