Transportation from the airport
You can go to the city centre while waiting for your connecting flight by train. When leaving the plane, instead of going to the connecting flights area, leave the airport as it Frankfurt is your final destination. In the baggage claim area, you will see sign for the S-Bahn (Train). Go to the regional railway station following the signs, and then go down to the track number 1. There you will have to buy a ticket like the one in the picture. It costs 4.35 euros one way. Beware that some of the ticket machines do not accept notes over 5/10 euros, and you will need to have coins available. Once you have got your ticket, take the S8 or S9 train. Step down of the train at the fifth stop called Hauptwache. Around this area there are several places to visit.
Bus from Franfurt/Hahn to Frankfurt and Heidelberg
This bus runs to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and Frankfurt Airport:
This bus runs to Heidelberg and Mannheim Hauptbahnhof:
Flibco has also buses from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and Frankfurt Airport to Frankfurt Hahn and on to Luxembourg, somtimes as low as € 5.
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Public Transport in Frankfurt
The Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund, or RMV, is the local transport organization responsible for rapid transit in the Frankfurt area. Verbund tickets are valid on S-Bahns, U-Bahns, trams, buses, and some local trains. Purchase your tickets from the RMV ticket machines in the stations and on the platforms.
The fare system is rather complex. To buy a ticket, you need to look up the 4-digit code of your destination from the chart, located either on the front or the side of the ticket machine. Then choose the type of ticket you want, e.g., single ticket or "Tageskarte" (day ticket). If you are traveling in a group, the best value is generally to purchase a group ticket ("gruppentageskarte"), which is valid for up to 5 people traveling together. For travel within 2 km of the city center, fare is EUR 1.60 per person one-way, EUR 0.95 for children. For travel within Zone 5000 (the central zone), fare is EUR 2.60 for adult, EUR 1.55 for children, EUR 6.60 for a single day card, EUR 9.90 for a group day card.
If you wish to go to the Airport, you can take the S-8 or S-9, as well as selected regional trains (note: while you can also take high-speed trains to the from the hauptbahnhof to the airport, RMV tickets are NOT valid). Fare is EUR 4.35 per adult 1-way, EUR 2.60 for children. A single day card covering the city center and the airport costs EUR 8.50, while a group day card costs EUR 15. To purchase a day card that covers the airport, punch in the code "5090" then select the appropriate "Tageskarte" you want. Machines at the airport have a button for day cards that include the city center.
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Renovation of Frankfurt Central Station
Train service continued uninterrupted despite a huge renovation project to re-build the high glass-and-metal roof of the station. The roof had developed serious leaks and was evidently not entirely safe, though of course no one would admit to that.
Renovation of the roof started in 2002 and was completed in 2006.
The second photo shows what the renovation work looked like from the outside, namely from the south side of the station where the long-distance bus stops are located.
The third photo shows some of the progress that had been made inside the station by September 2005.
Long Stopovers At The Airport
The airport in Frankfurt is infamous for having long waits between connecting flights. Of course, it depends what ticket you purchase. I was fortunate enough to have a short connection, but some people are not so lucky. My aunt and cousin had a 6 hour connection, and just recently my mom had a 12 hour connection, AT NIGHT.
Here are a few things you should consider.
If you have to book a flight through Frankfurt with a long stopover, try to have it during the day, so you can at least see the town. My mom was unfortunate enough to have a 12 hour connection, at night. She said there were people when she landed, but than everyone left, all the shops closed, and except for a few staff, she was completely alone. The place was completely empty. She asked where there are some hotels nearby, and they told her the closest one is in the city center, and it requires taking a bus or cab, and at this hour, it was almost impossible to find one. She was stuck in Frankfurt for 12 hours, bored, and didn't get any sleep. It was night time, so there was no sense in visiting the town.
I thought she would at least get some food and go shopping, but all the stores and restaurants close for the night, so she had nothing to do. She got lucky and there was a baker who showed up at 3 AM, and she bought some fresh bread from him.
By morning she said she was shivering from exhaustion.
This is not a good airport to connect through. It's okay during the day, because you can visit the city, but at night, you are stuck.
Most of the connections I see through Frankfurt are 6-12 hours. If you're booking a flight through here, do whatever you can to avoid connections like this. Even if you have to pay a little extra. You do not want to spend the whole night at the airport.
I’ve spent the night at an airport before, and it’s not fun.
Bus to Hahn
If you ever listen to the radio program A Prairie Home Companion, you may recall that they used to do funny sketches about a cut-rate Irish airline called Derry-Air.
Of course Derry-Air doesn't really exist, but if it did you can be sure it would fly in and out of a cut-rate German airport called Frankfurt-Hahn.
Since Hahn is about 120 kilometers west of Frankfurt (it's actually closer to Luxembourg than to Frankfurt, and it really ought to be called Trier-Hahn but then no one would fly there), the only sensible way to get there is by bus. The bus stop in Frankfurt is on the Stuttgarter Str. at the south side of Frankfurt Central Station.
As you can see, it has all the amenities. You even have the choice of sitting on the sidewalk or on your suitcase while waiting for them to open up the bus. The bus ride costs EUR 14.00 and takes about one hour and forty-five minutes.
Hahn, which by the way means rooster in German, is a village with 173 inhabitants. The airport there was originally a US airbase and was converted to a civil airport after the US air force no longer needed it.
Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof, or Frankfurt (Main)'s main station... that is, it's the main station in Frankfurt (Main)... well, I mean... the Main's main...Frankfurt (Main)'s CENTRAL station, is one of the largest train transportation hubs in Germany. Over 600 long distance and regional trains depart the station daily, along with 1100 S-Bahn trains departing from the lower level. From here, you can get to just about anywhere in Europe. There are even plans to launch direct Eurostar service to London in the next few years.
The hauptbahnhof is surrounded by a number of business class hotels, which makes it a convenient place for an overnight stop. In addition, the station is served by all 9 S-Bahns, the U4 and U5, and three trams, which can get you to just about anywhere in the city quickly and conveniently. If you need to get to the airport, the S-8 and S-9 trains run frequently to Frankfurt Airport's Regional Train Station, making a stay at a nearby hotel a potentially viable alternative to the pricey airport hotel.
The train station is immense with a wide variety of services, to include luggage storage, restaurants, and ATMs.
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From/to Frankfurt by plane (FRA Airport)
Frankfurt Airport is the largest German airport, the third largest in europe and one of the most important airline hubs in the world. It may even be the main reason why you are coming to Frankfurt. The airport is well connected with many of the larger cities around Europe and the rest of the world. Lufthansa, Condor and the Star Alliance partners are the main players and located in Terminal 1. Most other airlines (including Air Berlin and Emirates) are located in Terminal 2.
The airport is well-connected by train with all larger cities in Germany. It can be quite confusing that there are even two different train stations at the airport: Regionalbahnhof (tracks 1 to 3) and Fernbahnhof (tracks 4 to 7) Those travelling to Frankfurt, Mainz, Wiesbaden and other places in the region use the Regionalbahnhof. A trip to Frankfurt city centre takes only ten minutes and costs less than 5 EUR (2013). Fernbahnhof is only used by long-distance trains and is not interesting for those who want to travel to the city centre only - unless you want to pay more than the double price just to get an ICE train for the ten minute trip.
Budget travellers should know that low-cost airlines avoid this place like hell. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to get a cheap fare from/to here for a flight within Europe. Those on a tight budget should consider travelling from/to Frankfurt Hahn Airport. This airport is around 90 minutes away by bus from Frankfurt city centre which means that it is nowhere near Frankfurt, but is served by Ryanair and Wizzair which have some good offers for European flights.
ATTENTION (especially to those that consider the option above): Always be aware, if your airport is Frankfurt/Rhein-Main (FRA, the main airport) or Frankfurt/Hahn (HHN, low-fare airport). This can save you turning up at the wrong place as well as with time calculations.
From/To Frankfurt by coach
Coaches are a good alternative to the German train system. They are slower and do not run as often, but often offer far better fares. The coach stops are on the southern side of the main train station (along Mannheimer Strasse), some lines do also stop at the airport. International lines are often more expensive than low-fare flights, but cover a wider range of destinations. The most important are:
Eurolines: Large network through Europe, especially Eastern Europe. Some domestic lines as well. : http://www.eurolines.de/
Eurolines offer for the Mannheim - Frankfurt - Hamburg line (with several stops in between). This bus travels overnight and saves you time: http://www.eurolines.de/en/national-bus-lines/mannheim-hamburg/
FlixBus: New company with a mid-sized network in Germany. Covers the larger cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and cologne at least once a day from 5EUR on. https://www.flixbus.de/
MeinFernbus: Similar to FlixBus - just with a larger network, but their prices are slightly higher.
City2City: The German subsidiary of National Express (UK). Good offers from 5 EUR as well, mostly to western Germany (Düsseldorf, Cologne and Dortmund). http://www.city2city.de/en/home
Berlin Linien Bus: Joint service of Deutsche Bahn, Autokraft, BEX, HARU and some smaller companies. Specialized on lines to Berlin, but also has a couple of other services within Germany:
Frankfurt am Main International Airport
Frankfurt am Main International Airport (IATA Code: FRA) is one of the largest air transportation hubs in Europe. A hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa, the airport also serves more than 100 airlines, from Adria Airlines to Yemen Airlines.
Frankfurt Airport has two terminals, connected by a "Skyline" monorail. The train has an ingenious system allowing passengers on either side of security to use it simultaneously. If departing from Frankfurt, be sure to note which terminal your flight departs from so you will know where to check in.
The airport has not one but two train stations. For those of you who haven't traveled to Frankfurt in several years, the original underground station is now the "Regionalbahnhof," or regional train station, where you can catch S-Bahns and regional trains to Frankfurt, Mainz, and other towns in the local area. The longest trains from this station are "Regional Express" trains to destinations such as Saarbrücken and Koblenz. The other, newer train station is called the "Fernbahnhof," or long-distance train station. Long haul trains, including the high-speed ICE trains, depart from here for destinations all around Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. When connecting to a train, be sure to note which station your train departs from.
The airport itself has just about every service you can imagine, including restaurants, shops, electronics stores (where you can buy cell phone SIM cards), and even a luggage storage service where you store your bags for EUR 7 per bag per day.
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Frankfurt Central Station in 1901
This is what the Frankfurt Central Station looked like in 1901. The photo is on display at the Transportation Museum (DB-Museum) in Nürnberg, at the beginning of an exhibit on the history of German railroad stations.
The streetcars are bigger now, and the square in front of the station is much more cluttered, but the basic form of the station is still the same, after numerous phases of rebuilding and restoration.
Frankfurt's Airport, often shortened to Fraport, is one of the busiest in the world, and the busiest in continental Europe. Many people coming for a visit to Germany or Europe will transit this airport, often with many hours to waste between flights.
The main city of Frankfurt is less than half an hour away by public transport, so if you are stuck in transit it is worth a trip to the center to wander around and grab a bite to eat in one of its many excellent cafes.
Frankfurt Airport has two stations, one regional and one for long distance trains like the ICE. If you are heading for the city, head to the regional station and take S-8 or S-9 towards the Hauptbahnhof. I'd recommend getting out at Hauptwache or Konstablerwache if you want to kick start your visit right in the middle of things.
There's not much need to talk about where you can fly to from Fraport, because if a plane can make it that far, and it has an airport, chances are there will be a flight scheduled there from here. Almost every major airline in the world, barring those that are banned from flying over Europe, has a base here, and of course it is the major hub for the national carrier Lufthansa.
There's not much in the way of budget flights from here, but there are a few. The quality budget airline, Air Berlin, flies a number of routes from Fraport, to places like Lisbon, Paris and Barcelona. A few other budget airlines also operate routes from here, mostly charter flights to beach resorts. These include Lufthansa's budget wing, Condor, as well as LTU and Hapagfly.
Don't be mistaken into thinking that Fraport is the same Frankfurt airport that Ryan Air flies to. That is Frankfurt-Hahn, which isn't anywhere near Frankfurt, and closer to Luxembourg than the city it claims to serve.
Buying Metro Tickets
The ticketing system is a little bit complicated, but it becomes pretty simple to understand after a few trips. You simply buy a ticket from one of the machines located at every stop, and then you go. There's no need for validation or any of that nonsense.
There is a vast array of tickets, but for short term tourist visitors, the following tickets will be all you will ever really need to worry about. Prices are good for 2006.
1. Einzelfahrkarte: A single journey ticket that costs 2.10 or 1.90, depending on the time of day. It covers you for 2 hours of single direction travel, meaning you can get off and change trams or whatever, but you can't reverse and come back along the same route.
2. Tageskarte: If you make more than two journeys in a day, then a day ticket (tageskarte) is definitely worth it at 4.90. It covers you for 24 hours from time of purchase.
3. Wochenkarte: At 19.00 the weekly ticket covers you for exactly seven days from the moment you buy it.
It's worth noting that the weekly ticket covers you for the airport, but the other two tickets don't. You'll need to buy the same ticket at a higher price.
Single and day tickets can be bought at any machine at any stop in Frankfurt. These machines often accept notes as well as coins, but not always. As long as you are travelling within Frankfurt, you only need to type in the Frankfurt code of 5000 and press the button for the type of ticket you need in order to receive it. If you are going outside the city or to the airport, then you'll need to locate the code on the displayed sheet and type that instead.
Weekly tickets can only be bought at ticket counters, or at more advanced machines at special locations around the city. Some of these special locations are the major train stations, like the Hauptbahnhof, the Airport, and the Sudbahnhof.
cheapest way from Frankfurt to Stuttgart
I suggest you to use cheap airlines from Frankfurt-Hahn airport directly to Stuttgart airport. You can get the flight to Stuttgart complete with flight back to Frankfurt-Hahnairport for 137,42 euros with the cheapest airline. If you are having including "train to flight" you may use ICE train from Frankfurt Airport station to Stuttgart central station for free. Stuttgart is having excellent public meanings (underground train, s-train and bus) or you may use car sharing on airport for travelling from Stuttgart airport into city centre.
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Metro Ticket Vending Machine
Nothing could be more complicated that the RMV vending machines for tickets. Fortunately, most have a touch screen, and if you touch a flag where they speak a language you understand, it will be easier to use. Otherwise it works as follows.
1) Select a destination on the list on the machine, and pick out its code.
2) Punch the destination code number in the machine, and select a coloured button below for Single adult, child, etc.
3) Pay the amount for the ticket.
The machines can only give change if they have enough change in them. YOU CANNOT PURCHASE TICKETS ON THE METRO, and if you board the train, without a ticket you may get caught for riding without a ticket, which means an immediate payment of 60 Euro fine.
Although many have a slot for a card, this is for a German ATM or Eurocard, and not for credit cards.
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