Updated January 14, 2019
WHEN TO GO
Apparently, I was very unlucky on my first visit as those -10ºC (14F) are rare, and 12 hours before I was wearing sandals and shorts… My first time in Frankfurt I already was in the city center at 7 am, after spending a month and a half in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, with an average temperature over 30ºC (86F) everyday. An hour later I had to get into this Starbucks as soon as it opened just to warm my hands holding a coffee.
Frankfurt is not a very touristic city despite millions of people per year flying to and from its airport, so going in summertime does not mean you’ll have to deal with the crowds. Rainfall is more usual in summer, but temperatures are not extreme, nor too hot in summer (maximum temperature around 25°C (77F)), neither too cold in winter (average minimum temperature is -1° (30F)).
- Most travel through Frankfurt Airport, 12 km southwest of the city, one of the busiest in Europe and the third in terms of air traffic after Heathrow in London and Charles de Gaulle in Paris. There are domestic and international flights to almost anywhere.
- It has 2 terminals; you could go from one to another through a free monorail (SkyLine) that leaves every 2-3 minutes 24 hours a day. There are also free buses, from 5:30 am to 11:45 pm, every 10 minutes. In both there are lockers to leave luggage (€ 4.5 for 2 hours or € 7 for 24 hours).
- To go to the center:
- The best option is undoubtedly the train. The airport has its own regional train station (Flughafen Regionalbahnhof) and long distance (Fernbahnhof). S8 and S9 train lines connect it comfortably and efficiently to Central Ctation (Hauptbahnhof) and Hauptwache Station. There are trains every 10 minutes approximately, it takes 15 minutes and costs € 4.90, or € 9.10 round trip on the same day.
- Bus, for those who hate trains. Number 61 connects Südbahnhof (South Station) Station in Sachsenhausen to terminals 1 and 2 every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday and every 30 Saturdays and Sundays. € 4.90.
- A taxi or an Uber to the center will cost us at least € 25.
- At the airport are all international car rental companies. You can park for free for 10 minutes in front of the terminals.
- For those unfortunate travelers flying with Ryanair, your airport will be Frankfurt-Hahn, which is no less than 120 km from Frankfurt. The most advisable thing is to use a bus, that goes until the main airport and continues until the stations in the center; It leaves every 60-90 minutes, takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to Hauptwache and costs € 14. It is advisable to hurry to take it from the moment we get off the plane, because if it is full, we will have to wait for the next one.
- Arrive by land:
- German rail network is one of the best in the world and is not overly expensive; You can find tickets at reasonable prices at short notice. The system is to buy the route for a date, and we can get on the train when we want during that day, we can even get off at an intermediate station, go around for a walk, and continue later with the same ticket. Main station is Hauptbahnhof, just over 1 km west of the center, but Hauptwache is right in the center. There are trains to almost any destination in the country and many international.
- If we prefer to go by bus, the main station is the same as the train station. There are also buses to multiple destinations.
- Getting around in the city: the points of interest are within walking distance, so I recommend visiting the city on foot. Even the most remote spots, the Botanical Gardens and Palm Trees and the Senckenberg Museum, are just a 20-minute walk from Hauptwache Square, so you do not need to take the metro, taxi (which are also quite expensive) or others.
WHERE TO EAT
As in the rest of Germany, eating is relatively cheap. In Zeil street there are all kinds of restaurants. The most famous one, because is a historic building is the Café Hauptwache.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Seriously, have you read the previous posts? Do not stay, half a day is enough… Anyway, if you really want to spend the night:
- The area between the center and the main train station is the one that concentrates more hotels, including some 4 and 5 stars, but it is the red light district with what that entails. Neither of the two times I’ve been there I have felt it ws unsafe, of course it was daytime; at night those places change.
- Almost all acceptable hotels and apartments near the center are around € 80 for two people per night, although it is important to evaluate deals. EasyHotel City Center (Easyjet) usually has discounts near 50%.
It is precisely the red-light district, because of its frequent relationship with drugs and prostitution, the sector considered the most to avoid in the city, which for Germany is among the most dangerous, but its crime rates are similar to those of cities considered very safe and with an excellent quality of life, such as Sydney, Auckland or Toronto. Certainly it is not recommended to go further west of the Central Station at night, but using common sense and taking the usual precautions, we should not have problems. In addition, the growing concern over terrorism issues has increased police presence in all German cities, especially around train stations.