Discovering Frankfurt

Updated 2019-10-09 14:29

Frankfurt, or officially Frankfurt am Main, is the largest city in the state of Hesse, and the fifth-largest in Germany. It has worldwide fame for being a central location and connected to many important destination points in Europe and beyond, which is why it had earned its nickname Gateway to Europe. Frankfurt is spread along the River Main and is one of the main metropolitan areas in Germany. The city is a significant economic, cultural and entertaining hub, full of great buildings and fantastic urban sightings. Therefore, it is also known by its second nickname Mainhattan. The city is international, easy to go around and offers plenty of options for fun for the newcomers.

Relocating to Frankfurt and moving around for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. The city is quite international, good to walk around and has a well organised public transport network. However, in order to adapt, it is essential to understand its peculiarities and what to expect after landing.

Arriving in Frankfurt

Being a gateway to Europe, Frankfurt is regularly visited by many people. The city is connected with good transport networks like buses and trains. Additionally, it has two airports: FRA (Frankfurt Airport) and HHN (Frankfurt–Hahn Airport). FRA or Frankfurt Flughafen is one of the largest airports in Europe. It is around 15 km away from the city of Frankfurt, and it takes about 20 minutes to arrive by a suburban train that runs every fifteen minutes between 05 and 23.30h. Frankfurt Hahn is 125km away, and it takes a two-hour bus ride to reach the city.

The urban scene

Frankfurt is a large city that attracts many businessmen and people who would like to advance in their career; however, the overall feeling in it is not tense. Generally, the people are friendly and relaxed, and the climate is much nicer than in any of the German cities. The giant skyscrapers are not the only element of the city, and in fact, it has a lot of green parks, especially in the centre. There is a common thought that Frankfurt is not safe (some would call it “capital of crime” in Germany). However, the truth is that it doesn't feel unsafe, and the most unpleasant part is Bahnofviertel, which is the area of the red light district.

Most of the neighbourhoods in Frankfurt offer many bars, restaurants and cafes to go out. There are also many traditional taverns which offer Apfelwein (cider) and craft beer. Some places can be interesting to party, however quite touristy, but there are many trendy places everywhere and for every taste.


Eating Hessian typical delicacies and being a vegetarian is not a good combination. The city has plenty of healthy bio shops with affordable prices and vegetarian restaurants, but there are many places to try the typical food of the region. Some of them are typical German sausages, Grüne Soße, or the famous Frankfurter Rippchen.

Other than the large number of restaurants, there are plenty of supermarkets, which usually close between 8 and 11, depending on the market. Sundays are days in which all the shops are closed.

Transportation in Frankfurt

Frankfurt has an efficient, fast and reliable public transportation system. The ticket machines are located on the stations, with an option in the English language. Ticket prices depend on the zones of movement but are usually around 2.75 Euro. Children have a reduced fare. The tickets are valid for the metro (the S-bahn and the U-bahn), tram and buses and don't need to be validated as they are time-stamped. Besides, tickets can be bought on the buses and through the RMV website and app.

Like everywhere in Germany, cycling is widespread in Frankfurt, and the streets and the pavements have markings which are only for bicycles. It is also possible to rent a bike through Deutsche Bahn through Call-a-bike, where a day ticket costs 15 Euro.

Living costs in Frankfurt

Frankfurt has higher living costs compared to the average German cities; however, the cost of living is not extremely high. Everything depends on the living preferences of the individuals, and the largest expense, like everywhere in Germany is the rent. An average one-bedroom apartment can cost between 720 and 980 euros depending on its location. Students choose to share a flat or the possibility to move into one of the student dormitories, which cost around 300 euros. The overall living expenses in the city can be around 400 euros for food and grocery shopping.

Opportunities in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a metropolis that attracts people from all over the world. This is because of the large number of opportunities in every field, the offer of one of the best universities and research centres in Europe, and the beautiful location. Being in the centre of Europe, the city is comfortable for reaching the cities in Northern Germany, as well as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. It is indeed a strategic point for a successful European life.

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