Stick Around a While, Frankfurt’s a Fun City
We’ll be the first to admit that the city of Frankfurt was never really on our travel radar. With so many interesting European cities located within striking distance, overlooking Frankfurt is an easy mistake to make.
As a main travel hub for Canadians seeking direct flights from Vancouver to Europe, Frankfurt sees a lot of tourism traffic – the Frankfurt airport is the 3rd largest in Europe. However, most visitors only use Frankfurt as a gateway, opting to catch a train to neighbouring cities or countries.
We, too, were guilty of not giving Frankfurt much of a look.
After spending a night at the Frankfurt International Airport, so we could deal with Baby B’s jet lag, we quickly activated our Rail Europe train passes and traveled to Zurich, Switzerland (here are some photos from our time in Zurich). It’s embarrassing to say, but we really only explored Frankfurt’s futuristic train station before leaving Germany altogether.
However, we did allocate 2 days for Frankfurt before our departure home, leaving us enough time to get a feel for this international city of contrasts.
Admire the beautiful architecture of Römerberg
Don’t be fooled by its futuristic skyscrapers and urban sprawl, Frankfurt has a lot to offer its visitors, especially in the architecture department.
If there’s one place you should put on your Frankfurt checklist, it’s a visit to the historical Römerberg square. Some of the buildings in this old city centre date back to the 14th and 15th century, although many were destroyed after World War II and rebuilt years later.
Yes, it is a tourist hotspot, but for good reason. The east side of the square, known as the Ostzeile, has several half-timbered buildings that look like real life gingerbread houses.
It’s such a pretty square, especially in the summer with the colourful flowers hanging in the windows.
Walk in the shadows of the towering Frankfurt Cathedral
The stunning Gothic Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as the Frankfurter Dom, is located just outside of the Römerberg square.
Now, if you’ve been traveling around Europe for a while before visiting Frankfurt, you may already have cathedral burnout and not appreciate this historical church (especially when compared to the Kölner Dom in nearby Cologne, Germany).
But, if you’ve just arrived in Europe this medieval cathedral will surely impress. We’re told that you can climb the Kaiserdom’s 324 stairs to the top, offering some fantastic city views.
We decided to eat and drink beer instead.
Frankfurters in Frankfurt!
This was our lunch scene at cute outdoor restaurant in Frankfurt’s old town. Draft beer, European wieners and warm potatoes with bacon – quite possibly my favourite German meal!
Take a Spin on the Beer Bike!
Attention all beer drinkers. We have found the perfect tour for you – the Bier Bike!
Yes, it was love at first sight. While enjoying the lunch pictured above, we heard a cheerful group passing through the Römerberg. They were hard to miss.
“What the heck is that?”, we said at the same time. Well, it’s exactly what it looks like – a pub on wheels fueled by drinkers.
Now, if only they offered a baby-sitting service?
**Note – we’ve been informed that this particular bike (Possmann) actually serves apple cider called Apfelwein, not beer. However, the beer bike does exist. So you’ve got choice!
Burn off your alcohol calories while you drink – I dig it!
If you’re limited on time, or simply looking for convenience, explore the city sights with one of these nifty bike taxis…
… or take a Hop On-Hop Off Sightseeing Tour aboard a double-decker bus.
Stroll down the River Main
If you’re interested in getting outside and connecting with nature, take a stroll down the bustling River Main. It’s a nice waterfront walk that caters to cyclists, runners and leisurely walkers with baby strollers (that would be us).
If you’re a museum buff, or you have some extra time on your hands, there are number of popular museums on the south embankment of the river – called Museumsufer. You can find a list of museums here.
We were impressed by all of the parks in Frankfurt, particularly along the river.
It was really hot during our visit, so we appreciated these shaded walks and grassy parks so Baby B could roll around and get out of his stroller. Life moves a little slower in this part of the city, making it an ideal location for family travelers. There are lots of family friendly apartments located along the river, which is a great option when traveling with kids.
The Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridge stretches across the River Main. You can tell how hot it was this summer by looking at the colour of that grass.
Wander the city streets – you never know what you’ll find
We witnessed this ‘Occupy Frankfurt’ protest strategically placed in front of the Euro statue in the financial district. This particular group of protesters was more about getting wasted drunk at lunch then delivering a message – but I guess that’s a statement all on its own?
Of course German street art includes a beer stein!
The streets of downtown Frankfurt on a quiet summer Sunday
Streets near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the Central Train Station
Sampling the local brew as Baby B catches some nap time. Hey, it’s all about traveling efficiently!
Have you visited Frankfurt? Got any tips or recommendations?
Share your experience in the comments section below!