This month marks exactly four years since I moved to Frankfurt. Four years of summer picnics on the Lohrberg and bike rides along the Nidda Canal. Four years of weekend toasts at Friedberger Platz and trips to the Goetheturm.
I’ve written before on this blog about why Frankfurt feels like home. And as I enter into my fifth year in “Mainhattan”, I can confidently say that my feelings towards this city haven’t changed in the slightest. I really, really like it here.
So I figured it’s time I set some things straight. Because contrary to what you might’ve heard about Frankfurt being ugly, crime-stricken, and just downright boring, it actually is a pretty cool place to live. Here’s why.
1. The banks of the Main are the best place to spend a summer evening. Or a spring evening. Or a fall evening. Heck, any evening!
Seriously, with plenty of space to spread out and a great view of the skyline, what else could you want?! If you ask me, Frankfurt’s Mainufer is the best place to go for a walk, have a picnic, or just chill out. Plus, if you ever get hungry, there’s always that boat selling döners or the Maincafé.
2. The downtown is more than just a bunch of concrete.
Have you ever been to Frankfurt in the spring? If not, you probably should. The downtown is full of cherry blossoms, especially the area around the Opernplatz. But Frankfurt’s downtown doesn’t just come to life in the spring; the parks in the “Grüngürtel” are never more than a few blocks away, making them the perfect place to spend your lunch break. Speaking of parks, have I told you about the Chinese Garden in Bornheim? No? Then let me do that now!
3. You can chill out in a pagoda in Bornheim…
Yep, that’s right. There’s a little bit of Beijing in Bornheim. You’ll find these beautiful gardens in the Bethmannpark, which can easily be reached by foot from Konstablerwache or Merianplatz. Just make sure to bring a camera, because you won’t want to enter the Chinese Garden empty-handed!
4. …or spend the afternoon walking through the Old Town in Höchst.
Did you know that the district of Höchst has its own Old Town full of half-timbered houses and even a castle? Not many people do. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have either, had it not been for the fact that I spent a year living in Unterliederbach, a neighborhood just north of Höchst. In any case, a walk through the Old Town in Höchst is perfect proof that Frankfurt is more than just skyscrapers and concrete high-rises.
5. In the summer, there are parties in the streets.
The Schweizerstraßenfest, the Bergerstraßenfest, the Fressgassfest – you name it! Frankfurt has a thing for street festivals, and in the summer, there’s one practically every other week! But that’s not all – there are also special-themed festivals like the Grüne Soße Festival and the Apfelweinfestival.
6. There are parties along the river and in the woods, too.
Of all the festivals in Frankfurt, my two favorites are the Museumsuferfest and Wäldchestag. The Museumsuferfest takes place every August along the banks of the Main and is full of food tents and outdoor DJs, and the Wäldchestag is basically like a county fair that happens in the middle of the city forest every spring.
7. Äppelwoi is actually pretty good. In fact, it goes perfectly with Bratwurst or Schnitzel.
Alright, so it may be an acquired taste, but if you ask me, there’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a “Bembel” full of Äppelwoi, or apple wine. I personally prefer the stuff “süß gespritzt”, or mixed with lemonade, but there are also pure and sour versions.
8. With sixty museums to choose from, you have no excuse to be bored on a rainy day.
Up until the most recent “Night at the Museums” here in Frankfurt, when nearly all of the city’s museums could be visited with one single ticket until 2:00 AM, I hadn’t seen much more than the Städel, Frankfurt’s famous art museum. But with museums ranging from Goethe’s childhood home near Willy-Brandt-Platz to the Historisches Museum near the Römer, there really is something for everyone.
9. Frankfurt’s Christmas Market is like something out of a fairytale.
Yes, it’s crowded. And yes, it’s a bit kitschy. But still, Frankfurt’s Christmas Market is pure magic (as most German Christmas markets are). The great thing about the one here, though, is that it’s spread out all over the downtown. So if the Römer is a bit too crowded for your liking, head over to the Hauptwache or the Liebfrauenkirche for a more peaceful place to drink your Glühwein.
10. The skyline. ‘Nuff said.
Yeah, I’ll just let those pictures speak for themselves.
So what do you think? Have I convinced you yet?