Frankfurt Germany marked the departure point for our tour along the Romantic Road
Our flight into Frankfurt airport arrived on time. It was a simple matter to catch the train into the city. It was well signed at the airport. You can also check this out on the internet before you come away. We came out of the subway in Frankfurt city, and the main railway station was right there in front of us, so took our bearings as we knew our hotel was nearby. After a short walk we found the Intercity hotel Poststrasse 8, and checked in.
Hauptbahnhof -Main Railway Station Frankfurt Germany
We had the afternoon free so we set of to explore the many attractions of Germany that Frankfurt has to offer. Our first stop was Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station, with our trip to Holland in mind (the station was just across the road from our hotel). We confirmed the booking done by our travel agent, and on advice at the booking office, paid extra to have a reserved seat. This proved a good move as the train is usually fully booked. If you do not reserve a seat you may have to stand for the entire trip. The clerk, who spoke very good English, also advised we would now have to change trains at a place called “Hertogenbosch” because of track works, but announcements would be in English and other languages at the time.
Romerberg Square-one of the famous attraction of Germany in Frankfurt
It was past lunch time by now and feeling peckish we found a nice snack bar in the underground. The women serving didn’t speak English but was very friendly. I had a leaflet and indicated we would like to go to Roemer, the old city hall. Our communication was good! She indicated it was three stops on the train and directed us to the platform. We managed to buy a ticket from the machine (a bit tricky), and still don’t really know if we had the right ticket, but no one came to collect anyway.
Three stops later we found ourselves at Roemer. People and dogs everywhere! Apparently a big Dog Showing had just finished. The city hall wasn’t open so we had to be content to look around the square at the beautiful old medieval houses, one of the special attractions of Germany. Usually the City Hall is open between 10am-1pm and 2-5pm. An hourly tour is available costing 3 Euros. The second floor has an exhibition of portraits of 52 emperors, 13 of whom celebrated their coronations here.
City Hall (Rathaus) Frankfurt Germany
The city hall (Rathaus) is the middle one of three stepped gabled buildings and is very historical. The facade of the building has statues of the four Kaisers of the Holy Roman Empire, two coats of arms, a clock face, and a placard describing the most important facts about the building. In the center of the square stands the Fountain of Justice (c1611). The Old Nikolai Church is on the southern side of the square, easily distinguished by its white and brown paint. This church was the chapel of the Imperial court from 1290 until the 14th century. Ruins of a Roman bath have also been discovered in this square.
River Main Frankfurt
Along the river is a very busy area with people, tourist boats, ferries,tourist buses, and attractive outdoor dining all along the banks. Beautiful old buildings along the river blend in with the new high rise. There is a quaint Customs Tower of (c1456), where a paymaster used to sit to collect the harbor fees.
The Old Iron Bridge and Sachsenhausen Frankfurt Germany
We walked on down to the river and across the old Iron Bridge. This famous neo-Gothic style bridge connects the city center and Romerberg with Sachsenhausen on the southern banks of the River Main. Over 10,000 pedestrians use this footbridge every day. Sachsenhausen is part of the city center just across the bridge, famous for its Apfelwein (apple wine or cider) taverns and traditional Frankfurt dishes. It is also famous for the Museumufer (Museum Riverbank), which has seven museums in close proximity to one another.
Walking back through the square we passed Wertheim House, a traditional old timber-framed building, one of the few that escaped damage in the war. Entering Paulsplatz we visited St Paul’s Church; the seat of the German national assembly since 1848. Today it is no longer used as a church but is a center for various displays and events. There are some interesting gift shops along the street with nice souvenirs (some a bit expensive). The trams, painted with eye catching designs passed busily back and forth.
Tram and Bus travel Frankfurt city
If you visit the VGF website it has details of tickets available to tourists and visitors which covers travel on trams and buses with one ticket. They provide considerable savings. If y0u are just visiting for a day there is an all day ticket @ €5.40 Adult,(children €3.20). This ticket may be used for as many trips as you like within Frankfurt (tariff zone 50) for the whole day. There is also a group all day ticket; and a Hotel guest ticket. Frankfurt city also has a Frankfurt Card which allows for reduced entry to many of the Museums, Palmengarten and the Zoo as well as public transport (€8.00).
We couldn’t resist an ice cream from the nearby ‘La Casa del Gelato’. Took photos of the New Town Hall, an unusual but interesting building. It has two towers and is divided into two wings by the Braubachstrasse (street). These two wings are connected by a bridge called “the Bridge of Sighs”, in reference to the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ in Venice.
It was a fine day and a public holiday, so people were out making the most of the sunshine and alfresco dining. It was warm in the sunshine with some people in t-shirts but most wearing a lightweight sweater, or carrying a jacket. Once out of the sun the breeze was cool.
Alfresco on the River Main Frankfurt
Before returning to our hotel we decided to eat out on the Bootshaus restaurant (Boathouse on the Iron Bridge). The Bootshaus looked so very inviting on the water, and had a good variety of light meals and snacks on their menu. We decided to quench our thirst with a German beer(€2.80), followed by a light meal, original frankfurters with potato salad (€4.50); potato salad was delicious.Traditional meals are one of the main attractions in Germany, or when visiting any foreign country. Returning to the city on the train, we strolled back to our hotel for a good nights sleep. The long flight over was catching up with us. Our tour pickup was for 9am in the morning, when we would join our small group tour for travel along the Romantic Road.
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