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Off topic: Best way to spend a few hours in Frankfurt?
Thread poster: Nadejda Vega Cespedes
Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:00
Spanish to Russian
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May 4, 2007

Hi folks,

I am going to have six hours between connecting flights in Frankfurt, and I am wondering if it makes any sense to go to the city center and briefly look at something beautiful. Maybe someone here can enlighten me on this one? Any tips will be much appreciated!

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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
German to English
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Yes! May 4, 2007

Frankfurt is much better than its reputation and well worth a visit. The city centre can be reached by S-Bahn in about 20 minutes. Just go to the Regionalbahnhof and take a S8 or S9 in the direction of Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and get out at "Hauptwache".

The best bet is a walk around the city centre itself e.g. Zeil (great shops!, starts directly at the Hauptwache), the rebuilt medieval part + town hall (Römer) . the Alte Oper/Fressgasse. A walk along the river is also pleasant on a fine day. There are lots of museums along the south bank (tip: the cafe in the Liebieghaus has lovely homemade cakes!)


Have a great time,

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Local time: 10:00
Portuguese to English
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don't miss the giant euro May 4, 2007

i had a few hours to kill in frankfurt once, but i was travelling by train, not airplane. a walk along the river is a nice way to pass the time, and much better than sitting in the airport. there is also a giant Euro "sculpture?" closeby the river that you can admire while you ponder european commerce.
my boyfriend is an architect so he loved walking around frankfurt. i just had a look at our pictures and it's mostly skyscrapers. i remember he was really excited to go stand in the lobby of some building that must be famous or built by some famous architect or something. (it was like 6 in the morning when i was there so there wasn't a whole lot to do.)

[Edited at 2007-05-04 13:48]

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
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Something to keep in mind May 4, 2007

I'm saying this tongue in cheeck of course - please keep in mind that you will lose half that time simply by going from one end of the airport to the other and standing in line twice to show your passport and going through the security check!

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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
English to Italian
my experience May 5, 2007

Hi Nadejda,

Last month we had a 5-hour-layover in connecting flights in Frankfurt, (we were coming from Los Angeles and we were headed to Rome) and rather than hanging around the airport for 5 boring hours, we decided to take the S-Bahn to go to downtown Frankfurt and it worked out really well. First of all your passports will be checked by the German customs as soon as you arrive in Frankfurt, and also when you will be going to get your connecting flight.

Despite from what I had heard on other forums (, the lines at the security and passport controls in Frankfurt were relatively short and much smoother than the ones in the US.

Anyhow, after landing in Frankfurt take the S-Bahn 9 or 8. The former has as final destination Offenbach/Main, the latter is directed to Hanau. It's better to get off at Hauptwache which is the 5th stop after the Frankfurt Flughafen one. When you come back from Hauptwache to the airport you must take the S-Bahn 8 or S-Bahn 9 both headed towards Wiesbaden Hbf and get off at Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbf.

The S-Bahn station is on level -1 of the arrivals at Terminal 1, you have to follow the REGIONALBANHOF signs and go down one level. Trains leave every 15 minutes and it takes about 10 minutes to get to Hauptwache.

You can purchase a single trip ticket which costs about 3.50 euros per person, but if you are 2 or more people traveling together you might as well get a Gruppentageskarte which costs about 13 euros, is valid for up to 5 people traveling together and can be used for a whole day. In my case it was my husband and I and we got the day pass (less of a hassle: you buy the ticket once and off you go).

Once we arrived at Hauptwache we asked for directions and we headed towards the Roemer, the core of the Old Town. We strolled around the old square, we visited the Old Nikolai Church, the Roemer and as it was lunch time, we stopped in a little place overlooking the square where for about 4 euros you could get 2 Frankfurters, a bun and a cold ale beer. It's a little place next to the Roemer building, they have barrels outside and some benches and their Frankfurters were great! When in Frankfurt you've GOT to eat Frankfurters, right?

We waited until 12 noon, when all the church bells started to toll, we did some people watching and then walked towards the Main river. We stopped at a little Bakerei near the History Museum and had a piece of Apfel Struedel and then headed back to the Hauptwache.

It was a very pleasant experience, not enough to get a good deep glimpse of such a large city, but enough to savour its old charm.

Just one last suggestion: allow some time to return to the airport. Trains run every 15 minutes and it takes about 10 minutes to get to the airport, plus you must add the time to go to the departures level and go through the security control again. But, as I said if you have a 5 or 6 hours layover and you allow about 1 hour and 20 minutes to go and then come back to the airport, you'll still have time to enjoy a quick visit to this beautiful city where skyscrapers are built close to old buildings.


[Edited at 2007-05-05 03:16]

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Beatrice Grundheber
Local time: 14:00
English to German
Cafe Karin May 5, 2007

If you do take the train to "Hauptwache", don't miss to have some coffee and/ or something to eat at "CAFE KARIN". Lovely place, lots of locals, good food and very inexpensive for Frankfurt.

Have fun!!

City, Großer Hirschgraben 28

(069) 295217

Mo-Thu 9-1,
Fr a. Sa 9-2,
So 10-19 Uhr
(Breakfast Mo-Sa 9-18 and So 10-18 Uhr)

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Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:00
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
Many thanks! May 5, 2007

I carefully read all the comments and now definitely know what to do. Thank you all so much, you are an invaluable source of information!

[Edited at 2007-05-06 12:48]

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