We started our trip to Germany in the city of Frankfurt, mostly because there was a direct flight available from our home airport (which was appealing after last year's unexpected 12-hour layover in Paris en route to Naples). We figured we would take advantage of the direct flight, see what the city had to offer, tour the nearby Rhine Valley, and then move on to another destination in the country.

Full disclosure, we didn't fall head-over-heels in love with this city while we were there. It might have been the jet lag or the fact that we booked a hotel in the business district on a weekend, but we were ready to move on to Heidelberg after our two-night stay. Looking back on our photos, though, it's hard not to appreciate the beauty of Frankfurt's Altstadt (old town), its apfelwein, and its impressive skyscrapers. 

Accommodation: Hotel NH Frankfurt Messe

Adventures: The Römerberg (Römer complex, Old Town Hall, St. Nicholas Church), St. Paul's Church, Frankfurt Cathedral, Iron Bridge, historic Sachsenhausen district, Rhine Valley Trip

Takeaways: 1) Frankfurt is a large city that might be better visited for business than tourism. 2) It wasn't the best idea to stay in the business district on a weekend when everything is closed. 3) The area by the main train station is not the best part of town. 4) Apfelwein is everything.

Memorable Moments: 1) Walking along the Main River. 2) Tasting green sauce. 

  • Apfelwein - alcoholic apple cider. Find an apple cider tavern in the Sachsenhausen district. Tip: Try it with sparkling water.
  • Frankfurt green sauce - traditional condiment made from seven different herbs, served cold over hard-boiled eggs and potatoes. 

Restaurant Picks:
Back-Factory (baked goods for a good price)
Am Hauptbahnhof 8 / Kaiserstraße 81

Atschel (traditional German foods and apfelwein)
Wallstraße 7

Jordanstraße 1

Lella Mozzarella (excellent pizza)
Mainzer Landstraße 78

Recommendations: 1) Consider taking advantage of the hop-on hop-off bus tour to help see the sights and save some steps. 2) Consider staying closer to the old town if not visiting for business. 3) Drink apfelwein.

Next Time: 1) Consider visiting the rooftop observation deck of the Main Tower for a view of the city and the surrounding area. 2) Consider signing up for a river sightseeing cruise. 3) Check out Kleinemarkthalle. 4) Visit the Senckenberg National History Museum for Europe's largest exhibition of large dinosaurs.

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