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One of the advantages of living in Frankfurt is its inexpensive and efficient public transport system. For those who live and work in the city, a car may not be necessary. With a good city map or Google Maps, expats will find that getting around Frankfurt is quite easy. The city's bus, train and tram services are always reliable, and there are a variety of different ticketing options, depending on how often a person uses public transportation in Frankfurt.
For those who enjoy a good walk, it is certainly possible to get around on foot in the city centre, and cycling is a popular mode of commuting too.
Public transport in Frankfurt
Frankfurt’s Central Station is possibly the most important transport hub in Germany. More than 1,000 trains connect Frankfurt with other cities in Germany, as well as with international destinations. All the S-Bahn services stop at the Central Station. Trains are usually highly punctual and there is a timetable of all the trains that stop at each station.
The S-Bahn connects Frankfurt with the densely populated Rhein-Main region. When the S-Bahn leaves the city, it travels above ground, covering the main areas in Frankfurt (such as Konstablerwache, Hauptwache and Frankfurt Central Station), and also provides access to the trade fairs and airport. The S-Bahn trains also travel to nearby cities, including Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg, Mainz, Darmstadt, Kronberg, Friedburg. The U-Bahn serves Frankfurt and the larger suburbs of Bad Homburg and Oberursel in the north.
Frankfurt has an extremely efficient tram service too. The trams travel over ground and usually run on tracks which go down the middle of roads. Trams serve even more stops than the trains do in Frankfurt.
It might be a shock for some people as passengers might have to walk onto the road to get on or off a tram at times. While it is perfectly safe to do so, be very careful to check that cars have stopped before crossing. It is mandatory for drivers to stop behind the line and give priority to tram passengers. However, there may still be reckless drivers on the road who don't always obey this law.
Trams stop at every designated stop so passengers do not need to press the bell to request a stop.
A number of buses serve Frankfurt. Each stop has a name which will be announced and displayed onscreen prior to the stop. Buses in Frankfurt cover a greater area and serve more distant suburbs which are not covered comprehensively by Frankfurt's train network.
All night-bus services start and end at Konstablerwache.
Taxis in Frankfurt
Taxis are readily available in Frankfurt. If a passenger knows the street name and postal code of their destination, the driver should not have any problem finding a place. Passengers can hail taxis off the street, grab one at one of Frankfurt's taxi ranks, or order one over the phone.
Just like any other city, taxis can be expensive depending on how far one wants to travel, but are a viable option when travelling short distances within the city centre. Travelling by taxi also becomes cost-effective when a number of people are travelling together to the same destination.
Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Free Now are also a super convenient way to get around. Expats can simply download the app, link their credit card and start riding.
Cycling in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is a pretty safe city for those who wish to cycle. There are dedicated bicycle lanes in most parts of Frankfurt.
Although it is not compulsory to wear a helmet while cycling in Frankfurt, expats are advised to do so at all times.
Driving in Frankfurt
While most people living in Frankfurt opt to use public transport to commute in and out of the city each day, driving does have its own benefits – such as increased independence and ease of access, which cannot be replicated by other modes of transport. Having a personal vehicle is especially useful for expats with children as well as those who wish to explore the outskirts of Frankfurt and its surrounds more freely.
The standard of road infrastructure and signage in Frankfurt are excellent so expats will find that driving in the city is a pleasant experience. Local motorists are generally patient and courteous.
The major downside to driving in Frankfurt is the lack of parking in the city, which is not only hard to find but expensive. Rush hour traffic can also be a problem for commuters.
Are you an expat living in Frankfurt?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Frankfurt. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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