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Offenbach Essentials: Find Adventure Outside Frankfurt in This Riverfront Enclave

Just a stone’s throw from Frankfurt, Offenbach was long overshadowed by Germany’s bustling financial capital in the past. Not so any longer. Often dubbed “Brooklyn-am-Main,” the city is now a thriving hub of art and culture, as well as a haven for foodies and champions of artisan manufacturing.

Situated along the south bank of the Main River with an abundance of green space, Offenbach offers fantastic opportunities to escape the concrete jungle while being close enough to reach Franfurt’s metropolitan bustle in as little as 10 minutes.

Only a short distance from Delta Hotels by Marriott Frankfurt Offenbach, the first European addition to the Delta Hotels family, you’ll find a clutch of top-notch museums, artisan boutiques and restaurants, fantastic markets and historical architecture that will immerse you in the vibrant melting pot of culture of Frankfurt’s up-and-coming neighbor.

Deutsches Ledermuseum and Das Klingspor Museum

Walk time from Delta Hotels Frankfurt Offenbach: 15 – 20 minutes

Duration: 1 – 2 hours

what to do in offenbach
Inside Offenbach’s leather museum. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

Drawing on the city’s rich tradition of book art and leather craft, Offenbach has recently reasserted itself as a nexus of next-generation craftsmanship, with artisans from all over the world flocking to the city to set up their studios and shops. Two of Offenbach’s most absorbing museums showcase the city’s extensive contributions to each of these crafts, and they’re just a hop, skip and jump away from one another.

Deutsches Ledermuseum (German Leather Museum) tells the story of how Offenbach became a key player in the leather industry from the early 18th century onward and traces those roots back even earlier, but it also tackles the history of leather-making worldwide.

From outlandish Louis Vuitton bags and elaborate Samurai armor to intricate Native American ceremonial masks, footwear dating back 4,000 years, and the hat box that Goethe brought with him on his last trip, you’ll likely never look at leather the same way again after a visit to this gem of a museum.

what to do in offenbach
Dazzle your eyes with incredible typography. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

Just around the corner, lose yourself in the elaborate play between text and image on display at the Klingspor-Museum for Modern International Book Art, Typography and Calligraphy. You’ll ogle gloriously embellished manuscripts, elegant modernist fonts and poster art, as well as dynamite contemporary graffiti and street art.

Capitol Theater

Walk time from hotel: 20 minutes

Duration: 1 – 2 hours

what to do in offenbach
Enjoy a performance at a historic theater. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

Housed in a former synagogue, the Capitol Theater on Goethestraße is a concert and event venue that is not to be missed, even if you just take a peek at its stunning neoclassical architecture on your way down for a stroll along the banks of the river.

Pop by to take in a show and tarry a bit longer to marvel at the nearly 100-foot dome that sits atop this storied building in the center of town.

Wilhelmsplatz

Walk time from hotel: 30 minutes

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

what to do in offenbach
Try to visit the square on market day. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

With an immigrant population of around 40 percent, Offenbach’s diverse character makes for a melting pot of culture that is deeply reflected in its culinary scene. You could easily eat your way through the city, and a good place to start is at the charmingly Old-World Wilhelmsplatz, where you’ll find a bevy of cafés and restaurants fusing flavors from all around the world alongside traditional Hessian cuisine.

The square, which has hosted some of the region’s longest-standing farm-to-table events for more than a hundred years, was mercifully — or perhaps miraculously — spared during bombings in WWII and is a delight for wanderers not solely set on satisfying their culinary curiosity.

what to do in offenbach
Take a stroll or pop into a cafe. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

Wilhelmsplatz equally appeals to architecture enthusiasts and history buffs, who are more prone to take in the neoclassical eye candy dotting this lovely square.

Also not to be missed is the popular farmers market that takes place in the historic square three times a week. Go hungry; you’re bound to want to try a bit of everything.

Mainuferpark

Walk time from hotel: 20 minutes

Duration: 1 – 2 hours

what to do in offenbach
Find your zen in green space. (Photo: Daniela Prusina)

The best way to take in Offenbach is by bike and definitely along the water. A stretch of the beloved, 341-mile Main Radweg (Main Bike Path) crosses through the city, leading to the popular Mainuferpark, the perfect spot for an impromptu picnic or snooze.

Along the route you’ll pass by Lilipark, just shy of the main path. It’s worth the short diversion. Here you’ll find stately grounds and 18th-century architecture, as well as the Lilitempel, a grand folly of a bathing house named after Goethe’s first love, Lili Schönemann, who he courted on the same idyllic spot.

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