how to make the most of your layover: frankfurt

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On my way back from Cyprus where I spent a week exploring the gorgeous Mediterranean island, I stopped over in Frankfurt for the night. (My layover was actually 23 hours, and I used that time to leave Germany and go explore Luxembourg instead) but here’s what I managed to squeeze in in Frankfurt, and how I survived the night in the airport.

Arriving in Frankfurt

Once you’ve landed, if you want to head out of the airport that day, you’re going to need to look for passport control. Follow any sign that says exit, and you should find a border guard soon enough.

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Getting out of the Airport

If you’re an EU national, you can scan your passport and they’ll take an automated photo to match you to your ID. If not, you’ll need to go have a conversation with a border guard, but these tend to be brief and quick.

Getting into the City

The S-Bahn travels directly from Frankfurt Airport to Frankfurt Hauptwache, which is where you’re probably going to want to head if you’re doing the touristy things. A one-way ticket from the airport into town costs 4,80 euros, which can be purchased right at the train station in the airport (just follow the signs for domestic rail).

What to See

Wander through Old Town ‘Aldstadt’ Frankfurt.

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Explore Romerburg Square, where the iconic pastel German-style buildings are nestled right into the town’s central square.

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Take in the impressive Dom Cathedral views.

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What to Eat

Germany is famous for it’s bakeries, full of delightful-smelling pastries. They’re in abundance; every street corner has one just waiting to entice you in.

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Getting Back to the Airport

From the Hauptwache, take either S-Bahn 8 or 9 to get directly back to the airport. I didn’t understand the order of the 9 different S-Bahn trains, so just wait until one of these numbers shows up. The trip takes about half an hour, so give yourself plenty of time to get through security and find your connecting flight.

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Where to Sleep

Although it has quite the confusing layout, there are quite a number of benches dotted throughout the gates where you can sleep. I suggest, however, sleeping outside of the gates where there are spacious and comfortable sleep-like benches (near the information desk just before you go through security). Frankfurt Airport does also have a number of showers throughout A, B and Z terminals, although they’re only in operation between 6am and 11pm.

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