Best Things to Do in Offenbach, The city of Offenbach can be found just upriver from Frankfurt on the left side of the Main. Offenbach’s prominent museums are dedicated to its two historic industries, leatherworking and typography.
Though much of the city was destroyed during World War II, the Renaissance and Baroque mansions that once housed Hesse’s nobles are still standing and are worth a detour.
Affluent Westend is a neighborhood with grand mansions from the turn of the century, while the Main riverfront has been revitalized in the last few decades. And on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, residents of Frankfurt flock to Offenbach for the city’s fantastic outdoor market.
Best Things to Do in Offenbach
A zoo with largely European domestic species can be found on the southeastern edge of Offenbach.
The zoo is proud of its interactive features, and visitors can even buy bags of animal feed from a vending machine.
Large paddocks for Scottish Highland cattle, domestic pigs, goats, and sheep can be found alongside unpaved paths in the woods.
The short, stocky Shetland ponies are a huge hit with kids.
Capybaras and kangaroos are two of the most unusual natural species, and the zoo also serves as a rescue center for abandoned exotic pets including turtles, parrots, and cockatiels.
A Neoclassical theater and meeting center with an intriguing history may be found just a few blocks from the Büsing Palais.
Offenbach’s sizable Jewish population saw completion of The Capitol synagogue and community center in 1916.
The rotunda’s dome, which is thirty meters in height and is supported by reinforced concrete (a relatively new material at the time), is the building’s focal point both inside and out.
On the night of November 9–10, 1938, an arsonist attacked the building, destroying its contents. The structure itself, however, was spared and later converted into a movie theater.
After falling into ruin by the 1990s, it underwent a renovation that transformed it into a popular location for everything from opera performances to pop band shows to stand-up comedy to plays to corporate conferences.
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If you’re wandering around downtown Offenbach on foot, you’ll probably end up on this large rectangular square.
We’ll move on to the weekly market in Offenbach, which takes place on Wilhelmsplatz, a square flanked on two sides by chestnut trees.
Weirdly, this area was originally used as the city’s primary burial ground, with the final interment occurring in the year 1832. When the square was renovated in 2009, graves were still being discovered and relocated to the Alter Friedhof.
All four sides of Wilhelmsplatz are lined with apartment buildings, but the landmark to keep an eye out for is the Markthäuschen, a quaint little market hall constructed on the north side in the early 1910s.
This eatery, serving up local Apfelwein cider since 1986, has a long history of tradition.
The market held in Wilhelmsplatz attracts shoppers from all over, especially Frankfurt, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Offenbach’s market is particularly charming in the summer, when the sidewalk cafes and bistros open up and the stalls set up under the canopy of chestnut trees.
Traders in the market offer a wide variety of fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, herbs, dairy products, eggs, meat, baked goods, sweets, spices, and even locally roasted coffee and tea.
Due to the city’s diverse population, you may also get exotic foods like Greek fetta and olives, Turkish honey, and Italian pastries like cannoli and pandoro.
Warehouses and waterside industry once crowded the left bank of the Main, when it served as a major shipping conduit.
However, since the latter part of the twentieth century, the riverbank has been reclaimed as a green recreation area, and private yachts now make up the bulk of waterborne traffic.
The Mainuferpark is a green belt of grass and poplar-lined bike and footpaths that runs alongside the city’s newest housing complexes.
Along the promenade, there are kid-friendly playgrounds and sports fields, and at regular intervals, there are benches where visitors may sit and observe the river or feed the swans and ducks.
Offenbach’s modern urban center is just around the bend in the Main if you’re looking for things to do.
In just a few stops on the S-Bahn, you’d arrive in a skyscraper jungle.
There are so many museums along the Museumsufer that it might be overwhelming.
The Städel Museum has many works by Old Masters such as Rembrandt, Jan van Eyck, and Hieronymus Bosch, and is a good choice if you can only visit one.
The Renaissance Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen and the gabled 15th-century Römer building are two of the best photo possibilities in the Altstadt.
In the summer, the south bank of the river comes alive with happy office employees taking a break to gaze back at the city’s futuristic cityscape.
Green sauce (prepared with eggs, seven herbs, and sour cream) and Apfelwein are essential for any trip to Frankfurt.
A beautiful Renaissance mansion built in the middle of the 16th century is next to the Main.
During the early 1630s, Swedish King Gustav II Adolf resided here to negotiate peace terms with Frankfurt from the front lines of the Thirty Years’ War.
Until the early 1800s, the Isenburg-Offenbach counts, later Princes of Isenburg and Büdingen, made Isenburger Schloss their official residence.
Standing on Schlossplatz on the south side, one can spend a few minutes lost in contemplation of the palace’s arcade, loggia, and sculpture on the reliefs, friezes, pilasters, and caryatids. The current palace is one of what was planned to be four wings.
Offenbach University of Art and Design now owns the palace and uses it to house its photography and graphic design departments.
An other beautiful palace can be found on the riverbank not too far north of Offenbach.
The slightly more modern Schloss Rumpenheim served as the official house of the Landgraves and Princes of Hesse-Kassel beginning in 1736.
Baroque and Neoclassical elements blend harmoniously in the building, which hosted such notables as Franz Joseph I of Austria, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and Christian IX and Frederick VIII, Kings of Denmark, in the 19th century. After the Austro-Prussian War, the Hessian State was annexed, and the property fell into disrepair until the 1970s.
The beautiful riverside park, complete with woods, lawns, and views of the palace, is now available to the public.
Offenbach is home to several notable landmarks, including the elegant Büsing Palais, a former manor house that now serves as a convention and exhibition center surrounded by public parkland.
In the 18th century, a young poet named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent the summer here with his first love, Lili Schönemann; a garden on the property’s northern side is dedicated to her.
Adolf von Büsing, a wealthy merchant at the end of the 19th century, commissioned the palace’s Neo-Baroque construction; the building would later be damaged by bombs during World War II and not entirely repaired until the 1980s.
In the summer, the courtyard hosts a variety of concerts, including those for festivals like the Main World Music Festival, which takes place at the beginning of July.
This museum in the south wing of the Büsing Palais is an absolute must-see for any aspiring or practicing graphic designer.
The Klingspor Type Foundry, which operated between 1906 and 1956 and is commemorated by the museum’s name, was responsible for a number of well-known foundry types, including Peter Behrens’ “Behrens Roman” and Rudolf Koch’s ubiquitous Neuland and Kabel.
Works by these renowned designers, as well as the largest collection of printed works by experimental typographer Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman outside of the Netherlands, can be viewed in the galleries.
Each year, there are as many as five rotating exhibitions, most of which focus on book design.
A number of well-known artists, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Max Slevogt, Andy Warhol, and Joan Miró, have had recent exhibitions.
German Leather Museum
Because of its long history as a leather center (beginning at the close of the 18th century), Offenbach is an ideal location for a museum dedicated to the subject.
Founded over a century ago, the museum has grown to become a permanent home for leather artifacts that span the ages.
Armor, shields, masks, and Louis Vuitton boxes are on display, along with items once owned by Napoleon and Joséphine.
A leather ethnographic collection from the Americas, Africa, and Asia includes artifacts like a Southeast Asian shadow puppet and a ceremonial robe from the Lakota people of the Americas.
The German Shoe Museum is a separate collection that boasts over 15,000 pairs of shoes and boots from antiquity, including those worn by Roman legionaries and the Hessian nobility in the 18th and 17th centuries.
Since Offenbach houses the German Weather Service’s main office, it is fair to call it Germany’s “weather city” (Deutsches Wetterdienst). Similarly, in the city’s southeastern quadrant, there is a free park with a weather motif.
Ingenious stations demonstrate the physics of solar energy, air pressure, precipitation, fog, and the earth’s atmosphere throughout 20,000 square meters of outdoor space.
There is also a visitor center within the park where you can use a hairdryer to create your own storms and explore interactive models that explain how tornadoes work.
Overlooking Offenbach and the skyscrapers of Frankfurt can be seen from the park’s Sicht Turm, which stands at a lofty 12.3 meters in height.
Over the course of half a century, from the 1870s to the First World War, this western suburb of Offenbach was developed as a residential area for the city’s expanding middle and upper classes.
Going west from Offenbach’s downtown, the neighborhood begins just past the German Leather Museum on Ludwigstraße and extends for three or four blocks across and along the street.
The wealthy of Frankfurt and Offenbach still prefer to live in Westend, and the neighborhood is now considered a chic destination to spend an afternoon.
The large mansions in these areas were almost entirely constructed by one firm, Gebrüder Hasenbach, and were designed in the Historicist and Art Nouveau styles of the time.
The Westend avoided the worst of the bombing during the war, therefore nearly all of these residences made it to the 21st century in their original condition.
Offenbach’s historic cemetery is a great spot for a stroll, despite the fact that it may sound morbid.
This cemetery was established in 1832 and is now a registered historic site due to its age, significance, and the beauty of its avenue of plane trees.
The Krumm Mausoleum, an Art Nouveau structure with a mosaic of the night sky in its dome, is a prime example of the city’s excellent architecture.
There are Jewish burial grounds and the graves of notable people including the first Hessian Prime Minister Carl Ulrich.
The memorial to the citizens of Offenbach who died in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 is only one of the old monuments that have found a home in the Alter Friedhof.
Haus der Stadtgeschichte
The Haus der Stadtgeschichte is a historical museum that spans 10,000 years of Offenbach’s history, and it was born when the municipal museum and city archives were combined under one roof.
The museum’s prominence in the cultural landscape of the Rhine and Main regions’s eastern reaches can be attributed to the sheer number of artifacts on display and the sleek, contemporary aesthetic of its exhibition halls.
The burial of a Celtic prince in a wagon together with a recreation of the cart’s appearance is one of the most interesting discoveries.
Models of Offenbach built between 1800 and 1850 are on display to show the city’s rapid growth, and the museum also features wares from various local faience firms.
The upstairs is where you’ll find the charming Rococo playhouse that belonged to the wealthy merchant D’Orville family in 1757.