Frankfurt benefits greatly from its location in the midpoint of European Union. The geographic center of the EU lies about 40 km east of the city. Frankfurt is a major financial center of Europe, with the headquarters of – among others – European Central Bank, German Stock Exchange and Deutsche Bank. Messe Frankfurt is one of the biggest congress and expo centers in the world, and Frankfurt Airport is among the busiest airports in Europe. There are some things you should know before going there though.
Travelling to Frankfurt – how to get there?
As we mentioned, Frankfurt is one of the busiest airports in Europe, visited by over 60 million passengers every year. It’s directly connected with over 300 destinations in almost 100 countries on 5 continents. These figures make Frankfurt the airport with the most direct routes in the world. There are many buses, both daytime and nighttime, which will take you to different Frankfurt districts. You will get to the city center in about a half-hour. The quickest way to get to Frankfurt from the airport is the local train. A one-way ticket costs 4.65 EUR and the trip to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Thanks to its location in the heart of the European Union, Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) welcomes over 350,000 passengers every single day. It’s connected with many European capitals, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Vienna. On top of that, Frankfurt is well-connected to virtually every major city on the continent with the highway network.
German power sockets and adapters
Vast majority of European countries use plugs that will fit into German sockets, the “Schuko”. If you are coming from Switzerland, Italy, UK or Ireland, you will need an adapter though. The standard voltage in Germany is 230V, with a 50Hz frequency. If you’re coming from the US, Canada or South America, you should check the label on the appliance. If it does not accept the European voltage and frequency standard, you will also need a voltage converter.
Opening hours in Frankfurt
Most supermarkets and big stores are open Monday through Saturday, from 9 or 10 AM to 9 PM. Smaller shops often close earlier – around 6:30 PM on weekdays and even at 2 PM on Saturdays. On Sundays, almost every shop is closed. Exceptions are: bakeries, gas stations and stores in train stations. You can also look for a Spätkauf or Späti – literally a “late purchase” convenience store, open until late night hours and even on Sundays.
Driving and parking in Frankfurt
Frankfurt established a Low Emission Zone inside a highway ring, limited by the A661 in the North-East and East, A5 in the South and A3 in the West and North-West. To enter this zone, just like in every other big German city, you will need an emission-class sticker. You have to buy one before driving into the zone. You can purchase a sticker in authorized garages in Germany or order one online, and get it in mail. To enter Frankfurt LEZ you’ll need a green sticker – it’s given based on the European Emissions standard or the date of first registration (1993 or later for petrol cars, 2006 or later for diesel). If you don’t have a sticker, you can only get to the Frankfurt Messe, from the A5 highway. Entering the LEZ without a sticker can result in a 40 EUR fine.
Just like every other major city, Frankfurt has a huge problem with traffic and lack of parking spaces. It’s very limited and some people decide to park in places it’s not allowed, risking a ticket or having their vehicle towed. If you want to leave your car in the city center, the safest way is using a Parkhaus (a parking garage or a multi-level parking). Some spots are also reserved for residents only. You should look out for signs stating “Bewohner mit Parkausweis Nr. …” with the number indicating the area.
Getting around Frankfurt by public transport
Frankfurt is a part of the Rhine-Main metropolitan region transport network. One ticket can be therefore used with different carriers, but the price depends on the number on fare zones you are travelling through. Only in the Frankfurt city zone, you can use the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, trams and buses. A single-travel ticket in Frankfurt will cost you 2.75 EUR. For a day-ticket, you have to pay only 5.35 EUR, so if you are moving around, it might be a good option. If you are a tourist, you might want to purchase a Frankfurt Card. This 1-day (10.50 EUR) or 2-day (15.50) ticket grants you free rides on all means of communication in Frankfurt, including the airport. With this ticket, you will also get discounts on tickets to the Frankfurt museums, facilities and city tours.
Renting an apartment in Frankfurt
Compared to other European cities this size, the rental apartments in Frankfurt are very expensive. The demand is high, as Frankfurt is a relatively small, but offers a lot to the city’s inhabitants. Just like in other German cities, most properties are offered unfurnished – sometimes even without kitchens, refrigerators and washing machines. By law, landlords can ask for up to 3 months of rent, and if you are renting an apartment through an agent, their fee can equal even 2 months’ rent. Many landlords also ask for documents, e.g. proof of your income, employer info and credit score. If you find an apartment you like, you should fill out the application form – it includes information on people living in the households, their professions, salaries, etc.
VISIONAPARTMENTS in Frankfurt
If you lack the time to look for an apartment, or can’t afford the initial costs, a temporary living solution is an ideal option. VISIONAPARTMENTS offers 130 temporary apartments in diverse sizes and styles at a desirable location in the central Gutleut district. It’s just a 5-minute walk away from the Frankfurt Central Train Station. A XS studio apartment starts at 990 Euro per month. If you rent a Serviced Apartment you don’t have to worry about anything. The minimum rent period is 2 days, and you can leave the temporary home whenever you like – without cleaning it or searching for a new tenant. This solution is particularly suitable for expats, people relocating from abroad or for a comfortable stay while searching for a long-term home.