Frankfurt was my home for 6 months. There's a saying about the city - "there's a tear in your eye when you arrive, and a tear in your eye when you leave" and I totally get this. On first impressions, the city can seem a bit dull, commercial, unfriendly, grey, but once you get to know it and find the nice spots, you will understand the charms of it.
I fell in love with the city and I really enjoyed living there. It took me a while to do the 'touristy' things as like always when you live somewhere, you always put it off thinking you can go to that tourist attraction another day. Towards the end of my time there, Tom and I had a number of visitors, and we managed to tick off a lot of the things we really wanted to see and do.
Here's my guide of things that I would really recommend if you ever find yourself in Frankfurt for a few days:
One of the most picturesque places is Römerplatz, which is hugely contrasting to the towering skyline. This square is home to the medieval Römer (city hall) and is always bustling. Definitely a place you can't miss if you're visiting Frankfurt, located in the centre and only a minute walk from the Eiserner Steg (one of the bridges and the typical 'love lock' bridge across the River Main). Prices in this square will be slightly overpriced but the Weinstube im Römer restaurant is really nice and great for typical German food. I would also highly recommend Lieb und Seele for a German restaurant which is not to far from here.
To learn a little about the city and to see some sights, a boat tour down the River Main is great. There's a lot you can see from the boat, and if it's nice weather, you can sit on the top deck with a Maß of beer and enjoy the views. A 100 minute tour costs around €10 and the boats depart frequently from Mainkai (near Eiserner Steg).
If you find yourself needing a break from the bustling city and want to see some greenery, Grünebergpark is the place. Palmengarten has one of the best botanical gardens I've ever been to (I've never seen so many cacti in one room), is super picturesque, and if you haven't taken enough photos of Frankfurt's skyline, there are spots in the park which boast an impressive view. There's a little railway in the park, a Korean garden, an open air theatre and some nice cafes too. There is a fee to enter Palmengarten but the large Grünebergpark can be accessed for free - take a picnic and enjoy the little piece of calmness within the city!
I think my favourite place to get a view from above of the city is from the cathedral - Frankfurter Dom. It's quite a few (read: thousands) of steps up to the top, but the view is so worth it. It's one of the cheapest options (€2) for getting a bird's eye view of the skyline too - you can see all the skyscrapers, the Taunus mountains, the Green Belt of Frankfurt and the River Main.
Other great places for views of the skyline are Goetheturm, the Main Tower, the river bank, or even just the Zeil shopping centre.
A few other recommendations:
- Zeil for shopping, Goethestraße if €10,000 for some shoes is your idea of a bargain
- Sachsenhausen is the place for a night out, where you'll find lots of pubs, bars and clubs
- Don't forget to see the impressive Alte Oper (old opera house)
- For some culture/history/art, Museumsufer is a road full of museums, Senckenberg is Germany's largest natural history museum and Goethe's House is also worth a visit.
Have you ever visited Frankfurt? Would you like to?