As someone who has made 2018 her year of travel, not a day goes by where I am not immersed in a world outside of my reality, where the colours and textures swirl around in a mischievous bubble and the universe seems to be glossed over with a rose tinted brush. As someone who hasn’t even scratched the surface when it comes to travelling you can only imagine how I long to scratch this itch and leave behind a world of adult responsibilities, diving into unknown waters, where culture and history collide in one magical experience. I would dance among the pyramids in The Valley Of The Queens and peer into the wizened mummified face of Ramesses II in the Cairo Museum. I would wear blue and white to match the walls of the Santorini villages and go swimming in the crystal clear waters of ST IVES. Sometimes I would explore places closer to home, stepping back in time, ticking off my list of things to do in Frankfurt, where I would become a Medieval Lady in Römerberg’s Square and eat Grüne Soße, washed down with a glass of tart Apfelwein. Or maybe I would swim with ducks and swans while I fed them bread in a quaint countryside village in an unknown destination, where the world came to a still- slow living they called it. And while I travel in dreams far and beyond my imagination, slowly but surely I am determined to adventure outside of my comfort zone, not scared to try something new and savor living life in the moment. Because isn’t life too short to not live out your dreams?
Which leads me to my next point, choosing to live in the moment is not something that comes naturally to all of us. After all I know how much anxiety it gives me to be super spontaneous as lets just say I am not the most organized person ever and I am not ashamed to admit that. But here’s the thing, if travelling is something that makes you happy, that makes you feel a little more complete and a lot less stressed then why wouldn’t you go for it? And I did, when I made this year my time to travel I said yes to more opportunities and learned how to prioritize the things that make me feel a little more whole and so should you. Which is why Frankfurt in Germany has been somewhere that has appealed to me over the last few months, given its love for Medieval architecture, good food and drink and of course its intersection between culture and history. From the idea of simple meals like Grüne Soße in Römerberg, where we become Medieval once more to visiting Frankfurt Cathedral with all its architectural complexities, here are 5 incredible things to do in Frankfurt that will have you reaching for your passport in no time!
- Things To Do In Frankfurt: Go Back Into The Past In Römerberg
As someone who fancies herself as being somewhat of a time traveller, it makes sense that I would be drawn to the medieval charm of Römerberg which is framed by quaint medieval houses, a church and historic administrative buildings. Located in front of the Römer building complex, in the heart of Altstadt, Römerberg is renowned for being a popular tourist destination and is rated high on things to do in Frankfurt. It’s easy to see why too; the three gabled buildings that make up the Römer building complex have housed Frankfurt’s City Hall since 1405 and has become home to numerous Imperial coronations, trade fairs and Christmas markets, the latter of which Frankfurt is famed for. But perhaps it is the Renaissance Fountain of Justice, established in 1543 that captures a travelers attention the most, where the original stone sculpture – honouring Justitia, the female champion of justice brandishing sword and scales – was reproduced in bronze in 1887 and stands in front of city hall. It shows that despite the Medieval architecture, that women and ‘female deities’ are very much revered and seen as an emblem of strength and honour, unlike the passive ‘Angel In The House Archetype’ that was upheld in 19th Century England.
On the opposite side of the square stands another Medieval relic, a 15th-century Old St Nicholas Church, which miraculously managed to survive the two World Wars without any major damage, framed by the nearby Goldener Schwan, which was annexed like the Romer Building Complex. Despite its obvious love for its medieval heritage and past, Römer is nevertheless grounded in the present with its modern resturant terraces serving Apfelwein and pretzels, alongside traditional dishes native to Frankfurt like Grüne Soße, For those of you who are confused as to what on earth a Grüne Soße is, it is a ‘green sauce’ made up of an egg base,with seven fresh herbs: Parsley, borage, chervil, chives, burnet, cress and sorrel. Served with boiled egg and potatoes it is a simple dish but nevertheless effective, often washed down with Frankfurt’s version of cider Apfelwein, which is tart yet refreshing.
2. Things To Do In Frankfurt: Have A Stay In Luxury At Serviced Apartments In Frankfurt
When we go on holiday, it becomes our chance to relax and truly revel in the moment, ending each night with a cocktail (or two) as we relax on the sofa, with our loved ones around us. And while there is always the option of staying in fancy five star hotels, why not go one better and get a serviced apartment instead, where you are free to personalize your space for the duration of your stay and even conduct business meetings on the go, with Frankfurt’s central business district and exhibition centre only moments away . With complimentary WIFI and a cute boutique design led restaurant called Caprilicious, you can stay at your apartment and have dinner if you want a quiet night in or if you are looking to get your heart racing, then the 24/7 gym is ideal for those who describe themselves as being fitness fanatics. You’re more likely to find me in the restaurant as opposed to the gym, but hey there is always something for everyone isn’t there?
What’s more I always find that getting something that is closer to the city centre is often better for my stress levels because it has smoother transport links, has guides who can help you make your way around the city and best of all means that you have everything on your doorstep. At close proximity to the serviced apartments is Festhalle Messe Frankfurt popular with concert and event goers having been voted voted Hall of the Year 2017 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Or if music is not your thing then why not try a stunning outdoor green space like Palmengarten Park, with 50 acres of stunning sub-tropical gardens and conservatories in the cities West End? One of the largest botanical gardens in Frankfurt, Palmengarten was privately financed and implemented by the architect Heinrich Siesmayer. Opened to the public in 1871, it has remained in the public eye ever seen, surviving world wars to transcend into modern day.
3. Things To Do In Frankfurt: ST Paul’s Church
Regardless of whether you are religious or not, anyone can appreciate the aestheticism of a beautiful church and ST Paul’s Church is no exception. A Protestant church in Paulsplatz, Frankfurt am Main, ST Paul’s has remained a religious building embedded with political symbolism in Germany, especially because it was the seat of the first publicly and freely-elected German Legislative body in 1848. Ironically given its status as a church it tends to be more associated with political events like wars, including its brief time as a Lutheran church in 1789, the same year as the French Revolution and its presence in the World Wars were it was completely destroyed alongside with much of the Frankfurt wider city centre in the Allied Bombing of Frankfurt. In fact when Germany began rebuilding its cities after the aftermath and destruction of the wars, ST Paul’s Church was the first structure to be rebuilt because it was seen as the ‘cradle of Germany’ and a symbolism of their freedom from political oppression.
Today ST Paul’s Church is no longer used as a church and is instead used as an event space, with notable figures like JFK Kennedy giving major speeches in the Paulskirche during his visit to the country in 1963 and more recently there was the 150th birthday of the German democratic experience in 1998. However today, despite no longer being a religious place of worship ST Paul’s Church still remains a public building of interest with the infamous annual Frankfurt Book Fair, where awards are given out for the ‘Peace Prize Of The German Book Trade’. Previous winners have included Carolin Emcke ( A German Author And Journalist who won in 2016) and Margaret Atwood (A Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist ) who won in 2017.
4. Things To Do In Frankfurt: Visit the Museum District
If there is something that should be high on your things to do in Frankfurt list it is a visit to the ‘Museum District’ home to cultural wonders like Museum der Weltkulturen, regarded as one of Europe’s top ethnological museums and Städtische Galerie Liebieghau) located in the 19th-century Liebieghaus and also home to a large collection of Asian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculptures, as well as pieces from the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Or if natural history is more your thing then the Naturmuseum Senckenberg is one of the most modern museums of natural history in Europe, and the second largest of its kind in Germany. With English Language tours available at many of the museums in the district, never miss out on the chance to learn more about culture, history, science or whatever will take your fancy.
Perhaps the most fascinating museum out of the three mentioned below has to be Museum Der Weltkulteren, an ethnological museum known as the ‘Museum of World Cultures’ spanning collections that include more than 65,000 artifacts from as far afield as Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Founded in 1904, The Museum Of World Cultures became a central place for interdisciplinary cooperation with over 100,000 ethnographic photographs and films, and library holdings of 50,000 international books and journals, alongside its artifacts mentioned earlier. What interests me the most however- and I might be biased given my heritage- is a current exhibition showing at the museum titled ‘Entre Terra e Mar. Between Land and Sea’ featuring Ayrson Heráclito (artist, Salvador da Bahia) and Rigo 23 (artist, Madeira and Los Angeles) available until the 26th of August 2018.
5.Things To Do In Frankfurt: Goethe House
If you are a fan of 18th Century Literature, then the name Johann Wolfgang von Goethe might seem familiar to you. Widely considered to be Germany’s greatest author, Goethe was born in Frankfurt on August 28, 1749 where he lived until 1765 in Goethe House. On the top floor you are able to access Goethe’s ‘Writing Room’ where he penned many of his early works and was seen as a literary celebrity by the age of 25. In fact by 1782 Goethe became ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) and his success continued to grow over the years, penning four novels, epic and lyric poetry, prose and verse dramas, memoirs; an autobiography, literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. What’s more this talented writer, poet and philosopher even shared more than 10,000 letters and had even added 3,000 drawings to his creative portfolio, often drawing women that he was attracted to or in love with, but could not be with because of opposition from their families.
But it is his novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, or The Sorrows of Young Werther, published in 1774 that is perhaps the most remarkable novel that he had written, with Werther ending in the protagonist’s suicide and funeral—a funeral which “no clergyman attended”, whose desire to end his own life was a reference to Goethe’s own near-suicidal obsession with a young woman during this period, an obsession he quelled through the writing process. Naturally, a 17th century novel which highlighted ‘suicide’ was seen as controversial on its anonymous publication because it seemed to ‘glorify suicide’ something which was against the Christian doctrine of the time. A controversial writer at times, Goethe House nevertheless represents where his writing all began, giving an insight into his early years and from a sociological point of view a window into upper class society, where his family and their staff lived. Next door there is also the Goethe Museum, a 14-room gallery showcasing artworks from the writer’s time, including masterpieces of the Late Baroque and Romantic periods.
Have You Ever Been To Frankfurt Before?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.