Banks, brokers, bulls, and bears? Concrete, chaos, cash, and cars? The first impression you get of Frankfurt can be intimidating, if not disappointing. Sure, the fancy buildings are impressive, but that can’t be it, can it?
I vividly remember arriving in Frankfurt, strolling through the city centre in between flat viewings, thinking “What have I done?” I had been to Berlin a couple of times before moving to Frankfurt and expected a similar setting: hidden cafés, impromptu art exhibitions, life and creativity everywhere. Walking down the street feeling more and more depressed, I got talking to a gallerist and quite bluntly asked her: “What does one DO in Frankfurt?” She smiled and said: “Frankfurt is not Berlin. You won’t have inspiration waiting at every turn. Frankfurt does not throw itself at you. You have to make an effort and find your place!”
And so I began finding my place…
Let me be honest with you: literally finding your place is hard work! Getting a nice flat in Frankfurt is time-consuming and nerve-wracking, to say the least. But, oh, the joy of moving into that one special place in a part of town that feels like home is priceless. You will find all the right places, meet neighbours from all over the world, and probably never change districts ever again!
Once you have settled in, you will quickly realise that Frankfurt is not as big as it seems. You were planning on moving to a metropolis, a small Manhattan, a bustling city? While Frankfurt can be all that, it is at its best once you have discovered it is a hotchpotch of glamorously wrapped villages. As soon as the barista starts making your caffè crema the moment you step through the door, you have officially been accepted as a new member of the gang. Don’t know where to get that fabulous cup of coffee? Come round and grab your copy of our Frankfurter’s map!
Now that you have found your nook, it is time to fill all the cracks and crevices with some of the many hidden gems Frankfurt has to offer. Find that one perfect bistro, go to Konstablerwache market on Saturdays for a beer, take a walk through Nordend and shop in one of the tiny boutiques. Frankfurt is like a nesting doll – the deeper you dig, the more you discover.
Frankfurt won’t do the digging for you. While that is frustrating in the beginning, it is precisely what makes you feel like you have truly arrived. Do you know when I have that feeling the most? On the Autobahn from up north, about 22 km before Frankfurt, the road goes up the hill, and then – quietly, almost secretly – the skyline emerges from behind the trees. And every single time I know: “I am home.” May you find that one thing about this beautifully diverse city that makes you feel the same way!