Finding free Wi-Fi at German airports

Posted in: Airports

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Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt International offers free Wi-Fi to travelers for 60 minutes per device. Airport Photo: Angelo DeSantis

You might think finding wireless access at German airports is a simple task. But it’s not quite that easy.

Twice a year, passing between Europe and the US, I travel through four airports—one in Germany, one in the Netherlands and two in the US. Three out of four have free wireless Internet access for travelers. I’ve used it to check and send messages before departure or upon arrival, as well as call my family using VoIP to let them know that flights are taking off as planned or have been delayed. It’s a valuable tool in a traveler’s arsenal when your foreign cell phone can’t connect. Only the largest of these four destinations—my beloved Berlin—doesn’t offer travelers even a free 15 minutes on their wireless network. You have to pay to surf.

But while Berlin may not make it cheap to connect, other German destinations do provide free Wi-Fi while you wait to board your plane.

Skyscanner has a very detailed rundown (in German) of the options available at every airport in Germany—most of which are paid. That said, there are several German airports that won’t charge you to get online. We’ve translated the details, and if you’re lucky enough to be traveling through any of the following airports, you can plan on the following free minimum use:

Cologne-Bonn: unlimited with registration
Dresden: 30 minutes
Frankfurt: 60 minutes
Hamburg: 60 minutes
Lübeck: unlimited with registration
Memmingen: unlimited
Munich: 30 minutes
Zweibrücken: unlimited with access code from information booth

Tip for getting extra time: Remember that each mobile device will have its own 30- or 60-minute window, so if you’ve got a laptop, tablet or Kindle and a smartphone at your disposal, you can double or even triple the amount of time allowed simply by switching devices.

Do you have any tricks to scoring free Wi-Fi when traveling through airports? Let us know! And let’s hope Berlin adds free Wi-Fi when they finally open their brand new hub in 2016.

About the author

Hilary Bown

An academic by training, a writer by day, and a Cheapo by heritage, Hilary Bown's meagre means and insatiable travel appetite have helped her sharpen her "no-budget travel" skills across the European continent over the past decade. At home in Berlin or on an adventure abroad, you'll find her in sandals, riding the bus, reading novels while walking, drinking the local wine, writing out postcards with a felt-tip pen, and browsing the shelves of the supermarket and hardware store. Find her unique blend of travel adventure and tested advice at Less Than a Shoestring.

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One thought on “Finding free Wi-Fi at German airports”

  1. I wouldn’t to quick to judge these other countries about Wi-Fi, I have been traveling for the past 20 yrs with a conference speaker to just about every state in the union and I have found it very difficult to get Wi-Fi in many of our airports !

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