Frankfurt is the banking capital in Germany and one of the key financial centers of all Europe.Thus, it may not be that surprising that Frankfurt is also featuring a museum about the heart of many economic deals: money. Driven by the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) in their headquarters, they offer free access to their Money Museum (Geldmuseum).
The Money Museum is my Best Free Entry Attraction during 2020.
Central Bank Money Museum – Location
The headquarters of the German Bundesbank are located North of Frankfurt city center. The easiest way to reach the museum is by car, as it is not too far away from the A66 autobahn / motorway. By public transport, you take the underground train to Dornbusch, which is served by four lines, U1, U2, U3 and U8. None of these lines, however, are connected to the main station directly – you either have to walk from there to Hauptwache or Willy-Brandt-Platz or do the transfer by tram or S-Bahn commuter train. From Dornbusch, you either take a some ten minute walk or use a public bus.
The entrance to the museum is free. The standard opening times are 9:00 to 17:00 hrs daily, except Saturdays. The museum is having a separate entrance left of the building, which you easily see.
Central Bank Money Museum – The Visit
The museum is located on one floor, you have to walk some stairs up and down to reach the museum, but there is technical equipment to guarantee barrier-free access. The museum is completely documented in German and English. After some introduction on the importance of money and where finance is having an impact, the first section is dealing with cash. The Euro currency is obviously in focus. You do not only learn about the different national versions of the Euro, but also how to identify false money and how the European Central Bank and its partners is improving the features of coins and bank notes in order to avoid this kind of fraud.
The sections of the museums are made up very interactive, so that it is also an interesting place for younger visitors. Unfortunately, the Money Museum of the German Central Bank does not seem to be super-popular, so that there were no issues in regards of distancing or hygienic measures. The second section of the museum visit is about book money. Yoi learn how banks are working, about cashless payments and other topics related to it. One of the biggest sections is monetary policy, which is likely also the most complex topic displayed in this place.
On the one hand, you learn about metrics of economy like inflation and how you measure them – on the other hand, how you can manage economics and a currency to influence the economic behavior. Again, the museum is not just a place for experts, but is explaining the topic very well.
After you entered some sort of small “Hall of Fame”, which introduces the leaders of the German Bundesbank and its history, the last section is about global money. My most popular part of this section was to learn about all the different currencies in the world and how the notes and coins look like. A very remarkable experience is to touch and be able to lift a real bar of gold – it is also quite impressive how heavy it is.
Money Cabinet, The Language of Money, Cinema
The main path of the exhibition is made up like a large circular route, In the interior of this circle, there are three “side exhibitions”, which are quite impressive as such. The first section, the Money Cabinet (Geldkabinett) is vast collection of historic money. The presentation is really nice (hard to catch in pictures), so that you can enlarge the coins and learn about their history. Again, you have a lot of interactive exhibits and screens.
A bit minor compared to the Money Cabinet is The Language of Money, which deals like very important clans and families influencing the history of economics and money, e.g. the Medici. A very interesting way to look to the history of money as well – and also what has been done to preserve economic power.
Last, but not least, the museum hosts a quite large 360 degrees cinema, where you can watch short, educative movies of your choice about money. Very well done as well and also, a nice way to get into the topic.
Central Bank Money Museum – Service
The museum also hosts a cafe, which looks quite beautiful. During Covid-19 times, however, the place seems to be closed. The staff of the museum was very friendly and helpful.
Central Bank Money Museum – My View
The Geldmuseum is indeed one of these hidden gems you might simply tend to miss when you visit Frankfurt. It is made in a really nice and informative way with modern display methods. I feel it is a good place for comparably young people as well as for adults, you need some reminder of their knowledge about economy. The German Central Bank Money Museum is definitely worth the Top Pick! award.
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