Frankfurt’s role as home to the central bank of the European Union lends it a glitzy vitality international offices, shiny skyscrapers, and expensive cars define every intersection. Equally important is its role as a major transportation hub for all of Europe. Indeed, Frankfurt (pop. 641,000) first made its appearance as a crossing point for the Main River the Franks forded the river in early times, and the city’s name literally meansorrf of the Franks. Today, the city spends more on cultural attractions and tourism than any other German city. Visitors are drawn by the selection of museums and exhibits and, of course, the highly trafficked transportation routes that make Frankfurt a likely stop on your itinerary.
Flights: The airport, Flughafen Rhein-Main (FRA; (0180) 53 72 46 36), is connected to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) by S8 and 9 (every 15min.; buy tickets for 3 from the green machines marked Fahrkarten before boarding).
Trains: Call (0180) 599 66 33 for schedules, reservations, and info. Frequent trains leave the Hauptbahnhof for: Amsterdam (4hr. 2 per hr. 80); Berlin (5-6hr. 2 per hr. 58-86); Cologne (2Vihr. 3 per hr. 29-51); Hamburg (5hr. 2 per hr. 81); Munich (3Vi-4V4hr. 2 per hr. 65); Paris (6-8hr. 2 per hr. 59-73).
Public Transportation: Runs daily until about lam. Single-ride tickets (1.65, rush hour 1.95) are valid for lhr. in one direction, transfers permitted. Eurail is valid only on S-Bahn. The Tageskarte (day pass, valid until midnight of the day of purchase) provides unlimited transportation on the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, streetcars, and buses; buy from machines in any station (4.60, children 2.70).
Ride-sharing: Mitfahrzentrale, Baseler Str. 7 (23 64 44 or 23 64 45). Take a right on Baseler Str. at the side exit of the Hauptbahnhof (track 1) and walk 2 blocks. Arranges rides to Berlin (29), Athens (110), and everywhere in between. Open M-F 8am-6:30pm, Sa 8am-4pm, Su 10am-4pm.
ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
The Hauptbahnhof lies at the end of Frankfurt’s red light district; from the station, the Altstadt is a 20min. walk down Kaiserstr. or Munchener Str. To the north, the commercial heart of Frankfurt lies along Zeil. Cafes, stores, and services cluster in Bockenheim (U6 or 7 to Bockenheimer Warte). Across the Main, Sachsen-hausen draws pub-crawlers and museum-goers (Ul, 2, or 3 to Schweizer PL).
Tourist Office: (21 23 88 00), in the Hauptbahnhof, sells the Frankfurt Card (1-day 6.15, 2-day 9.75), which allows unlimited travel on all trains and buses and gives 50% off admission to many sights. Open M-F 8am-9pm, Sa-Su and holidays 9am-6pm.
Currency Exchange: In various airport booths (open daily 7:30am-9pm) or the Hauptbahnhof (open daily 7:30am-9pm). Better rates are available at any bank.
Laundromat: Schnell & Sauber, Wallstr. 8, near the hostel in Sachsenhausen. Wash 3, dry 0.50 per 15min. Soap included. Open M-Sa 6am-llpm.
Emergency: Police: 110. Fire and Ambulance: 112.
Pharmacy: (23 30 47), in the Einkaufs passage of the train station. Open M-F 6:30am-9pm, Sa 8am-9pm, Su and holidays 9am-8pm. Emergencies 192 92.
Internet Access: Alpha, in the Hauptbahnhof s gambling salon, past track 24. 0.50 per 6min. Open M-Sa 6am-12:45am, Su 8am-12:45am. Several Internet cafes are on Elisa-bethenstr. near the hostel; the cheapest is Telewave, Elisabethenstr. 45-47. 1.50 per hr. CybeRyder Internet Cafe, Tongesgasse 31, charges 2.50 per 30min. Open M-Th 9am-llpm, F-Sa 9am-midnight, Su llam-llpm.
Post Office: Main branch, Zeil 90 ( 13 81 26 21), inside the Karstadt department store. U- or S-Bahn to Hauptwache. Open M-Sa 9:30am-8pm. Address mail to be held: Firstname SURNAME, Postlagernde Briefe, Hauptpostamt, 60313 Frankfurt, GERMANY.