Frankfurt is the ideal airport for a layover. It only takes 20 minutes, by train, to travel from Frankfurt airport into the heart of Frankfurt and spend the day sight-seeing, shopping and grabbing a bite to eat before heading back to the airport for your connecting flight. For clients doing a WALK FRANKFURT layover tour, tickets and travel are taken care of by your guide when they collect you from the airport. However, some travellers like to do their own thing, so this is a quick guide how to do it.
S-bahn trains, S8 & S9, run every 15 minutes from Terminal 1 and travel directly to Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, the two most central stations in Frankfurt. There are two railway hubs at the airport, you will need to find the regional station which is downstairs in Terminal 1 itself. Once downstairs, the first thing to do is buy a ticket from one of the ticket machines. You have several choices:
- single journey tickets which cost 4,80€ (a return = 9,60€).
- a day travel card which costs 9,35€ (cheaper than buying a return ticket) and permits you to travel on all the city transport for the day.
- a group travel card which costs 16,40€ and permits up to 5 people to travel together on all the city transport for the day, and is excellent value if there are two or more of you.
Step by step instructions on how to buy a ticket have been added at the bottom of this page. You will need cash, or a credit/debit card with a PIN to purchase tickets from the ticket machines.
After you have bought your ticket, head down to Platform 1 and wait for an S8 or S9. Frankfurt has a barrier-free transport system so you just show your ticket to the inspector on the train during your journey. It's five stops and 20 minutes to the centre of town. The stops are: Stadion, Niederrad, Hauptbahnhof, Taunusanlage and Hauptwache where you alight, or you can travel through to Konstablerwache. Local travel maps can be found on the RMV local transport pages.
In Frankfurt city
Once in Frankfurt there is plenty to see and do. The old town is down by the river near the Cathedral, museums are centrally located and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bakeries selling food and drinks. On a fine day you can take a local river cruise which only takes 110 minutes, or enjoy the view across the whole of the Frankfurt urban area from the Main Tower. Click on this link indexing various blog pages offering detailed information and more ideas. Over the summer months there is usually an outdoor festival being hosted in the city centre and whatever the theme of the festival you can be sure to find bratwurst, beer and local wine. If you're lucky enough to be in town on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday then a real treat is to catch one of the fabulous Farmers' markets (details listed here).
For your return journey to the airport go to either Hauptwache or Konstablerwache station and follow signs for the S-bahn. Wait on platform 3 for the S8 or S9 train which run every 15 minutes.
Buying your travel ticket at the airport
The ticket machines are touch screen, so touch the screen to bring up the main main menu. Tap the appropriate flag at the bottom of the screen to bring up the menu in your chosen language.
For single tickets select the single ticket option (see central column options in image above). The next screen will ask you to select an adult or child fare. The payment screen will then appear and you simply pay by inserting cash cash, or a card (with PIN). On inserting card, the screen will tell you to follow instructions on the card reader. Once payment is made the tickets will be issued.
For a daily travel cards, select either Day ticket for individual tickets or Group day ticket for a group of up to 5 people. If you selected day ticket then the next screen will ask you to select an adult or child fare (this screen is omitted for group tickets) Next, the screen will show a calendar from which you select the date you wish to use the ticket. Select the date and then the payment screen appears. Simply pay by inserting cash cash, or a card (with PIN). On inserting card, the screen will tell you to follow instructions on the card reader. Once payment is made the tickets will be issued.