Friday, October 8, 2021 | Written by Mira
We started our weekend in Frankfurt with a cute breakfast at Café Laumer (Bockenheimer Landstraße 67, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany) before going to the Frankfurt Botanical Gardens.
On our walk to the botanical gardens, we passed by a residential area that resembled the houses on 10th Street across from Piedmont Park in Atlanta in both architecture and ambiance. It truly felt like a piece of home halfway across the world. The Frankfurt Botanical Gardens are only three euro for students and, dare I say, are better than the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The Frankfurt gardens have cute little paddle boats and a butterfly house! After meandering around the gardens and playing various covers of La vie en rose, my friends and I found a little lake with a quaint waterfall and shortly after we found ourselves on the paddle boats. I was the lucky one who sat in the back of the paddle boat so while my friends peddled, I was in charge of taking pictures. There was a little fountain that made a rainbow in the sunlight– it was breathtaking. After riding around in the paddle
boats, we found the butterfly house which was just breathtaking. The butterflies were so colorful and lively flying around us. I could probably spend all day in this magical little house, but alas, we had more of Frankfurt to see.
After the nature-filled morning, we made our way across town to one of the many museums in Frankfurt. We ended up choosing the Jüdischen Museums out of the 33 to pick from! In the evening, we went to the Skyline Mall, where we had an amazing view of the city at sunset.
As much as we enjoyed the first day, I made it my mission to find the older part of the city in our second travel day. What we had seen of Frankfurt thus far had been fairly industrial and modern, and didn’t exactly feel European to me. I am more drawn to an older architectural style, with buildings rich in history, as opposed to glass skyscrapers, as impressive as they are. After some trial and error, we found a quaint café in the middle of the historic square. This is what I expected Frankfurt to look like, and I wasn’t disappointed.
After our leisurely breakfast in the picturesque square, we walked about two minutes to the river for our sightseeing cruise. Apparently, I love boat tours, and this was no different. For less than 15 euros, we had a two hour boat tour on the Main, with explanations of historic and modern buildings spoken to us in both German and English. One building to note was the Frankfurt Cathedral; a gothic style church that rises high among the smaller buildings of the old city and dates back to the 13th century. From the boat, we could see in one panoramic view, the industrial, modern buildings juxtaposed with the 13th century church. This view put in perspective how authentic the two days we spent in Frankfurt really were.
Next stop: lunch. We went back to the Römerberg square (Römerberg 26, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany) for lunch, and my friends got Schnitzel, a German classic (while I opted for a vegetarian faire). From there, we went to the Kleinmarkthalle (Hasengasse 5-7, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany), an indoor grocery store with over 60 vendors. As we walked in, I was immediately transported into another world. The market hall was so reminiscent of a challenge on the Amazing Race – Season 32, Leg 7, Kazakhstan, the Zelenyi Bazaar. I imagined teams trying to run through the market to find their next clue, and I almost felt like I was in the race, just without the stress. Small local venues like the Kleinmarkthalle helped give me a sweet taste of daily life in Frankfurt and helped me feel a little less touristy, and allowed me to embrace more of the culture within the city.