Why Frankfurt?

When asked for a travel bucket list, one is always sure to find a European city on the top 5 or 10. The usual choices are London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona, just to name a few. Indeed, these are must-visit travel destinations; but there is more to Europe than the usual. Why not try and visit a city that never makes it to the list? Why not spend your vacation in Frankfurt? This city is often referred to as the gateway of Europe. To know what makes this city great, here are 7 reasons why you need to book that flight to Frankfurt soon.

Unique Atmosphere

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Source: Debs

Known for being diverse and friendly, Frankfurt has a unique atmosphere that is identifiable in German cities. There is a sense of community and inclusion – even if you are a tourist. Try to wander the streets and be surprised at how you will find yourself making friends and striking conservation everywhere you go. There may be a slight language barrier as German is the official language; but a number of locals speak English as well. And if you are want to explore without the crowds, Frankfurt can offer you that as it remains relatively untouched by the barrage of tourists. So you get to explore the city with comfort.

History

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Source: Patrick Nouhailler

Being a prominent piece of the Holy Roman Empire, the Napoleonic Wars, World War II and the bubonic plague, Frankfurt is rich with history. Immerse yourself in the lives of the ancient gladiators at the Archaologisches Museum Frankfurt. Visit the special exhibition to know more about their daily lives to the fighting culture of these professional fighters. Make the Museum of Natural History another stop to know more about the history of Frankfurt. This museum in Senckenberg is the largest of its kind in the whole of Germany. It has thousands of exhibits ranging from Egyptian mummies to rare fossils. The dinosaur collection here is reputed to be the largest in Europe.

Architecture

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Source: Kyu

Bask in the beauty of European architecture that this city has to offer. Take a walking tour to better appreciate the structures. English-speaking guides will take you around the top sites, including St. Paul’s Church and Westhafen Tower – the skyscraper known as the ‘apple wine tower’ by locals.The tour lasts around two hours and shows the important sites of the old and new city. If you’re looking for a combination of history and architecture visitRomer, the historic city hall. There is also some spectacular architecture at local churches like St. Leonhardskirche, AlteNikolaikirche and Paulskirche.

Food and Drink

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Source: Ben Sutherland

There are some staples of Frankfurt food that are a must-try. Sample the city’s most famous bratwurst sausage in the Kleinmarkthalle food market. In this food market, locals queue daily to buy their lunch and the stalls here sell a great selection of dishes from across Europe. Other must-tries are local treasures like HandkasemitMusik, a curdled, hand rolled cheese, andBethmannchen, a delicacy of biscuits with marzipan and almonds.

When it comes to drinks, applewine (or apfelwein) has been Frankfurt’s most popular drink for over 250 years. Served at taverns and wine tasting spots all over the city, it is made with a lot of care and enthusiasm and is said to have healing properties. Many mix the drink with sparkling water, lemonade or apple juice to improve the flavor.

Shopping

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Source: Oferico

Romerberg market place, often called “The Roman Mountain, is situated in the historic heart of the city, adjacent to the Town Hall. Destroyed in the Second World War, like many of the city center buildings, it has been rebuilt as an exact replica. The surrounding shops and cafés all give an insight on the lovely German culture and traditions reminiscent of centuries ago.

If you visit Frankfurt within fall or winter, don’t forget to pay a visit to the famous Christmas markets that pop up across Germany. Outside the square at Christmas time, you’ll find over 200 stalls for the Christmas markets that sell items such as hot mulled wine, cookies and homemade gifts.

 

Sightseeing

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Source: Sam Chills

There are a lot of sightseeing destinations in Frankfurt. It’s like a cultural playground for those who enjoy everything from art and opera to outdoor activities. Start off by visiting the birthplace of an eccentric inventor and a possible monster by the same name, Frankenstein’s Castle. Though now it is in ruins, with just the two towers, chapel and a functional restaurant, the place comes alive once a year in October, on Halloween night when it is said that the mythical ‘Frankenstein’ makes its popular appearance.

Make Palmengarten Botanical Gardens your next stop and be amazed by the horticultural marvel that transports you to all parts of the world. This garden has an amazing collection of plants from the African savannahs to the Brazilian rainforests and the best of Europe’s floral gardens.

Then discover the birthplace of Germany’s famous poet, Goethe. Senckenberg is as important to Frankfurt as William Shakespeare’s home in Stratford, England. This half-timbered home located in Innenstadt district is a beautiful four story structure where the young poet spent his childhood. If you simply want to enjoy the outdoors, go for the biking and walking trails, both within and outside of the city. Nearby mountains offer great hiking trails as well.

7 Overlooked Sites in Germany

Germany is blessed with some of the most beautiful sights, ranging from the majestic Alps to rolling hills and mighty rivers. You can catch glimpses of castles all over the country that give you a peek into a bygone era. Alongside this natural beauty, you can also see gleaming cities and a world of high-tech trains that stand testimony to the economic might of Germany.

Whether you’re visiting Germany for the first time or for the hundredth time, there is always something that you’ve missed. Here are some of the overlooked sites in Germany.

Trier

If you love Roman history, Trier is the place for you. It is the oldest city in Germany, and often called “The Second Rome” for its Roman-style architecture. No other place in Germany captures the vividness of the Roman Empire as Trier.

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Source: Miquel Fabre

Potsdam

Potsdam is home to some of the best UNESCO Heritage sites, with the most famous being Sanssouci and its royal park. Cecilienhof, the site of Potsdam Conference in 1945, is another important sight here. To get to Potsdam, take a flight to Berlin, and a train from there.

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Source: Toblas Van Der Elst

Freiburg

Freiburg is a scenic university town that has a medieval story like feel to it. Eco-friendly houses, spas, wine bars, and cafes are other things to savour here.

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Source: Yonca Evren

Basel

Though Basel is in Switzerland, it sits on the border between Germany and France, thereby giving it an international flavour. If you’re a cultural buff, this is a must-see place.

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Source: atropo8

Bremen

Bremen’s bronze statue of four animals is probably the most photographed monument in the world. Other areas of interest include Bremen Town Hall and Bremer Kunsthalle. This city has some of the finest architectural structures too.

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Source: Heiko J

The Bastei

To catch a glimpse of the ruins of a German castle on top of a stone pillar, take a flight to Munich and a train ride to the city of Lohmen. This 11th century monument gives you a unique glimpse into Germany’s rich past.

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Erfurt

This medieval town is home to the oldest inhabited bridge in Europe. Even today, it is filled with cathedrals and monasteries that are sure to transport you to a different era. A flight to Frankfurt and a two-hour ride by car can take you to Erfurt.

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Source: Tobias Nordhausen

There are many more such overlooked sites in Germany. We hope you get to enjoy their beauty soon.