Frankfurt, the big little city

We spent five days in Frankfurt, Germany's 'Big Little City', last week. The Husband had to attend a job interview there, and we thought it would be a good opportunity for us to scout out the area as well. Although we lived in Karlsruhe before (about an hour's drive away from Frankfurt), I've never actually been to Frankfurt city. I have flown in and out of Frankfurt Airport multiple times though! 

Frankfurt am Main is located on both sides of the Main River. It is also nicknamed 'Mainhattan' thanks to its striking skyscraper skyline. The fifth largest city in Germany, Frankfurt has many high-rise buildings in its city centre, and is one of few cities in the EU to have such a skyline, which is why it is referred to as such. Coming from Kuala Lumpur, I've always loved the hustle and bustle of city life. With its high-rise buildings standing amongst well-preserved traditional European buildings that date back centuries, this is the city that has a little bit of everything, and I felt excited, and also at home, right away.

I loved the fact that planes were flying overhead almost constantly, and while some people may have find the noise an annoyance, to me, seeing the planes constantly crisscrossing the sky made me feel closer to the family and friends I have all around the globe and part of a larger, global world. 

We stayed at an AirBnb apartment in Niederrad, which was a twenty minute tram ride away from the city centre. The first place we visited was Römerberg, the central and most beautiful square in Frankfurt's Altstadt (Old Town), largely thanks to its traditional German-style buildings that line the square.

Large trade fairs used to be held on the Römerberg, with some of it eventually developing into the now world-famous Frankfurt Messe and the Frankfurt Book Fair (which is still being held, although its now moved to new facilities). 

The east side of the square, opposite the Römer is known as the Ostzeile. This row of six picturesque half-timbered houses are reconstructions of the original fifteenth- and sixteenth-century houses, most of which were rebuilt or expanded in the eighteenth century.

Frankfurt's Alte Oper
Frankfurt is certainly not short on history and culture. This is a city of museums and galleries, which has earned the city a national reputation as a city of the arts. The Museum Embankment located along the Main river is home to 13 fascinating riverside museums such as the Städel Museum, the German Architecture Museum, the German Film Museum, and the Jewish Museum.

The Alte Oper, or the Old Opera House, is another building not to be missed when in Frankfurt. It suffered massive damage during the war and was bombed down to its foundation walls, but was faithfully rebuilt to the original plans in the early 1980s, where it stands until today as a fine example of preserving historical heritage.

Lilu cafe in Niederrad
Lilu Park in Niederrad
I also loved that there were many parks, playgrounds located throughout the city centre, and of course, the River Main running through the city's heart, which made it feel spacious, family-friendly and green, even amongst the gleaming skyscrapers and grand buildings. It is the financial centre of the country, and yet still pays homage to culture and the arts. It is home to one of the world's busiest air hubs and the Stock Exchange, and is also home to Goethe, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Paulskirche. 
River Main
Inner city playground
View from the top
At the top of the Frankfurt Main Tower
We had a wonderful time in Frankfurt and I only wish we could have spent more time exploring the various districts, and also a bit more of the food and wine scene!

This is a city of contradictions which somehow exist together harmoniously, and is a little bit of everything I love. I"m definitely looking forward to getting to know the city better in the years to come!


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