Monday morning, we made a point of getting up early enough to partake in the free hotel breakfast, because it’s one of those European buffets I love so much – bread, cheese, fruit, and granola. It’s the best. Also, they had a coffee machine that made double macchiatos. Win.
We walked over to the S-Bahn we’d spied the night before, and bought an all-day pass. We rode to the main trainstation, and from there bought tickets on the hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus tour. We didn’t know much about Frankfurt except for the few places I’d been before, and we didn’t have that much interest in researching on our own, either. Sometimes you have to let the experts do the work for you.
Important upper-deck information on the bus:
The bus took us across the river and around all the museums, and then we crossed back to the Altstadt. Matt and I decided to hop off near Rossmarkt and do some shopping. We went to the Bodum store and then Muji, where we wanted to buy everything but restrained ourselves to a few purchases. Then we walked over to see the Römer. I’d been here before but forgot how cute the little plaza is.
Bally wanted a sausage for lunch.
Here’s the actual Römer:
Then we went to see the cathedral, which is one of the few things I have a picture of from my short trip to Frankfurt. So I took the same exact shot:
We did some souvenir shopping nearby, and were happy to find a really traditional Christmas shop with all the wooden toys, ornaments, and cuckoo clocks. We picked up some carved Christmas trees for our parents, and an ornament as a souvenir.
Then it was lunchtime. Once again, we didn’t really care about finding a spectacular innovative restaurant; we just wanted easy. So we went to one of the places in the square with the Römer, and got a table on the patio. It was really incredibly nice and sunny outside, and warmer than in Berlin.
They specialized in extremely traditional dishes (of course), so we decided to try the farmer cheese (handkase). Oh my god, it’s terrible. It’s like weird fermented cheese with vinegar, oil, onions and fennel on top, and tastes like a goat smells. It was only marginally better on rye bread. Gross, Germany. Gross.
Here’s Matt’s gigantic schnitzel with spaetzle. Amazing. I had kartoffelpuffer with herb sauce. Matt also discovered apfelwein on the menu, so he gave that a try. Apart from the cheese, our meal was actually very good.
After lunch, we walked a few blocks to the Main riverside and bought tickets for the 100-minute river cruise (50 minutes each way, up and down the river). It wasn’t leaving for a bit, so we went next door and got a couple apfelweins gespritzt. These are the required serving glasses for apfelwein, apparently:
The boat arrived and we boarded. We went and sat up on top in the sun, which was very pleasant. The boat headed up the Main, passing the Altstadt along the way.
I had forgotten how large and modern a city Frankfurt is. It’s a huge banking center. The riverfront is really nice, too.
We went up to our turnaround point, which was in the working harbor with a bunch of container ships. There were some cool restaurants and outdoor spaces that had been built in reclaimed buildings in the area; it reminded me of the Minneapolis riverfront.
We stopped briefly at the dock on the return loop, then headed off for the downriver portion. When we passed this building, the narrator told us it was affectionately known as ‘the world’s largest apfelwein glass’. Of course.
This is the part of town where our hotel was located:
Once the boat returned to the dock, we went up to see the bridge above, since it was covered in love locks. They’re my favorite – we have one in Cinque Terre.
It was around 4pm, so we did some more wandering in town. At some point we’d probably have to find the ho-ho bus.
Here’s Goethe’s house!
We figured out where the nearest bus stop was after some confusion, and went to wait there by Main Tower. Of course we waited forever, but it finally showed up. We saw the rest of the loop, and rode back to the Hauptbahnhof and disembarked.
Matt wanted to go to Braustil, so we took the U-Bahn a couple stops and then questioned Google’s directions a lot. We examined the subway map and decided to follow that instead. That got us within a couple blocks of the place, so we were happy with that.
Braustil had a little patio and good beers. Not to mention their awesome logo:
We hung out there for a bit, then walked down the street to dinner. Naturbar was one of the most highly-recommended vegetarian spots in the city, so we were glad to be that nearby. It was a small, very nice-looking place. We had a garlic pita with whipped cheese, and both of our entrees were chanterelle-based, since they were in season. Everything was excellent, and we were thrilled to have found it.
Thanks to the Frankfurt transit app, I was able to map a route back to our hotel that involved the S-Bahn and the bus that stopped a block away from it. We got back there around 9pm and went to our room to pack.
Miles walked: 8.88/118.74 total