Frankfurt Airport layover

Old Jun 24th, 2014, 06:26 AM
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Frankfurt Airport layover

I have a 14 hour layover in Frankfurt and am looking for suggestions on where to stay the night. We arrive about 8:30 pm and leave on an international flight at 10:30 am the next morning. is there somewhere pleasant, easy to get to and reasonable to spend the evening?
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 06:46 AM
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Well if you do not want Frankfurt - a large modern Manhattan on the Main (River) that many folks think does not fulfill the romantic notion of Europe you can easily head by train from the airport to smaller, cuter, dreamier nearby smaller towns - Mainz or Worms or Speyer - but since you will be basically sleeping and not in a hotel until 10-11pm and then get up and go to the airport why not just stay in an airport area hotel?

Can't see or do much in any town from 11pm to your flight the next morning.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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That type of 14 hours is very difficult to use effectively. I don't think you have much choice of things to do.

Next time, and others who might be reading this thread, there is often a way to get more useful layovers. Did you just take an layover that popped up in your web search? Most search engines let you tinker with you itineraries to come up with flight combinations not provided as a off-shelf combination at same or at little additional cost.

I think people usually look downward to ideal layovers in 2-3 hours range. If that is not available, the other way to look at layover on the longer side, 20-24 hours. I try to weed out layovers like the one you mentioned - added accommodation cost with no value. If the search engine proposes 8:30pm arrival, I thinker with the itinerary to see if I can arrive in early afternoon 11am-2pm which leaves me usable time to do something at the layover city. My booking engine often tries to make me take a 14 hour layover at AMS. I work on my itinerary to make it either 2 hours or 22 hours or more. I don't think travelers like flying into layover cities late in the evening for a good reason, but the booking engine tries just as hard to make me take those flights.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Mainz. Roughly 20 minutes by train from the Frankfurt airport.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Practicalities on Mainz: the fastest train takes 19 minutes but it is a fast train with supplement; instead just take the S bahn or a regional train (designated with the letter R) which take a few more minutes; use www.hotels.de or www.booking.com and find the map function to get a hotel right by the train station so you can drop your bags right away (hotel rates in Mainz are very reasonable); drop your bags, then stroll 10 minutes toward the Altstadt; if it's too late for a meal, look for a wine tasting. It's a very pretty, easy place. I would overnight there instead of Frankfurt even if you weren't looking for someplace nice.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 02:45 PM
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I would go with dfourh's advice - Mainz is absolutely better, and has lots of places to eat and drink, and there is a compact Altstadt - but I will add that I don't think you have much time to enjoy Mainz -or any location - particularly if you arrive jetlagged. In that case you might be better off with an airport hotel (and only you know if you are likely to be jetlagged). We've had to stay at the airport once (very early flight, very bad jet lag) and have stayed at the Steigenberger Airport Hotel (soulless, but with a free shuttle to the airport every 15 mins), but I have had my eye on some of the hotels in the Squaire at Frankfurt Airport, and may stay there another time if necessary.

Lavandula
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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This type of plan needs a reality check. If you look at www.bahn.com train schedule, it is unlikely that the OP can get to Mainz station before 10pm unless the OP is traveling with carry-on only or willing to leave checked luggage in transit at the airport. I don't like leaving my luggage so long. Every time I left luggage > 6 hours, someone rummaged through my luggage and left a calling card - previously folded items just forcefully stuffed back randomly.

If you look at www.bahn.com on a random weekday, FRA-Mainz
20:37-20:58 RE - impossible
20:58-21:15 ICE - miniscule possibility. It is a long walk.
20:59-21:25 S-bahn - unlikely unless out of plane first from the right gate, carryon only
21:29-21.55 S-bahn - likely with luggage

Assume 10pm arrival at Mainz station. The OP has to compute how long it would take to
1. find hotel
2. check-in, drop luggage
3. wonder around. You have to find an eatery you can order after 10pm...
4. back to hotel
5. sleep
6. wake up early
7. get to the Mainz station to catch a train to FRA

The OP would probably be left with ~6 hours of sleep.
greg is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 05:51 PM
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Thank you for your thoughtful replies. I do appreciate your careful analysis of my options. While awkward, for our travel plans, this layover was our best option. I have never flown into Frankfurt before so was not familiar with what could be possible from the airport so am grateful for the insight. It sounds like we will just have to suck it up and opt for a nearby airport hotel. That said, does anyone have a suggestion for one that offers comfort and convenience?
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 07:44 PM
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the website for the airport lists the airport hotels, which can be reached by a free shuttle or other airport transit, and includes a Hilton and a Sheraton. Airport hotels tend to be chain hotels for business clients

www.frankfurt-airport.com
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 08:01 PM
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For convenience, Sheraton is at the airport, and of course, you pay premium for that convenience. There are others near providing 24 hours shuttle services. Use, for example, www.booking.com and hover around to find one hat fits your constraints.

While not meant to challenge your flight choice, there are more leverages one can employ to get value out of having to spend overnight at a layover city rather than just pay accommodations. One might even consider reducing time on the last day at the last city on the primary destination to spend more time at a layover city by flying earlier. If what you do at the layover city more than compensates for what you give up, then it can be an acceptable trade-off.

To be able to visit the Keukenhof gardens at the height of the tulip season, often a difficult time for me to take vacations, was so compelling that it was worthwhile giving up the last day in Italy to fly to AMS in the morning for a 23 hour layover at AMS.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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I don't think you made a mistake with your layover / stopover. Frankfurt is actually a pretty good airport in terms of facilities (there is, for instance, a supermarket, lots of bars and restaurants, good shopping, showers) and is very easy to navigate. It is also well-organised. You could have picked a much worse airport!

Even if you were to go to a hotel in Frankfurt itself IMO you would probably only shave off ten minutes or so (Frankfurt proper is about 11 minutes by S-Bahn) and you would still have to orient yourselves, find food and so on. You can do the timings: ( http://www.rmv.de/en/ ).

The hotels in the Squaire (I think one is a Hilton Garden Inn) have as an advantage that you can just wheel your luggage there by yourself and don't need a shuttle. The Steigenberger was not awful but it is a business hotel, and is about 10 minutes away. They do have a restaurant (not exactly part of the hotel) which is in an authentic Fachwerk house (the style of building that is traditional in the area), which they must have retained when building the main part of the hotel. The shuttle is quite a good thing, as it starts very early in the morning, if it isn't 24/7.

Lavandula
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:54 PM
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If you are going in the summer, it is still light out til quite late. Right now until almost 23:00. There are often fests in the city center and if you land at 20:30, you could be in downtown Frankfurt by 21:45. The S-bahns run every 15 min. and only take 11-15 min. depending on which station you get off at. A taxi will run you about 30-35 euro, and this will be your fastest option to get downtown. You could be at your hotel by 21:30.

Nicest hotels in the city center would be Hamburger Hof or the Pure, near the main train station, Westin near the Konstablerwache stop, or the Hilton near the Hauptwache stop. The Hilton backs up onto a wonderful park that completely surrounds the downtown center. Food options abound everywhere in the city.

With your time at a premium, going into Frankfurt is the fastest and easiest, rather than Mainz or one of the "airport" hotels where you have to wait on a shuttle. The 2 Hiltons and the Sheraton at the airport are the only ones that are actually located there. Those are your best bet if you just want to check into a hotel and sleep. If you want to go out and walk around, then Frankfurt is going to be the best. It is beautiful here at night, and walking through downtown, the Römerberg area or along the river is a treat.

Alte Oper fest begins today and runs through 4 July. Give us your dates and we can make better suggestions.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Why not stay at the Hilton Garden in the airport?

Your plane lands at 8:30 but after clearing immigration and customs, it will be 9:30-10:00. Check into one of the hotels located in the airport, get 7-8 hours rest then go check-in.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 11:05 PM
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I had a similar situation in the Dublin airport last summer. The layover was at night. It was difficult to make the decision not to really see Dublin (and the logistics were, of course, entirely different from yours but still the same kind of "not enough time to do anything" stopover). I would just stay at an airport hotel and save Frankfurt for another time.

Frankfurt is a city that gets a bad rap on this board, but there really is quite a bit to do there. In 14 hours mostly at night, it will be bed, or have a drink and go to bed.

Have a wonderful trip.
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Old Jun 25th, 2014, 12:49 AM
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We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, nixing our original plan to zip into Frankfurt in the evening, and we were glad we did.

Although the hotel is practically IN the airport, it's a tad hard to find after you first exit from the terminal. You have to find the connecting train station concourse first and then go up one level by an escalator. So do stop at an information booth to get your bearings.
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