Please sign in to post.

Best of Germany, Austria & Switzerland Tour Sept 6th to 19th 2022

Greetings - I'm a first-time traveler to Europe flying into Frankfurt on Sept 4th with an afternoon arrival. Planning to take a train on the morning of Sept 6th to Trier. Any tips or suggestions on must see/do in Frankfurt in one day and German train travel.

Anyone going on the same tour and would like to explore the city and travel together on Tuesday, I'd love to connect.

Happy Trails.

Posted by
5 posts

Hello! My sister Jill and I are on the same tour! We arrive in Frankfurt the same day as you but are going on the train straight to Trier without spending any time in Frankfurt. We booked extra nights in Trier to rest and get situated. I went to Great Britain years ago but my sister has never been to Europe. We’ve been canceled two years due to the pandemic so we are super excited to go this year! Heidi

Posted by
5769 posts

Ms.Jo, a regular on this forum, often works as a guide in Frankfurt. She would be be a good resource for you to contact. She also has some videos on You Tube about Frankfurt.

Posted by
5654 posts

"Any tips or suggestions on must see/do in Frankfurt in one day and German train travel."

Most RS tour participants are probably not fully familiar with Germany and its train system and thus unaware of sightseeing options other than Frankfurt... The most direct train route between Frankfurt and Trier passes through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, 65 km of river gorge dotted with dozens of castles and charming old-world towns like Bacharach, Rüdesheim, St. Goar, Oberwesel, Boppard. There's a change of train in Koblenz for the trip to Trier. Figure roughly 3 - 3.5 hours on the train for the best connections. You can find your route on the map below...

https://www.vrminfo.de/fileadmin/data/pdf/2017/RLP-Ticket_streckennetz.pdf

The train route snugly follows the river and is generally considered the most scenic route in Germany. Sadly, your tour doesn't include this area.

The MRV is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an ideal place to spend two nights. From Frankfurt airport, you're roughly 1 - 1.5 hours from the above towns, a more "doable" train journey after a long flight (especially if you are arriving late in the day.) You can see a couple of castles here, visit wineries, check out the old-world architecture, take a river cruise, take a scenic hike or go on a bike ride.

Marksburg Castle in the town of Braubach is a true standout. Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar is interesting too. With a Boppard base, you could reach these towns quite easily by train, and travel for free as well:

https://www.boppard-tourismus.de/en/accommodation/

Posted by
301 posts

Hey NatureGirl, we're right behind you on this tour. Our Day One (Trier) is the day your group arrives into Vienna. Wishing you a wonderful trip, please save us some pretzels and a dunkel or two! :)

Second the recommendation for Ms. Jo (local Frankfurt tour guide). She's absolutely great, and would be time and money well spent.

Posted by
314 posts

Go to the Frankfurt on Foot website for info on Frankfurt tours (above recommended guide Ms. Jo).

Posted by
13 posts

I’m so glad you posted- like Matt, we start the GAS tour on Sept. 17 and plan to take the train from Frankfurt to Trier. I’d like to go ahead and book tickets now. Is it best to use the DB website to book? Any suggestions from anyone on which side of the train offers the best views? Thanks!

Posted by
8242 posts

There is so much to see in Frankfurt, that I fail to understand people rushing away from Frankfurt after a trans-Atlantic flight. Sounds like the most miserable start to a vacation imaginable, to sit in a train for another hour or two after sitting in a plane for 8-11 hours! The city is all of 13 min. away by train or taxi. Some RS forum readers seem to be unaware of all the possibilities here and think that there is nothing of historical importance in Frankfurt. The description that Rick has in his book has not helped. Makes me sad every time I read it.

What you want to see depends on your interests, but there is a great wine festival happening that first week of Sept. All the vineyards from the Rhein-gau will be showcasing their wines and the food options at this festival are delicious. Dozens of museums, dozens of parks, the botanical gardens, farmers markets, original medieval churches, cloisters, Jewish cultural sites, and so much more.

Posted by
5654 posts

schenkelberg795 writes, "...we start the GAS tour on Sept. 17 and plan to take the train from Frankfurt to Trier. I’d like to go ahead and book tickets now."

Previously you asked for and received advice on this trip with stopovers in St. Goar and Rüdesheim. Are these stopovers still part of your trip?

If you're still traveling to Trier, whether directly or with stopovers, immediately after your flight arrives at FRA, it's actually better NOT to book in advance. You might see some relatively cheap "saver fares" at the DB site, but these saver fares always include long-distance trains (ICE, IC, etc.) which will lock in your travel to a train-specific schedule. And that could be a big problem. Let's say you pre-purchase a saver fare ticket for the 10:00 am departure from FRA's Regionalbahnhof. You will be booked on 3 trains - one S train to Mainz, one ICE train from Mainz to Koblenz, and one RE train from Koblenz to Trier. That will work fine if you actually catch the 10:00 train. But if you miss that train for any reason (your flight is late, you got confused about where the station is, etc.) you cannot make full use of your ticket because there is no schedule flexibility for the ICE train - and will have to purchase additional tickets.

So the best way IMHO to do this trip is to use the regional trains only. Click on "only local transport" when you do your search for a schedule and you will see only regional trains in the results (RB, RE, S for example.) Any DB ticket you buy for these trains is completely flexible all day long. Also flexible is WHEN you buy the ticket. You can buy it right at the airport when you arrive, and there's no difference in price. The "Day pass for Germany" covers you on these trains and costs €49 / 2 persons - it should appear for all regional train journeys as a ticketing option on the 17th. OR for any journey on the same trains on Friday the 16th starting at 9 am. But there's no sense in buying it online in advance. It is non-refundable, and what if your plans change? Just buy it at the airport once you get there.

There are other ticketing options on the regional trains once you're there as well. I believe Lee already advised you on the RMV + Rheinland-Pfalz ticket option (probably €41/2) which saves some Euros but involves buying 2 separate tickets.

Some regional train departures from FRA involve only ONE change in Koblenz - I would try to get on one of those if possible, depending on what time you reach the airport Regionalbahnhof station.

Posted by
5654 posts

Ms. Jo writes, "There is so much to see in Frankfurt, that I fail to understand people rushing away from Frankfurt after a trans-Atlantic flight. Sounds like the most miserable start to a vacation imaginable, to sit in a train for another hour or two after sitting in a plane for 8-11 hours!"

I assume Jo refers in part to my suggestion. I look at the Middle Rhine Valley not as a way to avoid Frankfurt but as another OPTION for those with additional time prior to Trier. People's interests and circumstances vary. Whether it's one night or two, the MRV can be a great choice for those who are looking for "small, scenic, and atmospheric" rather than the metropolis that is Frankfurt. Take a hike, take a cruise, take a nap, or take in a castle tour, or take a scenic chairlift ride to a lookout. Or with more time, do all these things.

The MRV does not involve a 2-hour train journey. From FRA, Bacharach is an hour by direct RE train, Oberwesel is 5 minutes further, and Boppard is 1.3 hours. If you just want to do a Rhine Cruise that day or the next, Bingen is the place to start and only 50 minutes from FRA airport. A first-night hotel option like the NH Bingen, on the waterfront where the boats leave, offers great scenery as well. All these towns are on the direct route to Trier from FRA. While Frankfurt is only 13 minutes from FRA, the train ride into town actually pushes you to the east with a detour - away from Trier - so once you reach Trier, you'll have lengthened your total train time by roughly 30 train minutes.

Nothing wrong with Frankfurt as a destination, but the same can be said for MAINZ (which is just 20-25 minutes from FRA airport AND on the route to Trier) so it's really about what you wish to spend your time doing, what sort of place you wish to spend your free time.

Posted by
8242 posts

Russ, I wrote what I did on that post because invariably, when someone says they are planning on going to Frankfurt, you tell them to go someplace else. There is nothing wrong with Mainz, or any of the towns on the Rhein and I frequently tell posters about them and what they can see there, but if they ask about Frankfurt, I tell them about Frankfurt.
Frankly a 13 min. train ride is not a detour away from a destination!

The OP asked about Frankfurt, so I stick with what the OP is asking about. Perhaps you could do the same?

Posted by
5654 posts

It would be correct to say that I "often" recommend the MRV to RS tour participants with time on their hands who are landing at FRA airport and heading for Trier or Cologne to begin their tours. My posting history predicts that I will do so in the future as well, so I would not expect my posting practices to change very much. Here's why I offer the tips I do, if you're interested...

RS tour participants, often first-timers to Germany and first-time posters on the forum, often chose FRA airport not because Frankfurt itself looms large on their list of personal travel goals but because FRA is the closest major airline gateway to their tour. Maybe they got a cheaper/better flight a few days prior to the tour. Maybe they've booked a Frankfurt hotel room too. And getting a room reservation there seems (and is) a reasonable thing to do when you don't know much about Germany, about what else might lie between Frankfurt and Trier, or about the train system you hope to use to get there (as the OP indicates she does not.) But a room reservation isn't the same as a plan to see Frankfurt; asking "What is there to see in Frankfurt?" tells me the "plans" are a bit shaky. I believe many RS tour folks end up asking for Frankfurt sightseeing tips on this forum (as NatureGirl did) because their Frankfurt stay more often than not is a default arrangement - they needed a place near the airport to lay their heads, and they have chosen Frankfurt in the absence of a list of nearby alternatives.

So it's pretty simple. I provide reasonable and worthwhile alternatives like Mainz and the other Rhine towns in case the OP isn't aware of them and/or their advantageous locations - or of the option to break up the lengthy FRA > Trier rail journey. A well-informed decision about where to spend your pre-tour time is always better than a default decision, IMHO.

Posted by
1267 posts

From someone who has spent more than one day in Frankfurt, it's a sales job to say that the City has a lot to offer.

If you have a couplea hours to kill, make your way over to the Sachsenhausen district, have a quick walk around, grab your place at a restaurant outdoor picnic table and order any dish that features Grüne Soße (Green Sauce) usually with hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes or if you're really hungry, order the Tafelspitz (boiled beef) mit Grüner Soße, maybe some Handkäse mit Musik (marinated Cheese with onions) and a glass of Apfelwein (Apple Cider) - there, you've captured the essence of the Hessen traditional culinary scene, you've paid your respects to Germany's financial capital and you're now free to move onward.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the info, Russ- I appreciate your insights! I will admit to being anxious about not having purchased a ticket in advance. I have read stories of trains filling or being cancelled etc. I read having a ticket with reserved seats is best. It’s all very intimidating to me!

Posted by
3 posts

I am on this same tour solo with you NatureGirl, Jill, and her sister.Start date 9/6. Hello sister travelers! I arrive in FRA on 9/2 and will take the train to Trier. My (German) husband says there is no need to book this train ticket in advance b/c there are very frequent departure times throughout the day, tickets are easy to buy at the station, and there is no stress if our flights gets into FRA later than expected. I wanted extra days in Trier before the tour to visit friends and get over jet lag. I'm looking forward to meeting you three and the rest of our group.. Payton

Posted by
5 posts

Hello, missmiddlemarch! Jill and Heidi here, the sisters. So glad to meet another fellow traveler. We arrive in Frankfurt on 9/4 around 9:30 am. Looking forward to our trip!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks to all for the great information! Heidi and Payton I am looking forward to meeting you and sharing this great adventure! Payton I think we are going to be roommates - I'm the person listed from Chicago in our group.

See You Soon - Safe Travels