Shopping, Frankfurt am Main
I have been here for almost a month now and have managed to explore the centre of town and some of the outer suburbs. So far, I have noted that prices are very high for just about everything (compared to London) and that if you want to buy something really special then go to Berger Strasse or the small shops behind the Ziel and down toward the Main- but away from the Romer. THese shops sell a lot of hand made items and products more likely to become mementos. The Ziel is all the big names that you can buy anywhere. Be prepared to be approached by many beggars in the Ziel. Food shopping is also pricier than in the UK, but you can find Aldi and Lidl here tucked behind the Zeil and in neighbourhoods where ordinary people live. For special treats, go to the Kleinmarkhalle but keep a tight rein on your purse!
Fondest memory: Today I bought a second-hand bike from the FloMarkt on the south bank of the river Main- it is every fortnight from 9 til 4. We got there early and had a good look round the whole thing before going back to haggle over one that had two caliper brakes and three gears and which I have since whizzed around the Innestadt like a local. Highly recommended for anyone planning to stay for more than a week or two. BIke hire costs 10 euros a day so my purchase works out really well. Frankfurt is good and flat and a bike is just the thing.
Thanks to the group editors for having included the “shopping” group also for Frankfurt’s general section, as this could belong to transport or shopping, but I thought I’d include it here in general.
Frankfurt’s main train station (= the one in the city; the other one at the airport is called Fernbahnhof = something like distant or remote train station) is “my” interim stop whenenver I travel longer distances within Germany. And throughout all my train travels so far, this one is my favourite station. It is huge, yes, but very much well arranged, maybe due to it being a terminus.
Also, it has a lot of excellent shopping options and I often find myself getting into Frankfurt earlier than I would need to catch the next train, just to go shopping. Ok, that said, I am a book addict and just cannot pass a bookstore without entering. The one at Frankfurt main station is an excellent one, as they really seem to have a good idea what travellers want to buy. Their magazine section is huge, they also have older issues of some specialised travel magazines like GEO Special, etc. The travel section (in the back of the shop) is also quite big, easily comparable to an average bookstore in a bigger town. And of course they also sell English books and magazins.
If you have some time to spend at Frankfurt main train station, just check what they have, you will surely find something. It is in the middle of the train station (see photo).
Fondest memory: As for the other train stations in Germany (and elsewhere), Frankfurt has a huge selection of different snack and coffee shops. The average price for coffees or café latte is between 1,90 and 2,60 €, but there is a cheaper option as well: Tchibo (German coffee wholesaler) has small mobile boothes on some train tracks where they sell coffee, cappuchino and café latte for 1,50 – 1,90 €. Their coffee tastes even better and you will save some money too.
Theoretically, the website below will show you the map of Frankfurt’s main train station (Bahnhofsplan, at the bottom), but somehow either my Adobe is having problems today or it is a website problem:
Bahnhofsplan, Frankfurt train station.
Many visitors stroll up and down the Zeil and the Römer, and wonder, "Where are all the Frankfurters?" Answer: "They're hiding in Bornheim!" After working there for 5 years, I tend to think of the Bornheimers as the most Frankfurterish of all Frankfurters, but they consider themselves Bornheimers. Bornheim is the North-East Corner of Frankfurt - neither the posh district nor the ghetto, but it's that corner of Frankfurt that has kept it's true Frankfurt character throughout the decades. The best way to see it is to walk up and down the whole Berger Strasse, the street that runs right through the middle of Bornheim.
Fondest memory: Trendy sidewalk cafes on weekends are nice, pleasant to sit outside on in summer, and not too loud like a lot of other parts of Frankfurt, such as the Zeil or the Römer. They aren't as pricey as Fressgasse or the Römer either. They all have affordable menues. The service is usually friendlier. There are also lots of interesting boutiques and shops, and a cinema that shows art films, and still shows the Rocky Horror Picture Show in full original length.
Fondest memory: Okay, I'm a sucker for Lego. When I was in Frankfurt in 1992 there was a display of Lego with a pirate theme. It was the first lego display that I had ever seen and I thought that it was great.
Fondest memory: This band was playing Christmas music on a platform above a major shopping store. They weren't very good but it was great listening for a while anyway...