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Fun facts about Frankfurt/Main

When you think about Frankfurt, the first thing that comes to mind is… banks? The Main river…? And…? As the host city for this year’s me Convention, we decided it was high time to learn more about Frankfurt and what makes the city so special. Along the way, we discovered quite a few surprising facts! Here are some of our favorites:

1) It’s the home of the Frankfurter

That might be a no-brainer if you’re German, but to those of us who grew up eating boiled sausages called hotdogs, it was a lightbulb moment to discover the origins of our favorite ketchup and mustard-doused snack. We can’t make any promises just yet, but we’re busy arranging some food trucks for the me Convention, and we’re hoping there’s a delicious Frankfurter somewhere in the mix. But if sausages aren’t really your thing, here are a few more regional tredats you may want to track down.

2) It’s the place to drink Apfelwein

When you need something to wash down your Frankfurter, reach for a local Apfelwein! This tart alcoholic beverage is super refreshing on a warm day. It’s probably wise to abstain during the conference sessions, but you’re sure to find a cold glass to toast your new me Convention friends during the free concerts or other evening events.

3) It’s the birthplace of Goethe

While the famous poet left Frankfurt at the age of 16, the city still proudly claims him as their own. With organized tours or on your own, it’s easy to wander through the city following Goethe’s footsteps. He’s a bit outdated for our tastes, but literature will certainly play a role at this year’s me Convention!

4) It’s a culturally diverse city

Frankfurt is one of Germany’s most culturally and ethnically diverse cities. In fact, as of 2015, more than half of the city’s residents had a non-German background, coming from 180 different countries. We can’t boast quite the same stats for the me Convention, but we expect to welcome more than 2,500 participants from across Europe and the US to this year’s event.

5) It’s a green city

Literally speaking, Frankfurt is filled with green. About 52% of the city consists of parks and green areas, and 80% of the city’s residents have a park less than 300 meters from their home. The city also has one of the largest botanical garden in Germany, the fantastic Palmengarten. If you arrive in Frankfurt early before the me Convention starts, you may want to spend some time strolling through these green spaces.

6) It’s a really green city

Frankfurt is green in lots of other ways, too! In fact, for its combined focus on the planet, people and profit, Frankfurt earned the top spot as the world’s most sustainable city in 2015, and has consistently ranked in the top 10 since then. It has also got lots of fun local eco initiatives, like rooftop bees (and honey!) at the Museum MMK for Modern Art. Finally, we were delighted to learn that Messe Frankfurt, the location for this year’s me Convention, is partially powered by solar panels. Better yet? They are committed to using only renewable energy by 2020.

We’re still busy learning more about Frankfurt, especially as we put together our Urban Hotspots program, packed with unique activities, restaurants, bars, shops and more. We’ll be sharing more information in the coming months – and if you’re from Frankfurt, we’d also love to hear your insider tips on what to see and do.

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either Mercedes-Benz and/or SXSW.