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Old Posted Jan 24, 2020, 9:48 PM
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FRANKFURT: Much More Than An Airport

FRANKFURT



We've decided to visit Germany on this two-week vacation, between December and January. An amazing experience, expectations were high and were exceeded by far. The country is great and is going through an amazing moment with all its urban centres thriving, full of energy and optimism. Infrastructure out of this world.

Starting with Frankfurt, the first stop. I fail to see why Frankfurt is often overlooked by tourists. It has a lot to offer: good museums, restaurants, a charming Altstadt (old town), cool neighbourhoods (we left the tourists hotspots and looked for the trendiest places), a very cosmopolitan and welcoming atmosphere and of course, its traditional Apfelwein (loved it). Really liked the city, reminded me a bit of London.

1.


Arriving in Frankfurt and going straight to the Altstadt to check out the famous German Christmas Market:
2.


3.


Crossing the Main into the Sachsenhausen, the "Apfelwein District":
4.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2020, 9:50 PM
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Next day, time to see Frankfurt's skyscrapers:
5.


6.


Liked this photo:
7.


Zooming into the Altstadt:
8.


8a.
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Last edited by yuriandrade; Jan 25, 2020 at 12:28 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2020, 11:42 PM
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Frankfurt is one of my least favorite cities anywhere, but you made it look very, very good. I was born 30 minutes to the west.

Nice pics and glad you enjoyed it. Hope you explored the beautiful countryside in the region.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 12:04 PM
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I thought you were American, Crawford. Mainz, Wiesbaden?

Well, pics are a bit gray, it's winter time. We didn't get the chance to go to rural areas, it was only 16 days, the schedule was tight and the idea was to get to know the most of the cities we visited. Maybe next time, to explore more cities and rural/forest landscapes.

About Frankfurt, it felt to me a "regular" city where one can adapt very easily and that's a plus to me.

Alstadt/Innenstadt is very busy and the nieghbouring districts have very interesting character. Also, the scale of its U-Bahn and S-Bahn systems really impressed me. Huge for a 700k inh. city surrounded by small towns. I really liked their Apfelwein despite some bad reviews.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 12:22 PM
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From the skyscrapers, back to the old town.

High-end shopping area:
9.


The Zeil, Frankfurt's main shopping street:
10.


Hauptwache, some kind of Frankfurt's ground zero, 200m north of city's main square/city hall:
11.


12.


Römerberg, Frankfurt's central square:
13.


14.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 3:54 PM
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Nice.

Frankfurt has always reminded me of Minneapolis with some reconstructed old buildings added to the mix. I like it.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2020, 9:55 PM
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Nice pics. I have an 8 hour layover in Frankfurt in early April, do I have time to take the train into the city for some sightseeing before I have to head back to the airport for my return flight to Denver?
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2020, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JMKeynes View Post
Nice.

Frankfurt has always reminded me of Minneapolis with some reconstructed old buildings added to the mix. I like it.
Keynes, on the next post I'll explore the reconstruction part of Altstadt. In fact, the whole city, including the City Hall were all razed to the ground. So all the main historical buildings were reconstructed right after the war but you can't noticed anymore.

However, there is this two-block area that were delivered two years ago in this new reconstruction wave in Germany. It feels a bit disney-esque, but as it gets older, I believe they will blend with the rest of the old buildings.

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Nice pics. I have an 8 hour layover in Frankfurt in early April, do I have time to take the train into the city for some sightseeing before I have to head back to the airport for my return flight to Denver?
BG918, yes, it's possible and you should do it. Just keep in mind Frankfurt Airport is massive, so it takes a while to get around inside it. On the other hand, it's quite close to the city.

Take the S-Bahn to Hauptwache station, the next one after the Frankfurt Hbf (main station). You'll get there in 15 min from the airport. Frankfurt central square (Römer) is just 400m southwards. 2 hours is enough to get around and go the river. Behind the Cathedral (Kaiserdom), there is this typical brewery, and you can taste some of the local cuisine.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2020, 2:23 PM
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Quote:
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I thought you were American, Crawford. Mainz, Wiesbaden?
I was born very close to Mainz. I have dual citizenship.

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Originally Posted by yuriandrade View Post
About Frankfurt, it felt to me a "regular" city where one can adapt very easily and that's a plus to me.
Frankfurt is a very livable city and very friendly to expats. Very high quality of life. And the transit is fantastic. The problem is that it's ugly/generic, and doesn't feel remotely German.

Germans tend to not like Frankfurt, as it feels like an intl. island. And there aren't really any tourist attractions or intact prewar neighborhoods. The Altstadt is terrible, IMO, like a Disney theme park, and actually almost totally new, but I'm glad you liked it.

Germans who work in Frankfurt overwhelmingly commute in from nearby villages. The people actually living in Frankfurt are mostly non-German and on temporary assignment. It's almost like a Singapore or HK in Germany.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2020, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by yuriandrade View Post

BG918, yes, it's possible and you should do it. Just keep in mind Frankfurt Airport is massive, so it takes a while to get around inside it. On the other hand, it's quite close to the city.

Take the S-Bahn to Hauptwache station, the next one after the Frankfurt Hbf (main station). You'll get there in 15 min from the airport. Frankfurt central square (Römer) is just 400m southwards. 2 hours is enough to get around and go the river. Behind the Cathedral (Kaiserdom), there is this typical brewery, and you can taste some of the local cuisine.
One note- buy a ticket! Do not take the S-Bahn from the airport to downtown without a ticket, or you will get a huge fine. This route is infamous for fines, because the German railways use the honor system, and the route is full of visitors who don't understand the rules, and I always see the undercover agents catching unsuspecting tourists.

In fact I was caught as a teenager, on another Frankfurt line, but I ran away. And they will chase you; the agents do not mess around.
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Old Posted Jan 28, 2020, 1:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Frankfurt is a very livable city and very friendly to expats. Very high quality of life. And the transit is fantastic. The problem is that it's ugly/generic, and doesn't feel remotely German.

Germans tend to not like Frankfurt, as it feels like an intl. island. And there aren't really any tourist attractions or intact prewar neighborhoods. The Altstadt is terrible, IMO, like a Disney theme park, and actually almost totally new, but I'm glad you liked it.

Germans who work in Frankfurt overwhelmingly commute in from nearby villages. The people actually living in Frankfurt are mostly non-German and on temporary assignment. It's almost like a Singapore or HK in Germany.
I felt like the Germans don't like any other big city aside their own. In the few occasions people asked about my whereabouts, I avoid to state which city was my favourite.

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One note- buy a ticket! Do not take the S-Bahn from the airport to downtown without a ticket, or you will get a huge fine. This route is infamous for fines, because the German railways use the honor system, and the route is full of visitors who don't understand the rules, and I always see the undercover agents catching unsuspecting tourists.

In fact I was caught as a teenager, on another Frankfurt line, but I ran away. And they will chase you; the agents do not mess around.
Yes, even though I didn't see anybody asked for the tickets in the whole 16 days, go without saying: stick to their rules.
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Old Posted Jan 28, 2020, 1:13 AM
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As we've talked about the "fake" parts of Altstadt, here the recently reconstructed area we mentioned, located between the Römer and the Kaiserdom:

Kaiserdom (Frankfurt's Cathedral):
15.


And the new blocks. I guess they will improve a lot as they get older:
16.


17.


18.


19.
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Old Posted Jan 28, 2020, 3:44 PM
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i don't have much interest in germany, nothing against it, its just not on the radar for me, but great pics and frankfurt looks like a nice mix of new and old. i enjoyed seeing it.


Quote:
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One note- buy a ticket! Do not take the S-Bahn from the airport to downtown without a ticket, or you will get a huge fine. This route is infamous for fines, because the German railways use the honor system, and the route is full of visitors who don't understand the rules, and I always see the undercover agents catching unsuspecting tourists.

In fact I was caught as a teenager, on another Frankfurt line, but I ran away. And they will chase you; the agents do not mess around.

you forgot to add the important part. the germans will chase you and beat the living hell out of you when they catch you. german cops are notorious for this. indeed they do not play around.
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Old Posted Feb 1, 2020, 1:38 PM
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i don't have much interest in germany, nothing against it, its just not on the radar for me, but great pics and frankfurt looks like a nice mix of new and old. i enjoyed seeing it.
Even though I speak some German, we weren't specifically interested as well. It was more about to explore another chunk of Europe. It exceeded the expectations, though. It has a lot to offer to tourists and specially for its inhabitants. Definitely worth visiting.
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Old Posted Feb 1, 2020, 1:45 PM
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More of the Christmas Market on the next day:
20.


21.


22.


23.


24.


Not Berlin, but Frankfurt got some timid grit.
25.


Cruising the Main. Second day, still adapting to northern hemisphere winter, the wind made it very cold:
26.


27.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2020, 5:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriandrade View Post
As we've talked about the "fake" parts of Altstadt, here the recently reconstructed area we mentioned, located between the Römer and the Kaiserdom:

Kaiserdom (Frankfurt's Cathedral):
15.


And the new blocks. I guess they will improve a lot as they get older:
16.


17.


18.


19.

So all of this is quite new, is that right? I was last in Frankfurt in 2011 and I recall walking through an area near the Kaiserdom and saw a sign showing a rendering of several new buildings. But as the sign was in German, I wasn't sure what it was going on about.
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2020, 3:18 PM
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Have visited Frankfurt once late spring, iI liked it very much, the city is much more about then just skyscrapers and the airport. I liked that tiny old buildings are situated close to the very cool skyscrapers. Made daytrips to Mainz, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Heidelberg, also very nice cities.

Looks good in your pics despite the grey weather.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2020, 11:30 PM
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15 days later, back to Frankfurt after the German tour, we decided to be less tourists and check out regular neighbourhoods there. Bornheim (northeast) and Bockenheim (northwest):

27.


28.


29.


30.


31.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2020, 11:33 PM
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So all of this is quite new, is that right? I was last in Frankfurt in 2011 and I recall walking through an area near the Kaiserdom and saw a sign showing a rendering of several new buildings. But as the sign was in German, I wasn't sure what it was going on about.
Indeed. If I'm not mistaken, they were opened less than two years ago. Even though they look a bit kitsch today, I think it was a nice initiative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
Have visited Frankfurt once late spring, iI liked it very much, the city is much more about then just skyscrapers and the airport. I liked that tiny old buildings are situated close to the very cool skyscrapers. Made daytrips to Mainz, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Heidelberg, also very nice cities.

Looks good in your pics despite the grey weather.
Yes, it was also a nice surprise to me. Nothing better than explore new places. Thank you, Nightsky!
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2020, 4:01 PM
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Cool!
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