Being minutes away from continental Europe's busiest transport hub of Frankfurt means Wiesbaden is very well located for journey's anywhere in the world. Like Mainz on the opposite banks of the river Rhine, it makes a great base for trips to Frankfurt, Koblenz, Worms, the Rhein river trips and even Mainz itself. If you prefer the elegance and expense of Wiesbaden to the slightly scruffier but lively Mainz, then this will suit you well. For trips further afield the busy main station can take you directly to a number of cities across Germany, including Cologne and Stuttgart, but it isn't as well connected as its sister across the river. It does, however, share direct train links to the vast, near city like structure of Frankfurt Airport.
Much to the consternation of the current German railway management, the main station in Wiesbaden is a terminal station or dead-end station (Kopfbahnhof).
All the tracks end here, which means that all the trains have to go out backwards, so to speak.
Technically this is no longer a problem, since just about any train can be driven from either end, but it bothers them that the trains have to go out the same way they came in.
From Wiesbaden there are regional express trains that take 34 minutes to get to Frankfurt. Unfortunately the last regional express leaves at 20:31, which is of no use to opera goers.
But there are also three S-Bahn lines which run until late at night:
The S1 takes a direct route and gets to the Frankfurt main station in 39 minutes, stopping at eleven stations on the way.
The S9 goes by way of Frankfurt airport and takes 45 minutes to get to Frankfurt main station.
The S8 goes by way of Mainz, which is on the other side of the Rhine River, and the Frankfurt airport, and it takes 53 minutes to get to Frankfurt main station.
The nice thing about all these trains is that you can take your bicycle along for free (this applies to the Rhine-Main region, but not to other parts of Germany). So you can cycle to Wiesbaden during the day and go back on the train after the opera.
The First Impression
For the first impression about Wiesbaden take BUS No. 1 starting Central Station direction Nerotal. You drive along the Bahnhofstrasse and see the Reisinger Anlagen (Park) on the right. The Bus turns right into Luisenstrasse and left the Wilhelmstrasse. Before the Bus turns left again , you can take a glimp to the State Theatre of Hessen on the right. The Bus passes the Kranzplanz where you can see the Kochbrunnen (warm well) on the left and the Staatskanzlei (residence of the hessian Ministerpräsident) on the right. The trip ends at the valley station of the Nero Bergbahn. In the summer halfyear you can take this old train to go to Wiesbaden's neares "hill" the Neroberg. On the way back stop at the station "Dernsches Gelände". You are now at the center of the city. When you leave the Bus you see the backside of the New City Hall and the Markkirche (Marketchurch). Walk along to the fronside of the City Hall and you see the ensemble of the Old City Hall and the City Castle (now home of the parliament "Landtag").
The trip cost 2,20 EUR for one direction. The Bus travels every 10 min on weekdays, every 20 min on sundays. It take approximately 15 min. Avoid the times before 9 am because of the rush hours.
Cycling to Wiesbaden
The only acceptable cycling route from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden in my opinion is the one that goes along the right bank of the Main River. You have to go around an oil refinery or something between Flörsheim and Hochheim, but aside from that the route goes parallel to the river or right along the shore, and is largely free of automobile traffic.
The regional cycling maps show a couple of other routes which are more direct, but they are quite hilly and infested with automobiles, so it's no fun to cycle that way.
RMV - Getting Around the Wiesbaden Area
The local Transit Authority in Wiesbaden is called the RMV, which stands for Rhein-Main-Verkehrsbund or the Rhine-Main Transit Authority. Basically it covers the following areas: Most westward point Mainz; most eastward point Fulda, most southern point Darmstadt; most northern point Wetzler.
Click here, if you would like to see an exact map of the region.
The big advantage of this transit authority, is that you can change from buses to trams to regional trains as much as you have to, to get to your destination, without having to buy extra tickets. Nearly all of the ticket vending machines are computer-run and have an English mask. You ticket is valid when you receive it, so buy it just before you want to board the train. They are not punched in the train.
Hessenticket - for 25 Euro, you + 4 friends can have unlimited use the whole network from Mon-Fri, between 9 - 3 a.m. The ticket is not only valid for the RMV network but state-wide too.
Day Ticket (Tageskarte) - the price varies depending on how many zones you want to cross (destination code you punch into the vending machine). A day card for Frankfurt which includes the airport only costs 4.10 Euro. The ticket is valid for one calendar day.
Week Ticket (Wochenkarte) - the price also varies depending on the zones travelled. A week tickect for Frankfurt (7 days) only costs 8.70 Euro.
Are you a student? Then you can get a week ticket for 6.50 Euro with your valid student ID.
Children Discounts - Children under 14 years of age pay half-price.
Group Day Ticket (Groupentageskarte) - For the City of Frankfurt, only 6.80 Euro for you and up to 4 of your family or friends. Valid for one calendar day.
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Buses, Trains, Feet.
Getting around Wiesbaden is very simple. The bus system is very easy to understand and if you need any help almost everyone speaks english. At main bus stops there are ticket machines where you can buy tickets for one hour, one day or buy them in bulk whick will get you four tickets. If there is no machine then when the bus come make sure to get on the front and pay the driver.
Getting caught by the 'control' will result in a 40 euro fine. Getting caught on the train is the same. Except you can be sure to be checked on a train.
Wiesbaden is such a small city that almost everything is within walking distance of where ever you are trying to go.
Getting to the Frankfurt International Airport will require a train ride or a 50 Euro taxi.
Getting there is easy ...
You have the choice from Frankfurt of the S-bahn or the regional train. Service is frequent on both. You can also get directly to the airport from Wiesbaden either on the train or the S-bahn. [S-8 or S-9] You can buy both regional and long distance tickets from machines, which, although in German only, are actually easy to use. The key is to look up the number for your destination from the list.
Check out the DB website below for all the options.
Frankfurt Airport is only about half an hour away from Wiesbaden on local S-Bahn trains that run regularly throughout the day and night. They run every half hour during the early hours of the morning, and every ten minutes or so during the day. This makes Wiesbaden a very pleasant alternative to Frankfurt as a place to stop over before carrying on your journey around Germany. Unfortunately Wiesbaden is not so convenient for stopping off before heading to that other "Frankfurt" airport, Frankfurt-Hahn, so if you want to go there try nearby Koblenz or Mainz.
If you are a siteseeing type of person that will go from sunrise to sunset and on a budget, I advise you to get a bus pass during your stay at Wiesbaden. You can get them from the trainstation. They are not cheap but the price is worth it only it you plan to site see. Wiesbaden is the type of place where you either need a car or a bus pass! I left a website that gives you more information than I care to explain!
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It just really depends on...
It just really depends on where you are coming from. Coming from the South you can take 455 towards Erbenheim. Continue on 455 until it ends into Franfurter Strasse. Drive past the Arms hotel on the left and make a right on Rhein Strasse. You can pull in to large parking structure. Note there are many parking structures in Wiesbaden. Just be sure you have a mid size car to fit in to those tiny spaces.
A car would be great but don't expect to find parking during the peak hours. Drive during offpeak hours and you should find a garage space. You can take a taxi or catch the bus (I haven't done either). But if you have a SMART CAR picutred here, perhaps you can squeeze in anywhere!
Getting there by car
Wiesbaden can easily be reached on autobahns A3, A60, A63 and A66. It's easy to find a parking lot but almost all are chargeable (between €0.50 - €1.00 per hour).
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