Along the Main river sits the large German financial and travel hub, Frankfurt.Frankfurt has Germany’s second largest metropolitan region, and is seventh for quality of living (not to mention the most expensive city in Germany).Frankfurt combines their large skyscrapers with many forests and parks. Over 50% of Frankfurt is green area.Frankfurt has come a long way since 1945. The city was devastated and severely bombed with only 2% remaining.All of Frankfurt’s old downtown city centre called Römer was newly rebuilt.Many parts of Frankfurt harmonize old history with its new cosmopolitan atmosphere.Besides being Germany’s home to major banks, Frankfurt also has many critically acclaimed museums (over 30) and is a prime spot for business trade shows.Frankfurt also has one of the largest and most crowded shopping streets in Germany called the Zeil.It is hard to characterize the city, It’s huge! Frankfurt consists of 9 different districts.Frankfurt’s old opera was heavily bombed and used to stand as a ruin until 1981 when it was completely restored and now a fully functioning concert hall.With all the sights, museums, and parks there is no better way to end a hot summer day in Frankfurt than with its specialty: Apfelwien (apple wine). (I think Trina agrees)Whether for business or pleasure, Frankfurt is a cosmopolitan and beautiful Germany city with a fascinating past of destruction and revival.
A 40 minute train ride from Frankfurt can take you to the unique city of Mannheim
Mannheim’s water tower is the city’s main civic symbol.Luckily for me I was able to meet up with Bianca who showed me around her beautiful university (Mannheim university).
With many buildings resembling palaces, Mannheim is a student city with a history of many great engineers.Mannheim was a major target in both world wars due to its many factories and power houses.Today Mannheim is an analytical German student city with a completely linear street grid.
Unlike most German cities, the baroque city of Heidelberg was not bombed in World War II.Heidelberg is hands down the most beautiful city I’ve seen in Germany.After seeing so many German cities filled with gritty steel, bombed buildings, and shiny reconstructions, it was incredible to see what a well perserved German city looks like.Wandering around Heidelberg oddly reminded me of Prague, Rome, and Copenhagen.I even spotted my German dream mansionAfter spending hours wandering around the residential area thinking I was in the Altstadt, I finally made way for the downtown center and Heidelberg castle.Originally built in 1214, Heidelberg Schloss overlooks the city and river.In 1619 Frederik V known as the “winter king” reigned for a single winter before the House of Habsburg took the crown by force, ultimately leading to the Thirty Years’ war.Besides sounding like an episode of Game of Thrones, Heidelberg today is a major tourist destination.Although the effect of tourism in Heidelberg is evident, the authentic German character makes up for it.If you’re in Frankfurt, a day trip to Heidelberg is easy and encouraged.Heidelberg had some of the most beautiful mansions and houses I’d ever seen.During the Nazi regime, Heidelberg was a stronghold for the NSDP.Unlike Frankfurt or Mannheim, Heidelberg presented no threat and was used as an American garrison after the war.Today Heidelberg is a growing city with a great university and young/hip atmosphere.Heidelberg is definitely a city I wish I could live in…or retire.