Frankfurt Airport (www.frankfurt-airport.de) is Europe`s busiest airport and Germany`s major international gateway serving more than 110 countries worldwide, with direct flights from many US and Canadian cities. The airport is located just 7 miles from the city center. If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options such as bus, taxi, car rental and most easily by S-Bahn (fast commuter train).
The long-distance DB Rail Terminal, conveniently located below the airport, links the airport to cities throughout Germany and neighboring countries. Regional and local trains operate from the Regional Station directly below Terminal 1. What this means is that you can fly into Frankfurt, hop on a train right at the airport, and be on your way to any destination in Germany.
To get to the city center, take line S8 or S9 from Regional bahnhof (regional train station) in Terminal 1 in the direction of Offenbach Ost or Hanau. The lines S1-6/8/9 travel through the cornerstone of the system, and underground tunnel (the City tunnel) through central Frankfurt. Get off at Frankfurt Taunusanlage, Frankfurt Hauptwache or Frankfurt Konstablerwache, which are in the heart of the city. The ride from the airport to the central station takes 11 minutes. Be sure to purchase a ticket at the vending machines (only cash) in the train station before boarding the train. An adult ticket is about €4.65.
Buses into the city stop in front of Terminal 1 on the arrivals level and in front of Terminal 2 on Level 2. Some airlines offer special shuttle-bus services to Frankfurt from the airport; check when you purchase your ticket. Bus 61 links the Südbahnhof in Sachsenhausen with Terminals 1 and 2 every 15 minutes (around €2.75, 10 minutes, every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday). Lufthansa Buses (www.lufthansa.com) link Terminal 1 with Heidelberg (around €24, one hour, every 1½ hours) and Saarbrücken (around €27, two hours, four per day). Buses run from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm.
A taxi from the airport to the city center costs between €25 - €35 and takes about 20 minutes. Taxis are available in front of both terminals.
Frankfurt has two major train stations; the main station (Hauptbahnhof) and the Airport (Flughafen Fernbahnhof). A few long-distance trains call at the South Station (Südbahnhof) instead of the Hauptbahnhof. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is one of the biggest and busiest train stations in Europe. Frankfurt has connections to most German cities and most neighboring countries via InterCity and high-speed InterCity Express trains.
Hauptbahnhof (the main train station) offers convenient trains to pretty much everywhere. Major services include:
-Berlin (€89, 4¼ hours, two per hour)
-Cologne (€39, 1¼ hours, up to four per hour Monday to Saturday, up to three per hour Sunday)
-Heidelberg (€19, one hour, every 20 minutes)
-Mainz (€11, 35 minutes, hourly)
-Munich (€59, 3¾ hours, up to three per hour Monday to Saturday, hourly Sunday)
-Nuremberg (€35, 2½ hours, up to two per hour)
-Stuttgart (€35, 1½ hours, up to two per hour)
Frankfurt Airport Fernbahnhof - From Frankfurt Airport`s long-distance train station (Terminal 1), you can travel directly to destinations across Germany, often by superfast InterCity and InterCity Express trains. Major services include:
-Cologne (€45, 1¼ hours, up to four per hour Monday to Saturday, up to three per hour Sunday)
-Hamburg (€79, four hours, hourly)
-Hanover (€57, 2½ hours, up to two per hour)
-Munich (€79, 3½ hours, hourly Monday to Friday, up two Saturday, up to three Sunday)
-Nuremberg (€41, 2¾ hours, up to two per hour)
-Stuttgart (€45, 1¼ hours, up to two per hour Monday to Saturday, hourly Sunday)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
The Flughafen Regional bahnhof (Airport Regional Train Station; Terminal 1) handles regional train and S-Bahn connections; services begin at about 4:30 am and end at 12:30 am. S-Bahn commuter rail lines S8 and S9 shuttle between the airport and city center (one-way around €4.55, 15 minutes), stopping at Hauptbahnhof, Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, as well as (in the other direction) Wiesbaden and Mainz.
Both railway stations are linked to Terminal 2 via buses and the Sky Line. Bus: 61, 68, 73, 975.
Hauptbahnhof (the main train station) offers the following transportation and connections:
Local trains and subway: Line U55, the S-Bahn lines S3, S5, S7 and S75.
Buses: Bus lines M41, M85, 120, 123, 142, 147, 245.
Taxis: available outside.
Airport: The TXL bus connects the station with Berlin Flughafen Tegel Airport.
You can get a cab at one of the city`s clearly designated taxi stands, or by hailing one on the street (the car`s roof light will be illuminated if it`s available). Taxis charge by the trip and by the number of passengers, without extra surcharges for luggage. The initial charge is around €2.75 (€3.25 at night); each kilometer costs about €1.65 (increase at night).Is Frankfurt a walking city?
After you arrive in the Altstadt (Old Town), you can easily get everywhere, including the Museumsufer on the opposite bank of the river, on foot. The pedestrian parks, slender bridges and river make an ideal location for walking and getting your geographical bearings.I will have a car in Frankfurt, where can I park?
There`s no need for a car in central Frankfurt since the city`s public transportation network is so efficient and affordable. If you must have a car in Frankfurt beware of the many one-way streets and make sure to come armed with a good navigation system, which will save you a lot of time and frustration. Throughout the center, you`ll see signs indicating the way to the nearest Parkhaus (parking garage) and the number of spaces left. Your best option for parking is to use one of these parking garages and then either walking or taking public transportation. Parking charges are around €1 per hour or €8 for the whole day.
City center street parking is generally limited to one hour. In many areas, parking on one side of the street is reserved for Bewohner (local residents) whose cars have a special sticker. Signs list the hours during which restrictions apply. The wording to be aware of is `Parkausweis Nr.X` (where X is a number). If you park in these spaces you risk a fine.
Also remember that Germany has strict DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood. That is just about one beer or glass of wine. And although there are Autobahns without speed limits, when there are speed limits, these are enforced rigorously. Radar traps are frequent.
A network of modern U-Bahn (subways), S-Bahn (streetcars), and buses, administered by the RMV (Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund; www.vgf-ffm.de), links Frankfurt. All forms of public transportation can be used interchangeably at a single price based on fare zones. Tickets are good for 1 hour on routes going in the same direction. Zone 50 encompasses most of Frankfurt, excluding the airport. Purchase your tickets at ticket counters or from the coin-operated machines (accept euro coins and bills up to €10 or €20) found in U-Bahn stations and next to tram and bus stops. The ticket machines have user friendly screens in English to guide you through the process.
A one-way single ticket (Einzelfahrkarte) within the city center costs around €2.80 for adults (for children aged 6 to 14 years, €1.60). For trips of less than 1.2 miles/2km, buy a Kurzstrecke (short-distance journey) ticket (about €1.75). A Tageskarte (day ticket) good for unlimited travel until 3:30 am the next day inside Frankfurt`s central zone, costs about €7; and for €8.85 it will include the airport. A Gruppentageskarte (all-day collective ticket), for up to five people, is about €10.50 (€15.80 including the airport) - a great deal! A Wochenkarte (weekly pass, valid for any seven consecutive days), sold at the airport`s DB ticket office and available from some ticket machines, costs about €24.70 (including the airport) and is also a great value.
Nachtbus lines, whose numbers begin with `n`, leave from Konstablerwache half-hourly (hourly for some suburban destinations) from 1:30 am to 4 am daily. For destinations outside of the city, the Nachtbus service runs only on Friday and Saturday nights and holiday eves. Tickets cost the same as for daytime transport, or you can use an all-day ticket or weekly pass.
Inspectors frequently check to make sure passengers have valid tickets. The fine for traveling without a ticket is about €60.
Note: This information and prices are accurate when this was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
If you are visiting attractions and museums then consider buying a Frankfurt Card. It allows unlimited travel on Frankfurt`s public transport system (city zone and airport) and discounts in many museums. The Frankfurt Card is available as a one day and two-day ticket, and for a single person or a group of up to five (1 person 1 day around €10.50, 2 days around €15.50). These tickets are not sold at the vending machines. You can buy the Frankfurt Card at the airport (arrival gate B, terminal 1), at travel agencies, railway stations, at the tourist information desk at Hauptbahnhof, at the tourist information desk at Römer, or in advance online. A one-day one-person Frankfurt card including airport transportation is cheaper than the equivalent public transport ticket that includes the airport.How do I get around by bike?
Frankfurt is bike-friendly, featuring an expansive network of bike lanes. While there are various rental-bike companies in Frankfurt, they are relatively rare and situated in inconvenient areas of the city for travelers.
Deutsche Bahn (shared bicycle program) is a convenient source of rental bikes. Look out for their rental bikes, marked in the colors red and white and the letters `DB.` The costs are about €0.80 a minute and up to about €15 for 24 hours. These bikes are available from April to December and can be found pretty much anywhere in the city - especially at street corners, which are the major pick-up and drop-off points. You can rent these bikes 24/7 just using your cell-phone and your credit card. For instructions on how to use this service, call the number on the bike or go to their website.
Frankfurt is a relatively safe city, but we recommend you stay alert at all times. Stay out of the area around the Hauptbahnhof at night, as muggings are frequent. Also be aware of bogus police officers in civilian clothes asking to check your cash. Real officers show a green ID, and never ask about money.
Physical crime is in general concentrated in the red-light district around the central train station, which also is the hangout of many drug dealers/junkies. The Gallus area west of the central station is another area you will want to avoid. Nevertheless, Frankfurt is still safe and it is highly unlikely that you will face armed robbery or other violent crimes. Use your common sense and avoid drunken or aggressive people at night.
If you have a problem or are being harassed, ask the police for help. The German police and the Frankfurt Ordnungsamt (City Enforcement Officers) are clean, competent and generally helpful. Germany is very bureaucratic but structured; as long as you behave respectfully toward the police, you should have no problem.
The currency used in Frankfurt and all of Germany is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. There are multiple facilities for the exchange of international currencies at the Frankfurt airport, as well as ATMs and banks located all throughout the city.
We recommend that you exchange a small amount of cash prior to your trip, enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be traveling to make sure your cards will work while in France. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.
Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.
Frankfurt enjoys a continental climate. Late spring (April to May) and early autumn (August to September) are the best seasons to visit Frankfurt. It is during these months that the green landscape and sunshine make it the perfect weather for exploring the city. Summer sees bright days, warm weather, festivals and many outdoor events, but also brings lots of crowds. Winter (December to March) gets chilly, often with sub-zero temperatures.
Beware of times during trade fairs when prices of accommodations increase significantly. The biggest fairs are the Frankfurt Motor Show held in mid-September and the Book Fair held in mid-October.
German is the official language spoken in Frankfurt. Hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants in popular areas generally have staff that speaks some English. Within the city center, you will have little difficulty communicating, even if you are not fluent in German. Outside the city center, English is less common. If you decide to do some traveling into the surrounding, more rural areas, or happen upon a restaurant off the beaten track then it`s a good idea to brush up on your German! You will find that locals will be receptive and more willing to assist you if you make an attempt to converse in their native language. We suggest you get a good English-French guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.
Although the official language of Frankfurt is German, you will quickly notice that there are many phrases and words used in Frankfurt that are not easily understood in other parts of Germany. This is because most Frankfurters speak a dialect called Frankfurterisch, which is related to the Hessisch dialect.
Apfelwein (cider drink) became popular in the Frankfurt area several hundred years ago because it was impossible to get a hold of wine. Hessians still wanted to drink, so they created this tart cider with an alcohol content of a strong beer. It is normally served in a "Geripptes” glass, which has small diamond-like lozenges that help refract light. It is common for children as young as 12 to drink Ebbelwoi, as the locals call it, and it can be mixed with tonic water, Coca Cola or even Fanta, depending on one`s preference.
Handkäse mit Musik - This dish is made up of an opaque cheese marinated in oil and vinegar with chopped raw onions and cumin seeds. It is served with dark bread and butter.
Frankfurter Grüne Sosse (Frankfurt green sauce) - Made from parsley, sorrel, dill, burnet, borage, chervil and chives mixed with boiled, sieved eggs and sour cream or yogurt, this green sauce is usually slathered on eggs, boiled potatoes or schnitzel.
Frankfurter Wuerstchen - a tasty sausage served with mustard and a Broetchen (roll), or with Sauerkraut. Other yummy dishes include Rippchen, cooked pork served with Sauerkraut or Schweinshaxe, (pig knuckles) that are weighed on the spot and served with mashed potatoes and Sauerkraut.
A lighter meal would be four boiled eggs with Gruene Sosse or Tartarrenbrot, an open-faced sandwich with raw beef, pickles and onions.
There are countless Ebbelwoi joints on the south side of the Main River in Sachsenhausen. It is possible to find good dishes anywhere in Frankfurt, but if you want the authentic (and the best) Sachsenhausen area is the place to go.
Another notable area for dining may be what is locally known as the Fressgass (a literal translation would be `munching alley`). The correct name of this street is Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse. As the nickname implies, the Fressgass (`eat street`) features many cafes, restaurants, and deli food stores. It`s a popular area to dine after the daily shopping.
The city is buzzing with places to go out, grab a drink and party the night away. Whether visitors wish to kick back in a speakeasy-type joint or catch a live show, Frankfurt has got it all. Frankfurt`s lively drinking and nightlife scenes span from traditional apple wine taverns to chic cocktail bars, low-key pubs, and lively clubs. Many bars in Frankfurt offer live music, particularly jazz. The best venues are around Kleine Bockenheimer Strasse, otherwise knownas Jazzgasse (Jazz Alley).
Most cultural performance venues are closed during July and August. There are a number of ticket outlets in the city, the main one being Frankfurt Ticket (tel.069-134-0400; www.frankfurt-ticket.de). The `Journal Franfurt`, which can be found at newsstands throughout the city, offers details about what`s happening in the city. `Fritz` and Strandgut,` are both free and available at the tourist offices, which also have listings of nighttime happenings.
Sachsenhausen, Bockenheim, Bornheim, Nordend and the city center are the main areas of action. The city center includes the rather seedy red light district (which is heavily patrolled by police and local council officials) near the main station. Strip clubs are popular for e.g. bachelor/bachelorette parties at the weekend and similar joints are within walking distance. Check pricing upfront to avoid problems with bouncers afterward.
Dozens of bars spill onto the cobbled streets of Alt-Sachsenhausen, particularly around Kleine Rittergasse. In summer, open-topped boat bars line up along the Main River`s banks, which has long been known for its taverns where Apfelwein (a dry, alcoholic, 12-proof apple cider), not beer, is the special drink. At the apple-wine tavern, everyone sits together at long wooden tables and, sooner or later, the singing starts. The Apfelwein taverns in Sachsenhausen display a pine wreath outside when a new barrel has arrived. The taverns usually serve traditional meals; hard rolls, salted bread sticks, and pretzels for nibbling are on the tables, too.
While high-profile clubs are usually open until morning hours, bars close at around 11:00 pm - 1:00 am and small clubs at 3:00 - 4:00 am on Saturday nights. Best bet for establishments open all night is the Alt-Sachsenhausen area.
Frankfurt, being the modern, wealthy and international city that it is, serves as a shopping mecca for the entire region. Zeil is the main shopping precinct, offering a pedestrian zone between the Hauptwache and Konstablerache. Here you will find plenty of department stores, clothing shops, boutiques of all kinds, restaurants, cafes and people. Nearby Goethestrasse and its surrounding streets is where you`ll find the city`s chicest fashion boutiques and most glamorous jewelry stores. Fressgass, the pedestrian zone between Opernplatz and Börsenstrasse, is filled with tantalizing gourmet shops. Young clothing designers have shops in Sachsenhausen around the intersection of Brückenstrasse and Wallstrasse.
Markets: A flea market is held every other Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm either in Sachsenhausen, on the south side of the Main, or the Frankfurts`s East Harbor. Head here for vintage items and treasures that are unlikely to be found on the main shopping streets. An excellent produce market can be found on Saturday 8 am - 5 pm and Thursday 10 am - 8 pm on Konstablerwache Square, which is ideal for self-catering visitors. Another popular produce market is held on upper Berger strasse between the clock tower and Saalburgstrasse on Wednesday 8 am - 6:30 pm and Saturday 8 am - 4 pm. The produce market on Schillerstrasse takes place on Friday 9 am - 6:30 pm.
Tax Information: VAT is currently at 19%. Travelers who live outside the European Union can obtain a tax refund (www.globalblue.com) on goods bought in Germany by submitting the purchased goods and the original receipt to the customs office at the airport. The export certificate should then be taken to any of the five counters after the security check, where a cash refund is obtained. Note that a small fee will be charged on all refunds.
Medical Emergency, dial 112
Police, dial 110
For an English-speaking dentist or doctor, call Tel. 069 - 19292 to arrange an appointment.