Germany’s Frankfurt city might sometimes be overlooked for its more exciting cousins – Berlin, Munich and even Hamburg. The word picturesque doesn’t often come to mind when people think of this bustling commercial centre. And yet, that’s exactly what I found when I spent a day there while waiting for my flight home.
Perhaps it was because it was languishing in the rose gold glow of the evening sun. Or that I was lucky enough to encounter perfect weather. Either way, I was smitten with this underrated city. Sometimes, when you expect nothing, everything becomes a beautiful surprise.
Frankfurt is the financial capital of Germany. Much like Shanghai is to China. And yes, parts of the city reflect that lean, mean machine. But much of it is steeped in history and gorgeous architecture.
Take The Römer (German surname, “Roman”) for example. It’s an iconic medieval building that’s also one of the city’s most important landmarks. It was built around 1612, and served mainly as the city’s town hall.
Loved the unique look of the building! Taking a slow stroll to the city will inevitably lead you to the river Frankfurt on the Main and of course, the Eiserner Steg or Iron Bridge.
Just look at that gorgeous setting sun over the sparkling, still waters. A vein of calm running right through the city’s frenzied, beating heart.
If you’re curious, the Homeric inscription at the bridge reads ΠΛΕΩΝ ΕΠΙ ΟΙΝΟΠΑ ΠΟΝΤΟΝ ΕΠ ΑΛΛΟΘΡΟΟΥΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥΣ which translates to “while sailing over the wine-dark sea to men of strange speech”. How poetic.
I was also delighted to find the bridge totally overwhelmed by these love locks that were attached to the entire length of the bridge. I amused myself reading the sweet inscriptions on some of them. Ah, the beauty of young love.
There were a good many attractions to visit as well. Pity I didn’t have much time to. But here’s the Architecture Museum..
And the Frankfurt cultural library. Loved this beautiful, quaint exterior of the building. Was so curious to see what the inside looked like. But sadly, it was closing by the time i visited. Perhaps next time!
It was just so therapeutic strolling on the cobblestone paths, as residents pushed prams and walked their dogs in the quiet neighbourhood. Including this adorable chewbacca!
Another gem of a find was this old school telephone booth in this bright lemon yellow. I wonder how many people really still use telephones, or how long will that word still be in our vocabularies. Regardless, these things make me smile.
If your idea of Frankfurt is one of a city to pass through, or just a place for business and not leisure, you might want to reconsider.
I kind of wished I had taken an extra day or two to explore the place and truly discover some of the tantalising museums, libraries and learn more about the city’s history and culture. If you are planning a trip to Germany, do give Frankfurt some extra time. It’ll be well worth your while.