First thing to be aware of is that New Year in Frankfurt is that if you are looking online for something to do, you should be searching for ‘Silvester’ and not ‘Neujahr’. Silvester is actually the religious name for the day, named after Saint Sylvester a pope who died in 335AD on the 31st December.
Enough of the history though, since most people in Germany actually don’t even know why it is called Silvester’s day, it is now just all part of the New Year custom and is common across much of continental Europe.
Germany, like many countries, has definitely gotten into the habit of big celebrations ever since the turn of the Millennium, and now celebrates in style with parties across the city and fireworks displays along the river. Last year was a bit of a damp squid really since a heavy fog descended on the city and visibility was reduced to about 30-40 metres. The fireworks still lit up the sky but you couldn’t see much else. Many thousands of people descended on the river and lined both sides of the Main as well as all major bridges in order to get a good view. The fireworks normally start sometime after 11:30pm and go past midnight (obviously!) but if you want a good spot then get there early. Some people stake out their spot and wait for a couple of hours with food and drink. The banks of the river are ok, but the best spots are definitely the bridges or in front of the Alte Oper. These will be crowded though so if you get late to the bridge, there will be no where to see from unless you are tall… A really cool idea is to book a ride on one of the large river boats. This is guaranteed to give you an amazing view as well as food and drink to party all night. If you are lucky you can still book a place with Primus.
There is more to New Year’s though than just the fireworks (which are pretty impressive). The city has listed 55 events and parties on their homepage. Some of stand out parties for this year include: The Brexit Party (love this idea!) at die Genuss Akademie; 27up NYE at the MeatPackers; and the official Uni Silvester-party which is expecting some 1500 party-goers at the stock exchange. Two other notable mentions for parties with a great skyline view are at Alex’s at the Skyline Plaza and at the MainMetropole (pricy) but both have limited availability.
Realistically, if you haven’t made dinner plans yet, you probably won’t find a free table, but it is worth checking for free tables on OpenTable.de. You might get lucky with a cancellation.
Have a great Silvester’s!