I highly recommend Frankfurt as a starting point for anyone from Trinidad and Tobago who would like to experience Europe. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, a one-way ticket from Tobago to Frankfurt with Condor only cost about $2,600 TTD, and you can get a return ticket for around $4,400 TTD. The only drawback with the route from Tobago to Frankfurt is that the flight stops in Barbados where all passengers disembark. Passengers continuing to Frankfurt have to go through security again because apparently Tobago’s reputation is a bit sketchy. On the bright side, the return journey from Frankfurt to Tobago is a direct flight.
Frankfurt itself may not be the ideal place for Caribbean sightseers who want a taste of typical German charm. As the financial capital of Germany, Frankfurt mainly consists of skyscrapers and other shiny, modern buildings.
That being said, the Römer and surrounding buildings (Alte Nikolaikirche and Seufzerbrücke) are gorgeous sights that cannot be missed if you happen to visit Frankfurt. Likewise, the building that houses the Naturmuseum Senckenberg is an absolute beauty (I recommend a visit inside of the museum as well).
For travellers wanting to explore more of Germany and Europe, Frankfurt is the perfect starting point. Its Hauptbahnhof or main station is one of the busiest train stations in Europe and offers extensive connections across the continent (I believe that I was one of the few passengers on board the plane to Frankfurt who did not make an immediate onward journey elsewhere). Within neighbouring towns in the state of Hesse, it is very fast and easy to catch a train to Mainz, Hanau or Kassel (a trip to Kassel is a must for fans of the Brothers Grimm). If you are keen to get out of the Hesse region entirely, the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof offers great service across Germany to a number of more popular cities like Munich, Berlin and Cologne (I happened to get a glimpse of the cathedral in Cologne on my way to Brussels).
When you have had enough of Frankfurt/Germany and want to continue your Eurotrip (or if you are simply passing through) Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof connects you to Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Prague and a number of other European cities. Just remember to book your train tickets as far in advance as possible to take advantage of discounts and make sure that you have the credit/debit card used to buy the tickets present with you on board the train for inspection.
If you can’t find a train to your desired European destination, then you will be certain to catch a flight as Frankfurt International Airport is the third busiest in Europe. Plus, there are showers in the airport in case you need to freshen up after your 12-hour flight from Tobago.
Verdict on Frankfurt
Best thing: Very clean and quiet city with few annoying tourists.
Worst thing: The areas around the Hauptbahnhof smelled of urine (like all train stations I guess).
Must see: The Römer
Favourite place: Pitcher’s Pub on Düsseldorfer Strasse.