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Frankfurt-am-Main

Getting there & away

Contents

Land

Bus

Long-distance buses leave from the south side of the Hauptbahnhof, where there’s a Eurolines office (230 331; Mannheimerstrasse 15) catering for most European destinations; an interesting domestic option is the Europabus that plies the Romantic Road. German Eurolines services are operated by Deutsche Touring (790 350).

Car & motorcycle

Frankfurt features the Frankfurter Kreuz, Germany’s biggest autobahn intersection – modelled, it would seem, after the kind you might find in Los Angeles. All major (and some minor) car-rental companies have offices in the Hauptbahnhof and at the airport.

Känguruh (596 2035; Intzestrasse 20a) rents out older-model cars from around €20 per day, including insurance and a 200km kilometre allowance; call in advance. ADAC (01805-101 112; Schillerstrasse 12) has useful information for drivers.

The Mitfahrzentrale (194 40; Baselerplatz; 9am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun) arranges lifts; typical all-up fares are Berlin €30, Cologne and Kassel €14, and Munich €23.

Train

The Hauptbahnhof, west of the centre, handles more departures and arrivals than any other station in Germany. The information office for connections and tickets is at the head of platform 9; for train information call 01805-996 633.

Deutsche Bahn’s regional saver comes in the form of the Hessenticket (€25), which gives a full day of regional train travel for up to five people.

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Air

Flughafen Frankfurt-am-Main (01805-372 4636; www.frankfurt-airport.de) is Germany’s largest airport, and has the highest freight and passenger turnover in continental Europe (London’s Heathrow just beats it on passenger numbers).

This high-tech sprawl has two terminals, linked by an elevated railway called the Sky Line. Departure and arrival halls A, B and C are in the old Terminal 1, which handles Lufthansa and Star Alliance flights. Halls D and E are in the newer Terminal 2.

Regional train and S-Bahn connections are deep below Terminal 1 in Hall B. IC/EC and ICE trains depart from the Fernbahnhof, connected to the main terminal building by a walkway. ICE trains run between Hamburg (€94, four hours) and Stuttgart (€49, 1¼ hours) via Hanover (€72, 2½ hours) and the airport every two hours, to Cologne (€53, one hour) and Dortmund (€72, 2¼ hours), and south to Basel (€65, three hours). Trains service Berlin (€98, four hours) from Hauptbahnhof. Platforms 1 to 3 are in the regional station and platforms 4 to 7 are in the long-distance train station, where there’s also a DB ticket office and service point. Train services from the regional station run between 5am and 12.30am.

The terminals have a wide range of (horribly expensive) cafés and bars, as well as Dr Müller’s –Germany’s only airport sex shop/adult movie theatre.

If you’re in transit, you can enjoy a hot shower (or a cold one, after Dr Müller) for €4.09 in Hall B; ask at the information counter.

From the UK, Ryanair offers cheap flights to Frankfurt-Hahn airport but, despite the name, this is not even in Hesse but in Rhineland-Palatinate, not far from Koblenz! It’s a 110km, 1¾-hour bus journey to Frankfurt city from the terminal (€12).

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