On my way back after a flight to Frankfurt Airport (FRA), I have a five-hour wait at the airport before taking a Lufthansa bus to my final destination.

Since the airport is only a few subway (S-Bahn) stations away from the city centre, I was thinking of using this opportunity (also having a pretty fair idea of how boring 5 hours doing nothing can be) to visit and have lunch in the city of Frankfurt.

Does this idea sound reasonable to you?

Will I have any transport problems considering it will be on a Sunday morning in August?

And eventually, will I be able to leave my luggage somewhere in the airport? (Or quite possibly in Frankfurt Hbf?)

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    Welcome to the site. Your first question is mostly opinion based, we prefer specific questions be asked. Also, consider splitting this into many questions as it may be too broad to answer – blackbird Jun 22 '15 at 18:11
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    Transport will not be a problem but you will need to get some distance from Hbf to find a pleasant lunch locale. You might try the Hauptwache (upmarket) or Leipziger Strasse (middle market) or the Roemer Platz (touristy) – Gayot Fow Jun 22 '15 at 18:16
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    It's funny how different people view things differently. 5 hours? That's nothing to me. That is just right for a layover. I can take my time disembarking the first plane. Wander to my new departure gate. Buy a local newspaper. Take a few pictures of planes and catch up on the news. Then be a bit early to the take off lounge. Now if you said you had 12 hours, I might consider leaving the airport for lunch.. but 5 hours? no way. – CGCampbell Jun 22 '15 at 18:28
  • @CGCampbell And in the end you have the same lunch that you could have had in the airport, but then without rushing in and out of the city. Bring a good book to kill the time – Bernhard Jun 22 '15 at 18:40
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    Why not do a sightseeing tour? – Count Iblis Jun 23 '15 at 14:51
up vote 10 down vote accepted

5 hours is borderline. The trains work very well. The S9 goes every 15 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes to get to/from the city. You don't have to get off at Hauptbahnhof (which isn't necessarily the nicest spot in Frankfurt) but you also can go to, say, Hauptwache.

However the airport itself is huge and it can take quite a while to get from the gate to the train station (you want "Regionalbahnhof") see http://www.frankfurt-airport.com/content/frankfurt_airport/en/directions/arriving_by_bus_ortrain/airport_railway_stations.html. Actual time will depend on where you arrive and whether you have to clear immigration and custom.

On the way back you have the same rigmarole plus you have to go through security which can a lot of time as well. Especially for an international departure. US flights leave typically from Terminal Z with an extra layer of immigration and doc check.

So I'd recommend to be at the airport two hours before an international departure. If you budget an hour to get from the arrival gate to the train station and have the tickets sorted out plus another 45 minutes travel (including waiting for the next train), that leaves a you little more than an hour in town.

EDIT: The Lufthansa bus makes this much more feasible. You will get 2-3 hours in town. Luggage storage is available and it's not particularly expensive. http://www.frankfurt-airport.com/content/frankfurt_airport/en/checkin_luggage/luggage_neu/storage.html

  • Actually I'm taking the Lufthansa bus (in front of the airport) on the way back, so I don't need any security check and it's pretty quick. I've been to this airport and it's huge indeed, but do you know if there are ways to put luggages in a cabin somewhere? – Pierre Arlaud Jun 23 '15 at 7:45
  • @PierreArlaud Are you saying you are basically going out and waiting landside for a bus anyway? That ought to be clarified in the question because that's a completely different scenario than the one everybody has been discussing. – Relaxed Jun 23 '15 at 8:45
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    @Relaxed I never said I was taking a flight, just that I was stuck in Frankfurt airport for 5 hours. The bus is a Lufthansa bus which is part of my trip ticket and I can't change it for another hour with a decent price. The good side of course, is that I don't have any security check to do in these 5 hours. But the question remains: "do I have time to go to the city and go back in 5 hours?" and "where can I put my luggage?" – Pierre Arlaud Jun 23 '15 at 9:40
  • @PierreArlaud Yes, I can read and I realised that once I saw your comment but you must recognise that it makes sense to assume you were talking about a 5-hour layover and that's what everybody did. As it stands the question is still misleading and ought to be edited rather than defended with sophistry. – Relaxed Jun 23 '15 at 10:22
  • @Relaxed feel free to edit and remove any idea you find misleading :-) The details about the bus seemed irrelevant to me (it's equivalent to being 6 hours in the airport with a plane to take) – Pierre Arlaud Jun 23 '15 at 12:14

Will I have any transport problems considering it will be on a Sunday morning in August?

Five hour is plenty to get to the S-Bahn go to the main train station (Frankfurt am main Hauptbahnhof) get a grab and return to Frankfurt airport. The subway (S-bahn) goes every 15 mins between the city and the airport. But going towards the central attractions is possible but you might have to hurry a little.

But do note that on Sundays (except for verkaufsoffene-sonntag), the shops will be mostly closed in Frankfurt city and there's little you can do there.

Also, do note that it's advisable to reach the airport 2-3 hours before (especially when you're traveling out of the schengen states) so effectively you have around 1-2 hours for travel + food around the Hbf. There's quite a variety of food around the Hbf.

If you're taking the Lufhansa bus, it's not exactly at the airport but at the Squaire building near the conference hall. So do take into account another 10-15 walk to and from the Squaire to the S-bahn station.

Will I be able to leave my luggage somewhere in the airport? (Or quite possibly in Frankfurt Hbf?)

Luggage storage is available http://www.frankfurt-airport.com/content/frankfurt_airport/en/checkin_luggage/luggage_neu/storage.html

And there are also quite a lot of coin-operated lockers at the Hbf too.

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