Frankfurt is well known as a major business centre, but when I spent two days there earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised by the different side of the city that I found.
How to get there? Well Ryanair flies from London to Frankfurt-Hahn and prices can be as low as £35 return, but this is 80 miles away from Frankfurt and can take almost 2 hours to travel.
Non-budget airlines fly in to the main Frankfurt airport and, as a senior traveller, you probably have scope to choose off-peak flights for about £120 return or less.
I stayed at the Messe Holiday Inn Express, 10 minutes by taxi or bus from the city centre. The ‘Senior Discount’ rate (see under Hotel Deals for IHG hotels) gave me 10% discount on the normal flexible rate, so I paid less than £60 a night with breakfast included!
I saw a lot of Frankfurt in my two days, but the my top 5 recommendations are:
- Start with a visit to the top of the Main Building. Great panoramic views of Frankfurt, so you can get your bearings. Don’t forget to claim your 30% senior discount on entrance charge.
- The Palmengarten, a 50 acre plant paradise in the middle of large office blocks. This attractively set out collection of native, sub-tropical and tropical plants is the largest garden of its kind in Germany. It features a Steppe Meadow, a Cactus Garden and a 1.2 acre complex of greenhouses which cover a range of climatic zones from rain forest to desert.
- The Old Town (Altstadt) with its cobbled streets, leading down to the river front. The City Hall is particularly striking.
- Goethe House and Museum, not forgetting your senior discount on the entrance charge.
- The imposing, red sandstone Cathedral of St Batholomew.
There are lots of excellent and moderately priced restaurants and some very stylish shopping streets such as Zeil.
After two days my preconceived image of Frankfurt had completely changed in a positive way. Well worth a short break, or even longer!