I know what you’re thinking: Cherry blossoms in Frankfurt? Isn’t Bonn supposed to be the cherry blossom capital of Germany?
Well, yes, you’re probably right. I hear Bonn is absolutely magical this time of year (seriously, click on that link and check out those pictures).
But let’s forget about Bonn for a moment. Because really, what does Bonn have to offer other than its claim to fame as the former capital of West Germany? (Yeah, you know it’s bad when you have to reference the good ol’ days to get the tourists to come. Unless, of course, you’re a place like Rome, which Bonn is not. But I digress.)
Now, I’ll be honest: Frankfurt doesn’t really have a reputation for cherry blossoms (or anything plant-related for that matter, since everyone seems to think it’s just one giant concrete jungle full of bankers). But still, you’d be surprised. At least I always am this time of year.
Usually, this excitement comes about when, on the first warm day of April, I decide to venture outside my 31-square meter apartment and go for a walk instead of spending the evening indoors
with a good book watching Netflix. And as is often the case, my walks lead me to the Mainufer (no, autocorrect, I don’t mean “manure”) – that lovely place next to the river where you’re always bound to bump into one or two people you know.
Okay, so there is the occasional cloud of pot smoke and the annoying music blaring from nearby boom boxes (side note: if I hear Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” one more time, I’ll probably go insane and shave my eyebrows off with a cheese grater). But despite that, the Mainufer is still a pretty nice place this time of year.
Why, you ask? Because of this:
Ha! See, solid proof that Frankfurt is so much better than its reputation.
Don’t believe me? Alright, here’s a picture of a whole ‘nother set of trees. Now, can Bonn boast cherry blossoms next to a river with a modern skyline like that? Nope, didn’t think so.
Assuming you’re up for some more cherry blossom gazing (which I imagine you are, because how could you not be after these gray winters we have in Germany?), I recommend you cross the Eiserner Steg, walk past the Römer (Frankfurt’s medieval town square), and then head over to the Goetheplatz.
If you’re lucky, you’ll still find a few rows of blossoming trees outside Hugendubel (yes, I know, isn’t that a hilarious name for a bookstore?). However, be forewarned: These cherry blossoms are the first to come, and hence the first to go.
Of course, I am trying to convince you that downtown Frankfurt has multiple cool spots for seeing cherry blossoms this time of year. So if the Goetheplatz proves to be a bit of a downer, head on over to the Börsenplatz just a block away (or just go to Vapiano instead and snag a free handful of gummy bears from the hostess bar. That should do the trick, right?).
The cherry blossoms at the Börsenplatz always bloom a bit later than those on the Goetheplatz, and if you happen to be there on a Friday, you can also grab a bite to eat at the Wochenmarkt, or weekly street market, that lines the Schillerstraße.
Just be aware of the cheese truck right next to the entrance of the Hauptwache station – I’ve nearly fainted on numerous occasions while walking past it (yes, the real Swiss cheese really smells that bad).
If all else fails and you’re still on a mission to spot some cherry blossoms, check out the Opernplatz next. Actually, let me correct myself: Head to the Opernplatz *first* before doing anything else – before the Mainufer or the Goetheplatz or the Börsenplatz.
Why? Because this lovely square right in front of the old opera house is literally the most beautiful place in all of downtown Frankfurt in the spring.
I’m not even kidding.
So say what you’d like about Bonn and its cherry blossoms.
But until I make it there some spring for myself, I’m more than happy to admire the cherry blossoms right here in Frankfurt – concrete high-rises, stinky cheese, Ed Sheeran, and all!