I love beer. It makes sense that Germany would feature on my list of places to visit. My pilgrimage to the Oktoberfest was routed through Lufthansa’s hub – Frankfurt am Main.
Named as such because it’s on the river Main, it is the financial center of Germany. Think Hugo-Boss-suit-wearing-types sipping Rhine Riesling and discussing the latest movement on the Börse (stock exchange)
Get me to München! I want my beer. But what I discovered is that when life gives you apples you drink Apfelwein.
So you’ve got some time to kill in Frankfurt. Rather eat cheap(ish) & line the stomach before your Oktoberfest adventure begins. These 4 stops will ensure you can tell your friends you saw some of Frankfurt, and may or may not have walked past a museum or appreciated a stroll along the river.
STOP 1: Galeria Kaufhof’s basement Cafeteria
From the airport I caught the S8 (or S9) S-Bahn train directly to Frankfurt Hauptwache (€8.45) I briefly poked my head above ground to see the buzz around the Zeil, Frankfurt’s main shopping street. For this African boy, the food department in the basement level of Kaufhof was an eye-opener. I was saving my money for beer so I sat at the bakery counter and ordered a freshly baked roll with cold meat, and a coffee for €4.50
STOP 2: Kleinmarkthalle
I always enjoy a good stroll after a meal. A short walk east along the Zeil I made my way to this undercover, warehouse-like market. Great news because it was raining! I tried some würst (sausage) and watched the locals go about their business. For about €1,50 I got my money’s worth.
STOP 3: Römer platz
The medieval Römer sits next to the town hall (Rathaus). The town square of Frankfurt is a short hop, skip and a jump from the market halls. I resisted taking the obligatory selfy, opting for a more traditional pose, whilst I pondered the Germany of yesteryear. The smell from a nearby bakery caught my nose and before I knew what I was doing I was eating a Streuseltaler. It’s a baked piece of heaven – a yeasted cake topped with crumble and smothered in an icing sugar glaze. A bargain at €1,89
STOP 4: Atschels pub in Sachsenhausen.
You can either walk the 1km south across the pedestrian bridge (Eiserner Steg) into Sachsenhausen, or if you’re stuffed and lazy like me, catch the S-Bahn to the Lokalbahnhof station. Be prepared to share a table cause that’s how they roll! Once I had gotten over the awkwardness of sharing a table with strangers, I ordered a Bembel (jug) of apple wine (Apfelwein). A handy tip is to add Sprudelwasser (sparling water) to the wine to make it fizzy and fantastic. Apple wine is not sweet like cider. It has a bitter taste but is refreshing nevertheless. Almost as good as beer!
Part 2 of my Atschels experience was to consume grüner Soße (green sauce). This is the national sauce of Frankfurt and is made from 7 green herbs (parsley, chives, chervil, borage, sorrel, garden cress, and salad burnet) mixed with sour cream. The locals eat it with boiled eggs and potatoes! I prefer schnitzel!
Suitably stuffed and 12 hours later, I was now ready to head to the Hauptbahnhof for my train ride to München and the promise of German Beer.