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Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

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Destination Expert
for Frankfurt
posts: 4,612
reviews: 26
Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

You have landed in Frankfurt, have a layover and want to go into the city, so here is how to do it. You can also go to the top of the screen and click on Things To Do, there you will find the lists of museums, tours, restaurants, shopping, etc.

It is quite fast, with a train only taking 11 min. (3 stops from the airport) to the Main Train Station - Hauptbahnhof, or a few minutes more (5 stops from the airport) if you would like to get off at the Hauptwache or the next stop Konstablerwache (6 stops from the airport). There is usually a train every 15 min. and they run from very early in the morning (04:15) til quite late at night.

How to find the train station in this huge airport? To start with, there are two train stations. If you are just coming into Frankfurt or going to Mainz or Wiesbaden, you should follow the signs for Regional Trains or S-Bahn. (look for the big green S) This station is under Terminal 1 by Arrival Hall B-1, and the signs will be in English. Just take the escalator downstairs and for Frankfurt, go to track #1. For Mainz or Wiesbaden, you would go to track #3. This is where the S-bahns 8 and 9 normally stop. There is also an RMV ticket machine here. Regional trains may also stop here and the ones that are on track #2 are usually going to stop at the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. You can ride these too with your ticket.

If you are catching a long distance train - like the ICE, it will most likely arrive at the Fernbahnhof - or Long Distance Train station. Again, follow the signs, though this is located sort of across from Terminal 1. If you land at Terminal 2, simply take the Sky Train, a fun little monorail over to Terminal 1. If you have kids, they will love this monorail. It should only take about 5-6 minutes to go from Terminal 2 down to the Regional Train station.

Cost - a single ticket, one way (einzel fahrt) costs 4.25 euro.This ticket will take you into Frankfurt city center by train, and is also valid to get to your final destination by tram, bus, S-bahn or U-bahn, as long as you keep traveling without a break. An all day ticket (Ganz Tag) for one person that includes travel to and from the airport as well as all public transportation in the city, is 8.30 euro. Going to Mainz or Wiesbaden will cost the same amount. This is a better deal than buying 2 one-way tickets.

A group day ticket, called an "All Day Collective Ticket" on the ticket machine (gruppen karte) costs 15.00 euro. This ticket is good for up to 5 people and is valid all day long, getting to and from the airport and on all forms of transportation in Frankfurt. A good choice for 2 or more people. These are NOT 24 hour tickets, they are only good for the day of purchase until the trains, etc. stop running for the day, usually around 1 a.m. Going to Mainz or Wiesbaden from the airport costs the same amount as going to Frankfurt.

The RMV and DB share ticket machines and they are all touch screens. They switch into English and are fairly user friendly. The machines take coins, 5 and 10 euro bills for single tickets and if you are getting a group ticket it will take a 20 euro bill. It will NOT take a 50 euro bill. Change will be in coins.

RMV machines do not take American credit cards for local travel, but the DB does.

In Frankfurt you do not need to validate your ticket unlike some other cities in Germany. It is all on the honor system. If you do not have a ticket though, you will be fined 40 euro immediately.

There is a DB Travel Center located right next to the escalators for the Regional Train Station. They can print your tickets for you (this will cost you 2 euro), take credit cards for payments and give you information about schedules and so on.

If you need to store your luggage at the airport, cost per bag will be 4.50 euro for 2 hours or less, or 7 euro for 3-24 hours. The better deal is to bring your carry-on into the city and store it in the lockers located along track 23 in the main train station. Cost is between 3-5 euro and the 5 euro lockers are big enough for about 4 carry-on back-packs or bags.

Now, what to see in Frankfurt:

- The Roemer and the Roemerplatz, City Hall since 1405 and old town square

- Book Burning Memorial, site of the Nazi book burning

- Alte Nikolai Church, Gothic church built in 1290

- House Wertheim, the inner city's only original half-timbered house left at the end of WWII, we tell you how it was saved and why

- Eisener Steg, pedestrian bridge of the Main River, offering a great view of the skyline and the many museums lining the riverbanks, covered with "locks of love".

- St Bartholomew, better known as the Kaiserdom, Imperial Church, site for elections and coronations of the Holy Roman Emperor for centuries

- Joerg Ratgeb's wall paintings in the Karmeliter Kloster (Carmelite Cloister), the largest religious wall paintings north of the Alps, painted in the early 1500's

-Stumble Stones (Stolper Steine), a unique way of commemorating the many victims who lost their lives under the Nazi regime

- Jewish Holocaust Memorial Wall, a very personal memorial that the city of Frankfurt has created, to honor the memory of the 12,000 Frankfurt Jewish Citizens who lost their lives during the Holocaust, including Anne, Margot and Edith Frank

- Medieval Jewish Cemetery, one of the oldest and largest Jewish cemeteries in Germany

- Jewish Ghetto Wall, (Staufen Mauer) once part of the city's defensive walls built in 1180, it later became one of the walls that surrounded the Jewish Ghetto

- Klein Markt Halle (little market hall), this is a wonderful produce hall filled with fruits, vegetables, chocolates, pastries, cheeses, breads, meats, fish, and delicacies from around the world (closed on Sundays and holidays)

- Hauptwache, historic Frankfurt landmark

- The Bull and the Bear at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

- The Thurn and Taxis Palace, newly reconstructed and a lovely example of 18th Century Baroque architecture

- Eschenheimer Turm, an original guard tower from the city's outer defensive wall, built in 1425

- Alte Oper, one of Europe's classic opera houses, once known as the most beautiful ruin in Germany

- The Goethe House, where Frankfurts' favorite son was born

- Deutsche Ordens Church (Teutonic Order of Knights) built in 1309

- Paulskirche, the location of Germany's very first democratically elected parliment in 1848

- Farmers Markets, Thurs. & Sat. at the Konstablerwache, Fri. by the Stock Exchange, Wed. & Sat. in Bornheim on the Berger Str., Tues. & Thur. small market on the Kaiser Str., Tues, Fri. & Sat. in Höchst, Tues. & Fri. Sachsenhausen Sudbahnhof, Fri. Nordend Friedberger Platz.

Multiple museums to visit for every interest.


74 replies to this topic
Nuremberg, Germany
posts: 16
1. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Very informative summary of what to see in Frankfurt with a few hours! Thanks, Bornheimgirl!

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 18,925
reviews: 240
2. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Hi Bornheimgirl,

I was searching the forum and reading old threads just yesterday! It's as if you could read my mind and you don't even know me, ha ha.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your expertise. Really appreciate the comments about Sunday closures. I hope you don't mind that I've added this thread to the list of Top Questions on your forum.

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 18,925
reviews: 240
3. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

A useful link on layovers from the Frankfurt airport website:


New York
posts: 1,607
reviews: 94
4. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

For food and window shopping - the pedestrian zone near the Old Opera. I can't recall whether you mentioned the Palmengarten and the great cafe there, near the old US Consulate. I always find time for Manufaktum, across from the Old Opera, with cool tools and clothing and good food.

posts: 45
reviews: 3
5. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

That was an amazing post re a layover in Frankfurt. We have a 8 hour layover tomorrow and your info helps a lot. Thanks.

Llanelli, United...
posts: 10
reviews: 1
6. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Fantastic information. Full of detail and ideas. Thanks very much

New York City, New...
posts: 2,056
reviews: 60
7. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Extremely wonderful post. I was going to ask a similar question. You just answered it. I will be there in April

New York City, New...
posts: 2,056
reviews: 60
8. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Hi! followup questions, if you do not mind.

1. I'm arriving at 530 a.m. Frankfurt airport for my stopover. I was googling my meeting point for Frankfurt on Foot. I realize there are lots of foodshop downtown near the meeting point. Should I eat breakfast at the airport or just go downtown?

2. Re. the lockers at the train station. Are they coin fed? do they take credit cards? ( US credit cards )

Are there always vacant lockers available.

3. As mentioned the RMV does not take American credit cards. I am confused. DB machines takes American credit cards but they both share the same machines. Anyway to get RMV tickets using American credit cards?


posts: 174
reviews: 13
9. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

Fantastic Info -- We will need it in November -- but not a layover, just in & out at Frankfurt. However, we have several days just after we arrive before we go to Budapest, and then after rivercruise at Nuremberg, we will have 2 days in Germany before flying out. (Putting my specific questions on a different thread here. Hope Bornheimgirl can help or others of you.)

Destination Expert
for Frankfurt
posts: 4,612
reviews: 26
10. Re: Layovers in Frankfurt, how to and what to see?

1.) I would eat breakfast in the city and pay half of what it costs to eat at the airport

2.) The lockers at the train station are coin operated, the large ones cost 5-6 €. They don't take credit cards. There are 100's of them, I don't think they are ever all used.

3.) Yes, the DB shares the machine and takes credit cards, just for local transportation, it doesn't. Wish there was a sign on the machine that says this, as people get really frustrated at the airport trying to do this. You can go into the DB counter and they will let you use a credit card, but they will charge you 2 euro to do so. Better is to just get cash from an ATM for all of your small purchases and tickets, and leave your CC in your wallet.

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