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Paris and Frankfurt Question - Please Help!

Paris and Frankfurt Question - Please Help!

Old Apr 19th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Paris and Frankfurt Question - Please Help!

My original plan was to fly open-jaw into Frankfurt and out of Paris. Due to a sale United had, I am now flying r/t into and out of Frankfurt. The problem being .. I will be in Paris on the morning of 8/19 and need to be in Frankfurt on 8/20 in order to fly home. I would prefer to not take a flight from Paris to Frankfurt (via ryan air or any other airline).

My plan is to take a train from paris to Frankfurt (I do enjoy scenic train rides). I have done some reasearch, not much, and found that the trains from paris will take me directly to Frankfurt airport .. the problem with that .. is that i would like to leave Paris around 10:00am get into Frankfurt later that day, stroll around Frankfurt and then sleep, get up the next morning and fly out. Kind of a last hurrah before leaving Europe.

My questions are:

1. Should I check the SNCF site or BAHN.de site? Anyone have experience on trains from France to Germany?

2. How far is the Frankfurt airport from downtown Frankfurt? I'm interested in seeing the 'old part' of Frankfurt. I'm not sure of logistics!

3. Depending on how far the airport is from downtown ... where should I spend my last night?

To give a bit of background info ... 16 days will be spent with my husband in Germany/Switzerland, then 9 days with my sister in France. My last day will be in Frankfurt by myself in order to fly home. I'd like to stay somewhere nice and enjoy the old part of Frankfurt as I've never been ... I'm just now sure of all these logistics. I also will not have a rental car at this point.

Can anyone help out?
Thanks!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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There is no "old part" of Frankfurt. The city was devastated near the end of the Second World War. An area called the Romerberg is an interesting reconstruction of one of the original town squares, but the only authentic item is the picturesque Fountain of Justice. There is a nice pedestrian shopping area known as the Zeil.

Depending on how early you arrive in Frankfurt, a more interesting option would be a quick visit to the nearby Middle Rhine. Lots of medieval castles and vineyards. Incredibly scenic. A visit would be possible by train, but a rental car would be more convenient. If interested, you might check Viator (or similar companies) for guided bus tours out of Frankfurt.

Commuting between the Frankfurt airport and the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) involves an easy train ride. There are many hotels near the Hauptbahnhof that would put you within 40 min of the airport (door-to-door).
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Thanks Smueller. From what I've read on www.bahn.de the shortest train ride is roughly 5.5 hours. So if I leave at 10:00ish (depending on the train schedules) I wouldn't get in Frankfurt until late late afternoon. I'm not even sure what train station I should choose to arrive in. I guess it depends on where I stay .. and the best bet on how to get to the Frankfurt to catch my 11:00am flight home.

I would very much like to hit the Zeil shopping area. That is what I primarily plan to do for a few short hours on my last night in Europe. I thought I had read on a post (I have no idea what post it was) about a 'cuter, older' area of Frankfurt. Could be the same area you are talking about. I will have to do more research on this.

Is the Hauptbahnhof the main train station that is actually in Frankfurt? If so I could possibly see if there is a train from Paris to the Hauptbahnhof, spend the night in a hotel near there, do my few hours of shopping in the city and then jump back on the train the next day??? Does this sound doable?

Thanks for your help!

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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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The Hauptbahnhof is the main station in Frankfurt. Frankfurt Airport and Frankfurt South are probably the next largest stations. The central portion of the Hauptbahnhof is well over a century old. I'm not sure how it survived WWII when so much of the city didn't.

A late afternoon arrival would make a visit to the Rhine difficult. As for other things to do, my wife and I took a 55 min tour up and down the Main River. It wasn't the most exciting cruise, but I got some nice pictures of the city skyline (one of the most recognizable in Europe). The cruises depart near the Romerberg. No reservations required and they are not very expensive. Exploring some of the big department stores is fun - they tell you a lot about the people that live there.

Frankfurt is a good place to glimpse modern German culture, but it is not as old (and therefore, to me, not as interesting) as many other European cities. The airport is a good place to enter and leave Europe - not as confusing as CDG or Heathrow.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Thanks smueller!

If I have to be honest .. I have no desire to ever really visit Frankfurt .. I much prefer the rest of the country .. but since I have to be there for 1 night I thought I might as well get some good shopping in

It looks as if i'll try and find a train schedule from paris to the Hauptbahnhof, spend the night near the train station .. do some shopping and leave the next morning.

Is the Hauptbahnhof far from the good shopping areas?

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Can anyone tell me the exact name of the train station in Frankfurt? The main one that I would arrive in from Paris? Not the Airport. I am looking on bahn.de and there have to be about 20 that say Frankfurt am Main. Thanks!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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I would like to go shopping in the Zeil area of Frankfurt. What train staion is the closest to there? Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof or Frankfurt (main) City? I will be taking a train from Paris. These train sites have me royally confused. I plug in (on bahn.de) paris CDG to Frankfurt am main Hauptbahnhof and it has be starting my trip with THAL .. no idea where that is.

I'm looking for a 9:00ish train ride .. 6 and 1/2 hours or less to Frankfurt. It may be quicker to go straight to the airport and metro it to downtown .. than going from paris straight to downtown. Is there a train that leaves between 9 and 10 that gets me into Frankfurt before 4:00??

All of this for a cheaper flight. ughh!

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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Katzen,

The "THAL" simply refers to a Thalys train. There is one that departs Paris Nord at 8:55 and gets you to Frankfurt main station (Hauptbahnhof) at 3:16 pm. You will change trains twice, once in Köln and once in the Frankfurt airport. A better option for you would be the EC (EuroCity) train from Paris Est, which departs at 8:52 am and takes you to the Frankfurt main station in a little over six hours with NO train changes. You arrive in Frankfurt at 3:12.

If you simply put in "Paris" and "Frankfurt" as the start and endpoints of your trip it will show you these options.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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If it was me I wouldn't go back to Frankfurt unless they paid me.

Let me suggest that you take a train over to Köln or Düsseldorf on the 19th for your shopping. I prefer Königsallee in Düsseldorf, one of the really upscale boulevards of Europe. Then take an early ICE on the 20th direct to Frankfurt Flughafen, the airport train station. There are about 4 trains which will get you there before 8:30.

However, STOP! August 19 is a Saturday. When I lived in Germany all stores closed at 2PM on Saturday, except for the last Saturday of the month.

If that is still true, I recommend the Altstadt of Düsseldorf for an interesting evening of good times. My favorite was the Doctor Jazz, but it has been many years since I was there. I saw the place in January but did not go in for lack of time.

Another option is to abandon Paris on the 18th if you want to shop in Germany on the 19th, assuming the Saturday shopping hours are still in effect.

BTW, the area of Frankfurt that you heard about may have been Sachsenhausen. It is a bar and restaurant district on the south side of the Main River.

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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Thanks Enzian and Hopscotch for the very helpful information. Hopscotch, I hope the stores don't close at 2:00.

Can anyone confirm if this is true or not?
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