Frankfurt, Germany

Guide for the rail traveller

Information

CurrencyEuro
Local languageGerman
Country Germany

Introduction

Frankfurt lies in central Germany in the state of Hessen. Its official name ‘Frankfurt am Main’ refers to the fact that the Main River runs through the city. The city is Germany’s financial and commercial capital and has enormous economic power not just within Germany but also within Europe. Some of Europe’s highest skyscrapers are to be found here, with many government organizations, the publishing industry and bank headquarters choosing Frankfurt as their home. Trade has made the city very cosmopolitan and multi cultural, with non-Germans making up over twenty-five percent of Frankfurt’s population.

Frankfurt is a vital air, road and rail network juncture due to its central position within Europe. The city attracts approximately twelve million visitors per year with many of these being drawn by the numerous exhibitions, trade fairs and congresses. For some excellent shopping opportunities in go to Zeil, Frankfurt’s ritzy pedestrian thoroughfare and Germany’s busiest shopping district.

However, its not all business, there are some excellent museums, galleries and the opera, moreover you are only a short journey from the beautiful countryside all around you. Take time out to go to one of the famous taverns and sample the traditional Apfelwein (applewine/cider). For something a bit different take the multi-colored ‘Ebbelwei-Express’, the tram that takes you through Frankfurt’s Old Town and Sachsenhaus district whilst you enjoy a bottle of Apfelwein and a bag of pretzels - an unforgettable experience!

Going to Frankfurt?

Use our Trip Planner and start your trip here.

Things to do

The Old Town has the restored medieval quarter and Sachsenhaus, the area across the river, houses many museums, taverns and more banks! Meanwhile the area around the main station (Hauptbahnhof), is surrounded by many hotels and businesses, though the rather seedy red light district is also nearby so beware.

The Roemerberg a square north of the Main River, is the historical center point of the city here you will find the Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas’s Church) and the Roemer, which has been Frankfurt’s city hall since the turn of the fifteenth century. Take the U-Bahn to Roemer. Nearby you will also find the Sankt Bartholomausdom (Church of St Bartholomew), the views from the top of which offer a stunning panorama of the city.

Founded in the mid-nineteenth century, Frankfurt’s Zoologischer Garten (Zoo) is one of the most important and attractive Zoos in Europe. Take the U-Bahn to Bockenheimer Warte. Here you will also be able to visit the nearby Palmengarten (Palmgarden); a wonderful display of tropical plants and exotic birds.

There is an array of museums and galleries such as the Museum fuer Moderne Kunst (The Museum of Modern art ), the Staedelsche Kunstinstitut und Staedtische Galerie (Staedel Art Institut and Municipal Gallery), the Historische Museum (Historical Museum) and last but not least the Goethe Museum and Goethe Haus (Goethe’s House and Museum). Completely destroyed during World War II, this was the house where Germany’s most famous poet was born and brought up in the mid-eighteenth century. It has since been rebuilt and can be reached by taking the U-Bahn/S-Bahn to Hauptwache.

Local transport

As you would expect, Frankfurt’s public transport network is efficient and well integrated. It consists of the U-Bahn (underground), S-Bahn trains, and buses. Tickets may be purchased from vending machines, with weekly and monthly tickets being available from ticket offices and newsagents. Visitors may wish to invest in the Frankfurt Card, available for one or two days it incorporates all travel as well as reduced entry into some key attractions.

Day trips

An hour’s train ride south of Frankfurt lies the charming town of Heidelberg. It is one of the most popular towns with visitors in the whole of Germany and rightly so. Situated on the banks of the River Neckar, there is a Gothic and Renaissance castle as well as Germany’s oldest University.

Alternatively take a river trip to a variety of destinations along the Main River including the wine village of Ruedesheim. The many wine cellars there offer tours and tasting opportunities for the budding connoisseurs amongst you!

Recommended places and events to visit in Frankfurt

Plan your trip to Europe

European Trip Planner

Use our trip planner to put together your list of destinations to visit on your trip.


European Rail Passes

Compare rail passes and point to point tickets.


Travel Articles

Find inspiration in our travel articles and journey suggestions.