Centuries of sibling rivalry between Offenbach and Frankfurt have led to such things as the totally unwarranted nickname ‘Awfulbach’ or the determined conviction of Frankfurters that Offenbachers cannot drive. (The OF license plate is said to mean ohne Führschein – no driver’s license).
This competition can be dated back to 917, since the first documented mention of Offenbach, but in truth, Offenbach is simply its own friendly little town just outside the city of Frankfurt. One could call it a suburb of Frankfurt but for fear of being verbally abused by an Offenbach resident who prefers to think of it as its own great entity. There are plenty of parallels between the two cities: Both sit nicely along the Main (making Offenbach a perfect destination to get to by bicycle); second only to Frankfurt, Offenbach has the next highest population of foreign residents in Germany (13 per cent), and this remains a defining aspect of life in each city; and both are dependent on banking and other service industries for their survival.
Shopping in Offenbach is calmer and friendlier than shopping in Frankfurt although with essentially have the same shops – Offenbach does boast the only Toys ‘R’ Us in the area though. The Füssganger Zone runs along Frankfurterstrasse and Herrnstrasse making up the heart of the district. In summer one can generally find a beer festival or two on, with fresh fruit and vegetable stands dotted around. For the best and freshest produce, meats and cheeses, head down to Wilhelmsplatz. Every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 08:00 - 14:00 fresh foods are brought in for the Farmer’s Market.