Updated: Aug 13, 2021
In 2019, I decided to plan a trip back to Europe. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what countries I wanted to see, but wanted to go to some that I have never been to before. I also really wanted to go back to Germany, if possible. I also needed to decide if I want to travel on my own, do an organized trip or a little of both.
First, I did my research online. I looked at tour company options, pricing, viewed websites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com and read other blogs and posts from travelers that have been there before. My travel partner is my mom. We both have had a lot of adventures together and enjoy traveling together. While looking at the best option for us, I also kept in mind my mom. We had gone on a bus tour with Cosmos Tours years ago. So, I looked at what options this company had for European Vacations.
We finally settled on seeing Central Europe. In another post, I will share about our tour. The tour left from Frankfurt, Germany. So, we decided to arrive in Frankfurt 3 days before the tour started. After looking online and talking with friends who lived in Germany, I booked the hotel stay at Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof. The pictures and reviews online were very positive. Of course, there are hotels for every budget. This hotel was central to many things and exactly what we were looking for. The best advice before booking any trip is: know where you want to go, do online research ahead of time (websites, blogs, talk with friends), AND have a budget in mind!
Prior to the trip, I researched a lot online about possible day trips around Frankfurt. I was totally prepared with all of the information, train schedules, etc. for the trip.
Once we arrived in Frankfurt and went through customs, we got to our hotel around 8 AM. I checked with the front desk about checking in early. There was a little extra charge, but in my opinion it was totally worth it. We got into our room and were extremely happy and impressed. It was a very large room (bigger than a standard hotel room in the United States), bathroom, and even a walk in closet (bigger than my closet at home)!
After a quick nap, we were refreshed and ready to go sightseeing. Now I know that some say don’t nap after a long flight. However, I really didn’t sleep much on the plane. The flight was overnight and Germany is a 6 - 7 hour time difference. So, I needed a little bit of sleep and it was worth it!
Even though it was drizzling and raining a bit (see my practical tips post), we wanted to make the most of our stay and see some sights. The hotel concierge was so helpful. Don’t be afraid or hesitate to ask them or anyone at the front desk. They know the city the best. We decided to check out Römerberg first. The area is popular for Christmas markets and fairs. The charming town square is the historic heart of the medieval Altstadt (old town) and a very popular tourist destination. In my opinion, it is a must see.
Since it was raining, there were not many people out. It was nice that it wasn’t too crowded. Of course I took lots of pictures. The picture below is also an old city hall building where some people were getting married. The buildings look like they are from a fairy tale!
After walking around for a while, we decided to get a tour of the city. We had a discount coupon for the Frankfurt Hop-On Hop-Off Red Bus Tour. It was a great way to see some of the sights and city. Plus it was raining harder, so it all worked out.
After the bus tour, we walked around Römerberg a bit more. Near the river is a restaurant called Binding Schirn. I think this ended up being my favorite restaurant, since it was close to the hotel. When you are in a different city or country, it’s fun to try the local foods and of course beer (when in Germany)! I loved the potato soup they served. It is the best I ever had! Don't worry if you can't read the German menu. There was an English menu, which most restaurants have. Also, all of the people that worked there did speak some English. However, it was fun to "try" using a few words and phrases in German (see my post in practical tips about learning the local language).
I’ll close this post for now, but have more information about Frankfurt, what we did, and definitely pictures! To be continued!
Thanks for reading!!