I've been to Frankfurt am Main twice before but both times were in the summer. We left Kuala Lumpur at a near record 90 degrees Farenheit (32 C), and came to Frankfurt am Main at a 30s' F (almost 0 C) temperature. With a huge drop in temperature in less than 12 hours, I felt cold when we got off the plane in a chilly Thursday night in March.
Jack and I left our luggage at the Frankfurt International Airport, and we took a train (cost €3.80) to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station), where our hostel is located.
Situated in the Main River, Frankfurt is a major financial and transportation center in Europe. The Stock Exchange is one of the world's most important exchanges, and there are over 300 national and international banks represented here in Frankfurt. In fact, it is the only German City listed in the top Alpha world cities. You may not think of Frankfurt as a tourist destination given the fact that it is a major key player in the financial and commerce sectors, but Frankfurt does offer a lot more.
Along the Schaumainkai in Frankfurt's district of Sachsenhausen, on the left bank of the Main River, there is an extraordinary concentration of museums and galleries, and some of them of international standards. This area is known as Museumsufer (Museums Riverbank). If you walk along the area, don't be surprised to see houses that are transformed into museums and galleries. It was getting really cold as we walked toward Römerberg in the rain and wind. This is the central square of Frankfurt's Alstadt (Old Town). All kinds of festivities are held here yearly. There are 6 picturesque reconstructed half-timbered houses known as the Ostzeile in Alstadt. In March 1944 bombardments flattened the whole historic district, including Römerberg. Some were rebuilt soon after the war, but the Ostzeile wasn't reconstructed following historical models until 1981-1983. We stopped by at a restaurant for beers and lunch, where I had sausages with sauerkraut, and Jack had pot roast with potatoes. Meal was very good.
We went to the Historisches Museum, just south of Römerberg. The museum covers the history of Frankfurt, including its destruction after the war. It also traces the history of the city from prehistory to the modern times. The most popular attraction in the museum is a set of three scale models. The scale models were created between 1926 and 1955 by the brothers Hermann and Robert Treuner. The largest of the three models shows Frankfurt's Inner City in the Middle Ages and shows a city center full of half-timbered houses. The two other models show the inner city after it was obliterated by two large bombardments in March 1944 and after it was reconstructed in the mid 1980s. Other museums worth mentioning here are Stadel Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Ancient Sculpture, Museum of Applied Arts and Craft Museum.
To end our day in Frankfurt, we went to Kaiserdom (Saint Bartholomeus), a Gothic building which was originally built in the 13th century. Twice reconstructed after a fire in 1867, and the war in 1944, it has been recognized as a symbol for the national unity to Germany, especially in the 19th century. St Paul's Church (Paulskirche) is another national historic monument in Germany because it was the seat of the first democratically elected Parliament in 1848. Partially destroyed in World War II, it has a modern interior appearance now, and used mainly for exhibitions and events.
Most of Frankfurt was destroyed in the 1867 fire, and later in World War II. What you see today, is either new modern infrastructures or a reconstructions of the Old Frankfurt like Römerberg.