Frankfurt, Industrial Charm

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are fortunate that both of us, our family, and our friends love to travel to new cities! There are so many different ways to explore a city. You could do a ton of research, you could just walk around and get lost, or you could collaborate with locals and friends. We enjoy doing it all! It is like what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” We love traveling and all the things we learn are woven into the fabric of our past.  

We were excited we got to experience Frankfurt with our two friends! We ended up going to Frankfurt for three days Be aware that even in August we found we needed a jacket in the mornings and evenings. 

Also, if you are looking for a hotel that is both rustic, fun, and in a great location, then look no further than Libertine Lindenberg. The area our hotel was located looked like a traditional German town that was tucked away in the city. Also, it was hopping on Friday and Saturday nights, but the hotel’s walls were luckily pretty soundproof. The rooms were very hipster, spacious, and trendy and our room had a clawfoot tub. If you do not want the tub, then I would recommend asking the hotel ahead of time if they can get you a room with a shower (our friends got that one). The hotel itself had a lot of great charm including a random recording studio downstairs (first time we have ever seen that before)! It was comfortable and the staff was very friendly. 

We arrived a couple hours before our friends, so we decided to get oriented and grab some breakfast. As we walked along the waterfront, we noticed a lot of bridges connecting to the other side. There you can see the tall skyscrapers and some old historical buildings. 

We ended up stopping to get breakfast at this really cute place called Sugar Mama. The restaurant had creative table signs with a city name (it could be anywhere in the world) and the number kilometers between that city and Frankfurt. We ordered cappuccinos and a couple of savory homemade quiches. They were so good! It tasted as if they got these ingredients right from the garden. 

Once we were done with breakfast, we kept walking around, until we were in front of the Frankfurt Cathedral. The interior was not as elaborate as the exterior, but this Gothic style Roman Catholic Church has been through a lot of major moments of history. This church was built to be the Imperial Cathedral, or in other words this cathedral was originally connected to the Holy Roman Empire. The inside was used to elect the next German kings starting in 1356. Then in 1562 it was used as a place to crown the next Roman emperor. After WWII, the church had to go through some renovations from some damages and that is the appearance you see today. Also, if you now go into the area where the German kings would be elected, then you see a room dedicated to silent prayer. This church is known as the largest one in Frankfurt and it will always be known as one of the most important buildings during imperial history. 

We headed back to the hotel to meet up with our friends and then to lunch. We went to this amazing place called Adolf Wagner restaurant. We were happy because there was still some seating outside for us. The seating is a lot like a traditional beer hall with the long wooden tables. We were all excited to try some traditional meals. We started off by getting some Apfelwein (or apple wine). This restaurant stresses that theirs is “made exclusively of apples from natural cultivation.” To us it tasted a lot like kombucha (or fermented tea), which most of us enjoy. Not everyone is a fan though, so maybe try a sample of it or a glass before getting a whole pitcher. The pitcher, made of clay with a grey and blue design, is used at all the traditional restaurants around Frankfurt to serve apple wine. Many German people serve apple wine at home as well. To treat colds or during the cooler months, people turn it into their version of mulled wine by adding spices and heating it up.

Ok, back to lunch. We all shared an appetizer called Handkase mit Musik, a regional cheese topped with oil, vinegar, and chopped onions, served with bread and butter. To some of us this dish was amazing, but to others it was way too much raw onion. However, if you like onions, than you might also love this dish. 

Then as our last meal our one friend got green sauce with hard boiled eggs and potatoes. While our other friend and us got the Schnitzel Frankfurt style with green sauce and home fried potatoes. All of the meals we got were traditional to the area. The thing that made all of our meals, uniquely Frankfurt was the green sauce. The green sauce is made of seven different herbs: parsley, chives, chervil, borage, sorrel, garden cress, and salad burnet. These herbs are then combined with sour cream, oil, vinegar, mustard and salt. It is so delicious and it is the best way to get all of your greens in for the day!     

If you want to go to one of the most touristy areas in Frankfurt, head to Romerberg. Romerberg means “Roman Mountain.” This area is the center of the medieval old town of Frankfurt, or Altstadt. In the past, you would find trade fairs, Christmas markets, and imperial coronations held in the middle of the square. Also, one of the buildings here is called the Romer, which has been Frankfurt’s city hall for over 600 years. These buildings were so cute and have the distinct look of what you think of when you think of German architecture. 

Not too far from the Romerberg you will find St. Paul’s Church. This church first started out as a Lutheran church and later became known as the main Protestant-Lutheran church of Frankfurt in 1833. Then in 1848 it was used to house the first parliament. A few years passed and the church once again was back to being a Lutheran Church. After WWII destruction, this building was one of the first ones that they concentrated on rebuilding. Today the building is no longer used as a church, but instead inside there are events being held and different displays shown. 

Then we walked down the road for 10 minutes and reached the Eschenheimer Tower. This medieval tower was built in the early 14th century. Due to the wars, there has been a lot of reconstruction all throughout Frankfurt, but this tower is known for being one of the oldest and most undamaged buildings throughout the city center. The bottom of the tower now holds a bar and restaurant. 

We wanted to take a little break from walking around to enjoy a local beer. We found a hidden brewery down a side street called Zu den 12 Aposteln. We sat outside on the long wooden benches because the weather was nice and it was a chill atmosphere. Also, make sure you get there early because they fill up with reservations for dinner. We tried their homemade dunkel beer and it was really good!  

After a rest at the hotel, we headed to dinner at a place not too far from our hotel called Apfelwein-Wirtschaft Fichtekranzi. When we got there the outside seating was taken, but there was plenty of inside seating left. The atmosphere inside was nice with the wood paneling on the walls and wooden tables and benches. We decided to share a few things: the Swiss sausage salad with cheese, pan fried potatoes, and a side of sauerkraut. But the dish that was really good was the schnitzel with a creamy mushroom sauce and a side of spaetzle (a type of pasta). We also got more sauerkraut (pickled sour cabbage). While you are in Germany you need to make sure you get sauerkraut. It is amazing with just the right amount of vinegar. 

Afterwards we wanted to walk some of the food off, so we strolled around the waterfront area to see it all lit up at night. The area has a totally different atmosphere. In the day you see a lot of families walking around, but at night you see younger people walking around or sitting down with friends listening to their own music. As we walked we kept hearing a different song being played and each group was either drinking beer or wine. 

The next morning we walked across the bridge to the Frankfurt Cathedral area and found this really cute place for brunch called Bidas restaurant. There are a lot of different brunch options that are on the healthy side. For example there are oats with fruit or avocado toast with a poached egg. We all enjoyed the meals we got and could see why it slowly became more and more popular as we were there. 

We then made our way over to the Frankfurt Cathedral tower to walk up the stairs. Be warned that there are a lot of stairs and it is a lot of close corridors that spiral all the way up (this is like most of the European church towers we have walked up). We were so glad we did it because the view was absolutely beautiful and we were fortunate to have such great weather. You could really see a 360 degree view and it was nice to see the layout of Frankfurt from a bird’s eye view. 

Then we wanted to try a museum. We ended up going to the German film museum and quickly saw why it has so many good review. It takes you through the evolution of a camera and the film industry. It was also a lot of fun because it had a lot of interactive elements to it. For example it had an area where you could edit popular movie clips and see if you edited the same way the movie had it. You could also play around with adding music to a movie scene, adjusting the different camera angles, using a green screen in the background, or change the lighting. It was a lot of fun to see how we did compared to the real movie and it gave a us a better understanding of how changing these elements really affects the whole movie.

On our way to a rooftop bar, we came across a Japanese summer festival along the waterfront, with performances (such as a boy band), food, and vendors selling merchandise. To top it all off it was a free event, so we just went ahead and walked through it to see everything that was going on and to listen to the music for a little bit. Frankfurt has so many things going on, you never know what you might find.

We held off getting anything because we knew we would be getting dinner early and we also were headed to the rooftop bar called Oosten. The bar was located right on the water. It was a great place! We made it there and got a beer right before it really started raining, so we were fortunate to have enjoyed the view even for a second.

We headed back toward the Frankfurt Cathedral to have an early dinner at Gaststatte Zum Storch. They sell traditional German meals here and it is known as one of the oldest restaurants in Frankfurt. They even served famous people back in the day, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (see our opening quote). The ambiance on the inside had a quaint and homey feel with wooden beams and brick throughout. We ended up sharing a few meals. First we got the Frankfurt plate, which consisted of smoked pork, Frankfurters (or hot dogs), meatloaf, and sauerkraut. Then we got the Sauerbraten (or braised marinated beef) with red cabbage and dumplings. Then we topped off our meal by having a warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce. Even though this pastry originated in Austria, you can still see this dessert being sold all throughout different countries such as Germany. Everything we had at this restaurant was great! The staff was friendly and to top it off the inside made you feel like you were in a cute little cottage and not surrounded by all of these tall buildings. 

On Monday morning we decided to go check out the Kleinmarkthalle. Since we were there on a Monday morning it was still pretty sleepy and there were not a lot of people in the market or vendors open that early. We talked about how they probably get a lot more people at lunch because the longer we stayed there to eat our breakfast the more vendors seem to open. We first made our way to this vendor stand called Huck. The lady working there was very friendly and helped answer our questions about what was in everything. We ended up getting a couple small quiches, pretzel bread, and a plum crumble cake to share. Then we also stopped by the vendor stand that was located right in front of Huck that was selling veggies. We got the cream cheese stuffed peppers. Everything we had from both stands was great! 

Frankfurt has so many different elements to it. There is the traditional style architecture, the skyscrapers, the rustic area, and the mass produced residential buildings. While we were there, exploring it with our friends, we started falling in love with Frankfurt more and more (I’m sure our friends were a big part of why we enjoyed it too). We’ll have to get to know Frankfurt more in the future and figure out what else it has to offer. See you later Frankfurt! 

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