After I have now written several articles about changing planes and getting off the plane at various airports (Lima, Madrid), I thought: What about my home airport Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport?
That's why there's this travel blog article with really practical travel tips for transferring and departing in and from Frankfurt Airport.
With travel tips on the terminals, how to get there by train and car, accommodation and parking options near the airport, practical tips regarding cabs to Frankfurt Airport resp. into the city center, where are ATMs, how to travel, how to fly on, what to eat and where are the useful shopping options etc.
I hope this article is helpful!
Germany's largest airport is, in my opinion, a rather pleasant airport, even in a global comparison. In recent years, FRAport has copied the best things from the leading airports in surveys, it seems to me, and the Rhein-Main Airport's willingness to spruce things up is now clearly noticeable.
Some hard facts Frankfurt Airport: passengers per year: over 64 million (2017). 99 airlines serve 311 destinations in 97 countries.
Arrival at Frankfurt Airport by train and car
With train and own car it is quite easy.
The ICE resp. Long-distance trains of Deutsche Bahn stop at the airport's long-distance station, which is not to be confused with the regional station.
The S-Bahn stops at the regional station, as well as various regional trains, the name is quite appropriate. As a rule of thumb, if you are not sure where to go: DB white trains: long-distance station. Red trains including the S-Bahn to the Rhine-Main area (Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Mainz, and yes, Offenbach as well) – regional station. Ticket machines are plentiful at both!
If you want or need to travel by car, you can park directly in the airport's parking garages for short trips. The daily fee is 21 euros. you can buy the parking ticket online in advance, then it is a bit more convenient and cheaper. Pretty good service on top! Can be downloaded paperless to your phone as a QR code, and you no longer have to carry a piece of paper or rummage around at the ticket machine when picking it up. Just drive out and have the code scanned again, and the barrier will open. I have done several times now, very classy!
If you want to park your car for a longer period of time, use the search engine of your choice and park your car further away from the airport. This is cheaper than parking in the airport itself, and there is usually a shuttle service to and from the terminals.
Transferring in Frankfurt Rhine-Main: stopover, layover, which terminal for which airline?
The best way to get to FRA is, of course, by plane! For those arriving within Germany or from surrounding countries and continuing by long-haul flight, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Primarily, in which terminal it arrives, and from which terminal it goes on. In principle, this is easier than you think. There are two terminals with a total of five departure areas.
- Terminal 1 with departure areas A, B and C.
- Terminal 2 with departure areas D and E.
The terminals are roughly sorted by airline alliances:
Terminal 1 StarAlliance, Terminal 2 OneWorld and Skypartner. With some exceptions, e.g.B. LATAM in area C of terminal 1.
The completely subjective airlines I chose for long distance routes and Terminal 1 (T1) resp. Terminal 2 (T2):
- Air France: T2
- Air Namibia: T2
- Alitalia: T1
- American Airlines: T2
- All Nippon ANA: T1
- Austrian Airlines: T1
- British Airways: T2
- Delta: T2
- Easy Jet (T2)
- El Al: T1
- Emirates: T2
- Etihad: T1
- Iberia: T2
- KLM: T2
- LATAM: T1, area C
- Lufthansa: T1; A, B, C (almost all German domestic flights arrive and depart from A, some from B)
- Ryan Air (T2)
- SAS: T1
- Singapore Airlines: T1
- South African Airways: T1
- Swiss: T1
- Thai Airways: T1
- Qatar Airways: T1
If you are traveling with Lufthansa from Berlin or Hamburg, you will land in Terminal 1 at Pier A, and then have to find your way to the rest of the airport. It can happen that you fly with LH further the long distance, and you have to change to another departure area like B or C. Which is not a problem within the terminal and is also quite fast. Departure areas A, B and C in Terminal 1 are connected in a way that you don't have to leave the secured departure area.
Who if necessary. with an airline from an alliance other than the StarAlliance, may be allowed to. change the terminal. In the meantime, this can be done quite well with the Skytrain, also from areas behind the security check.
I often read that the Rhein-Main airport has such miserably long distances, but I have to say that this is very similar in other large airports, and in Frankfurt the signage for this has been greatly improved.
However, who e.g. arrives at Gate A 40 (Terminal 1, Area A), may walk more than one kilometer to A1!
Infrastructure Frankfurt Rhine-Main Airport: hotels, motels, restaurants, supermarkets, sleeping, internet access
Frankfurt Airport now has a very good infrastructure, even for travelers who e.g. for people who want or need to spend the night before their flight, as well as for individual travellers and. self-catering. Or for travelers who have a longer stopover to bridge.
In the Squaire, which is the area above the long-distance train station, there is a Rewe and a Rossmann. They are also open late on weekends and in the evenings. Also good selection at normal prices. I am still waiting for the reopening of Tegut?!
Restaurants and cafes, bakeries, snacks in Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1
Snack stores and bakeries can now be found on almost all levels, in the long-distance train station, in front of the regional train station, in the terminals in front of and behind the security checkpoint. The Frankfurt airport is now really classy, even in passenger area A there is a veritable bakery, and who arrives Sunday afternoon with Lufthansa from Europe, still gets his bread here.
In the terminal in area B, there is a larger food court, with Kafers Restaurant (great view of the planes), Starbucks, and some other cafes.
In the Squaire there is actually the best selection of restaurants, as I find, who walks from the terminal into the building, go left and go up the escalator. In a very quiet and pleasant area there is an Italian restaurant Little Italy with great pizzas at reasonable prices, a Bavarian restaurant (Paulaner) and a restaurant of the Alex chain, and an Asian restaurant. So also for vegetarians a very good selection.
Various bakeries, snack stores, a Starbucks and a Burger King more than round off the offer in the Squaire.
Restaurants and cafes, bakeries, snacks in Frankfurt Airport Terminal 2
The restaurant offer in Terminal 2 is ok, but not as good as in T1 and the Squaire. There is a large food court in T2 with a McDonalds and various other restaurants. Behind the security gate in the non-Schengen area of T2 there is a StarBucks. In Terminal 2 at the gates there is a nice little restaurant with a view of the apron and a good selection of goodies (sandwiches, croissants etc).) also for an early breakfast. Who like me now and then to Madrid or. Peru or Colombia in South America flies, is grateful for it, because Iberia starts at 6:30 to Madrid or KLM via Amsterdam is also a day flight to South America with correspondingly early departure in T2 (as soon as this reopens after the Corona pandemic) from Frankfurt.
Staying overnight at Frankfurt Airport: The hotels in the airport terminal
Directly in the terminal buildings of Frankfurt Airport there are exactly five hotels from which you can reach the terminals on foot and without a shuttle bus.
My Cloud (airside, in the transit area)
Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
Marriott Frankfurt Airport
Hilton Garden Inn and
Hilton Frankfurt Airport
My Cloud: This is Germany's first hotel in a transit area (airside) of an airport, it is located in Terminal 1. People who do not want to or are not allowed to enter Germany or do not need it at all, but would like to use the comfort of their own bed and bathroom between two flights, stay here overnight. The DZ for eight hours costs around 225 euros.
Sheraton Frankfurt: Germany's supposedly best-used hotel, is in one building together with The Squaire and the long-distance train station directly at Terminal 1, it is connected to the terminal via two bridges. A pleasant place, the double room from 100 Euro. Two restaurants, bar, pleasant atmosphere.
Hilton Garden Inn: Is, if you go from the terminal into the Squaire, to the right hand, the escalator above Rossmann leads you to the hotel. There you go straight to the Hilton, the entrance to the Garden Inn is before on your left hand side. The Garden Inn is a bit cheaper than the Hilton, a very decent and not so expensive hotel (from 89 Euro the room) in the three star range.
Hilton Frankfurt Airport: A – in my opinion – more than pleasant hotel. Very nice rooms with view into the fancy inner courtyard of the hotel. Great breakfast, courteous service, very nice hotel bar with exciting crowd. The double rooms are available from approx. 180 euros. It's a five-minute walk from the Hilton to the Lufthansa counters in the Rail+Fly area (between Terminal 1 and the long-distance train station), where you can drop off your luggage for the flight, so you don't even have to go all the way into the terminal. From the Hilton to Terminal 2 you walk a bit longer (ten minutes to T1) and from there you take the Skytrain to Terminal 2. Very comfortable and practical. If you fly out of Frankfurt early in the morning, e.g. with Iberia to Madrid and further to South America, for these travelers the Hilton in Frankfurt Airport is my clear recommendation.
Quite new is still the Frankfurt Airport Mariott Hotel, located directly at Terminal 1 within walking distance. In the same building as the Sheraton.
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Staying at Frankfurt Airport: The hotels outside the airport terminals
For years, there was only the Steigenberger here, but now there is a very large – and, in my opinion, very good – selection of hotels directly around Frankfurt Airport, in newly developed areas such as Gateway Gardens or the Unterschweinstiege: Without being able to list them all and without rating – in random order – these are u.a. a NH, a Holiday Inn, a Meininger, an Intercity Hotel, a Hyatt, ParkInn by Raddisson, a Mercure, the Moxy, and an Ibis. Almost all with own shuttle to the terminal. The price range is really wide, so there should be something for every budget. Bookable via the usual hotel portals or directly with the hotel chains.
Sleeping in Terminal 1
In Terminal 1, there is an area in area B, still before the security gate (landside), where it also goes to the SkyTrain station, which has quite pleasant recliners in a quiet zone to show. Here you can, even without having to book a hotel, sleep quite passably. Since there aren't very many of these recliners and this area of T1 is usually quite crowded (during the day), you'll have to see how you can get your hands on such a seat. Otherwise, the sleeping options in the terminal of Frankfurt Airport, this applies to T1 and T2, but already quite limited. More information about this topic on sleeping in airports.
Frankfurt Airport is nevertheless considered a "sleeper-friendly" airport, because u.a. the high security for the travelers. And yes, at night the airport is pretty empty and deserted, and is not closed or cleared either.
Showers are also available in T1 and T2, for a fee, and in front of the security checkpoint.
Internet access: free WLAN, charging stations, sockets
The WLAN network "Airport-Frankfurt" provides free internet access for 24 hours. Registration and submission of an email address are necessary.
By the way, there are also plenty of freely accessible power outlets for charging your notebook and smartphone in both terminals, both in front of and behind the security gates.
Frankfurt airport to Frankfurt city center and back
Those who want to get from the airport to Frankfurt, perhaps because they have more time, have exactly several options.
A cab from the airport to downtown Frankfurt costs around 30/35 euros.
The S-Bahn S8 and S9 go to the city center of Frankfurt, if you want to go to the Zeil or to the Romer, you have to go to Frankfurt Hauptwache. Travel time is approx. 15 minutes, the fare is 4.90 euros for an adult, one way. Departure by S-Bahn from the regional train station.
The long distance trains of the Deutsche Bahn also leave in ca. 15 minutes between Frankfurt main station and the airport. Departure of DB long distance trains in the airport is from the long distance station!
Various buses depart from the airport to Frankfurt districts or to stops in the adjacent Main Taunus district or. there are feeder buses to Darmstadt and Heidelberg. This is the bus 61 from the airport to Frankfurt Sachsenhausen to the Sudbahnhof from Terminal 1 as well as from Terminal 2. If you want to go to the Museumsufer, or to Alt-Sachsenhausen to drink appler, you can go directly to the Sudbahnhof. Takes 20 minutes from Terminal 2. Cost one way: 4.90 euros.
Layover Frankfurt Airport: When is a trip to Frankfurt worthwhile?? Hard to answer, with three hours or less layover/stay between flights I would stay at the airport.
Since the S-Bahn is quite fast in the city center of Frankfurt, one can go from three hours and more but already fix on the Zeil, or to the Romer. Everything is within walking distance in downtown Frankfurt.
Money exchange, ATMs Frankfurt Airport
Various money exchange – providers are available in the terminals as well as in the Squaire. Cash can be exchanged there, even in more exotic currencies like e.g. South African Rand. Classic foreign currencies like US Dollar or British Pound, Franc, of course also.
There are plenty of ATMs in Frankfurt airport, but for my taste there could be more. In Terminal 1 e.g. in the check-in area at A there are several machines of the Frankfurter Sparkasse, in T2 between the areas D and E, also at the level of the check-in counters.
This is located in the arrivals area of Terminal 1, in area A.
Car rental in Frankfurt Airport
The two terminals at Frankfurt Airport each have a car rental center. All rental car companies are located there. In T1 this is in the basement, on the way to the underground garages. In T2 you will find the car rental agencies directly after arrival.
The vehicles are usually parked in the underground garages of the terminals, which is very convenient because you can walk there. For such a large airport, I don't take that for granted. Who knows how far you e.g. has to drive from the terminal to the rental car pick-up stations in the U.S., understand what I mean.
The return of the rental cars is also directly at the terminals. Terminal 1 in the parking garage at P3, Terminal 2 in the underground parking garage of the terminal. The signposting is very good, you can hardly miss it. Each rental car company has a clearly marked area where you can pick up or drop off your car. From there you can walk to the counters for check-in and check-out. to the baggage claim, in both terminals in Frankfurt Airport this is less than 5 minutes.
Apps Frankfurt Airport
There is of course the official app of Frankfurt Airport for iPhone and Android, with indoor navigation and all arrivals and departures.
Also handy is GateGuru with information about the departure gate, the facilities near the gate, stores, etc.
The app from Kayak and the very practical Trips also sends you the latest gates and flight changes to your smartphone via push message.
And the classic for flight freaks is flightradar24, all flight movements in real time, with u.a. Aircraft type, airline, and departure location. Very exciting.