How to get lost in Frankfurt or
Frankfurt travel tips from a clueless traveler. Or…
My lost and found experience in Frankfurt
Frankfurt travel tips is my new expertise. This is my story…
I was told that Frankfurt is a nice and easy destination for a 2 days city trip by train from Zurich. The DB (Germany’s train company) offers direct trips with stops in Basel and Mannheim, but if you are used to step in wrong trains like me, you don’t need to worry, because you can remain in your sit. The first class is spacious and they have food/drinks service and the journey takes a bit less than 4 hours. If you count the time you usually spend going to the airport, passing through security and waiting to board, it makes totally sense to travel by train. It is so convenient, also because you can travel with all your toiletries.
Frankfurt travel tips – Where to stay
I like to stay in comfortable hotels, but I think it is not necessary to look for the most expensive ones. What matters to me: good beds, clean rooms, friendly staff and rich breakfast. Switzerland is known for its quality, so you cannot make a mistake by choosing a Swiss hotel chain. I find all my requirements at Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, so when a friend told me she knew one in Frankfurt and she could book me a room, I did not hesitate to accept.
Hotel Tip in Frankfurt
To avoid getting lost right when I arrive in a new place, I take a cab to reach my hotel. To the driver: “Nach Mövenpick Hotel, bitte”. In less than 5 minutes I arrived at this hotel located next to the Festhalle Messe (trade fairground) in a new developed area called European quarter, among modern skyscrapers with impressive architecture. “I am sorry Madam, but we don’t find your booking” Oh yes, how could I imagine that there are 2 Mövenpick hotels in Frankfurt? Of course I landed in the wrong one. However, I liked the location and the hotel, so I decided to stay there instead. As there were no standard rooms available anymore, I took a superior room. It was very spacious and neatly decorated, with a big bed and TV, working desk and my own Nespresso machine.
From other experiences I had, you can easily compare a 4 stars Mövenpick to a 5 stars from another company, most of the times they are even better! My OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) side, always demand me to unpack right away and I was pleased to have plenty of space to hang all my clothes and an iron in the wardrobe. “Oh no, I forgot all my toiletries and make up at home!” Luckily the Skyline Plaza is in front of the hotel: a huge shopping mall with about 170 shops. A DM shop saved me, because they have a great selection of cosmetics with not only renowned brands but also with their own label products as well natural cosmetics. I could buy everything I needed, including vitamins, contact lenses products and even new reading glasses. I spent only one third from what I normally pay for such things in Zurich. In the end, not bad at all!
Frankfurt travel tips – Where to go
Day one: cultural program. Do you know that Frankfurt has the Germany’s highest per capita budget for culture? There are about 60 exhibition centers in town and they are mostly located along the Main River, so you can easily walk from one to another.
In the evening I decided to visit the Opera. The driver asked me something, but I didn’t understood, so I go: “Ja”. Ops, I was not taken to the new Opera hall with its high tech facilities, but ended up in the “old” Opera. This beautiful building, as many other old ones, was completely rebuilt after the Second World War. They made sure to make genuine replicas and you can have the feeling of how things were before they were bombarded.
The Kameha Suite
Frankfurt travel tips to explore the area walking area. Around the old opera I saw this beautiful building that was looking like a small old opera. “Is this a hotel?” No, it is a bar, restaurant and event location: the Kameha Suite. They were offering a gin tasting experience and I had no doubt it was my thing. Difficult was to decide which ones I wanted to taste – after appreciating the aromas from herbs and fruits in the most unpredictable mixtures – plus to pick the right tonic for a harmonic blend.
Frankfurt travel tips – Where to go for shopping
Day two: Shopping! Although all the gin from the previous night, I woke up with no hangover and brave enough to explore the city by subway this time. The closest station Festhalle/Messe is only 5 minutes walking from the hotel and I had bought a 2-days Frankfrut Card, with unlimited travel on public transportation system within the city districts and the international airport. I was told to go to the Schweizerstrasse, with numerous shops and cafes.
The subway station Schweizer Platz, as the name says, it is by a square and “against all odds” I took the wrong street. So here I am at the cross of the Brückenstrasse and the Wallstrasse, trying to find my way to the Schweizerstrasse, when I found some small trendy alternative boutiques, run by new designers. Their exclusive clothing and accessories are nowhere else to be found. Truly a treasure!
Frankfurt travel tips on culture: When I arrived back to the hotel, I was welcomed by a Dixieland Jazz Band, ice cream, wine tasting, chocolate, finger food and more: The Mövenpick hotel was celebrating its 10th Anniversary and they had a “Tag der offenen Tür” (open door day) where the hotel director himself showed us all the hotel facilities and at the end invited us for a grill party, with lots of vegan options at the rooftop. What can I say? I was simply in the right place at the right time.
Frankfurt Travel Tips – Traveling back to Zurich
Time to go back home after my two amazing days in Frankfurt. “I better not miss my direct train to Zurich” so I took a cab to the station, it costs only 6 Euros anyway. I was already at 11:35 at the platform and the train arrived. With no stress I step in and chose a sit in the first class. “Hmmm, looks a bit different than in the way to come” Departure time was at 12:05, but for my surprise the train started driving at 11:45: The train was heading to Hamburg!
After many hours and some train changes, I found myself in Basel: “Finally on Swiss ground and closer to home!” Once in the SBB train to Zurich, I decided to comfort myself with a glass of wine. The restaurant wagon was empty, except for a guy sitting by the corner. He raises his eyes from his book and I realized we knew each other – many years ago we met in a party but somehow didn’t exchange numbers. There I was facing this handsome man. He smiles while saying the most welcoming hello. It felt like he was there just waiting for me…
Frankfurt Travel Tips for vegans
Germans are heavy meat eaters, but you can always find some vegan options to eat. I had many times a combination of starters and side dishes. During the dinner at the hotel, the chef was more than pleased to prepare a vegan dish especially for me. It’s always possible to eat vegan, you just have to ask!