A Few Tips :
If you have never been to Germany, it might come as a culture-shock. I know, as I definitely had that same experience as soon as I arrived into Germany and got out of the airport and into the public transportation arena, that introduced me to the Frankfurt atmosphere. The first piece of advice I would recommend anyone, is to rub up on a few basic German words. As it will get you further than you think, one way of doing this is that I found using the Duo-lingo app came in very handy with picking up the German language and pronunciation appropriately. Another great app that was of great usage, was that of google translate app, as this helped to identify certain items and foods on menus and rules that applied in the area. For example, say riding trams and trains for instance. However, in saying that most people will suss out that you are an Australian, and will appreciate that you tried to say ‘Guten Tag’ without saying it in a non-German way, and will be happy to help out a follow traveler.
Cheap & Friendly Accommodation
While you are going to travel on your own, or go backpacking with others, I might suggest that you look into staying at the Frankfurt Hostel. Mostly because the staff are kind, friendly and well at their English and multi-lingual pronunciations. They also provide some very cheap, and affordable shared accommodation (€ 16-20) and, not to mention the free German breakfast for all those visiting the hostel. The German Breakfast is a great way to start your day, and mainly consists of croissants, cheese and cold meats. Juices, coffee and tea are also available. No cereal sorry, as milk is not seen as a common thing with breakfast.
During my experience I found that a lot of the time, the staff would recommend us to pack sandwiches. As this would guarantee us to save money on our adventures, while out and about the city for the day. A very good tip to remember.
Apart from that, you will also be invited to attend some free tours around the city from the Frankfurt staff, as part as one of the many benefits of staying at the Frankfurt Hostel. They also host free pasta nights and the German beer is very good and cheap (around € 3.00-6.00 ), as it should be in the land of the Beer Makers.
Things to do
In Frankfurt there are many sites and lovely places to go, if you know where to look. During the August period you tend to come across a lot ofMarkets that are being held around the main streets near the Hostel and also around Aldradt. These markets consist of fresh produce and local handmade craft, which is great if you are wanting to purchase some lovely clothing items and German pieces for your house hold. Another bonus of walking through the markets is also experiencing the German culture and being able to see some very historic German buildings.
Other attractions around Frankfurt are that of the Zoo and Cafes.
The Frankfurt Zoo Gardens, is a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery with admiring up to 450 types of animals from all over the world. One of their main attraction areas is the ‘Bat Cave’, where you can walk inside a human made cave and can see all the bats flying freely around you, while standing inside the cave in the dark. It is truly an amazing experience you must do.
One thing for sure is to have packed a good pair of walking shoes as there is a lot of walking entailed. Entry fee is €10.00 for adults and € 8.00 for children, it is a great way to enjoy one of the many highlights of Frankfurt on the cheap side.
Within the Zoo they have a few small cafes that provide some small meals and beverages. It might cost a little more for purchasing then most outings, and this is where I highly suggest you best to pack a nice picnic lunch and enjoy the gardens and shade for those warm days in Germany.
To get to the Frankfurt Zoo, its about 15 minutes to travel there via tram. The tram can be located just few minutes away from the Frankfurt Hostel. The stop is called “Frankfurt Hbf (tief)”, and to travel to the the Zoo, you want to take the S2 Tram towards Dietzenbach Bahnhof, to get to the Frankfurt Zoo stop which is called, “Frankfurt (M) Ostendstraße”. They have ticket machines at the first stop, and it be wise to make sure you get a ticket,as the tram police are always checking tickets.
If you get stuck as to trying to figure out how the ticket machines work you can speak to one of the tram assistance staff that hang around the tram stops. Otherwise, if you are more prepared, you can grab a 1-2 day travel pass (€10.50- €15.50) from the train station at the information desk, where they can help you out. In getting the day passes, they also give you discounts to a whole bunch of tourist attractions, pubs, cafes and some boutique shops around the area. You just need to present it when making purchases within Frankfurt, or ask if they still accept the discount.
Frankfurt am Main: Imperial Cathedral
Some of the amazing sites you can witness within Frankfurt is places such as Römer and Frankfurt am Main. One of the most amazing cathedrals I have seen was the Imperial Cathedral, as it is known to be one of the fifth structures to be still standing from its original location back from the 14th – 15th Century. Also to be known as the ‘St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral’, and during 1356 onwards, kings had been elected here, as well as monarchs who were also crowned as emperors.
Walking into Römer is definitely one of those, special experiences. As you have your everyday locals walking about and also hosting pop-up stores, you also have those big tourist groups that are watching a spectacular play, of locals dressed up as if they were from the 1400’s; and presenting to the crowd about the currency and the historic life that occurred around and within these buildings. While continuing to walk through Römer, one thing that you consistently notice, is that you cant seem to keep your eyes off all the historical architecture. As this seems to play a major role on traveling within Frankfurt, and seeing things that we do not see in Australia.
All in all, it was one of my favorite trips and would highly recommend going and exploring every part of Frankfurt if you have the time. I suggest you need about 4-5 days tops, as 2 days was just not enough time to see everything.