Frankfurt/Main, aka “Mainhattan”, is the largest city in Hessen and the 5th-largest in Germany with a population of 5.6 million within its Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Since the enlargement of the EU, the exact geographic center of the EU is just outside of Frankfurt. Frankfurt is the largest financial center in continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, etc. The Stock Exchange is one of the world’s largest by market capitalization and accounts for over 90% of the turnover in Germany. 63 national and 152 international banks have offices here. Among global cities it was ranked 10th by the Global Power City Index 2011 and 11th by the Global City Competitiveness Index 2012. Among financial centers it’s ranked #7 in the world. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world’s busiest by passenger traffic and the main hub for Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa, largest airline in Europe. Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminals in Europe and the busiest junction operated by Deutsche Bahn, with 342 daily trains to domestic and international destinations. The Frankfurter Kreuz, an Autobahn interchange close to the airport, is the most heavily used interchange in the EU with 320,000 cars daily. In 2011, the consulting firm Mercer ranked Frankfurt 7th in its annual “Quality of Living” survey of cities around the world. According to The Economist’s Cost of Living survey, it is Germany’s most expensive city, and the 10th most expensive in the world.
A unique feature is its significant number of skyscrapers and highrises in the city center which form the Frankfurt skyline. Frankfurt is one of only a few cities in the EU that have such a skyline, the others being London, Milan, Warsaw, Madrid, Rotterdam, and La Défense-Paris. Because of this, people sometimes refer to Frankfurt as “Mainhattan”, a portmanteau of the local Main River and Manhattan/NYC.