Frankly Frankfurt: First impressions of Germany

When you don’t expect something and it still happens, it’s gratifying, humbling and magical at the same time. Especially around a festive time like Christmas!

So for a trip that was never supposed to have happened, arriving in Frankfurt was a surreal experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are my travel notes from the 48 hours i spent in Frankfurt, which would be my very first impression of Germany.

Immigration was a breeze, but i must remember to always keep my return ticket details handy – took me a while to connect to the WiFi and produce a digital copy of it to the officer. Withdrew 200 Euros from the ATM (everything that i spent over the next 5 days) and got me a rail ticket to the central station (4 Euros).

Upon reaching Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, I was greeted by a crisp winter breeze… a refreshing one.
So much so that I decided to walk to my hotel straight from the main train station.


My instant reaction upon reaching Frankfurt was “wow, this feels like Helsinki”.
As I walked towards my hotel – a 1.5 km. walk per Google Maps (thank you, free WiFi)…

It suddenly metamorphosed into a mix of Colaba (!!) and New York.
Especially after passing the Indian Consulate and ICICI Bank!

Grandhotel Hessischer Hof

Reached Grandhotel Hessischer Hof and checked in to a fabulous room, replete with bright red upholstery and a very classic study table i fell in love with, instantly.

Grandhotel Hessischer Hof

I was truly delighted by how exquisite my room was. There was a fabulous welcome kit for me!

After checking out its contents and freshening up, i caught a quick nap to get rid of the fatigue.

Waking up didn’t need much prodding, since the agenda for the evening was to explore the wonderful Christmas market of Frankfurt – I took the S-Bahn from the hotel and arrived in Romer in no time.

Entering the Christmas market was a magical experience to say the least – it was my first time in Germany and first time experiencing a Christmas market, and i was spellbound like a kid in a candy store!

You could feel the gaiety of yuletide in the atmosphere, from purty little stores selling Christmas decorations and gingerbread to the wafting of the ‘spirit of Christmas’ itself

You could feel the gaiety of yuletide in the atmosphere, from purty little stores selling Christmas decorations and gingerbread to the wafting of the ‘spirit of Christmas’ itself – gluhwein warm, mulled wine that’s just the perfect thing to sip on in the cold weather to the carousels, Christmas tree and sparkle in peoples’ eyes as they reveled in the merriness of it all.

If this was the shape of things to come, i was definitely in love with Frankfurt and Germany on Day 1 itself!

After glugging copious amounts of my new happymaker gluhwein and keeping one as a memento, it was time to walk around the hood and take the evening cruise along the river Main.

River cruise along the Main, in Frankfurt

Half way through the ride, I started to wish i was NOT a solo traveler – because so much beauty is almost criminal to enjoy alone.

The next day, after a hearty breakfast at Grandhotel Hessischer Hof and a quick tour of the charming hotel, i set out for a city tour with my guide Michael.

Continuing my experiment with having at least one vegan meal on my travels, lunch was at Chimichurri along with some dinkelbier (a German speciality beer made from spelt).

Experimenting with being vegan in Frankfurt. Because, warum nicht?!

After a short walk around the corner to MyZeil, it was time to visit Tigerpalast, a live action show that is as much a sensory delight as it a tourist attraction (don’t miss this if you’re in Frankfurt!)

Trapeze artists, jugglers, insane acrobats that made me feel like a blob of bone and flesh and an equally delightful gastronomical experience – that’s what Tigerpalast is all about. But i’m underselling it to you by putting it this mildly. Just like the Matrix, you have to see if for yourself to believe its awesomeness ๐Ÿ™‚

Much like Mumbai, Sao Paulo & Bangkok – Frankfurt is often ignored by the yuppie / millennial traveller for being commercial cities. But i implore you to spend at least 2 nights in Frankfurt, especially around Christmas time.

Follow this itinerary and i’m sure you’ll ping me and thank me for the suggestion!

Top 3 Things to do in Frankfurt

  1. Visit Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt – the Christmas Market of Frankfurt.
  2. Soak in the loveliness of Frankfurt, by taking a sunset cruise along the Main river.
  3. Enjoy a live action show at Tigerpalast.

Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.

Blog Comments

Enjoy your stay in Germany, and keep warm!

thank you sire! ๐Ÿ™‚ had an excellent stay and LOVED the cold (i was here before Christmas and fell in love with the markets and the eclectic atmosphere).

Nice hotel! You deserve it ๐Ÿ™‚

thank you Marcela! ๐Ÿ™‚