Star Alliance flyers know Frankfurt well. I am still new to Star and took advantage of a long, 9-hour layover to check out Frankfurt.
Layover options include:
- Frankfurt am Main (the city)
- Wiesbaden for the hot springs
- Mainz of Gutenberg printing press fame
- A number of UNESCO World Heritage sites within a short drive (Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch the closest, with several more to the east, west and south of the airport)
My original inclination was to a UNESCO grand tour. In I think a wise recognition of my limits I knew I would be utterly exhausted from the trip over to Bangalore, India and all-day to late night client negotiation and entertainment, so I limited myself to the city.
I passed up the Lufthansa arrivals lounge and only hiccup I had was locating the tourist information welcome desk to purchase the Frankfurt Card, which has 1/2-day versions for EUR 9.90/14.90 that includes unlimited public transport and many museum discounts, including the most popular museums. A delightfully dour lady at the desk was brutally honest about Frankfurt’s attractions, “Well, the natural history museum cannot compare to London or New York…or even Berlin.” We settled on the Goethe House and Deutsches Filmmuseum.
I did a walk roughly following Rick Steves’ route from the main train station, through the red light and junkie district, on to the deserted financial district, through pedestrian streets and the post-WWII rebuilt historic center. Ending across the river at the row of river facing museums. I had a nice time. Not a city screaming big attractions, and nearly overwhelmed on a lazy August Friday by tourists representing Star Alliance’s dominant countries for leisure tourists (e.g. China), though the relaxed European vibe was a nice counterpoint to a week of work in India. Even a 4 or 5-hour layover would be enough to dip a toe into the city.
Readers, where do you go on Frankfurt layovers, and don’t say the lounge!