48 Hours in Frankfurt
It's a month to the day since we left home: two weeks in Paris, two weeks in Ghent. The two week marker has started to feel like a routine, which is why I'm glad to be switching it up during our quick trek through Germany.
Our first stop in the Rhineland is Frankfurt Am Main, where it's easy to fall in love with the city in two days. The limited time makes for an exhilarating mad dash. Sure, I accidentally almost walked into a brothel on my quest to find a chipotle — but the city immediately produces something to marvel at, or something to eat, or another pint to drink. Fast travel feels like delirium and in Frankfurt it's delicious, dizzy, and damn cool.
Here's how we spent our 48 hours in Frankfurt.
We arrived midday to the centerpiece of the city: the glass-domed train station. Our booking at the “Easyhotel Frankfurt” lived up to its name as we found it in under 10 minutes and were able to drop our bags off and head out to explore.
We discovered the Römerberg, Frankfurt’s famous city square, by heading towards a gothic-looking tower known as the "Kaiserdom" (the only part of the skyline not made of glass and steel). The square houses the 15th century Frankfurt city buildings along with ornate, stepped roof shops, beer houses, and restaurants.
We stopped at one of the beer houses and I ordered a beer that came in a sturdy pint glass. Next to us was a booth selling sausages, pretzels, and the city's namesake — frankfurters. If you're looking for the quintessential German feel, you'll find it served up in the Römerberg square, but you won't find it in Frankfurt.
This is a modern city with a soaring skyline and a distinct culture down below. Best reflected by several massive sculptures within the city's crowning jewel: The financial district. First, a towering Euro symbol adorned with stars symbolizing each country in the EU (no word on if the British one is coming down), the second: a knotted tie, standing upward like a cobra ready to strike — the German version of Wall Street’s charging bull.
We got our first taste of the real Frankfurt on a closed-off street lined with vendors. It was around 5 p.m. so people were just getting off work for the day. We crowded among them at a stand-up table next to a booth where grandmotherly women were selling full glasses of wine. Like, the kind of glass of wine I pour myself when I’m about to watch some crappy reality TV. Filled all the way to the brim.
There were food stalls dedicated solely to pork and other German classics, along with a diverse set of ethnic options such as a Mediterranean cart with huge serving spoons stuck in vats of hummus, tzatziki, and olives.
After enjoying some wine and checking into our marvelously air conditioned hotel, we decided to do it up German style for dinner at Restaurant Klosterhof. So of course, I ordered my first Vienna Schnitzel.
I did have some misconception that this dish was only served in the form of Schnitzel Sticks — but I think this is the classier version.
The next morning we both needed to get some work done after spending an entire day traveling and exploring. After stepping into a few not-so-laptop-friendly cafe's we had to give in to the unthinkable, something we vowed not to do for the sake of the blog, and we went to the Starbucks next door. (Shh!)
After putting some work in, we headed to arguably the coolest museum we’ve been to yet: The German Film Museum. If you’re the kind of person who finds regular museums a little boring, then this is the place for you. All of the exhibits are interactive - and they have cool movie props! We even saw the alien from Alien. We also danced in front of a green screen and watched a montage of great movie moments, from Jack Nicholson in The Shining to Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids.
After spending almost two hours there (our museum record) we walked down to the bank of the Main river. That's where we found an amazing skyline view and a cafe serving food and drinks out of a train car.
With our last day in Frankfurt winding down, we went for the top-rated cheap pizza in the city. You just can’t beat four euros for a personal pizza … except when you accidentally order a “Pizza Marinara” and get exactly what you asked for. Pizza with Marinara, no cheese.
Still, I’d highly recommend Pizza Seven Bellow … just double check the menu with Google translate.
Currently, we're traipsing through Germany via rental car (and limited wifi). We're staying two nights in the medieval city of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. Stay tuned!