Situated on the Main River, Frankfurt is defined as a city of contrasts, having the extravagant European skyscrapers right next to historical very well-preserved buildings. Frankfurt is the financial capital of Europe, as well as the transportation center of Germany; it is also home to the European Central Bank and German Stock Exchange, therefore it is a very important economic city.
It is the most diverse German city, with the highest amount of foreign people living in it, and the fifth city in the country by its volume. It’s a global hub for tourism, transportation, culture, and commerce.
When to go?
The best time of the year is late spring, until the beginning of the fall season. It can get really hot in the summer, but so does most of Europe. If you don’t mind the heat, like myself, summer is the perfect time to go. In the winter there is rarely any snow, but temperatures drop very low generally starting in the month of October.
How to move around?
As all big European cities, public transportation is great! In my opinion, the best way to move around in the city is by metro (U-Bahn). It connects every region of the city, it’s very fast, and cheap. A single ticket costs 2.75 euros, but the better alternative is to buy a day ticket, which allows you to go anywhere in the city, with unlimited trips; it costs 11.50 euros and it includes the trip to the airport as well!
What to see?
Frankfurt is very worth visiting since it combined the new technology of the modern world with fragments of the past; it combines very well the new and the old and it creates an amazing atmosphere.
Frankfurt Cathedral- official name: Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew is a staple in the city for its beautiful high tower and gothic architecture. It has been built in the 7th century and completed in the 1500s. It is the main church of the city and the largest by size.
Located right in the city center, you can’t miss it. Around it has numerous restaurants where you can admire the view while enjoying a meal and a delicious hand-crafted beer.
Eschenheim Tower (Eschenheimer Turm)
Eschenheim Tower is a landmark of the city and used to be a city gate in medieval times, built in the fifteenth century. It is the oldest and not reconstructed building in the new town, also called the city center. The construction began in 1349 and finished in 1428, but in the early 1800s the old city gates were demolished by the Prussian government, and only two out of the 60 fortification towers were left standing.
It has a remarkable appearance: it instantly makes you think of the past centuries, and even imagine how life back then would’ve been like. Right in that place where now are countless shops, stores, and restaurants, in the middle of modern times stands tall a wonderful building that is proof of history.
You can’t go to Frankfurt without visiting the main square, in this case, Römerberg Plaza. The german translation means Roman Mountain and is situated in the city center. Its origins go back to the 1500s, the years when one of the square’s buildings- the Römer actually became the city’s administrative building.
The plaza is the heart of the old town, a place where thousands of tourists and locals gather at any time of the year, or during the Christmas Market held here.
Paulsplatz is a historic square in the center of Frankfurt. Its name comes from St. Paul’s Church and is the largest square in the heart of the old city. From the 1270s the until the 18th century the first Franciscan Monastery was recorded. In 1786 was demolished and in 1787 a new monastery was built in its place.
During the years it has served as a school, as well as the Old Stock Exchange. Today, it serves as a monument of the past centuries. It is surrounded by coffee shops and restaurants, and old memorial buildings.
The Römer (German surname- “Roman”)
The Römer is a medieval building situated in the Römerberg Plaza. It has operated as the city hall plaza since the 14th century, when the Romer family sold the Romer House, along with a second building called the Golden Swan to the city council in 1405. Nowadays it is used occasionally for civil registration operations, such as weddings.
It is an exquisite building, with gorgeous colors and architecture, very well preserved and maintained by the city.
Old St. Nicholas Church
A part of the main square as well, the St. Nicholas Church is a monument of religious culture and gothic architecture. It is a medieval Lutheran church, built in the 1500s. During World War II it suffered minor damages, and so it stayed pretty much the same as when it was constructed.
It is really a jewel of medieval architecture, a must-see if you visit Frankfurt. It is also open to the public, so you can see the interior as well!
Cross the Main River
Obviously, you can’t go to Frankfurt without crossing the Main River! As the city name goes, the Main River is a staple in terms of geographical attractions and sights to see, crossing the city center. The river flows through the center of Germany for a distance of 525 kilometers, and it lies entirely in Germany. Frankfurt is amongst the biggest cities that are crossed by it.
Directly from the Römerberg Plaza, you can cross the Iron Footbridge (Eiserner Steg) that connects the city center with the district of Sachsenhausen. There are several bridges all around the city where you can enjoy gorgeous views over the old city and the new modern skyscrapers.
Eat a traditional German sausage
If you are in Germany, you must do this at least once! (if you’re not a vegetarian). Sausages and meat products of different sorts are a well-known and very old tradition of German culture. It is deep-rooted in Eastern Europe, and to be honest, they do taste delicious.
In the city center, you can find different fleas and farmers’ markets with all kinds of food and goodies, from cheese to jams and sausage, to honey and pickles. It’s a very enjoyable and nice experience, plus you get to get a little bit deeper into the country’s culture and traditions, and food is the best way to do so!
Frankfurt is such a lovely city! I loved wandering its streets and avenues, eating the food, and visiting the old historical monuments. I felt a little bit closer to the past as I got to see some fragments of it. It is indeed a very special city, with amounts of things to do and see, a lot of activities and places that can’t even be fully covered in one article. Overall, it was a great experience I hope to live again and expand my travels to other parts of Germany. It will happen, indeed! Happy traveling, friends!
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