Airport Guide: Frankfurt Airport, Germany

Destinations 11 Oct 2018

Germany’s busiest airport is comprised of two large terminals linked by the elevated SkyLine train servicing several concourses. It is the main hub for Germany’s flag-carrier Lufthansa and is thoroughly emblematic of German efficiency, craftsmanship and style.

By Mal Chenu

Shopping

Frankfurt Airport has more than 130 retailers, including the usual duty-free, gift, toy and fashion shops. The duty free offerings even extend to domestic passengers. Brands that are ‘made in Germany’ and ‘made in Europe’ are readily available at many outlets, including The Airport Shop, Discover Germany and Frankfurt Airport Retail GmbH & Co. Think names such as Baum & Mercier, Braun, Reidel, Leica, Montblanc, Swarovski crystal and Ritzenhoff glassware. Other local goodies include Blue Nun wine, Erdinger Wheat Beer gift packs, Adler Black Forest Ham gift boxes and Zimmermann Bavaria charcuterie delicacies, as well as cuckoo clocks, cool hip flasks and sporting memorabilia. For unique sparkly designs, see Wempe Jewelers.

The airport even has a Wheel of Fortune you can spin to obtain a shopping discount, either online or at the airport. (Lots of) conditions apply. And you can shop online and pick up your purchases at the airport on the day of your flight.

Eat and drink

For local cuisine head to Kaefer's, Ditsch Brezelbeckerei, Deutsch, Erster Wiener, Meyer Feinkost and Wiener Feinbackerei. Or consider Lucullus Nero or Ciao Italia for Italian, Coa or Cosi Asiate for Asian, Manzana for Mexican and Sense of Taste for Mediterranean. There are many pleasant bars in the airport, headlined by Goethe Bar, dedicated to Frankfurt’s famous writer and favourite son.

Lounges

Some lounges and hotels only cater for truly international passengers who are travelling to countries outside what is known as ‘the Schengen area’. (Schengen is comprised of 26 European countries and allows travellers to move freely between member countries without having to go through border controls or have a Visa.)

As is the case for many European airports, a Priority Pass lounge membership or a pre-paid pass will get you into most of the public lounges. Pay-at-the-door access is available at Luxx Lounge (T1) and Sky Lounge (T2) and will set you back around €30-€35 for three hours or €50 for a day pass.

The Frankfurt Sheraton Hotel offers day rooms (as well as a top-end restaurant) and is connected to T1 via a pedestrian bridge. Two Hilton hotels are also attached to the airport, while Park Inn by Radisson, Steigenberger Airport Hotel and Meininger Hotel are all within five minutes by shuttle. My Cloud Transit Hotel is located in the T1 transit area and offers small rooms with a bed, Wi-Fi and shower for €80 for the first three hours and €20 per hour thereafter.

Dedicated rest zones throughout the airport feature reclining lounge-style seats with footrests.

Entertainment

Frankfurt offers ‘Airport Experience Tours’, ranging from 45-minutes to two hours, featuring up-close views of take-offs and landings, the airport fire brigade and other interesting infrastructure. No bookings are required and tickets (~€7-€20) can be purchased at the tour counter in the Airport City Mall (T1).

Both terminals provide children’s play areas and there is also a casino (T1) and an outdoor Visitors’ Terrace (T2). Terminal 1 offers Gaming World, Movie World and a Flight Simulator. Regular concerts are held in the Chapel (T1).

At most gates, you’ll find workbenches with power outlets, USB ports and inductive power stations, and day spas and yoga rooms can be found in both terminals.

Beyond the airport

Commuting to the Frankfurt city centre by train, bus or taxi takes about 15 minutes. Grab a Frankfurt Card for unlimited tram, bus, underground and suburban train access, as well as discounts at museums, the zoo, botanical garden and more. Take the Ebbelwei-Express one-hour city tour, or if you want to do it yourself, start at Römerberg, the main square in Frankfurt’s Old Town and see the nearby City Hall and Old St Nicholas Church. Explore the Museumsufer, a group of museums and galleries on the south bank of the Main River. 

Shop at the Zeil and NordWestZentrum mall and check out Frankfurt’s imposing skyline from the 200-metre-high observation deck in The Main Tower. And don’t ask for a beer - the libation of choice here is Apfelwein (apple wine).