Bad Homburg is close to Frankfurt so taking the train makes it an easy excursion if you are staying in the city. It is also right off the A-5 Autobahn so if you are driving, this is an easy way to get there as well.
Since we live in the area, we drove to Bad Homburg. There are plenty of parking areas for a fee; however, we were fortunate to be there on a Sunday and parked in an area that did not charge on Sunday. If you are looking for parking, be careful not to park in areas where only residents (Bewohner) are allowed to park or you may find yourself with a ticket at the end of the day.
Bad Homburg is a popular place and I can imagine that if you are coming on a holiday or for a festival that parking would be difficult. During those times, it is most likely a better idea to take the train.
If you are visiting Saalburg, the Roman fortress near Bad Homburg, the train does not have a stop there. Buses are available or, if you are driving, there is plenty of free parking.
The quickest and easiest way to get to Bad Homburg by public transport is to take the S-5 suburban train (S-bahn) from Frankfurt. It takes about 30 minutes from the main station. The interesting sights, like the old town, the castle and the park, are quite a walk from the station. But they are easy to find.
1. Bicycle route signs near the Bad Homburg City Hall.
2. Bicycle route signs at the U2 station in Gonzenheim.
3. Cyclist in Bad Homburg, Obergasse.
4. Cyclist in Bad Homburg, Dorotheenstraße.
There is certainly no lack of bicycle-route signs in Bad Homburg, but putting up signs is the easy part.
The bicycle lanes themselves tend to lag behind, not for lack of money but because the affluent city of Bad Homburg is very car-oriented. Many or most city officials evidently have trouble imagining any sort of mobility that does not involve using a fat German car. (OK, this is not only a Bad Homburg problem.)
Update: On May 10, 2009, voters in Bad Homburg astounded everyone by electing a member of the Green Party as their new mayor -- after 61 consecutive years of nothing but conservative mayors from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). So maybe there will be some changes, especially since the new mayor-elect won by a comfortable margin: in a run-off election he got 59.5 % of the votes, and the CDU incumbent only got 40.5 %.
1. Buses at the Kurhaus in the center of Bad Homburg.
2. In a bus in Bad Homburg.
3. Information screen in the number 1 bus, showing the next four stops.
Bad Homburg had a tram system from 1899 to 1971, but now public transport within the city is provided exclusively by buses.
Inside the buses there are information screens (which work most of the time) showing the next three or four stops.
At some of the major bus stops the city has also started installing screens which are intended to provide real-time information about when buses from each line will arrive, but this system is rather new and functions only intermittently so far.
1. Bad Homburg railroad station at dusk.
2. Tracks and an HLB train at the Bad Homburg station.
The railroad station in Bad Homburg was built from 1905 to 1907 and included a separate reception hall for the German emperor Wilhelm II, who used Bad Homburg as his summer residence, and other crowned heads of state such as the Tsar of Russia and the King of Siam.
Like most railroad stations in Germany, the one in Bad Homburg was neglected for many years by the mismanaged railway system Deutsche Bahn (DB), which allowed it to fall into a sorry state of disrepair. In 2007 the city of Bad Homburg succeeded in buying the station, which it has since renovated.
The train in the second photo is not a DB train but belongs to the Hessische Landesbahn (HLB), which runs the Taunusbahn from Bad Homburg to places like Usingen, Grävenwiesbach and Brandoberndorf.
GPS 50°13'12.61" North; 8°37'15.89" East
1. In the suburban train S5 to Bad Homburg
2. Subway line U2 at Bad Homburg-Gonzenheim
There are two train lines between Frankfurt am Main and Bad Homburg.
On weekdays the S5 suburban trains run four times an hour in each direction, from Frankfurt South Station to the Bad Homburg railway station. Every second train continues on from Bad Homburg to Friedrichsdorf.
In addition, the Frankfurt subway line U2, using completely different tracks, runs every twenty minutes during the day and every ten minutes at peak periods between Frankfurt South Station and the current end-stop in Bad Homburg-Gonzenheim.
The U2 operated for many years as a tram line which went all the way to the Bad Homburg station, but was shortened when the line was incorporated into the then-new Frankfurt subway system in 1971.
Now there are plans to extend the U2 once again to the Bad Homburg station, with construction scheduled to begin in 2010.