Frankfurt Airport, or Flughafen Frankfurt am Main in German, is the entry point for many visitors to Germany. The airport is located on over 5,000 acres of land and has two passenger terminals, four runways, and extensive services for travelers.
It is Germany's busiest airport and one of the busier airports in the world, thanks in part to being the main hub for Lufthansa as well as Condor, and a major transfer point for domestic and international travel. Whether your destination is the city of Frankfurt or another destination in Germany or Europe, Frankfurt Airport will help you get there feeling fresh.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is located approximately 7 miles (12 km) southwest of Frankfurt's city center. The area surrounding the airport is included in its own city district of Frankfurt, named Frankfurt-Flughafen.
Know Before You Go
Frankfurt Airport is more than just an airport. It's an enormous complex that includes a shopping mall and the Squaire, Germany's largest office building, which also houses a shopping mall and two Hilton hotels. It's easily accessible from the airport and connected to Terminal 1 via a pedestrian walkway.
The airport itself has two main terminals and a smaller First Class Terminal used exclusively by Lufthansa. The older and larger Terminal 1 houses concourses A, B, C, and Z. It is split into three levels with departures on the top floor, arrivals and baggage claim on the ground floor, and the transport level below. Flights to non-Schengen destinations depart from the Z gates and Schengen flights depart from the A gates. Terminal 2 is the more modern terminal and houses Concourses D and E. A third terminal is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2023.
To travel between terminals, board one the free Skyline shuttle trains, which take about two minutes to reach the next terminal.
The Frankfurt Airport has more than 15,000 parking spaces, but due to the business of the airport, it is required that you book yours ahead of time if you plan on leaving your car at the airport long-term. You can pre-book your parking space in the Holiday Parking area on the airport website, but you must pay for a minimum of seven days. Free shuttles are available from here that run every 20 minutes to Terminals 1 and 2.
Another option is to take advantage of Park, Sleep, & Fly deals at the Intercity or Sheraton hotels in Terminal 1, which include 15 days of complimentary parking when you spend at least one night at either hotel.
The Frankfurt Airport is well-connected by the Autobahn as it is close to Frankfurter Kreuz where two busy motorways, A3 and A5, intersect. Signs in German and English clearly mark the way to the airport and to the different areas.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Frankfurt Airport has two railway stations, both located at Terminal 1. The Airport Regional Railway Station offers metro, regional, and local trains; you can take the subway lines S8 and S9 into Frankfurt's city center (approximately 15 minutes) or to Frankfurt's central train station (approximately 10 minutes).
The Airport Long Distance Railway Station is right next to Terminal 1, with high-speed intercity trains (ICE) leaving in all directions. Arriving railway passengers can check in right at the train station for about 60 airlines.
Public buses travel between Frankfurt Airport and the Frankfurt city center, Schwanheim, and Darmstadt. Long-distance buses operated by companies like FlixBus and BlaBlaBus can connect you to cities across Germany and Europe.
Taxis are available outside both terminals. A cab ride into Frankfurt's city center takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes and costs about 40 euros.
If you are staying at a nearby hotel, you can also check to see if they run a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport.
Where to Eat and Drink
For the best food options near the Frankfurt Airport, eat before you go through security and pay a visit to the Squaire. This jumbo-sized building offers a variety of great restaurants and bars like Paulaner in the Squaire, Thong Thai, Flavors, and The Bar.
If you prefer to eat closer to your gate, you'll easily stumble upon fast food options like McDonald's and Deli Bros, but you could also unwind over a sit-down meal or drink at the bar at hot spots like Haussman's or Käfer's. For healthy food, consider grabbing a smoothie at Italian-American deli Goodmann & Filippo or picking up a healthy snack at the Natural Shop in Terminal 1.
Where to Shop
At the Frankfurt Airport, you can shop until you drop with hundreds of luxury and niche brands, so it's possible to buy everything and anything from Rolexes to Rubik's Cubes.
In the large Terminal 1, you'll find well-known luxury brands like Hugo Boss, Versace, Burberry, Duty-Free, Swarvoski, and others. Plus, you'll also find convenience stores, souvenir shops, and even a camera store. If you're celebrating a major business deal (or maybe you're just feeling fancy), you can pay a visit to Caviar House and Prunier, which sells champagne, caviar, and caviar accessories like gold-plated caviar spoons. If you're on your way to somewhere adventurous, check out outdoor retailers like Geox and Jack Wolfskin.
When shopping in Terminal 2, make sure to first check out the coupon wall on the third level of the shopping plaza to find out which stores are offering deals. This terminal is smaller and has fewer options, but you can still find shops like Rolex, Mont Blanc, Hugo Boss, and Tumi.
How to Spend Your Layover
There's plenty to do inside the Frankfurt Airport if you're trying to make the most of a short layover, whether you decide to go shopping or sign up for one of the Airport Experience Tours, which will take you behind the scenes of the massive airport. You could also watch a movie with your traveling companions or play some video games in one of the airport's many entertainment centers located in Terminal 1. Think you could use a nap and a shower before your onward flight? Check out the My Cloud Transit Hotel in Terminal 1, where private rooms can be booked by the hour.
There's even more to do if you leave the terminal, which of course means you'll have to pass through security on your way back. If you have a lot of time, consider taking public transportation into the Frankfurt city center, where you can visit Frankfurt's reconstructed Old Town, which is a working re-creation of the part of the city that was destroyed during World War II.
Don't want to travel too far from the airport? You can still entertain yourself in the immediate airport vicinity either at the Squaire shopping mall or at the airport itself, where you'll find a shopping mall with a grocery store, casino, hair salon, and laundromat–all before security. For business travelers, there is even a conference room you could rent just in case you decide to squeeze in a quick meeting.
Whether you have an overnight layover or an early morning flight, there are many hotels near the airport where you can get some serious rest. The Sheraton and the Hilton Garden Inn are both within walking distance and others like the Park Inn by Radisson and Steigenberger Airport Hotel offer complimentary shuttles to and from the airport.
In an airport as big and busy as Frankfurt's, you can expect to find 28 premium lounges, 15 of which are operated by Lufthansa. As the airline's main hub, the Frankfurt offers three first-class lounges, three senator lounges, six business lounges, a Welcome Lounge (for intercontinental travelers), and also operates the Panorama Lounge.
For the Lufthansa lounges, you'll need a membership or premium ticket to enter, but it's possible to purchase passes for the LUXX lounge in Terminal 1 or the Air France, Premium Traveller, Primeclass, Priority, or Sky lounges in Terminal 2.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Free Wi-Fi and thousands of power outlets and USB ports are located throughout the airport. There are many high-tables with barstools, power outlets, and wireless charging.
Airport Tips and Tidbits
- If you're not feeling well, there is a medical clinic in the Terminal 1 Arrivals area and three pharmacies.
- For families with small children, free strollers can be picked up at the service points. Children's play areas are also located throughout the airport.
- There is a post office in Terminal 1, just in case you need to mail anything last-minute.
- Could you use some fresh air? There's a rooftop deck in Terminal 1 above Gate B42. From here, you'll have panoramic views of the airfield and there's even a telescope.
- Reset after your long-haul flight with one of the shower facilities located throughout the terminal. You will have to pay a small fee, but it's much cheaper than booking a hotel.
- There are leisure zones located throughout both terminals, which provide comfortable lounge chairs and a warm ambiance with plenty of power outlets. Keep an eye out for the futuristic-looking Silent Chairs, which are designed to block out noise.
- If you need a more private space for peace and quiet, you can visit the Quiet Room in Terminal 1 or stretch out in one of the yoga rooms, which are located in both terminals.