Most of you will probably agree that Germany is an irresistible and welcoming country, which has become home-sweet-home for many people. This beautiful country consists of many idiosyncratic cities that are unique in their own way, with their own traditions and lifestyle. However, it seems that Frankfurt – our city of the week – is that super-rebellious child that insistently wants to distinguish itself from others and show its uniqueness and modernity (but in a positive way). Frankfurt undoubtedly differs from other Germany cities: it is a city with a strong business and finance hub, which is the center of attention for experienced businessmen all over the world. The strong financial foundation of Frankfurt delicately merges with the city’s traditions and positive vibe.
Want to get to know Frankfurt a bit better? If you’re reading this you probably do. So, our Spotters will take you on a 48-hour trip around the city giving you the perfect opportunity to feel like a local. Are you ready? So here we go!
Day 1: 09:00 – 13:00
Breakfast time! There is no way that you will miss the most important meal of the day. Our Spotter Marilia takes you to the spot called Walden. According to her, “This is probably a choice in the city you cannot go wrong with!”. If you prefer a late breakfast, Walden is a great place since they serve it until 17:00 during the weekends (although the cafe opens at 08:00!). The cuisine here is mostly international, but don’t worry, the menu also suggests some proper German dishes. Also, here you can order some high quality Wacker’s coffee, which is highly appreciated by locals and has a profound history. The staff and atmosphere is welcoming, so we are really sure that you will start your day on a high note!
BUT if you can’t imagine your breakfast without a traditional combination, such as coffee and sandwiches, we suggest you visit Brot und seine Freunde. It’s a super cozy cafe with a wide range of sandwiches, which can be complimented with a huge cup of cappuccino. Students get a special discount; so keep that in mind when visiting! By the way, this spot also serves cakes and muffins, so just grab another cup of coffee and satisfy your sweet tooth!
Clothing shops are some of those places that reflect a city’s lifestyle and versatility. So why not drop by this vintage store, 13- Dreizehn Shop? The owner of the shop, Allegra, has years of experience in the fashion industry, so every detail in the shop is well thought out. Every vintage garment sold in the shop has something unique and exceptional. Maybe it’s because it’s mostly the city’s fashionistas who hand in their clothes to the shop. Our local Nina Kristin says that “Price-wise, a lot of the articles are from designer brands, so the average price range cannot be considered as “cheap”, however if you are aware of the original prices of Maison Scotch, Acne, Kenzo & Co, you will be happy about some of the good bargains”. So, if you are addicted to fashion or at least enjoy buying some nice items once in a while, you definitely should visit 13- Dreizehn Shop!
Our Spotter Nina Kristin also recommends you visit Schirn Kunsthalle. It’s a contemporary art gallery where even people who are not keen on art will find something close to their heart and mind. The exhibitions are constantly changed, so you can always find something surprising. Art installations and paintings are displayed in the building with high ceilings and spacious rooms, which give off a special vibe and increase your desire to see more. Nina Kristin explains that “Each exhibition is carefully prepared, and there are frequent evening events such as exhibition kick-offs, and the “Schirn at night” events, where DJs, drinks and art are mixed for a younger target group”. The gallery even has a family section, which offers various attractions for children and their parents!
Day 1: 13:00 – 19:00
When it comes to food, you will want to try a high quality meal that reflects the country’s traditions. For your lunch break, our Spotter Sebastian suggests you visit Weidenhof. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Frankfurt that was opened in the 17th century (!). Weidenhof is also considered one of the best restaurants in the city. And that says a lot. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city, in the Zeil. The menu includes traditional German cuisine as well as some Frankfurt specials, and of course some international dishes such as burgers, steak or pasta. Whatever you decide to order, you won’t be disappointed, the dishes are top-notch! By the way, in the evening the restaurant transforms into a bar with a great selection of drinks and cocktails. So, if you really like this spot, keep in mind that you are always welcome to come back for some more fun!
After your fulfilling lunch, let’s head a bit further, to Danziger Platz where you will find the Frankfurter Garten. It’s an urban gardening project in the middle of Frankfurt. Our local Katharina explains that “Volunteers and amateur gardeners work here to keep this beautiful and diverse garden alive. That doesn’t mean that this project is only intended for members – it is open for everyone”. You will definitely notice the terrace (right on top of the container cafe) from where you can overlook the whole garden with a cup of coffee. You can also have lunch here if you think that Weidenhof is a bit overpriced. Also, various events take place at Frankfurter Garten. For instance, every Wednesday you can find a market with fresh organic food there.
On your way to Deutschherrnbrücke (we will come back to this spot a bit later), you will pass by Hafenpark, the place that locals really like to hang out at and catch up with their friends. It’s one of the most popular recreational areas in Frankfurt, so don’t forget to visit it! The park includes a skate park, sports courts, playgrounds for children and, of course, a green area where you can calmly stroll around. Also, our local Nina Kristin mentions that you can also drop by Kunstverein Familie Montez (the exhibition center) where you will find some nice art exhibitions and sometimes music events.
You have probably already heard about the impressive skyline of Frankfurt. One spot we mentioned before is the perfect spot to see it from, according to Nina Kristin. The Deutschherrnbrücke was first built in 1911, destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1949 and believe us, it has the best view of Frankfurt. You will definitely be able to take some amazing photos here, to proudly show to your family and friends (ah, a moment in a blaze of glory!).
Day 1: 19:00 – 23:00
Want to visit a very typical Frankfurt place? Let’s go straight to the area that is called Old Sachsenhausen. This particular area is famous for its pubs (or so-called “Epelwoi pubs”) that offer a traditional drink: the Apfelwein. This apple wine is a huge part of Frankfurt’s culture. Our Spotter Alexandra says: “Drink it pure, sour (mixed with sparkling water) or sweet (mixed with orange juice) – but drink it!”
In the Old Sachenhausen area you can find Fichtekränzi – a typical Frankfurt restaurant which, according to Alexandra, “is one of the oldest restaurants of its kind”. You’re probably thinking: what does she mean? Well, the restaurant has a typical old-fashioned German interior, which includes long tables and benches. It means that everyone is sitting together, close to each other, regardless of their ethnicity, philosophy or social status. Alexandra says that the atmosphere at Fichtekränzi is always super enthusiastic! And let’s not forget the food! You will get to try out some proper Frankfurt cuisine, for instance, Schnitzel or Wurst with famous Grüne Soße (the green sauce made of seven fresh herbs, mashed with cream and other dairy products). So, just pick a stodgy meal, some Apfelwein and enjoy your dinner, just like Frankfurters do!
After your dinner at Fichtekränzi and especially after a proper amount of Apple wine, you might have an indescribable need to have more fun. And German beer, of course. So, our local Alexandra has another perfect suggestion for you – a medieval-oriented pub called the Kleine Hölle. It’s a very homey spot where you feel like everyone knows you and you know everyone. The Kleine Hölle isn’t well advertised since its owner wants to keep the place for the most devoted visitors and friends. So, you can be sure that you will feel like a local there! There is a wide selection of drinks: beer, Apfelwein (of course), liqueurs… Alexandra suggests you ask for Nutella Schnapps (which is actually is a Hazelnut Schnapps). This ancient pub is a perfect run-up for (or continuation of) your memorable evening/night in Frankfurt.
Day 1: 23:00 – …
Although the Kleine Hölle is a perfect spot to hang out for more than a couple of hours, we do suggest you drop by the Rote Bar as well. First of all, don’t look for a sign that says The Rote Bar. You definitely won’t find it. And the door of the bar will be closed. It doesn’t seem like a really welcoming spot then, you might think. But don’t delude yourself, as there is a trick. Look for a silver doorbell (like in the picture above) and just ring it. The waiter will open the door for you! Ah, tricky thing! The Rote Bar may seem a bit fancy, but don’t worry as you will meet all kinds of people here. Our local Katharina says that a rich selection of drinks and awesome cocktails make this place even more exceptional. According to her, this spot makes one of the best cocktails in Frankfurt!
Day 2: 09:00 – 13:00
“Glauburgcafé is always worth a visit”, says our local Katharina. We definitely trust her word, so let’s head there for your delicious breakfast. If you always get confused when you need to pick something from the breakfast menu, no worries, the staff is amazingly helpful and friendly, so they will definitely help you choose the best option. There are more than enough tables for visitors, so don’t worry about roaming around Frankfurt, looking for another place for your breakfast. Katharina recommends you order a cake for your dessert, for instance, strawberry cake or a juicy mandarine sour cream cake. By the way, on Sundays Glauburgcafé offers a special breakfast buffet from 10:00 to 15:00.
If you are a maniac for interior design, you can’t just pass by Noord. It’s an awesome design and accessories store, located at Friedberger Landstraße 119. And don’t be mad at us if you feel the need to buy all of the stuff, because it’s simply amazing. Cozy blankets, beautiful tea towels, cute postcards… Everything that is sold in this store happens to be really homey, cozy and minimalistic. As our local Katharina says, “Noord is a small inspiring shopping paradise!”
Your next stop should definitely be this green area in Frankfurt’s city center, which is called Bethmannpark. This park, which is located between Konstablerwache and Berger Straße (where you will also find some nice shopping spots and cozy cafes), is a hidden gem since it’s surrounded by walls and is kind of difficult to notice. If you are really determined to find it (and you should be!), keep walking along Friedberger Landstraße or Friedberger Anlage, and eventually you will spot it! If it’s a sunny day during autumn, this place is perfect for a calm promenade. BUT the biggest surprise will be waiting for you in the middle of Bethmannpark, beyond the very noticeable large wooden gates. Here lies “The “Garten des himmlischen Friedens” here (Translation: garden of heavenly peace, in memory of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), a little Chinese garden, which is even quieter than the Bethmannpark and will capture you with its magic right away”.
If you head a bit further, to Grosse Eschenheimer strasse, you will find some amazing street art. Our local Alexandra mentions one of the most famous urban art pieces in Frankfurt, created by German duo Herakut. The woman holding her child and the note above that says “There is something better than perfection” will leave you slightly speechless, at least for the moment. Of course, it’s not the only piece of art in the city, if you take your time and take a walk around Frankfurt, you will find lots of mural paintings. Each of them tells a different story and communicates a particular message to society. Check out these websites – STADTKIND and Street Art Frankfurt – for more information about the street art in Frankfurt!
Day 2: 13:00 – 19:00
Let’s grab some lunch at Papa Enj, located in probably one of the most picturesque spots of Frankfurt – near the Old Opera House (or so-called Alte Oper). Our local Nina Kristin says that there were no proper restaurants at this particular location and the street was kind of packed with champagne bars and their devoted visitors. But after Papa Enj opened, locals can now enjoy their lunch in this area. Lunch will cost you about € 15, for instance, the tuna tartar with Avo will cost € 17 or € 29 for 2. Nina Kristin’s personal recommendation: burgers with homemade fries as well as cheesecake with espresso for your dessert. Well, sounds about right!
After your lunch, it’s time to see a slightly different face of the city. How about heading to Frankfurt’s Red Light District? Don’t be too quick to judge! Our local Josefine says that “It’s reputed to be dirty and dangerous at night – but the Red Light District has transformed a lot over the past years <…>. It’s these contrasts, the colors, the liveliness, the many people in the street, the unseen world of the city that makes it exciting for me”. Of course, such a place may seem a bit controversial, but it’s still a part of the city that makes it even more unique and vibrant. Just give it a shot!
Frankfurt is often called Mainhattan because of its impressive skyscraper skyline. Of course, locals are proud of such a comparison and always take it as a compliment for their beloved city. However, skyscrapers are not the only relation to this posh New York district. All over the city you can find seven sculptures of… Spiderman. Yes, this American super hero is settled on several buildings in Frankfurt. Our local Alexandra says that you can spot one on top of the building where the Bar Ohne Namen is located. And the others? You will have to find them yourself, just pay attention and keep looking!
We have already begun talking about the modernity of Frankfurt, so let’s keep going. Next stop is the former West Harbor, known as the upper-class district. Fancy apartments facing the river, sport boats… No need to explain more! This spot is a great example of the many faces that Frankfurt has. At West Harbor you will definitely notice the Westhafen Tower. Our local Sebastian explains that “The triangular window elements are supposed to resemble the traditional Apfelwein glasses frequently used in Sachsenhausen, just across the river”. The tower represents the new age of architecture, but at the same time it is clear evidence that the old spirit of Frankfurt pairs perfectly with a new, modern twist.
Day 2: 19:00 – 23:00
It was a busy day for you while exploring this amazing city, so it’s about time to settle down and enjoy a classy dinner at Walon & Rosetti. Although the menu here is quite limited it will still be a bit complicated to choose, since everything sounds (and is!) finger lickin’ good. Our local Marilia has a few examples: mussels and chips, Spanish meatballs and the restaurant’s legendary tuna tartar or pulled-pork-sandwich. Your dinner can be supplemented with wine (the restaurant has a wide menu for it) or cocktail. Marilia says that if you are looking for a perfect food and drink combination, then Walon & Rosetti is a spot-on choice!
So, let’s catch up for drinks! Our Spotter Marilia suggests a top-notch place called Sullivan. It is located in the center of the financial district, at Kaiserstrasse 12. It may seem like a really luxurious bar, but it’s actually really welcoming and the staff is easygoing. Marilia says that it’s the perfect spot to grab a drink before heading to Frankfurt’s clubs and invading the dance floor. But if you are not really a party person, keep in mind that Sullivan is open till 01:00 daily, so you can take your time and enjoy the good and refreshing drinks!
Day 2: 23:00 – …
“Plank, an alternative, stylish and comfortable bar, where you are advised to better remove any ties before entering…” That’s how our local Marilia characterizes the place you should drop by if you want to have a truly memorable night in Frankfurt. Plank is located the central train station area, which recently became a hotspot for great local bars and cafes. The staff at this bar is amazing, always willing to have a chitchat and pick some great and unusual drinks. The place is kind of small, but that makes things even more fun: it gets all sorts of people together and creates a friendlier atmosphere. Plank is highly appreciated amongst locals, so here you will see the real deal when it comes to Frankfurt’s nightlife!