Unfortunately, as in every big city in the world, pickpockets are trying to get your money. Be careful ,especially at the fleamarket, where you sometimes have to push your way through the crowds.
If you think you're being targeted, simply walk into the nearest shop. That's what I did when someone was following me, trying to get my purse. I didn't want any confrontation, so I entered a shop, looked through the window and saw that the would-be pickpocket didn't want to follow me in past the shop security. After a while I left again and was able to walk on without trouble.
Don't cough at the opera!
A nurse here in Frankfurt once told me: "The best way to stop coughing is to stop coughing."
In other words, people who do not have a acute illness of some sort can usually refrain from coughing just by deciding not to do it. Try it. It's a matter of will power, but not as difficult as it might sound.
It also helps if you are not dehydrated. Drink something before the opera and in the intermission.
And have some cough drops with you, but not the kind that are individually wrapped because they make too much noise when you try to unwrap them. The opera house in Hannover has Fisherman's Friends for sale on all levels of the building, but in Frankfurt you have to bring your own.
Another theory of mine is that people tend to cough more at the opera if they don't understand what is going on. So try to read up on the piece before you go, then you will get more out of it and not start coughing just out of puzzlement or frustration.
If you understand German, you can also attend the free introductory lecture that is given in the lobby (Holzfoyer) of the Frankfurt Opera half an hour before show time.
Like most opera houses these days, the Frankfurt Opera now shows surtitles (in German) above the stage, even for operas that are sung in German. It seems to me that since they started showing surtitles the amount of coughing in the audience has gone way down, since people can better understand what is going on and are no longer as puzzled or frustrated as they used to be.
And if all else fails, at least put a handkerchief over your mouth so your coughing isn't so loud.
- Theater Travel
Don’t pick the wrong Frankfurt from the list!
In the VirtualTourist database there are four places in Germany called Frankfurt.
The page you are looking at now is about the largest one, Frankfurt am Main in Land Hessen, the one with the world’s best opera company.
The second-largest place called Frankfurt is a city in Land Brandenburg on the Oder River, on the border between Germany and Poland.
The other two are tiny villages in Bavaria and Sachsen-Anhalt.
When you do a search for “Frankfurt” in VirtualTourist, all four of these come up at once, and the village in Bavaria is listed first:
• Europe > Germany > Bavaria > Frankfurt
• Europe > Germany > Land Brandenburg > Frankfurt
• Europe > Germany > Land Hessen > Frankfurt am Main
• Europe > Germany > Land Sachsen-Anhalt > Stadt Frankfurt
Evidently some people can’t tell the difference and just choose the first one. This was especially true in the early years when VirtualTourist did not have any maps. Between 2003 and 2008 twenty-three VT members mistakenly posted pages under the village of Frankfurt (Bavaria), when what they really meant was the city in Hessen with the big airport.
This got me curious, so in the summer of 2011 I took a bicycle trip through the Steiger Forest in northern Bavaria and went through this small village called Frankfurt. It’s a nice enough place, but *very* quiet.
If you would like a virtual tour of this village, please feel free to have a look at my Frankfurt page. It is the twenty-fourth VT page listed under this village, but so far I am the only member who has actually been there.
Update: Many thanks to the VT staff for moving all twenty-three misplaced pages from the tiny village of Frankfurt (Bavaria) to the city of Frankfurt am Main (Hessen) in April 2014.
Travel with a Baby
Generally Frankfurt is excellent for travelling with a pushchair. Most of the main underground stations have an elevator (they are marked on the map with a disabled sign). While they can sometimes be hard to find, they almost always work, although the one in Willy-Brandt Platz seems to always be on the blink. The Germans suffer from the same malaise as the rest of the world when it comes to using lifts, with healthy limbed people rushing past parents and wheelchair users to jump in the lift even when a perfectly good escalator stands right next to it.
Pavements are smooth, public transport isn't overcrowded and many restaurants are geared for kids, so life here is easy for parents.
No escalators at the airport?
Better to check your luggges in and have a light carry on because if you transfer at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, there are no escalators and you will end up carrying your heavy luggage through stairways! Maybe, I was wrong but where we were, we were escorted by security to a stairway.
Also, the security for luggages are very strict on the size of luggages. Most of the students we brought there ended up not having carry ons because they were forced to check them in. Their carryons were not allowed...These did not pass to the size limits of the airport!!!
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
They are here!!
Is it possible? Quite frankly I think that there is a force more sinister and dangerous that Al Qaida (can someone agree on the correct spelling?), the threat of SARS or WMD's, and that is Starbucks. They have succeeded in bringing that nasty burned tasting filter coffee around the globe. I must give them that they do at least give you a nice and cheap place to have a chat, use your laptop or pilfer unlimited amounts of brown or white sugar (actually I have a collection of mugs - I think I am responsible for their move to those nasty plastic/paper cups). Anyway they are here in the big F, located on Willy Brandt Square. (Oh, if the great statesman only knew...well, he is still getting over getting knocked off one of the old two Mark coins - I think it was the 2 DM coin anyway..)
Hauptbahnof Elbe Taunus Nidda strasse
after reading,dont go at areas around hauptbahnof..i ve to say some things...
i travel in frankfurt since 2006,ok,i always took hotels in that zone cause were the cheapest ones and near train station..(i had to move by train). Ok,that zone is terrible..full of whores, and of course junkies everywhere..but is not dangerous in 4 years no one stole my bag or my wallet..no one hit me..no one killed me...if you walk straigh no one will stress you...of course is really sad people that use heroin or crack in front of you..but NOT DANGEROUS..but of course if you are searching for troubles screaming,and showing money..this will be your fault
Fake Police officers
Update December 2010:
I first wrote this tip some years ago, but in the last one or two years no fake policemen were seen.Lately, however, the real police have reinforced their warning, it seems another pair of fake policemen are now traing this scam. So be aware!
From time to time fake policemen are operating in Frankfurt, mostly on the main shopping street Zeil or around the city hall area. They are two men,walking up to people they recognize as tourists and tell them they'd have to check their passport. Then they tell them they'd have to check if the tourist doesn't have any fake money. As soon as the tourist takes out the money, they either
-say it's fake and they'd exchange it and walk off
-or replace it by paper.
The tourist loses his/her money.
The real police have caught some of the fake colleagues, but this scam is repeated again and again.
REAL police don't ask for your passport if there is no apparent reason to do so.They are entitled to check ID,but usually they don't do. And REAL police will never check your money on the street to see if it is fake.
If you are approached and are not sure what to do, tell them you're happy to go to the police station with them .None of the fake police will like to go there.
Avoid Gasthaus am Eisernen Steg
In any case avoid the restaurant Gasthaus am eisernen Steg. It is located at the so-called Museumsufer right next to the famous iron pedestrian bridge. The staff there is extremely rude, they yelled right in my face when I tried to use their bath room prior to ordering. Although I really wanted to eat there (their location is central) I was forced to leave the premises. Most unfriendly people I met during my last trip in Germany.
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Tiny, but dangerous
Reading a warning tip for Frankfurt you'd probably expect something like "be aware of muggers and pickpockets", but this warning is for real: beware of ticks! Frankfurt has made it into the areas where the ticks cannot only carry Lyme disease, but also encephalitis. This makes them more dangerous than most pickpockets.
Of course, you're in no danger when all you do is walk down the main shopping street, but as soon as walk in a park or a nearby field or wood, do a close check afterwards.
I saw this warning sign in the north of Frankfurt.
Watch out for Bicycles!
There are tons of bicyles in Germany; which I particularly like. Be careful they do zoom around corners and even on the sidewalks. Liz was almost mowed down at one point. Watch pout and be alert especially for bike lanes.
Some of the more modern opera houses in Germany are so well designed that you can see and hear perfectly well from any seat in the house. This applies to Darmstadt, Erfurt, Essen, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Mannheim among others — but not to Frankfurt!
At the opera house on Willy-Brandt-Platz in Frankfurt you should try not to sit way off to the right or left side on the balconies, because you can't see the whole stage from there. If you always take the cheapest seats, as I do, try not to be more than four or five seats away from the aisle. In the first row of third balcony, seats 2-10 and 58-66 aren't very good either.
There isn't much leg room up in the third balcony, by the way. Sort of like flying economy class (complete with nice views of the Frankfurt skyline, by the way).
Another problem with the third balcony is that we can't always see things that are happening at the very top of the stage. In the staging of Mozart’s Così fan tutte from the year 2000 we never saw the volcano erupting, which I'm told was very impressive when it worked properly. In Der Walzertraum by Oscar Straus we could only see the legs of the women playing in the all-girl band on the upper deck of the Titanic (they had nice legs but we wanted to see the upper half of them, too) and we never saw the iceberg approaching until it was already there and the whole stage was vibrating from the shock of the collision.
And in Luigi Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte we couldn't see the dancer-in-the-sky from the third balcony, which is a shame because she was really lovely.
- Theater Travel
Either rightly or wrongly, I felt very safe in Frankfurt and unusually for a city I didn't feel paranoid that someone constantly had their eye on my purse! Use the normal common sense precautions and you will be absolutely fine.
- Women's Travel
Crossing the road
In Germany, it is illegal to jaywalk, that is cross the street whilst the "red man" is on. Not only is it illegal, they also take it very seriously. I witnessed one would-be jaywalker receive an extremely stern dressing-down from a local Polizist (not sure if that was all he got, either) in front of a crowd of onlookers. You have been warned!
Ugly Brutalist Architecture in the City Center
Okay, I understand the aesthetics and the economics which explain why buildings like this were constructed in the 1950s and 60s - right in the middle of Frankfurt's most important historic district, next to the Romerberg and the Dom.
But Frankfurt is a rich city these days, and frankly, it deserves better than this. Isn't it time to rid the cityscape of these carbuncles? No one would mourn if this structure was razed - and perhaps something Norman Foster-ish put in its place. Or better yet - nothing put in its place. An expanded public space in front of the Dom would be very welcome, IMHO.