First day of my next big adventure! I hop onto my Air Canada flight on the Dreamliner and it is a smooth and comfortable ride. This is a relief because I’m not a huge fan of turbulence. I’m hoping to get some sleep because I have chosen to spend the day exploring Frankfurt on my layover before heading to Jordan. But no such luck…they feed us dinner and then I figure I can try to doze off (I’m terrible at sleeping on planes). But then 2 hours later they wake us up for a snack…what? I don’t need this sandwich, I just ate! So now I can’t fall asleep again. By the way, they also wake us up again to serve a light breakfast – the entire flight is only 9 hours; I can do without that extra snack in the “middle of the night”.
I’m feeling only slightly rested as I head through customs and I choose the cutest German boy to approve my entrance. He looks like he just graduated high school . My boy is surprisingly flirty and seems amused when I mention I want to explore his amazing city!
Considering this is the third largest airport in Europe, I find it really easy to navigate. I check my carry-on bag for the day and head to the train station which is connected to the airport. This makes it SUPER easy to explore Frankfurt for the day – and it only takes around 10 minutes to the city centre!
Frankfurt is a city in central Germany and is a major financial hub that’s home to the European Central Bank. You can find 14 of the 15 tallest buildings in all of Germany in Frankfurt, contrasting nicely with the classical churches and historic buildings in the old town. There are many parks and botanical gardens and even a city forest! One of Germany’s most famous writers, Goethe, was born here and there is a museum dedicated to him in his former house. There was much damage caused during World War II, and most buildings have been rebuilt to their original design.
I arrive at Hauptbahnhof Station, which is within walking distance to all of the sights I plan on seeing today. The building is grand; the architecture is Neo Classical and what you’d expect an old European train station to look like.
I walk past a few sketchy characters on my way out, and I’m off to see what Frankfurt has to offer. I head down Kaiser Street where authentic 18th century buildings are still standing, amazingly not destroyed in WWII. There are all kinds of shops here – souvenirs, boutiques, cafes and erotic shops (we are close to the red-light district after all!). I pass by a few pretty parks and then take a hard left to get to Main Tower, a popular attraction here in Frankfurt.
It is a 56-floor skyscraper, and the whole point of going here is to take that elevator to the observation deck for sweeping views of the city below.
The deck is outdoors and it’s a bit windy up here, but otherwise it is a pleasantly warm day- great for exploring. This view is handy because it gives me a picture of the layout of the city and now I have a better idea of where I’m going!
I leave the Tower and continue over to Paulsplatz, a large historic square in the old town where you’ll find Christmas markets (seasonally of course) and the significant St. Paul’s Church.
It has political symbolism, as the National Assembly met here for the first time and gave birth to the first publicly and freely elected German legislative body. The church was destroyed in World War II then rebuilt and is now used for displays and events. This round church is bright and spacious inside with flags adorning the walls. In front of the church is the Unity Monument which is a three-sided obelisk that represents freedom, knowledge and unity. I think this is a pretty cool square until I walk a little bit further and find….
Romerberg! Now this place really makes me feel like I’m in Germany! The historic heart of the medieval old town. Check out the style of the buildings!
The city hall is the main building, with a clock that chimes every hour.
The Fountain of Justice sits in the middle of the square; this goddess of justice stands tall in the centre with her sword and scales.
The Old St Nicholas Church is not open today, but I can admire its beauty from the outside. It only had minor damage from World War II, so it’s one of the few buildings that haven’t been rebuilt.
I wander outside of the main square to find Frankfurt Cathedral, a stunning Gothic church whose 95-metre tower reaches high into the Frankfurt skyline. I venture inside; it is massive but yet bright and peaceful. This church needed reconstruction after the war.
Now I’m getting hungry so I head back to Romerburg and find this restaurant called Alten Limpurg. You can sit at a table or grab something from the takeout window and stand at a barrel to eat. I choose the barrel and order Frankfurt’s most famous dish, Frankfurter Wurstchen – A sausage served with bread. It comes like this:
So, do I try to put the sausage inside the bread somehow? Will it fit? I eat some of the sausage as is and then put the rest in the bread. I wonder if any locals are thinking…what the hell is she doing? Or am I doing it right? Haha.
At this point I’m approaching full zombie status from the fatigue and jet lag and I am seriously considering popping into one of these old churches and having a quick nap inside. Desperate times! As tempting as this sounds, I feel like I shouldn’t nap in a church in Germany and continue on. Yawn!
Out of the square again and a few steps over to the Main River; it’s glistening in the sunlight.
Over the water stands the Eiserner Steg (Iron Bridge), the pedestrian only bridge that is adorned with many lovelocks.
I see a large church on the other side in an area called Sachsenhausen, and I want to go have a look. It’s called Dreikonigskirche- it looks impressive from far away and also close up.
I try to look for a restaurant called Apfelwein Solzer, located over here in Sachsenhausen but my map isn’t being cooperative and I’m still tired which means my level of dealing with this is zero. So I give up and head back over the bridge to see what else I can find….or not find!
I’m feeling like, hey I’m in Germany, so I should have a beer or a local drink, right? So I go back to Romerberg and back to Alten Limpurg to grab a table outside. Now it’s time to try Apfelwein, a German sour apple cider.
I’m not sure if this is a great idea, since I have no idea how strong this drink is and if I will be pushed even further into zombie status. It seems doable; it has a dry sour taste so I just sip it slowly and enjoy some people watching in the square.
It’s pretty early so I figure I can still find some cool things to see from my list. I make my way over to Hauptwache Plaza, a large square alive with street stalls and bustling with people.
Located here is St. Catherine’s church, the largest Protestant church in Frankfurt.
It’s known as the centre of church music; I don’t go inside of the pretty Baroque building this time. And just down one of the streets leading out of the square is the impressive Eschenheimer Tower, a city gate that was once part of the late medieval fortifications.
I get close enough to snap a few pics and then I check my map to see if I’m anywhere near the famous opera house. It is back in the other direction and I’m just so tired at this point I can’t be bothered. It’s a shame, because it looks really beautiful in pics. I walk back towards the train station, past some cool fountains and a few parks again.
Except now some of the roads are blocked off because they are filming a movie and there is a smoking car being pulled quickly down the street. The random shit you see when traveling!! At the station I want to make sure I get on the right train, and the info desk is super helpful. They have these little papers they give you that says what platform and which train to take back to the airport. I get back to the airport with 5 hours to kill before my next flight…I find a quiet spot and have a much-needed nap! Frankfurt is a really great city and you can easily see a lot in just 1 day. Maybe one day I’ll be back when I’m not so exhausted!