Germany is known for the efficiency, speed and reliability of its transport systems, and Frankfurt is no exception. Traveling the metro, tram and bus lines that make up the transportation network of the Rhine-Main Transport Association (RMV) is simple and probably faster than a car (a luxury that most residents don’t have) . Touchscreen ATMs in stations usually have an option in English. A ticket will allow you to access the metro, tram and bus lines, and as the tickets are time stamped, they do not need to be validated. Although there are no turnstiles, plainclothes controllers can check your ticket at any time – getting caught schwarzfahren (“overlapping black”) or even with the wrong ticket means a drop of 60 euros in your wallet. Don’t expect sympathy for being a stranger, the penalty is strictly enforced. For a day trip, the national rail network of Deutsche Bahn is well connected to Frankfurt via several long-distance train stations, in addition to its main station, Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof (better known as Frankfurt HBF)
The Frankfurt metro system consists of the S-bahn (nine commuter train lines) and the U-bahn (nine tram and metro lines combined). Although you can plan your trip on the RMV website or via Google Maps, we recommend that you download the RMV app to your phone. The application comes with a navigation service and connects directly to the credit card of your choice. It is both a time saver – ATMs, which only accept credit cards with chips, can have lines – and practical. Tickets can only be purchased at stations or on trams – not on metro lines. As a bonus for business travelers reporting expenses, the app saves all of your receipts in one place.
Pick-ups can be rare for the S-bahn and U-bahn lines between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., depending on the day of the week. Buses run 24 hours a day, however, and city trips are a convenient and inexpensive way to soak up the city. Most bus stops have a roof overhang for protection from the elements and tickets can be purchased on board. Although foldable bikes can be carried on buses, those that don’t collapse are discouraged, although the driver can let one pass during off-peak hours.
Are you looking for an escape to a nearby town or a day of swimming in one of Germany’s pristine lakes in summer? Deutsche Bahn carries around 5.5 million passengers a day on its modern 33,300 km rail network, and a large network of regional trains connects the surrounding area of Frankfurt. Tickets, not available for purchase on board, are available on the Deutsche Bahn website; and the sooner you buy tickets for long distance trips, the cheaper they will be. Regional tickets, weekend tickets or day tickets for the whole of Germany are available. Check special offers, including group rates, for Germany or beyond.
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