We were lucky in that the S-Bahn (train) stopped directly outside of our hotel, yet we still managed to nearly miss it when it arrived. We jumped on and crossed our fingers, hoping that we hadn’t boarded the wrong one and were going to end up back in Amsterdam…because it’s definitely something I wouldn’t realise until we saw the Red Lights in the distance.
Thankfully, we got off at the right stop and attempted to get our bearings. Meg had tried to memorise the map before we arrived but since there were several different exits out of the station, there was no way for us to know which one would lead us in the right direction. Eventually, we picked an exit and stepped out into Frankfurt city. I can’t speak for Jordan and Meg but I certainly got a shock when I saw Frankfurt for the first time. It looked as if we had boarded the wrong S-Bahn but rather than ending up in Amsterdam, we had somehow ended up on Wall Street. We were completely surrounded by high rises and trench coats.
Our first stop was the Naturmuseum Senckenberg – Frankfurt’s Natural History Museum. After about 25 minutes of walking through the city and wondering whether we were heading in the right direction, we eventually came to what we guessed was the correct building (that guess stemming from the giant dinosaur sculpture sat outside).
Although not as interesting or as interactive as London’s Natural History Museum, at €9 it’s definitely worth a visit – especially if you’ve got children who love dinosaurs or any animal in general. They have a huge collection of dinosaur fossils and are said to own the largest exhibition of large dinosaurs in Europe. It took us around 2-3 hours to make our way around the full building including sitting down for a drink and some cake in the cafe.
Once we left the museum, we tried to find somewhere to eat. We ended up finding a small sandwich shop called Meyer’s (which we later found out had a Restaurant under the same name elsewhere in Frankfurt) and sat down for some food. Although I didn’t like the sandwich I chose, it was no fault of theirs. It was simply my pickiness shining through as per usual. Ignoring my annoying traits, Meyer’s was a nice place to eat with really friendly staff. However, bear in mind that if you’re in a large group, it doesn’t have a very large seating area so you may be better off either getting your food to-go or going to the restaurant instead.
We decided to take a walk around the city to see what we’d find before catching the S-Bahn back to the hotel. The first thing we came across was the beautiful Alte Oper (Old Opera) which is the former opera house which stands in the Opernplatz (Opera Square). As it was freezing temperatures, the fountain which is seen in front of the Alte Oper was frozen over but I am sure that in the summer, the scene is incredible to look upon and admire.
After a while of walking through wide streets lined with high end shops and boutiques, we headed back to the station. As we were now in a different part of the city, it was quite difficult to figure out which platform we should be on. Eventually we picked what we thought was the right one and got on the S-Bahn that arrived. After half and hour of staring at place names, trying to figure out why I didn’t recognise any of them, we realised we were heading in the opposite direction. Thankfully, we found the correct platform and finally started our journey back to the hotel – only now it was 30 minutes longer.
We ended up getting back to the hotel after a small incident on the S-Bahn with a lady and her children not quite keen on the fact we were English (big thanks to the German men who defended us when we didn’t know enough of the language to do it ourselves). Putting that aside, Frankfurt was a great city, especially for shoppers or architecture buffs, and it’s a shame that we didn’t have more time to spend there – although I’m sure we’ll go again in the future!