Find it in FRM: Short routes and the transport network
The FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM) region is large and diverse. It covers vibrant cities and sleepy villages, mountains and rivers, modern culture and old traditions. And thanks to its well-developed transport network, you can get anywhere in no time at all.
Buses and trains
The public transport network (ÖPNV) connects all places in the FrankfurtRheinMain region. It is fast and reliable, and most of the population uses it regularly. Using public transport is frequently more comfortable and faster than using your own car. There are suburban trains (S-Bahn) and regional trains (Regionalbahn/RB), buses and trams. Frankfurt am Main also has a far-reaching underground network.
The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) operates most forms of public transport in the FrankfurtRheinMain region. It is the largest transport association in Europe and serves the part of the region that is located in Hessen. In the neighbouring state of Rheinland-Pfalz, the Rhein-Nahe-Nahverkehrsverbund (RNN) is responsible for the public transport system; in the Bavarian part of FRM, it is the Verkehrsgemeinschaft am Bayerischen Untermain (VAB).
All regional transport associations have a website and a smartphone app. You can use either option to search for connections. If you are not sure which transport association covers the route you need, you can use the Deutsche Bahn website to find any connection in all of Germany.
If you would like to explore the many leisure activities and cultural offers in FrankfurtRheinMain, consider buying the RheinMainCard. With this ticket, up to five people can travel for two days in a row in the entire RMV zone. They can use any means of public transport: suburban trains, underground trains, trams, regional trains and buses. The only exception is Intercity (IC) and Intercity Express (ICE) trains. The RheinMainCard also gives you access to discounted tickets to more than 40 leisure and cultural institutions in FRM. A list of all participating institutions is available on the FRM Tourism website.
Germans love their bicycles. Half of all Germans cycle to work, school or university. They do their shopping by bike and use it for all sorts of everyday errands. There are many good reasons to cycle: it is healthy, environmentally friendly, you avoid traffic jams and never need to look for parking.
Many cities and towns in the FrankfurtRheinMain region are extremely suitable for cycling. Many streets have sections that are reserved for cyclists. You will always travel to where you need to be – quickly and safely.
Cycling offices such as the Frankfurt cycling office support cyclists in FRM. Their websites contain useful tips on routes and safety.
Outside of the cities, FRM offers many interesting routes:
- The MainRadweg (“Radweg” = cycling route) leads along the Main River, all the way from its source up to the estuary. Discover the magnificent landscapes of Hessen and Franken from the saddle of your bike.
- The Bahnradweg Hessen comprises many different routes leading along former railway lines through the Vogelsberg and Rhön Mountains. It covers a total length of 310 kilometres, most of which is comfortably flat terrain.
If you want to plan your own route, there are tools such as the Hessen cycling route planner. You can filter the suggested routes by different criteria, e.g. elevation. The planner also marks interesting sights and service stations along the routes. In addition, the website offers a special pupils’ route planner that helps children plan their way to school.
In the future, fast cycling lanes will be implemented for commuters. They are intended to link the various municipalities of the region in a way that allows cyclists to reach their workplace on good, safe roads without obstacles. Cyclists who cover long distances every day might want to consider the increasingly popular electric bicycles (e-bikes/pedelecs).
Many large cities in the FrankfurtRheinMain region have bike rental facilities. These allow you rent a bike spontaneously for a short amount of time. Many providers also offer bike-sharing services. There are bike stations for renting and returning bikes all over the urban areas of the major cities.
Public transport also caters to cyclists. You can take your bike into most trains for free. Many have special sections for bicycle storage.
The FrankfurtRheinMain region is an international transport hub. Its road network is excellently developed. Thanks to multiple major highways (Autobahn) , you can easily explore FRM in your own car. Drivers need to keep certain things in mind, however.
Many commuters are on the roads during the rush hours at the beginning and end of each working day. This causes regular traffic jams. To avoid them, you might want to use public transport or your bicycle.
The major cities of Frankfurt am Main, Offenbach, Darmstadt, Mainz and Wiesbaden have green zones. In these areas, you are only allowed to drive if your car has a green emission sticker indicating that it complies with certain emission standards. This system is intended to reduce the amount of harmful fine particulates in the air. If you drive into a green zone without the correct sticker, you will be charged a fine of EUR 80.
Foreign driving licences are valid for six months in Germany. Afterwards, you need to have your licence converted – unless your licence is from an EU country, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland. Those licences can also be used in Germany.
Other foreign licences must be converted to a German licence. Depending on your country of origin, you might have to take some tests. Germany has entered into recognition agreements with some countries, which makes the conversion easier.
You need to register your car with the nearest registration authority. Each administrative district and each city has at least one.
Carsharing is becoming increasingly popular in the FrankfurtRheinMain region. It is an economic alternative to owning your own car. There are different providers offering carsharing services at different terms. There are stations for renting and returning cars all over the urban areas of the major cities.
Long-distance buses have been operating in Germany for several years. They are a cheaper, yet still comfortable, alternative to rail travel. They usually take slightly longer than a car. Every major city in FrankfurtRheinMain has bus stations (“Busbahnhof” or “Zentraler Omnibus-Bahnhof (ZOB)”, from which the long-distance buses depart. There are bus services for all German cities and even other European destinations.
You can use a ridesharing portal (“Mitfahrzentrale”) to travel between big cities. People who are driving your route offer you a seat in their car in exchange for a contribution to the petrol they use. There are many people who offer to share their ride for various reasons: to save money, to protect the environment or simply to meet people. The driver specifies a time and place of departure and the passenger(s) normally pay them in cash. To find an online portal where rideshare opportunities are advertised, simply search for “Mitfahrzentrale” or “Mitfahrgelegenheit”.
German trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn. Visit the Deutsche Bahn website to see the train schedules for Germany and Europe and buy tickets online. All larger cities have rail stations that easily connect you to all German and European cities by ICE or IC train. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station, is considered the main hub of German rail transport.