So two weeks ago now, I went to Frankfurt. This was the first trip that I’ve taken while being back in Germany. I was trying to think of somewhere to go that wouldn’t be too expensive and was easy for just a weekend. Then I remembered that I had a friend who was interning in Frankfurt until the end of the month, so I figured this would be the perfect time to go and have someone to see the city with.
I decided to do a car share to get to and from Frankfurt. I have heard about them before and I know some people who would take them to go longer distances when I was last in Germany, but they always seemed a little scary to me. Considering it was a lot cheaper than a last-minute train, and way more comfortable than a bus, I went for it. My rides were actually great! For me, great usually means that the driver and other people in the car don’t talk that much (very social, I know). But the drive was about 3 hours, during which I napped or read or just looked out the window. Five stars all around for BlaBlaCar!
When I arrive on Friday I figured I would take that time to just roam around the main city center and see what I could on foot. I was staying at a hostel that was just by the main train station, which means its fantastic for connections to other parts of the city, but a little iffy when it comes to the local crowd. Frankfurt has a pretty big drug scene and it is right there at the gates to the city. I was following my Rick Steves German Travel guide and when he said that the more daring people could walk down this street that is essentially the Red Light district of Frankfurt, I was all for it, just for fun. Then I turned the corner and decided against it. It was just that “women of the night” out during the day thing, and I thought I could spend my time elsewhere in the city.
Next up I headed to try to find this “so-called” Mainhatten of Germany. Frankfurt, being the finance capital of the country is seen at the New York of Deutschland. Unfortunately, I would have to strongly disagree on that statement. There has to be a better comparison than that. Yes, it is home to some of the only skyscrapers in Germany, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the same feel or energy that New York has. Maybe its more of a Seattle or Nashville. The buildings are clustered together in two city blocks, then its back to just regular German city.
Luckily, Frankfurt does also have a cute, little Altstadt to offer. There is a nice big square with the Rathaus and some very German looking churches. This is the Römer. I walked around a few churches, and frankly I don’t remember which was which in the pictures. Then I made my way down to the river.
Fun fact: there are more than one Frankfurt in Germany, Frankfurt am Main (where I went), and Frankfurt an der Oder. This is super important to know when you’re trying to get walking directions somewhere and haphazardly put “Frankfurt” into the directions. So as the name suggests, I was near the Main River. The Main continues west where it eventually meets up with the Rhine. I walked along the river for a while, crossing over at some point. The banks on either side of the water reminded me a lot of Portland.
On Saturday, I felt like I had kind of exhausted downtown Frankfurt, so I set out for Hanau, the city where the Grimm’s Brothers were from. On Saturdays in Hanau, there is a fantastic farmers market, where I spent a lot of my time. Surprisingly, I did not find any Brothers Grimms museums in the city. There were statues and such, but not one exhibit commemorating the greatest fairy tale writing duo to ever live (a little bitter about that). The rest of the day I walked around the town more and even ended up going to a Wildpark. Wildpark is basically a zoo where the animal enclosures are huge so sometimes you don’t see anything…but it was actually a cool place. Like I said it was gigantic and I guess the animals were pretty happy.
Most of Sunday was spent sleeping and relaxing after going out a bit in Frankfurt with my friend. We drank Apfelwein which is apparently a specially of Frankfurt. Honestly it tasted like apple cider to me, so I wasn’t complaining. Overall, I wouldn’t say Frankfurt was my favorite place that I’ve visited, but I’m glad that I can finally say that I went.