Frankfurt’s reputation as a transportation hub extends to its extensive public transportation network of metros, buses, trams and commuter trains that take you anywhere you want to go in the city. This whole network is operated by RMV, or Rhine/Main Regional Transport Association, one of Germany’s largest transportation associations.
Getting Around Frankfurt
A majority of the budget hotels that we recommend are located in Bahnhofsviertel near the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Many of the more interesting hotels, though (like Hotel am Berg, one of our favorites) are located in up-and-coming outer neighborhoods like Nordend, Ostend and Sachsenhausen, all of which are within an easy distance, either on foot or public transit, of the city center.
Frankfurt’s U-Bahn comprises seven subway lines and runs from 4 a.m. until 2 a.m.
Frankfurt’s 42 bus lines run between 4 a.m and 1 a.m. There are also nine night buses, which run between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Frankfurt has eight tram (Strassenbahn) lines. In general, tram service stops between 2 a..m. and 3 a.m.
The city also has nine S-Bahn commuter trains that use the same ticket system as the public city transportation. These trains are especially useful for traveling to and from the airport. The S-Bahn operates from about 4:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m.
Metro, Bus, Tram, and Commuter Rail Tickets
Within the Frankfurt city limits, there is one ticket system for the U-Bahn, bus, tram and S-bahn. A single ticket costs €2.40. There is also a cheaper ticket (€1.50;) for short journeys under 2 km. There is a list of applicable “short-distance destinations” at each station.
If you plan to use public transit often, the most economical option is to opt for a day pass, which offers unlimited access to the entire network. A single day pass costs €6.20 (€3.70 reduced) and a group day pass, good for up to five people, costs €9.50. Visit the RMV site for more information.
By Bike and On Foot
Frankfurt is a very pedestrian-friendly city, with most of its attractions located within walking distance of one another. There are also several parks and green spaces within the city limits, all great for a stroll.
For those looking for two-wheeled adventures, the Deutsche Bahn (German rail) operates the Call-a-Bike service in several major cities, including Frankfurt. Bikes are available from the Hauptbahnhof. Call the number on the bike to register and receive an unlock code. Rates are €0.08 per minute, €15 for 24 hours or €60 for a week. There is a one-time €12 registration fee (€7.50 if you sign up online).
Taxi stands can be found throughout the city, and there are also multiple companies that can arrange taxis by phone. Ask at your hotel for the number of a reliable taxi company. Use sparingly, though—taxis are not cheap, and are generally not necessary.
Updated and edited: October 2011
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