9 hours in Frankfurt

En route to Barcelona, I had a stopover in Frankfurt with about 9 hours between flights and was super excited about the opportunity! To me it was indeed an opportunity, as it would be my first ever visit to Germany, the land of my ancestors.

My family immigrated to Brazil in the early 1800s and they were humble farmers looking for a better life. The thing we didn’t do well was to keep our heritage alive as nobody in family speaks German or even know what is the exact part of Germany we are from. All we know is the boat they were on and that very likely our family is from the Frankfurt area. And that was enough for me to take in as much as I could in my short time there.

It was a relatively mild Sunday morning when I landed in Frankfurt in April. I was told the Frankfurt airport was overwhelming and that I would be better off exploring the airport instead of venturing into the city. Since I am a bit stubborn, I ventured into the city 😀

The whole process of buying the ticket to go to Frankfurt city centre from Frankfurt International Airport was so easy and straightforward for somebody who only knows how to say “danke” in German. I stopped by the Information Desk at the airport and everybody was super nice, smiling and took the time to explain everything for me. So here is how I did it:

1) I followed the signs and after the information I was given at the Information desk, I was looking for Gleis 1 (Track 1), highlighting very well where that was leading to.

Follow the signs to go downstairs for the S-Bahn to city centre
Follow the signs to go downstairs for the S-Bahn to city centre

 

Follow the signs to Gleis 1 (track 1) to get to Frankfurt city centre
Follow the signs to Gleis 1 (track 1) to get to Frankfurt city centre

 

2) I bought the 1 day pass (using the machines, very friendly to use), which would give me the right to travel to and from Frankfurt International Airport on the S-Bahn and also use local transportation. I ended up walking a lot and just used the ticket to go to city centre and back to the airport. The cost in April 2015 was $8,85 Euros just for me.

This is a screenshot of the ticket machines, very user friendly (sorry the picture is not really great!)
This is a screenshot of the ticket machines, very user friendly (sorry the picture is not really great!)

 

These are the ticket machines, not intimidating at all
These are the ticket machines, not intimidating at all

 

This is the day ticket with a very useful map I was given at the information desk
This is the day ticket with a very useful map I was given at the information desk

 

3) To get to city centre, the station I should get off at was Hauptwache and it was indeed in the very heart of Frankfurt! That would be also where I would get my train back to Frankfurt, but using Gleis 3 (Track 3) 🙂 Since the whole process of disembarking, going through immigration and buying the subway ticket was less than an hour, I was in Frankfurt city centre before 9am. The subway from the airport takes 15-20 minutes to get to city centre. From there, I walked a lot, visiting the Romerberg area as well as the Euro financial district. I also ventured to the other side of the Main river and just wished I could have stayed longer, because it feels like the city was waking up when I started heading back to the airport around 2pm. Here is a photo tour of some of the places I walked by:

Interesting architecture you can see as soon as you emerge from the Hauptwache station. It is a shopping mall, but it was closed. Is worth to take a look inside, very impressive architecture.
Interesting architecture you can see as soon as you emerge from the Hauptwache station. It is a shopping mall, but it was closed. Is worth to take a look inside, very impressive architecture.

 

Basically the place everyone wants to see when in Frankfurt: the Romerberg (one side of it at least). It was pretty empty, except for the few tourists and even fewer locals passing by.
Basically the place everyone wants to see when in Frankfurt: the Romerberg (one side of it at least). It was pretty empty, except for the few tourists and even fewer locals passing by.

 

Right across from this building is the Main river. I guess this is my third favorite river now (after the Seine and my favorite ever, the Thames :) )!
Right across from this building is the Main river. I guess this is my third favorite river now (after the Seine and my favorite ever, the Thames 🙂 )!

 

This bridge was just amazing to me. I felt a little intimidated by it as it seemed deserted and I was alone, yet walking through it was fantastic! The views, the love locks, the overcast sky, the skyline, it was all great!
The Eisener bridge was just amazing to me. I felt a little intimidated by it as it seemed deserted and I was alone, yet walking through it was fantastic! The views, the love locks, the overcast sky, the skyline, it was all great!

 

The love locks and the view!
The love locks and the view!

 

I love this picture. Basically no leaves on the trees and there was a church behind me and the bells were ringing... super cool!
I love this picture. Basically no leaves on the trees and there was a church behind me and the bells were ringing… super cool!

 

Frankfurt's financial district in the background, with a little hidden view of Eisener bridge.
Frankfurt’s financial district in the background, with a little hidden view of Eisener bridge.

 

I walked back to the other side of the Main in search of this photo pop :)
I walked back to the other side of the Main in search of this photo opp :)

 

Then I decided to walk back to the Hauptwache area and got a little lost. I saw this cute little restaurant/cafe with quite a few locals, but I had just eaten and will save this for a future visit.
Then I decided to walk back to the Hauptwache area and got a little lost. I saw this cute little restaurant/cafe with quite a few locals, but I had just eaten and will save this for a future visit.

 

Eschenheimer Turm, in the Hauptwache area, is now a restaurant, another one for my list for a future visit!
Eschenheimer Turm, in the Hauptwache area, is now a restaurant, another one for my list for a future visit!

 

These were just a fraction of the pictures I took. I found the city really great, maybe because everyone I’ve interacted with was so nice, maybe because of my own connection with the city or maybe because it was the first city I’ve “discovered” in 12 years by myself (the first one was London!). Now I need to return to Frankfurt, hopefully during summer and with my family, to show them around the city and to really explore it with more depth.

The overall time I spent walking around Frankfurt was about 5 hours and I didn’t feel tired nor did I feel the need to use the bus, or tram or subway (and consider the fact that I had flown all night on a direct flight from Miami, without sleep).

Although it was only a visual tour, it gave me a good feel of the city and I even had time to explore the airport a little bit when I went back. If you have a stopover of 8-9 hours in Frankfurt and feel up for it, definitely go for a walk around the city center, it is worth it!

Linking up with #WeekendWanderlust ! Check out the many cool posts this weekend, including A Brit and A Southerner ‘s “How to Find Awesome Cheap Attractions in St Louis”.Weekend-Wanderlust-Logo-V2

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