- -  Day # 361  + +

EU > Germany > Frankfurt Main

Travel advice.DE

Frankfurt Main, DE (View on map)

To whoever thought that all of Germany looks the same: it does not. Apart from the language and the car license plates, it may be hard to imagine that Munich, Hamburg and Berlin are all in one country. Germany is the one and only country that separates Switzerland from the North Sea, and Czech Republic from The Netherlands. Seen like this, there would not even be a possibility that Germany is less diverse than it is. That`s how I got to today`s question for people in the streets in Frankfurt: which place in Germany do you like most, and which one do you like least?

Anja (20):

`I like the scenery of my birth region`
Michaela (30) is not so convinced about the beauty and diversity of Germany. `I think a lot of places qualify as `average`. They are neither very beautiful nor very ugly, but I must admit that I haven`t seen that much of the country. Everything forever needs to be quiet and wherever you go, there`s potentially somebody looking at you and judging what you do. One of the few exceptions is the bank of the River Main in the centre of Frankfurt. On warm summer nights, the lawns along the river make a perfect place for hanging out with friends. It`s one of the few places in Germany where you can feel free from everybody looking at you ? or looking down on you. Hamburg is also such a place where people rather than buildings make the atmosphere.`

Katerina (25) likes the River Rhine and many of the stretches along it. `They are very nice for walking and fishing. Also, when people visit cities, they often head for the river. That makes the river banks a pleasant place to spend time, especially in summer. I think the part between Frankfurt and K?ln is the most beautiful. The scenery is very nice and the best way to enjoy it is by going on one of the many Rhine cruises. They take their passengers along the rocks and cliffs. Lorelei is probably the most famous one of them. It`s a very narrow passage which is known for the legendary siren. The singing of this beautiful lady is said to have distracted ship captains, causing their boats to crash on the rocks.`

`It`s very unfortunate how some people use rivers as waste bins. Another thing I don`t like is how some cities have made their river banks only accessible to paying customers. That`s what they did in Bingen, a village down the stream from Frankfurt. They made a nice garden with butterflies and all, but the end result is nevertheless that people cannot get to the river without paying anymore.`

Like Katerina, Paul (18) is another fan of the Rhine River banks. `I visited some places between Frankfurt and K?ln last week. The area is very beautiful: nice cliffs and castles on one side, vineyards on the other.` Chris (25) likes the area around his birth city Eichsfelden. `It`s a very nice area with gentle hills and lots of trees. A nice contrast of the big cities with ghetto-like neighbourhoods.` Anja (20, photo) also likes the sceneries of her birth region: `I was born in the Allgaeu region in the very South of Germany. There`s not much to do around there and for people of my age it`s quite boring. Yet at the same time, the mountains and the many, many cows make it look very peaceful. It`s safe there, nothing really happens and it`s a nice place to disconnect from busy city life. I like returning there every now and then, but I start missing city life whenever I stay around for too long.`

West vs East
Anja continues: `I also like the Black Forest and the surrounding province. There are many old-fashioned Fachwerkh?user, the ones with wooden bars marking the fa?ades. The opposite of that would be Duisburg or most other cities in the industrial Ruhr Region. The streets are a dirty, the houses are not very beautiful and the area is quite polluted. I was not very impressed by Leipzig either.`

Many of today`s respondents have never been to former Eastern Germany, or otherwise, just in Berlin. Germany`s capital can count on some good ratings, and so can Dresden. Any other part of former Eastern Germany is quickly thought of as a part of Siberia: grey flats with poor and unhappy people. Christoph (24) thinks Berlin is the most interesting place in Germany: `It has a lot of culture and history, it`s trendy and there`s lots happening. It`s much better than most places in the Ruhr Area. Dortmund, Bochum, I think of them as all the same. Only K?ln has some excitement over it, thanks to the nightlife. Then about Frankfurt, I think it`s alright but not very exciting. Most people living in Frankfurt move out of the city during the weekend. Frankfurt is a good place to start a career in the financial world. Jenny (29) does not fully agree. She thinks Frankfurt has a very multicultural touch to it, which makes it a very pleasant city to live in. `It`s better than for example Kassel, which has unfriendly people, no nice places to shop. Altogether, it`s the most boring place in Germany I know of.`

More cities
Alex thinks that Hannover is probably the least beautiful city of Germany. `It`s quite boring. There`s nothing special there.` Marie (29) thinks the same of Giessen, a city where she studied for a while. `The city has 80,000 inhabitants and 20,000 of them are students. All that happens there is students making parties, which is something I quickly got tired of. I was obliged to go there because it`s the only city in the German language area where `applied theatre science` is taught at university`, she says. `My favourite place in Germany would be the Offenbacher Hafeninsel, near Frankfurt. It`s a harbour next to an industrial estate and I once went swimming there at night. I`m not sure whether that`s a healthy thing to do. I do know that I very much liked the sight of all the lights, the water, and the idea of swimming in a harbour.`

Pascal (21) is a big fan of Munich, which he calls very clean and well-organised. `I especially like the English Garden, which is the biggest city park in Europe. Another Pascal (also 21) thinks of Berlin as the most beautiful city in Germany: `And it`s also its role in history that makes it an exciting place to visit. I think of the university buildings in Stuttgart and Frankfurt as the ugliest sites in Germany. They are grayish from the outside and orange, green and brown on the inside. Very typical for the 1970s and very outdated by now.`

Quite a few of the people I talk to come up with one of the islands in the Wadden Sea as their favourite place in Germany. Marc (29) prefers Sylt, which is the last German island before the Danish border. `It`s the only German Wadden Island that is connected to the mainland. There`s a dike with a railroad connecting it to Nieb?ll. Getting there by car is possible, but only if you load your car onto one of the trains that passes over the dike. I was stationed on the island during my civil service in 1999. It was a good time. I spent some time counting birds and organising wad-walking for people who wanted to walk on the bottom of the sea during low tide. I still try to go there once every year to enjoy the silence of the sea.`

Alex (22) also enjoys spending time on one of the Wadden Islands, but his favourite is F?hr: `It`s just plain countryside, very peaceful and quiet. It`s not as touristic as the island of Sylt is. I prefer the North Sea coast to the Baltic Sea beaches. At the North Sea, you feel like you`re at the ocean. The Baltic Sea is a lot quieter. It usually doesn`t have big waves, or differences between the tides. It`s suitable for families with children, but I find it a bit boring compared to the North Sea.`

Enlarge photo | Link to this article