Cheap Public Transportation to Frankfurt Airport

Fast S-Bahn trains, buses, taxis, and shuttles offer cheap public transportation to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) from the old town, Hauptbahnhof and Messe areas.

Cathay Pacific plane at Frankfurt Airport in Germany
Cathay Pacific Aircraft at Frankfurt Airport – © Andreas Meinhardt / Fraport AG

Getting to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) is easy by public transportation or private car from downtown Frankfurt am Main and many other towns in Germany’s Rhine-Main area. S-Bahn trains are the fastest and cheapest way to reach Frankfurt Airport from the Hauptbahnhof area as well as from nearby cities including Mainz and Wiesbaden. Buses are available to Höchst, Heidelberg, Mannheim, and Strasbourg. Taxis are reasonably cheap and convenient especially to hotels not in the immediate station area. Suntransfers gives online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.

By Car to Frankfurt International Airport

Frankfurt International Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt) is very conveniently located at the intersection of two major Autohahnen only minutes to the west of Frankfurt am Main. From the Autobahn A3, use exit 50 (Frankfurt Flughafen) to reach the airport. Travelers on the Autobahn A5 should use the Frankfurter Kreuz interchange and the A3 to reach the airport.

Taxis are readily available at Frankfurt Airport and due to the short distance from downtown Frankfurt am Main not particularly expensive. The taxi fee from Frankfurt Airport to the downtown area is according to the meter but should be around €25 with traveling times ranging from as short as 15 minutes to around half an hour. In rush hour, a fixed rate can be agreed in advance and should be around €30 for travel from Frankfurt Airport to downtown hotels. For small groups and travelers with heavy luggage, the convenience of going directly to a downtown or Messe-area hotel is often worth the splurge.

All major car rental agencies are represented at Frankfurt Airport. However, picking up a rental car away from the airport avoid compulsory German airport (and train station) pick-up surcharges.

Airport shuttle services are also available but compare prices and conditions as fares widely vary between airport shuttle service providers. It is often worth enquiring from hotels or tourist information offices in smaller towns if local shuttles and long-distance taxis offer cheaper services than national airport shuttle companies. Suntransfers gives online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.

Many Frankfurt Airport hotels offer airport shuttle services to hotel guests. The Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel & Towers, Hilton Frankfurt Airport, Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, and Meininger Frankfurt Airport are within walking distance of the airport terminals. Hotels requiring shuttle bus transfers are usually significantly cheaper.


By Train to Frankfurt International Airport

For many travelers, trains offer the most convenient and cheapest form of transportation to Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Frankfurt Airport has two train stations: the Fernbahnhof for long-distance and inter-city trains and the Regional Bahnhof for local trains.

Many long-distance trains stop at Frankfurt Airport making it often unnecessary to travel to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof first when traveling to other major German cities. Cologne (Köln) can be reach from the Airport Fernbahnhof in an hour on the fastest Inter-City-Express (ICE) trains.

Train schedules and online tickets are available from the German Railways website.

S-Bahn Trains from Frankfurt, Mainz, and Wiesbaden to Frankfurt Airport

For travelers to Frankfurt am Main, Mainz, and Wiesbaden, the local S-Bahn trains are generally the most convenient, even if long-distance trains also make the same journey. The single journey fare to any of these cities from Frankfurt Airport on S-Bahn trains is €4.65 – use tariff code 5090 on ticket vending machines. A day ticket (Tageskarte) is usually €9.10, or as low as €15.80 for groups of up to 5 traveling together (Gruppentageskarte).

S-Bahn trains S8 and S9 go from the Regionalbahnhof at Frankfurt Airport in around ten minutes to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Up to four trains per hour make this connection with further trains available from the Fernbahnhof. Travelers heading to the Frankfurter Messe exhibition grounds, should change trains (and travel direction) to S-Bahn trains S3, S4, S5, or S6.

In the reverse direction, both S-Bahn S8 and S9 trains go from Frankfurt Airport to Wiesbaden with S8 trains also stopping en route in Mainz. These trains generally operate two to four times per hour with traveling time just less than half an hour to Mainz and less than 40 minutes to Wiesbaden.

Public Buses to Frankfurt International Airport

Trains generally provide the easiest public transportation to Frankfurt International Airport but a few destinations are easier reached on more direct buses. Public buses are available from Frankfurt International Airport to amongst others Frankfurt-Höchst (only 10 minutes), Darmstadt, Dreieich, Kelsterbach, Neu-Isenheim, and Rüsselsheim.

The Lufthansa Express Bus provides convenient transportation traveling between Frankfurt Airport and Strasbourg (Straßburg) in France. The Lufthansa Express Bus from Frankfurt Airport is also available to Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken and Bonn.

Tickets for the Lufthansa Airport buses can be reserved in advance through most channels selling regular Lufthansa flight tickets. Tickets are not available from the bus driver. The buses are not restricted to Lufthansa passengers and may be used by any travelers.

Transfers between terminals at Frankfurt International Airport require only minutes on a free shuttle train. However, transfers between Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) and Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN), which is popular with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz, require several hours. Direct buses connect Frankfurt International Airport and Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in around 90 minutes (plus check-in times at the second airport, as check-in is always separate at the two airports for both passengers and luggage).

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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