I had heard Frankfurt doesn’t have as many charms and attractions as other European cities, and it’s not known for having a stellar food scene. But I still decided to go while living in Switzerland, and it provided an entertaining weekend with its own cultural specialties. So don’t count the Franks out! I just found I needed to embrace the city for what it is – a working, financial hub with cool German heritage.
The main sites seem to consist of The Römerberg old town square (gorgeous and charming, though nothing to do but gawk and take a photo), Sachsenhausen and its apple wine taverns, and museums.
If you make it to Römsberg, stop into the little bakery at the end of the street just before the river – Konditorei Hollhorst – for some traditional sweets. The family run bakery has been there for decades and is a favorite among locals. I got a Frankfurt specialty that was a layer cake with buttercream and jam, covered in a nutty crumble. Delish!
To work off a few of the calories, we strolled and shopped through nearby Zeil, the street and pedestrian mall considered “The Fifth Avenue of Germany.” Among the stores are a 10-floor shopping center and interesting vendors and musicians out on the mall.
Afterward we popped into the open-air market at the end of Zeil, which had fresh produce and traditional food stalls that served ridiculously large bratwursts (3€) and schnitzel sandwiches (among other things). We just ordered from the stall that had the longest line. The fresh apple cider (served in real glasses!) from the fruit vendor was a perfect way to wash it all down.
I had a wonderfully gracious host ferry me around and introduce me to her favorite haunts. (More on the two blog-worthy places later – one traditional fare and the other a foodie spot!)
It was a nice weekend and easy train ride from Switzerland. Would I recommend staying more than two days or making Frankfurt the pinnacle of a European tour? Probably not. But it was certainly an enjoyable weekend and proper introduction to German culture. Have you been? What’s your opinion?