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laoutlaw Jan 12th, 2015 05:46 AM

Last Day before flying out of FRA...where to spend it?
I'm trying to decide on a nice city/town to cap off our last day in Germany before we fly out of Frankfurt Airport. We will be at the tail end of a 2 week trip (visiting Berlin/Munich/Black Forest area), so somewhere easy going with a few pleasant sites & a short-ish train commute to FRA would be great. We would probably arrive mid day at this location coming up from Gengenbach. Our departing flight leaves FRA the next morning at 9:45, so we would need somewhere that has frequent trains headed towards FRA where we could easily arrive in time to get through security etc in plenty of time. Ideally, I suppose we are looking for somewhere to show up, have a stroll/wander around, grab a dinner & drink & relax.
Mainz? Wiesbaden? Frankfurt? Somewhere else I am not seeing/aware of?

Thanks in advance!

Fussgaenger Jan 12th, 2015 06:00 AM

Mainz is an ideal place for that. Big pedestrian zone, nice old town, churches, market square, several sights, lots of eateries. And it's just 20-25 minutes by direct train to FRA; trains start running around 4 or 5 am.

Dukey1 Jan 12th, 2015 07:14 AM

You can be at the FRA train station in 50 minutes from Cologne if you are willing to take a before 7:00 AM departure.

JoeCal Jan 12th, 2015 07:18 AM

Old town Franfurt is quite nice too . Lots of places to eat, wander around , shop for last minute souvenirs. I suppose even more street merchants on weekends, but plenty of places open all week long as well. Train terminal real close as well. ( I stayed at the Hilton adjacent to the pedestrian zone as a last night splurge).

greg Jan 12th, 2015 08:25 AM

If you want to keep Frankfurt in contention, look at the accommodation situation the night of your proposed stay. There are conventions in Frankfurt all the time and the hotel prices skyrocket and availability disappears on large event days. One easy way is to find out is to use, look at the map. If the map is mostly grayed out compared to a week before or after with high prices, it is a bad news for you.

Think carefully the sequence of events. If you are taking an international flight out of FRA, especially to U.S.A., you would probably need to be at the airport around 7am? If you are flying Staralliance, you check-in at the main building. If you are using a Skyteam flight, you take a transport to a different building then start your check-in process after you get there.

If you need to be at airport around 7am, it takes about 26min from Mainz. Choose trains carefully. S/RE trains arrive at RegionalBF right below the airport (below the Sheraton Hotel). IC/ICE trains arrive at Fernbf, a station at the airport, but further away adding 5-10min more walk. Also, the trains don't necessarily run timely in this area. Congestions at Frankfurt HBF seem to cascade to nearby stations.

Don't count on taking a train arriving just in time.

If you stay at Mainz, you would be leaving Mainz hotel before they serve breakfast. I think only the cafes near the stations and the airport are open that early.

laoutlaw Jan 12th, 2015 09:52 AM

Thanks for the info, everyone!

@Dukey1, I visited Germany 3 years ago & stayed in Koln and visited several castles along the river, lovely!

@ Greg. Thanks! I actually already booked our 3 other lodgings through :) There are still several reasonably priced places available in both Frankfurt and Mainz. We would be arriving in Frankfurt-or Mainz- on a Monday early morning/mid day,and flying out Tuesday a.m. via USAirways/Finnair. We know wherever we stay will be an early start to FRA, but at $752/per person roundtrip (SCORE!), we can sleep on the plane!:)
I guess I was just waffling & wanted to get some experienced opinions, as some things I read tended me to stay in Mainz & some to Frankfurt. The frequency of trains to get us to FRA on schedule was one of the main concerns, though.

Travelforbeer Jan 12th, 2015 12:40 PM

Hi Laout- If you are driving from Gengenbach, you could consider stopping in Heidelberg for the night then driving to FRA to return the car the next AM. It's less than an hours drive and you return the car to the terminal you are flying out of, eliminating the walk from the flughafen bahnhof. If you are training from Gengenbach, I agree with the other posters- Mainz or Frankfurt has frequent low cost direct train connections. Heidelberg-FRA has 1 train change and takes about an hour. I have done all 3- it's a coin flip.

Have a great trip!!!


PalenQ Jan 12th, 2015 12:46 PM

Speyer is a nice smaller town with a smashing castle right on the
river - neat town - low-keyed but nice. Mainz never left me too impressed - nice for a large city and lots of history but perhaps a smaller town would be more romantic. Worms is a large Speyer but still low-key and neat.

dfourh Jan 12th, 2015 02:52 PM

Speyer & Worms have world-class cathedrals. If it were me, though, I would still stay in Mainz, because by train it is 17 minutes from the Frankfurt airport, there are a couple acceptable hotels right by the train station, and the center is just festive/wine-tasting-tasty enough. If you want to minimize stress for an early flight, this is ein stueck Kuchen (a piece of cake).

Fussgaenger Jan 12th, 2015 03:01 PM

Mainz is nice. Maybe PalenQ hasn't seen it all? It's nothing special near the rail station, but the core area around the Dom (cathedral) is quite nice. Some street shots:

Augustinerstrasse: http://www.master.economics.uni-main...sse-abends.jpg
Zum Kirschgarten:
Old town zone:
Marktplatz w/ Dom:
The manicured Stadtpark:
Mainz' playful Fastnachts Fountain:

"Speyer is a nice smaller town with a smashing castle right on the river."

Speyer is nice too. But if you stayed there you'd be at least an hour away from FRA. I don't remember seeing a castle in Speyer myself. I think PalenQ might be thinking of some other town?

astein12 Jan 12th, 2015 05:25 PM

I'd actually spend the day in Frankfurt. It's really an underrated city. Take the Frankfurt on Foot walking tour. It's inexpensive but one of the best walking tours I've ever been on.

Mainhattengirl Jan 12th, 2015 08:42 PM

Frankfurt is a quick 11-15 min. train ride to the airport with a train every 15 min. Time difference in train time depends on your hotel. The Hilton backs up to the lovely 5km park that completely surrounds the inner city. (it is where the city wall once was, that Napoleon made them tear down)

I wouldn't stay very far away for an early morning flight.

Lots of historical sites to see in Frankfurt and if you tell me your interests and dates, I can tell you what is going on in the city, Farmers Markets, Fests, etc. and recommend some sightseeing.

PalenQ Jan 13th, 2015 09:00 AM

don't remember seeing a castle in Speyer myself. I think PalenQ might be thinking of some other town?>

Yes my mistake - there is a large park on the Rhine and I was there just before Christmas - days were short and I thought I saw some kind of Schloss sign in the park but did not have time to check it out. Looking at pictures of Speyer I fail to see any such thing. Oops - still a sweet smaller city if that is what someone wants.

chasgal Jan 15th, 2015 03:22 PM

thanks for all the replies!
@Mainhattengirl, we will arrive on 23 March, which is a Monday, in my experience, generally a day when many things are closed. I did decide on Frankfurt, and found a (what appears to be) decent place in close proximity to the train station. Id say we will probably arrive from Gengenbach around mid day/noon. We dont mind walking... I read there are some nice restaurants in the Sachsenhausen area? (or at least many restaurants to choose from). Any help as far as eating/drinking somewhere fun, not too touristy [doesnt every tourist want to go where the locals go? :) ] Danke!

chasgal Jan 15th, 2015 03:29 PM

(sorry, just to be clear, I am the OP "laoutlaw", apparently i must have created 2 accts at some point!)

Mainhattengirl Jan 15th, 2015 08:34 PM

Which hotel did you pick and I can give you suggestions for restaurants in the area.

In Sachsenhausen, I usually recommend Atschel, Dauth-Schneiders. In the city center, it would be Leib & Seele, or Zum Bitburger.
You could also head over to Bornheim and visit Malepartus, Zur Sonne or Apfelwein Solzer.

chasgal Jan 17th, 2015 04:01 PM

We are literally right beside the train station, at Hotel Excelsior,Mannheimer Str. 7-9 . It had decent reviews, fit the budget, comes with free beers in the room :) and the free breakfast starts at 5 a.m. so we can grab something before heading to the airport! We will probably purchase the Frankfurt card, so we would be able to head to any of your recommended spots, even if they were farther out. We'd be looking for somewhere to grab a light-ish lunch and then somewhere for a good dinner. Of the places you recommended, what would be your top pick? We like all kinds of cuisines, too...Im looking forward to trying out this Apfelwein! Any fun pubs/bars we should check out? (and thanks so much for your info!)

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