My first impression of Frankfurt was a little rough… the afternoon I arrive I went looking for a grocery store, and let’s just say Frankfurt certainly upholds the train station neighborhood stereotype. As soon as you walk out of the station you’re confronted with all sorts of things… here’s a quick take; I immediately had guys saying things to me I didn’t understand at all, from the look of the streets I’m guessing they were offering drugs. There were people openly doing drugs just sitting/laying on the sidewalks, even passed out on the sidewalks (in the middle of the afternoon). Luckily the place I stayed in was nice though, and at a fair price. There were a few places off the right of the station that all looked very good. My experience came from mostly directly in front of the station for one block to the left, and one to the right, and going for about 3 to 4 blocks ahead of the station. I will say, however, that there looked to be quite a few good restaurants in the surrounding area.
After getting my bearings a bit, I found the city to be pretty nice, at least a whole lot better than my first impression. The architecture is a little strange with new high rises mixed in with old historic buildings; in general, it was cool but looked a bit off in some situations. There are a lot of nice neighborhoods on the outskirts of town, the river is a beautiful place to take walks, and there’s a great walking street.
This was a 4-night stay…
- Accommodation – $218.15* (additional information below)
- Getting around locally – $0 (just walked around)
- Living expenses – $136.80 (groceries and eating out)
- Activities – $0
- Mobile phone/data – $9.95 (I use Google Fi which provides service in most countries. If you’re interested and based in the U.S., you can use this paid link to sign up, which will give me a referral fee at no extra cost to you.)
- Medical insurance – $9.21 (I’m using SafetyWing; rates are determined by age, and mine is slightly above the base. If you’re interested there is a paid link/banner on the right side of the page)
Total $374.11 / 4-nights = $93.53 per
- I booked The Frankfurt Hotel through Booking.com. As mentioned above, I was questioning my decision at first, but the hotel turned out to be very nice; clean, comfortable and had a great staff.
Transportation to and from varies a lot, so I left it out of the above breakdown along with most incidental/one-time personal costs. But for those interested, in this particular case, I took a train booked with Deutsche Bahn (DB) from Luxembourg to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof with a transfer at Koblenz Hbf. My seats were in 1st class and the cost was 27,90€ ($30.73). All other standard day to day expenses are included to give an idea of how much basic living costs in the area are. Groceries will sometimes include personal care items (i.e., toothpaste, deodorant, etc.).
** I try to use Rakuten whenever it’s an option; why not take the money. It works with a browser add-on, and there is also a mobile app. Note from the Ratuken site, “Stores pay us a commission for sending our members to their websites, and we share it with you. It’s that simple!” If you haven’t signed up yet, and are interested, please consider using this referral link to help support me, and get a signup bonus. I use it regularly and recommend it, but take a look for yourself to decide if it’s right for you. When you sign up using the link, use it spending $, we each get $! The $ varies, I’ve recently seen at $40 and $30. They state “Offer may be modified or canceled anytime.” Payments are made by PayPal, or you can have a check sent to you.
*** Of course, the currency exchange varied during the stay, so for simplicity, I used a rate of 1 USD = 0,905€ for cash transactions. The accommodations and some daily purchases made on cards were entered at the converted cost charged.
**** Since this is my living situation, I don’t go to top-rated restaurants or paid entry to tourist attractions too much. I do eat out a lot, but nothing too special; to some extent, it’s somewhat more cost-effective this way… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I try to be cost-conscious, eating as a local would… maybe you could say like a broke college guy that is LOL! I try to note any differences to this above.
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