10 hr layover at Frankfurt airport

We will be flying into Frankfurt airport with a 10 hr lay-over. Coming in from the USA, we want to do a tour to Heidelberg, Germany. Will be able to book train and have time to sight see, how long does it take to get through customs and do we have to go through customs coming back to airport

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

Assuming that the previous post is correct and working with the seven hours:

The train is probably about an hour each way. Assuming it runs hourly and you'll have some waiting in each direction, that's three more hours. Four hours are left.

Assuming that you're going to see the castle and not just the town, it's a couple of miles of walking each way, so there goes another hour and a half. Two and a half hours are left to look around.

You make the decision.

I'm a castle freak. I was not particularly impressed with the one at Heidelburg. It still took me four hours to look at it.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11280 posts

First, to where are you going when you fly out of FRA? If it too is another EU country, and your bags are checked all the way through to that country, you won't have to worry about customs in Frankfurt. However, since you are entering the Schengen zone, you will have to worry about passport control, which means standing in line with everyone else from your flight.

I only carryon, and I can arrive, go through passport control, get Euro at an ATM, and be out at the Fernbahnhof in less than an hour. The train take an hour to the Heidelberg Bahnhof. There are about 2 per hour, so the time is probably 1½ hr, plus time to purchase your ticket. Then you have to get to the castle. So, all-in-all figure 3 hours from the plane to the castle; better figure at least 4 hours coming back. That only gives you 3 hours at the castle. I don't think the risk is worth it. There is no slack for unexpected delays. Miss your outgoing flight by a few minutes and your luggage goes to you destination, but not you. There is a lot more you could see (Frankfurt, Mainz, Mittelrhein) with far less risk.

Posted by Pam
Centralia, USA
15 posts

We will be flying to Venice for a cruise the next day, planing on not having but one carry-on. DO YOU THINK WE WON;T HAVE TIME TO GO TO Heidelberg?

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4769 posts

Is it 10 hours between flights, or 10 hours total sightseeing time? If it is the former, I don't think this a very feasable trip. There are other castles that are closer, with other beautiful old towns that you would be able to visit during this very short time frame.

Think about Kronburg possibly. You would only have to take the train into Frankfurt, which takes 11 min. and then the train to Kronburg that takes 22 min. The Alt Stadt is a 5 min. walk from the train station. The castle there dates from the 1200's and is mostly original. The town is very pretty, with many half-timbered houses, cobble stoned streets, and a fantastic view, as it is located up in the Taunus mountains.

Another thought is to go into Frankfurt and tour there. Very old, very historic, very important to German history. If you are interested in medieval Gothic churches, Jewish history, the Holy Roman Emperors, Farmers markets, or museums, Frankfurt is well worth your time.

Posted by Pam
Centralia, USA
15 posts

Hi Jo, do you know if the double decker bus tour goes by the places in Frankfurt and is there good shopping the town you wrote about? My grandson is of German decenent, do you have any ideas what would be a good thing to take home for him?

Posted by Pam
Centralia, USA
15 posts

Thanks Jo,
We were told Frankfurt was just a big banking city.We wanted to go to a place to see a castle and old look of Germany and do alittle shopping. Looking for steins for the grandsons.Thanks so much for your help..

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4769 posts

That Frankfurt only has banks and nothing else is sadly a common misconception. One will also often read that the whole city was wiped clean in the war. Again, not true.

Frankfurt was an Imperial city, where the Holy Roman Emperors were elected beginning in 1152, and later the coronations took place here beginning in 1562. Their famous trade fairs began in 1150, the city was the center of the Passion Play activities in the 1400's - even producing the 1st script for the Oberammergau play. Before 1933 Frankfurt had the 2nd largest Jewish population in Germany which included Anne Frank and her family who had been here since the 1500's. The Rothschilds were born here in the Jewish Ghetto, which was one of the oldest and most populated Ghettos in Germany, dating back to 1462.

If you like Medieval Romanesque or Gothic churches, then you will want to visit St. Leonhards built in 1219, the Deutsche Orden (Teutonic Order of Knights) built in 1309, the Alte Nikolai built in 1270 which are all in original condition. The Kaiserdom is a must and if you have time, go to the neighborhood of Höchst to see the Justinus church built in 850. There you can walk down narrow cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered houses, walk in the dry moat that surrounds the Schloss or visit the Bolongaro Palace and the Höchst Porcelain factory and museum.

The town square or Römer is well known, though it does have a lot of reconstruction. Visit the Holocaust Memorial Wall with the names of over 12,000 of Frankfurts Jewish citizens on it, or go see the Alte Oper or the Eschenheimer Turm, walk along the river or visit the neighborhoods of Bornheim or Sachsenhausen. A walk through the Klein Markt Halle should be on your list too as well as one of the open markets.

Enjoy!

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4769 posts

Personally, I think those buses are a bit of a rip-off. For a fraction of the price, you can buy a group day ticket for 9.30 € that will let you ride all over Frankfurt.

The bus doesn't really tell you that much, just a sentence or two about things as you ride past, plus you don't get to go into any places, like the churches. Frankfurt is very walkable in itself, with many of the historical or important sights with-in a 5-20 min. walk from each other. My biggest beef with the buses is that they completely neglect the Jewish historical sites in Frankfurt, as well as not a word said about the oldest churches, nor the Roman and Carolingen palace ruins. (I have gone on a ride with them to see where they go and what they say. I suppose if it was pouring down rain or someone was physically unable to walk for a couple of hours, they are fine, but otherwise, a waste of money)

Shopping can be done everywhere for regular items unless you are here on a Sunday, and then just around the main tourist areas. If you were thinking about Kronburg for souvenirs though, I don't recall seeing any kind of tourist shops there at all. Actually a plus I think, as it is a pleasant little town without tour buses and hoards of tourists. Perhaps the next back-door place for Rick to explore?

Posted by Pam
Centralia, USA
15 posts

Thanks Jo for taking time to help me, how do we get to the train that goes to Kronburg? Do we take the S-Bahn to the city, to get to the train to take us to Kronburg? Should we buy our tickets at the airport..Thanks so much for your help........

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4769 posts

Yes, you can buy your ticket from the RMV ticket machine. You will need a group ticket for Kronberg. Just find Kronberg on the list on the front of the machine. Type that number in and then push the button that says "Gruppen Karte". The amount should be 14.30 euro.

Take the S-bahn into Frankfurt and get off at the main train station, Hauptbahnhof, this train takes 11 min. Some of the S-bahns stop there and they will be above ground with the rest of the trains. The other S-bahns go underground right before getting to the station. Get off here and find the S-4 which will be underground, which goes to Kronberg. It takes 22 min. When you get off the train, you can get on bus 261 that stops right there and ride one stop. Your ticket is still good for this, just show the bus driver. The bus will go up the hill, you get off and keep on walking directly into the Alt Stadt. After about 4-5 blocks, you will go past the Johannis church and I think it is 1 block past this, you turn right to go up to the Burg.
Tours of the castle are in German, but it isn't a huge tourist attraction yet, so if you are the only ones there, they will switch to English. Also if no one else is there, you can ask them to hurry a bit, as the tour is a bit heavy on German history. The tour normally lasts an hour, but it is the only way to go inside the castle.

There are only 2 trains an hour for Kronburg, and less on Sundays, so check the RMV schedule so you get back to the airport on time.

http://www.rmv.de/coremedia/generator/RMV/Sprachen/SPRACH__ART__en.html

Posted by Pam
Centralia, USA
15 posts

Jo, I can't thank you enough for your help!!! I was so confused on what we should do and how to get around, now I think we can do it!! Thank you so much, Pam