One of our favorite places in Frankfurt was the old town, or Altstadt, and we spent many afternoons there during our time there. Frankfurt has a reputation for being a very modern city and is considered the Manhattan of Germany, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still have some historic charm. Although many of the historical buildings were not rebuilt after World War II as they were in many other cities in Germany, the old town area still has some wonderful buildings that are hundreds of years old.
Not surprisingly, the heart of the old town area is a courtyard with a wonderful fountain. Just like the hearts of most of old towns, this was a gathering place for everyone in the city and it is certainly still true today. During the festival season, the courtyard gets transformed into a bustling market with plenty of vendors selling food, drinks, and a variety of products.
There are some traditional restaurants around the courtyard where you can certainly get your fill of schnitzel, bratwurst (or other wursts), sauerkraut, beer, and wine. Our favorite little pub called Alten Limpurg was also located in the plaza and we became friends with all of the staff there. Like many places in Europe, people can be found sitting at tables on the patios outside of the restaurant throughout the year, with heat lamps providing warmth during the cold winter months.
The old town in Frankfurt is also just a few steps away from the Main River where you can go for a walk along the river, get a tour on a sightseeing ship, or just sit on one of the benches and people watch. It is hard to believe that is has been three and half years since we moved to Frankfurt for a while and one of the things that we miss most about living there was our time in the old town plaza. If you want to get away from the historic feel of old town, the heart of the modern shopping area is also within walking distance.
The town hall is also located in the old town plaza and one of our favorite memories was seeing wedding ceremonies take place there. The people would come out of town hall dressed in their wedding attire and celebrate with all of the people in the plaza. One of our favorite weddings concluded with the bride and groom climbing onto an old tractor to be whisked off to their reception. We really felt as if we were one of the locals.