FRA: Frankfurt - Terminal map, lounges, bars & restaurants
Frankfurt Airport Guide
If ever there was a mega-airport which confounds the assumption that everything is Germany is neat and tidy, it is Frankfurt Airport. A huge sprawling airport, with some terminals that are over a mile long, it is the tenth busiest worldwide with over 60 million passengers a year, and serving 264 destinations, giving Frankfurt Airport the most international destinations in the world.
Frankfurt airport is just seven miles (12 kilometers) southwest of central Frankfurt am Main, although surprisingly few people want to actually go to the city: Frankfurt is the king of the hub and spoke network of Lufthansa, with 80% of passengers changing planes to get on another one.
Impressive though the size of Frankfurt is, one thing it will never be is inspiring. Built in the 1970s it is a depressing, people-mover free sea of grey corridors with low ceilings. Add in the dull half-light that exists in Frankfurt for half the winter and the atmosphere at best can seem unpleasant, the only joy being the dozen or so Lufthansa lounges around which you can lounge-hop at will: assuming that is you like identikit grey.
There are free internet kiosks provided by Deutsche Telekom at a few spots in the terminal. Free wireless internet is available for 30 minutes, and from then on there is a fee, but you need a German mobile to make it work.
Transfer between terminals at Frankfurt Airport is relatively easy: there is a free SkyLine shuttle train between the two, and this is actually quite pleasant. It takes 2 minutes, and it is far more pleasant that actually being in the terminals. Free shuttle buses can also be found by the kerb outside each terminal.
Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1Terminal 1 is mainly used by Lufthansa and it's split into four concourses: A (for Schengen area flights), Z (the level above A, for non-Schengen Zone flights), B and C.
An extension to concourse A - called A-plus - has now opened for flights outside the Schengen Zone. There are 40 gates in the extension, but a double-decker design means that walking distances are at least manageable here. The new A-Plus pier is 800 metres long on its own - and 300 metres from the terminal - with no internal peoplemover, just moving walkways. A Plus is separted into Schengen (or domestic Europe) arrivals and departures floor on level 2, and international (non-Schengen, UK) departures on level 3, plus international (Schengen) arrivals on level 4.
There are pharmacies and a 24-hour medical clinic in Terminal 1.
Terminal 1 also has a long underground tunnel, which goes from the Schengen Area in the new A-Plus pier, to the short Schengen 'stub' at the start of the pier before the councourse A and B roundels. It is after security, but before passport control, although with an EU passport you can go through these controls to get to the lounges and back again.
Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1Frankfurt Airport Terminal 2 is for oneworld and SkyTeam airlines, plus some unaffiliated airlines. Terminal 2 has concourses D and E. It is even more depressing than Terminal 1.
First & Business Class lounges at Frankfurt AirportIt may seem as if there is an enviable sea of Lufthansa lounges to wander between. This is not actually the case. Many of them are out of bounds unless you are on a Schengen to Non-Schengen flight, and they are also quite a hike from each other - it is about a kilometre from one 'arm' of the terminal, to the central hub, and then another 1km to get out to the other arm where the lounges are.
Also, be aware that Lufthansa outsources it's lounge guardians to G4S. Few speak English, and they are only trained to see Lufthansa Senator cards on the entrance to lounges: if you have a frequent flyer card from another airline - or worse still, no card - make sure you have all the paperwork you need to prove entry, and a German translation. No-one from Lufthansa will be nearby to help you until you get past them.
If you want to access the best lounge - the Lufthansa Non-Schengen Senator lounge Z50 - it is possible on a UK to Schengen trip: on arrival take the stairs to transfers, and then the corridor to post-security duty free in the non-Schengen area. To get to Schengen then exit down the stairs to 'domestic transfers' (via security) and via the massive queue at passport control. It is best to play this game outside of peak times, as queues can be severe.
Frankfurt Airport transportationThankfully, it's easy to get out of Frankfurt Airport. There is a fast rail line, and a great road system.
Frankfurt Airport trainFrankfurt Airport to the city is via the railways station (Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbahnhof) under Terminal 1, concourse B. Look for the "Regionalbahnhof" signs in Terminal 1 to get to the correct station. Here there are the S-Bahn commuter rail lines S8 and S9 which depart every 15 minutes during the day to Frankfurt Central Station, which only takes 11 minutes, and costs €4.
Don't confuse this with the long distance station (Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof platforms 4-7)). It is linked to Terminal 1 by a connecting bridge over the Autobahn. It is the end point of the new Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line, which links southern Germany to Netherlands and Belgium . 10 trains per hour depart in all directions.
Frankfurt Airport shuttle bus servicesThere are airport buses to Frankfurt. They at the bus bay in front of the arrivals hall of Terminal 2. The journey time to central Frankfurt is about 25 minutes, and the fare €4.10.
Frankfurt Airport taxi servicesGetting a taxi to and from Frankfurt Airport is usually trouble free.
Car Hire at Frankfurt AirportMajor car hire operators are located in the Arrivals Halls. To save time and ensure you get the car you want, book your rental in advance. Rental car operators from Frankfurt Airport include: Europcar, Thrifty, Avis and Budget.
Frankfurt Airport is directly linked to the A3 (Cologne-Munich) and A5 (Hanover-Basel) motorways, which border the airport's eastern and northern boundaries.
Frankfurt Airport HotelA few hotels are directly linked to Terminal 1 via a covered walkway.
The 5-star Hilton Frankfurt Airport is a short walk from the terminal itself, and has some great on-site dining and a decent bar. It's located in the Squaire (a combination of Square and Air) directly above the terminal. The rooms look amazing, but are rather impracticle, being on the dsesigner side of arty, and the staff seem to lack both knowledge and basic English.
The Hilton Garden Inn next door to the main Hilton is also good, and much cheaper. It has a good fitness room and pool.
The Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel is linked to Terminal 1 via a covered walkway. It is famous for its enormous banqueting and event rooms.
The massive 356-room >Intercity Hotel at Cargo City is quite a hike from Frankfurt Airport, over by the cargo terminal, but it has an on-site restaurant and fitness area.
Frankfurt Airport Left LuggageFrankfurt airport luggage storage is handled in both terminals. A 24-hour left luggage service (tel: (069) 6907 3277) has kiosks by arrivals.
Car parkingFrankfurt airport car parking is quite good.
Frankfurt Airport Bars and Restaurants
Goethe BarOpen: 0600-2200 Terminal 1, Airside, Area B, Level 2
The Goethe Bar is dedicated to Frankfurt's famous son and serves coffee, wine, beer as well as champagne. A choice of hot and cold dishes is also available which Frankfurt's great poet would no doubt have approved of.
Perfect BarOpen: 0500-2145 Terminal 1, Airside, Area A, Level 2
One look at the swooshing white coffee bar, and you know you're at somewhere a little out of the ordinary for an airport coffee bar. But then so are the prices. The coffee comes from the company's farms in the jungles of southern India using sustainable farming methods.
This coffee house also sells pretty decent sandwiches, wraps and soups.
Temaki BarOpen: 0630-2130 Terminal 1, Airside, Area Z, Level 3
This is the brand new Temaki bar - not the old one in the older part of the terminal that closed a while back. No, this place is in the brand new A plus wing, in the non-Schengen area.
If you love a decent bit of cold dead fish before your flight, the Temaki bar has it with great sushi, and a real member of Japanese staff on hand. You can even take your sushi onto the plane in a selection in bento boxes.
Service can be a little slow, as the sushi chefs prepare all sushi variations individually upon order. There is also sake and Japanese beer.
|Loungeindex Home Airreview Home|