The guide to using Frankfurt's central station explains what to look out for when arriving by train and connecting to the city centre, and how to head to Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen by train.
Frankfurt (Main) hbf is enormous, but that's because it's the central hub of Germany's entire rail network; so it's an easy city to reach by train.
There are hourly high speed ICE trains to most other major cities in Germany including Berlin, Hamburg, Koln, Munchen and Stuttgart.
Though aside from the high speed route between Frankfurt Airport and Seigburg, taken by trains heading to Amsterdam, Brussels, Dortmund and Koln, the other high speed lines in Germany are some distance from Frankfurt (Main).
Despite its size Frankfurt (Main) hbf is also a comparatively easy station to use.
That’s because it is a terminus station- so all long-distance trains arrive at the one level and have step-free access to the main concourse and exits.
As a result making connections between long distance trains involves simply walking from one gleis (platform/track) to another.
However, if you will be changing trains and don’t have heavy luggage etc, then it can be quicker to use the subway that connects the platforms.
This subway is likely to be behind you when you step off a train; the main concourse will be ahead of you.
Use the paper departure (Abfahrt) sheets on each platform, to find out which platform/gleis that the train you will be connecting into, will be departing from.
All the station's main facilities - the ticket offices, reservation desks, food/drink outlets are on the main concourse; so are on the same level as the main line platforms/gleis.
This central concourse also has step free access to/from the street.
Improvement works have begun at the station, the key benefit of which will be improved transfer between the station concourse and the S-Bahn (local) trains and U-Bhan (trams and metro).
Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is located towards the western edge of the city centre.
It isn't in the smartest part of town, but the 'Mainhattan' business district is within a 10 min walk of the station.
The central and tourist areas of the city can be easily accessed by and efficient public-transport network, which will often get you to your final destination faster than a taxi.
So before arriving in Frankfurt (Main) it be worth checking whether your final destination is located by an S-Bahn station. all lines call at Frankfurt (Main), or by one of the U-bahn lines which serve the central station; U4and U5.
The quickest route between Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and the city centre is to take a S-Bahn train from the lower level station to/from Hauptwache or Konstablerwache stations.
Rail passes can be used on the S-Bahn trains.
The gleis (platforms/tracks) used by the local S-Bahn trains to the city centre and to the flughafen/airport are at a lower level.
Follow the green ‘S’ signs on the main concourse.
There is also step-free access to these platforms by escalators and lifts.
Something to watch out for is that the S-Bahn departures are NOT listed on the main departure boards - they are shown on screens above the entrance down to the S-Bahn platforms.
For the historic Romerberg area take U-Bahn line U4 (direction Enkheim) or line U5 (direction Preungesheim) to 'Dom/ Römer' station.
The U-bahn station can be accessed from an entrance at the end of the main hall, which leads off from the centre of the concourse and connects into the main street exits at the front of the station
S-Bahn (commuter) trains on Lines S8 and S9 link Frankfurt (Main) Hbf to Frankfurt Flughafen/Airport - take trains heading to Weisbaden.
Though be aware that Line S1 trains to Weisbaden DON'T serve the airport.
Less frequent Regio trains (towards Koblenz and Saarbrucken) also connect Frankfurt (Main) Hbf to Frankfurt Flughafen/Airport.
Both the S-Bahn trains and the Regio trains call at the Regionalbahnhof station at the flughafen/airport; of the two stations at the airport, this station is closer to the terminals.
The S-Bahn trains are more frequent, they depart every 15 mins, but they depart from the lower level S-Bahn station; usually from track/gleis 103.
This platform has lift and escalator access from the main concourse.
However, before heading down to the S-Bahn station, check if there is a Regio train to the flughafen about to depart.
If there is, it will not only save the effort of descending to the S-Bahn station, it will also be a slightly quicker journey.
Though the journey time by S-Bahn train is only around 12 mins.
Something to watch out for is that the S-Bahn departures are NOT listed on the main departure boards; they are shown on screens above the entrance down to the S-Bahn platforms.
From Frankfurt city centre to Frankfurt Airport by train:
If you want to head from Frankfurt city centre to the airport by train - there's no need to head to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf in order to catch the train.
The S-Bahn trains to the airport also call at these other stations in the city centre;
The majority of Frankfurt’s hotels are located in its ‘Mainhattan’ business district and as this area is within a 5-20 min walk of the central station - this is a city in which rail travellers shouldn’t have to venture too far to find a room that suits.
Although if possible try to avoid staying near Frankfurt (Main) Hbf when the major trade fairs are occurring, they can seemingly more than double the price of the room rates.
Hotels within 5 min walk of Frankfurt (Main) Central Railway station/Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
B&B Hotel Frankfurt City - Ost
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.