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train from Frankfurt to Paris

I need help! Trying to figure out train from Frankfurt to Paris. Our flight arrives at 11:00 a.m. I'm looking at schedules on the DB Bahn website and there's a train that leaves shortly after 1:00. If I'm looking at it correctly, this would be our best option. If our plane is on time, should we be able to make this train? If there's a better route/time, I'm open to suggestions.....and lots of help.

Thank you.

Posted by
4958 posts

Are you checking schedules from Frankfurt airport station (Frankfurt Flughafen Bahnhof)? If not, you should.

I haven't been to this train station, but if your flight is on time, it sounds like two hours is typically plenty of time. It's important to understand the restrictions on the ticket you buy. If you buy a "saver" fare (ahead of time) you can save a lot of money (the further ahead you book, the better), but if you miss your train you are kind of out of luck. If you buy the full fare you can exchange it for another train if you are late (or early).

There's also the option of flying on to Paris. Air France may have some surprisingly cheap fares - may be cheaper than taking the train. Of course, you have the same issue (if you are late into Frankfurt you could miss your connecting flight to Paris). Also, the train would take you to the center of Paris whereas you'd fly to CDG or ORY airport in Paris and still need to get into the city. But it's still something to check into.

Posted by
18384 posts

The correct starting point is Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof or "Frankfurt Flug Fern". Using Frankfurt Hbf, which is not the airport, I see a connection at 13:01. The only connections from the airport are at 12:53 and 13:53. The 12:53 connection takes under 4 hours and is the best you will find.

Posted by
509 posts

Thanks for your replies. Yes - I was checking the schedule from the train station at the airport and it's the 12:53 departure I was wondering about. Will probably gamble on our train getting in on time and purchasing the cheaper ticket. I know - famous last words!

Posted by
509 posts

Oops - forgot my next question. We don't have our hotel in Paris booked yet, but we're looking at hotels in the St. Germain area. When purchasing the ticket from Frankfurt to Paris, which train station should I enter?

Posted by
5612 posts

You will arrive from Frankfurt at Paris est. Then you will need to get to St. Germain.

Consider staying over in nearby Mainz. Pre-purchase your savings fare ticket for the following morning from there to Paris. That way, Day 1 will be less taxing - you can rest up after your long flight across 5 time zones in a pleasant city - and your nicely-priced ticket to Paris will be usable if your flight is delayed.

Posted by
509 posts

Russ - that sounds like a good idea. Any reason you suggested Mainz?

Thanks for your help

Posted by
5612 posts

"Russ - that sounds like a good idea. Any reason you suggested Mainz?"

Mainz is almost as close to FRA as megacity Frankfurt itself - about 20 min. And you can take a direct train from Mainz to Mannheim.

The old town part of Mainz near the Dom (cathedral) and Marktplatz (market square) and along Augustinerstrasse has been given over to pedestrians. It's a great place to stroll around, have a bite to eat, maybe outdoors on the market square, shop, kill some time. Some museums and churches there too.

Mainz old town 1
Augustinerstrasse
Kirschgarten square
Mainz' large Marktplatz

The Ibis is a good budget choice near the old town. The Hilton Mainz is near the old town as well and on the Rhine. There are also several hotels near the main Mainz train station that will do the job, though overall this area lacks atmosphere and is a good bit further on foot from the old town via some heavily trafficked streets. If you stay at the Ibis, you can easily use the auxiliary MRT station, only a block away, to travel south to Mannheim by regional train - or get on there to reach Mainz' main station (only a few minutes) to connect with a high speed train to Mannheim and on to Paris (the route you likely would have traveled from FRA.)

But it might be more interesting for you to travel from Mainz via the Middle Rhine Valley instead. Mainz-Cologne offers some of the best train scenery in Europe. Change in Cologne for Paris Nord.

Oberwesel on the Rhine
Trains hug the river

Posted by
4614 posts

Hi Sue, where are you flying from? Is it a distance where a late departure could be made up during the flight to land on-time? If so, I'd recommend your original plan to get to Paris the first day. I had a similar experience two months ago and the train ride in Germany was fine to decompress from the plane trip and arrive at my desired location the evening of Day 1. 2 hours should be fine through Frankfurt; Germans are very efficient.

Posted by
509 posts

Thanks to all. We've decided to take the ICE train to Paris the day we get in to Frankfurt. we're flying nonstop from Orlando, arriving at 11:00. Hopefully all will go as planned. If not, we'll just roll with the punches and do the best we can.