Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Frankfurt
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Frankfurt.
Well, I’ve been living in Frankfurt as an expat now for two years. My (now, but not then) husband and I relocated here after exploring some other countries in Europe and fell in love with the German lifestyle so much we decided to stay a little more permanently.
Frankfurt is such a huge part of our lives now as it’s where Dan (my husband) popped the question, where we got married and the first place we rented an apartment together. We also had our first trip to Ikea together here, which of course isn’t luxurious, but I’m sure you can all relate is a pretty big relationship milestone!
What makes Frankfurt a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Frankfurt is a city of money, skyscrapers and class, all wrapped up in a German style ribbon for you to admire. As it is the banking capital of Europe, it is a city full of suits, fast walking and business lunches, but that only adds to the hustle and bustle city feel of what’s going on here.
From 5 star restaurants to simple coffee shops, most places have impressive and (in some instances) skyline views of the city because like a lot of popular German cities, Frankfurt is dressed to impress no matter what.
What 5 star hotel is the best in your town?
I always recommend the Roomers hotel to anyone looking for a luxurious stay in Frankfurt. It’s the hotel Dan and I stayed at on our wedding night and as we married very early in the morning at a registry office, we spent most of our day basking in the glory that is the Roomers hotel!
If you stay there, make sure to visit their spa on the top floor. It’s where we spent most of our time and in the week it’s so quiet that you’ll easily have the whole place to yourself!
What about boutique hotels, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
Aside from the Roomers (which I am clearly obsessed with!), I have heard good things about Hotel Concorde and The Westin Grand Hotel. Particularly the latter, which is a not-so-expensive but not-so-cheap hotel in the city centre with a bathtub big enough for two and a bed fit for a king!
Alternatively, there are a lot of cheap hotel options in Frankfurt still within a short distance to the city centre, due to the fact that this city isn’t very big. Providing you are an uBahn journey away from the city centre, you can assume most places to be within a suitable distance.
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler?
The boat tours along the River Main are not to be missed! I’ve taken several since we lived here and they are best enjoyed from April – October, when you are likely to have the sun shining and enjoying a nice glass of champagne as you watch the city go by.
I’ve shared a post on 5 Things To Do On Your Trip To Frankfurt where I share the best (naked!) spas to visit, restaurants and more insider tips.
Something I am yet to do (but will be doing this year) is the Fairytale Route which isn’t exclusive to Frankfurt but starts closeby. If you’re looking for an adventure around castles that inspired fairytale stories, then it’s right up your alley!
Where are the best hang outs during the day?
I would have to say that one of the many parks that surround the city. Not only is the inner city surrounded by parks (take a look at it on a map to see what I mean!) but many small boroughs within it have their own parks too. My favourite is Gruneberg Park which is a ten minute walk out of the city centre.
If you’re looking to grab a warm drink and enjoy some crazy cool decor, then I recommend Ohne Name (no name) in the city for the best hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted!
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Frankfurt and what are their best dishes?
Dan and I love to frequent Im Herzen Afrikas, an Ethiopian style restaurant with great prices for a fantastic service. The restaurant has low lighting, (optional) low seating so that you are almost on the floor, which is covered in thick sand, and a relaxed atmosphere.
I recommend ordering the sharing platter (which you can order for as many people as you like) for some of the most delicious spice mixes you’ll ever encounter! Make sure to order an African beer with your meal and ask for a table ‘in the sand’ at the front of the restaurant. It’s an unforgettable experience!
The closest uBahn station to Im Herzen Afrikas is ‘Willy-Brandt-Platz’, which is just a five minute walk away.
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
Sugar Mama (near the river) has the most amazing cookies I’ve ever tasted! Alternatively, head to the MyZeil mall in the centre of the city and grab an ice cream from Dulce.
Tell us all the hot shopping spots; who’s carrying the trendy local designers? Are there designers we should make sure to meet?
I am always on the hunt for local designers here, unfortunately one of my favourite places in the city that showcased a lot of local work just closed down. The best way to spot local designers and see what’s on trend is to check out the Fashion and Design festival “Stilbluten” which is normally around November/December.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Frankfurt?
Spas are covered in the post I mentioned above (and a few others on my blog), but for a salon I highly recommend Headlines Haircutting in the Westend area. All of the staff speak English, are super friendly and have years of experience, not to mention years of fantastic reviews! Since living here, I’ve only let these guys touch my hair after a very bad experience when living in Paris!
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Head to Frankfurt’s love lock bridge (Eiserner Steg) and watch the sunset behind the skyline. It’s breathtaking!
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot.
When we aren’t pre-gaming at home, we tend to head to The Parlour which is an exclusive bar in the city that is known as a secret bar. It has no markings outside and a buzzer will put you through to the doorman who decides if you look presentable enough to enter. From there, you are paying over 10 euro for some of the strongest and tastiest drinks you’ll have ever encountered.
The Parlour is also a great place to spend the whole evening, but it can get pretty costly, particularly if you are buying drinks in rounds, so I recommend pre-gaming there before heading somewhere else in the city.
If you end the night at a fancy club, which one do you head towards?
If you’re looking to dance all night in the city centre, I recommend Club Gibson. It has different themed nights throughout the week and it’s big enough to not feel overly cramped, even on super busy evenings.
If you’re looking for more of a tequila dive bar with sticky seats but a real ‘night life’ vibe, then you have to head towards the Sachsenhausen area, Alt-Sachsenhausen in particular. It’s a fairly pretty area in the day, but at night it turns into an almost street party with all of the partiers spilling out of the bars and into the street. If you find yourself here, head to Anglo Irish Pub for good music, cheap beer and a lively atmosphere.
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