Hahn itself is a quite plesant little village, but the transformation of the old USAF base into a commercial airport has been an interesting journey and why the place is now well-known.
Ryanair is still by far the biggest customer of the airport, and is responsible for the massive growth of an airport that is still a 'gateway to nowhere'. Marketed as 'Frankfurt Hahn', (despite the fact it is miles and miles from Frankfurt) few in Germany throught that Ryanair could make a success of it. They argued that it was too far from the major city, and transport routes were very weak. Even legal challenges over the use of 'Frankfurt' were mounted.
They seriously inderestimated the German (and indeed European) love of a bargain. Ryanair now fly to almost 40 destinations from the airport, with more in the pipeline. They have also been joined at the party by Wizz & Iceland Express.
If you have a long wait at the airport, you may be out of luck. There are some restaurants and a couple of stores on either side of the airport, but nothing too exciting. There is also some internet terminals on the second floor, but last time I was there (Aug 2005) they were not functioning. If the weather is nice, you could go out to the second floor balcony and watch the planes take off.
The residents of the little village next to the airport - Lautenhausen - have hit on a good money making wheeze. For you it could be a little money saving wheeze. Rather than paying for long term car parking at the airport local driveways get rented out for a pretty uniform three euro day ( a few seem to break ranks and go far a bargain basement 2.50 a day). It's less than a ten minute walk to the airport from anywhere in the village, and they might even give you a lift there. I have no idea how you arrange a space - i suspect you just drive around until you see a space and the knock on the door.
Seems an excellent arrangement to me.
When I first used Hahn airport, it was thought that nobody would use Ryanair's latest wheeze to cut costs and introduce cheap flights to the masses of Germany. A bus trundled out from Franfurt to meet each of the flights from Stansted directly.
This is still the the most popular route, but with some 50 odd destinations now available, the number of bus routes from the airport has dramatically increased. There are useful connection to Koln, Koblenz, Heidelburg, Trier, Luxembourg and Mainz (for the railway) amongst others. Local bus to Simmern as well.
The route to Luxembourg is especially useful, with a roughly hourly service.
There is also talk of re-opemig the nearby railway branch line that was closed in the mid 1970's.
There are 6 trips made a day between Hahn and Trier by Jozi-Reisen bus lines. The bus ride takes 1 hr 20 min and is pretty comfortable. As far as I know you, the only place to get tickets is to purchase it from the driver, but there may be another way to purchase them. The cost is 12 euros (one way), but there is a group discount for more than 5 people. The bus picks up and drops off at Trier Hauptbahnhof trainstation.
Ryanair has got into 'hot water' with authorities in the past by some inventive naming of the airports it uses. Charleroi becomes Brussells, Torp become Oslo and most strangely of all Malmo became Copenhagen (not even in the same country for crying out loud).
Ryanair refer to Hahn airport as 'Frankfurt Hahn'. They may provide a direct bus link, but it must be about 75 miles from the airport to the centre of the German Metropolis.
Hahn is not allowed to use the word 'international' in it's name, but the confusions still continue, with people leaving far too little time to get to the airport from Franfurt, or arriving at Hahn and wondering where the hell they are.
Don't get caught out.
The Hahn airport is located on the site of the USAF air force base.
Begun in the 1950's, the United States turned this area into a little self-sufficent town of Apple pie and Uncle Sam.
It was an important cog in the war machine of NATO during cold war times, but by the early 1990's was redundant.
It's wasn't easy to find new uses for the Hahn complex, and some of the buildings still lie semi-derelict, with gatehouses and the like standing totally empty.
More usefully the Karting track and the golf-course left by the Americans and well asa couple of burger-joints are still going strong.
You can still take a drive around the complex and see some examples of Utilitarian 1950's pre-packaged buildings.