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.

Römsberg ("Roman Mountain"), the historic heart of Frankfurt, dates back to 1405
Römsberg (“Roman Mountain”), the historic heart of Frankfurt, dates back to 1405

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!

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Mom, dad and son were all busy at work serving locals
I’m not usually a sweets person, but it’s another story in Europe since desserts aren’t as sweet as in the US
I’m not usually a sweets person, but it’s another story in Europe since desserts aren’t as sweet as in the US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Mobile brat vendor
Mobile brat vendor
One-man band. Notice the fork above his head!
One-man band. Notice the fork above his head and how he played the horn with his knees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Super flavorful and casing had a nice bite to it
Super flavorful and casing had a nice bite to it

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?

Emmelle

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