Frankfurt is kind of like any other big city, except that everything revolves around banks. It’s a huge financial center and some people even call it “Bankfurt.” (Note: We exclusively called it that and regularly 👉 did this whenever someone made the mistake of saying “Frankfurt.”)
So basically, there are a lot of people walking around in suits, looking business-y and doing bank stuff. Not the most exciting thing in the world.
But don’t worry. We still found fun things to blog about!
(Okay these are technically bockwurst, but whatever. I’m calling them frankfurters because that’s more fun.)
And the restaurant had hanging condiment dispensers, you guys!
(Because who doesn’t want the vague sensation of milking a cow while squirting mustard onto their sausage??)
The historic heart of Frankfurt was close to where we had our lunch, so we took a peek. The rose-colored building with the stairmaster-esque façade is the Römer, and has served as the city hall for over 600 years.
It’s also used as a standesamt (civil registration office). In Germany, that’s where you have to be married for it to be considered legit. (You can also have a religious ceremony afterward, but it has no legal effect.)
We definitely saw wedding guests and balloons and very excited people, so we mostly tried to stay out of the way. (At the very least, they’ll have 2 fewer tourists photobombing their wedding pics.)
The other side of the plaza is cool too. Before WWII, Frankfurt was famous for having the largest historic core composed of timber-framed buildings. Unfortunately, they were destroyed during the war. But a few of the houses have been reconstructed (and more are under construction nearby).
Soooo German. Just looking at these houses makes me want to eat a pretzel.
But Frankfurt also has its share of modernist buildings. This is the MyZeil shopping mall, with a vortex-looking hole through the middle.
I personally think they should stick a waterslide through the middle because how cool would that be?? But I guess it’s fine how it is now too. (Just don’t get too close or you’ll get sucked into the vortex and spend hours at Guess and Pandora and Hollister and forget that you’re even in Germany.)
I also really liked the roof of this art exhibition hall. #Artsyfartsy
And there’s a pretty impressive skyline when you’re scoping out downtown. (Well… impressive for Europe anyway.) Skyscrapers are much less common here. In fact, this one city has 14 out of the 15 skyscrapers in ALL of Germany (a fact that BLOWS MY MIND).
This view of downtown is brought to you by the Eiserner Steg, a huge footbridge over the Main River.
But rather than checking out the skyscrapers, most people go here to see gazillions of love locks along the entire length of the bridge (which is 1.5 football fields long!)
I have mixed feelings about love locks on bridges, but it’s kind of fun to think that every single one of those (and you guys, there are SO MANY) is a symbol of love. Plus, they are super colorful and reading people’s inscriptions can be cute.
Frankfurt, like a lot of European cities, also has a fun market hall.
Even if I’m not planning on buying anything, I always like to wander through these markets. It’s a good opportunity to see different kinds of foods and I like seeing how they vary by country.
This market was very sausage-oriented.
But there were also flowers.
And PASTRIES. (Just try to tell me that butterstreuselkuchen doesn’t look amazing. Not to mention the schweineohren.)
And there was even a wall mural outside! I love wall murals.
But honestly, we didn’t come to Frankfurt for the old architecture or the new architecture. We didn’t come here for skyscrapers, wall murals, pastries or even for an incredible karaoke night 🎤 (though that was a definite bonus.)
If you can believe it, we didn’t even come here so that I could make 7 different “Frankfurt, more like Bankfurt” Dubsmashes to hide throughout this blog post. (Just another bonus!)
We ended up here, because this is where all the “Anglo” volunteers met to go to English Camp. And free room & board for a week in Germany (just for talking to people!) is a backpacker’s literal dream come true.
Click to read more about our week at Englischhausen!
- “Volunteer And Earn A Free Holiday!” (Englischhausen Part 1)
- Definitely Not A Weird Forest Cult (Englischhausen Part 2)