1. About Germany:
 
 
Germany is located in the centre of Europe. It forms a bridge between maritime West of Europe and the continental East, between the warmer South and the cool North. Germany is a triad of mountain ranges, uplands and low-land plains – the Bavarian Alps in the South, the pleasant wooded mountains of the Mittelgebirge in the centre of the country and the low country along the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts in the North.
 
CAPITAL: Berlin (3.47 million inhabitants)
 
 
POPULATION: 82,057,000
 
 
SIZE: 357,021km
 
 
CLIMATE:
Germany’s climate is temperate. The average temperatures are around 20-30°C in the summer (June/July – August/September) dropping around 0°C in the winter months (November/December – February/March)
 
 
STATES IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC:
 
16 - Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia
 
RAILWAY SYSTEM : 43,966 km
 
 
FREEWAYS AND ROADS: 633,000 km
 
 
CYCLE TRACKS: 40,000 km
 
 
FEDERAL AND NATIONAL WATER WAYS: 10,000 km
 
 
TIME ZONE:
In Germany, clocks are set to Central European time. From the end of March to the end of October (summertime) they are put forward one hour.
 
 
ELECTRICITY: The voltage is 230V.
 
 
GERMAN ECONOMY:
 
Germany is one of the world's most highly developed Economy market. It is the world's third largest economy in USD exchange-rate terms, the fifth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and the largest economy in Europe.

The German economy is heavily export-oriented, with exports accounting for more than one-third of national output (since spring 2003, Germany exports in absolute figures more goods than every other country). As a result, exports traditionally have been a key element in German macroeconomic expansion. Germany is a strong advocate of closer European economic integration, and its economic and commercial policies are increasingly determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members. Germany uses the common European currency, the Euro, and its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
 
 
2. About Frankfurt:
 
Frankfurt am Main is a financial and service centre of global importance and, as the focal point of the dynamic Rhine-Main economic region, is one of the leading locations for companies in Europe. Its central location, its excellent infrastructure with the largest airport on the continent, the concentration of future-oriented companies of various sectors and its internationality provide Frankfurt with a top position, compared to other European cities.

The city has approximately 660,000 inhabitants, yet offers more than 590,000 jobs for workers from Frankfurt and the surrounding area. In the Rhine-Main region, with its 4.9 million inhabitants, 320,000 companies with 2.5 million employees generate an annual GDP of EUR 163.1 billion.

 
 
WHEN TO VISIT:
  The best times for Frankfurt are late spring to early autumn. The summers tend to be sunny and warm around 25 degrees Celsius. Be prepared, however, for very hot summer days around 35 degrees as well as for light rain. The winters can be cold (usually not lower than -10° C), but there is hardly any snow inside Frankfurt itself.
 
 
GET IN
Frankfurt is the heart of central Germany and as such, it is the national transportation hub. It has excellent connectivity between railways, airlines and highways. Reaching and leaving Frankfurt is easy.
 
BY PLANE :
Frankfurt's principal airport (IATA: FRA) is among the busiest in Europe -second in passenger traffic after London Heathrow (LHR) and just ahead of Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)- and one of the busiest airports in the world, according to 2005 traffic numbers. Frankfurt is the banking center of Germany and hosts of a number a international trade fairs. Therefore all major airlines and all airline alliances fly frequently to Frankfurt and connect it to every continent and major city in the world. The German flag carriers Lufthansa is the main airline in Frankfurt and offer the best connections.
The airport has today two terminals (Terminal 3 is under construction). Terminal 1 is the home of Lufthansa and the Star Alliance airlines. Terminal 1 is seperatated in the sections A, B and C. All other airlines depart from Terminal 2.
The airport is connected to downtown Frankfurt by taxi, bus and most easily by subway/fast train.
 
BY TRAIN:
Frankfurt has three major train stations, the central station (Hauptbahnhof), the Southern Station (Südbahnhof) and the Airport (Flughafen Fernbahnhof); however, inter-city trains that stop at the airport will usually also stop at Hauptbahnhof. Frankfurt has connections to most German cities - and some international destinations - via Inter City and high-speed Inter City Express trains. There is no problem to get a connection to any train destination from Frankfurt.
Be aware that Frankfurt train stations (other than at the airport) are very large, confusing, labyrinth-like places for newcomers. Allow plenty of extra time to locate the boarding area of your train. It's likely you'll have to ask someone for help the first time.
 
GET AROUND
Don't overestimate the scale of Frankfurt. It is entirely possible to explore the downtown area on foot. Still, if you don't feel like walking a lot, there are many alternatives to get around town.
 
BY TAXI:
Frankfurt has plentiful taxi drivers to service the many business travelers. The city is not too big, so fares tend to be reasonable. Watch out for taxi drivers that take detours if they notice that you do not know the city. Still, for door-to-door transportation, taxis are a way to go. Most taxi drivers love to drive to the airport because it's longer than inner-city fares, but not all taxi drivers are actually licensed to go there. They tend to drive very fast because most German business travelers expect them to do this. If you feel uncomfortable just let the driver know and he will slow down.
In the main tourist areas downtown there are also »bike taxis« that convey one or two passengers. For those not too keen on walking this may be a convenient way of seeing the sights.
 
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:
Frankfurt is covered by a good public transportation network consisting of trams, subways, and buses. Fares tend to be average— 4.9 euros for a ticket for one day for one adult.
If you have the opportunity, ask a bystander to explain the vending machines to you the first time you want to buy a ticket.
The RMV site has basic information and timetable information available in English and other languages. There are also on-line rail maps:
- Regional railmap (pdf)
- Local railmap (pdf)
 
BY CAR:
You should avoid using your car in the city, or even places like Sachsenhausen (especially on a Saturday) because of parking space. It's very limited, and people tend to park in places they're not supposed to. If you want to enter the city, your best bet is to go into a Parkhaus (parking garage) and then either walk, or take public transportation. If you are in the suburbs you should be aware that many areas are reserved for local residents. You need a special ID card in your car or you risk a fine.
 
SEE
 
MUSEUMS:
Museums in Germany are generally closed on Mondays (there are exceptions); the exact opening hours on other days depend on the museum. If you want to visit a museum on a public holiday, check with them before to be sure they open on that day.
The museums in Frankfurt offer a wide range of exhibits. Many museums are clustered on the south bank of the Main in a district called Museumsufer. To get there, take the subway to Schweizer Platz, then walk towards the Main river. You can see the downtown skyscrapers when you leave the station, that's the direction you have to take. There are enough museums in Museumsufer to keep you occupied for a while, and it is especially suitable if you are staying in Frankfurt only for a short time.
 
At the Museumsufer

* Deutsches Architektur Museum (German Architecture Museum)
tel: +49 69 21238844 / fax: +49 69 21237721
web: http://www.dam-online.de

* Deutsches Filmmuseum (German Film Museum)
tel: +49 69 21238830 / fax: +49 69 21237881
web: http://www.deutsches-filmmuseum.de German only
The German Movie Museum displays—as the name implies—the art and history of film making.

*Städel-Museum
tel: +49 69 605098-0 / fax: +49 69 610163
web: http://www.staedelmuseum.de

* Museum Giersch (Museum of Regional Historic Art and Culture)
tel: +49 69 63304-128 / fax: +49 69 63304-144
web: http://www.museum-giersch.de

* Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts)
tel: +49 69 212-34037 / fax: +49 69 212-30703
web: http://www.museumfuerangewandtekunst.frankfurt.de

 

High Rise Buildings & Skyline:
Frankfurt has some of the tallest buildings in Europe and the tallest in Germany. Its skyline is unique for the country as the high-rises are concentrated in a relatively small downtown area, giving Frankfurt the looks of a metropolis. The skyline is the reason why Frankfurt is sometimes called by the nickname Mainhattan.
- For a view of the skyline try the Main river bridges. The eastern bridges offer the best view. Also, when you approach the city from the airport via the subway, stay to the right side of the train.
- Take a walk from Schweizer Platz northwards for another good view of the skyscrapers.
- The Main Tower (Subway station Willy-Brandt-Platz) building is special as it is the only Frankfurt high-rise that is open to the public.

 
 
DO
 
- In the summer, a walk along the river Main is a nice thing to do. A lot of people will spend a sunny afternoon walking or sitting there on a lawn or playing frisbee or soccer. It's a relatively quiet area, considering it's in the heart of the city. Nearby cafes and restaurants allow you to have a drink in between.
- The Saalburg is an old Roman fort just outside Frankfurt, near Bad Homburg. You can either take a bus from Bad Homburg, or take the "Taunusbahn" to station "Saalburg" and walk 45 minutes along the Limes to reach the restored fort.
- Performances are by German and international artists - usually worth the time. Exact schedules will vary every year.
 
 
BUY
 
The Zeil is the main shopping area of Frankfurt. Various large department stores compete for customers here. You can spend a lot of money here on perfumes, clOthers, jewelry, or really anything else you desire.
If you like shopping centres, take the subway U1 direction Ginnheim and get off at the station Nordwestzentrum. It is one of the biggest malls in Germany. Not the biggest but one of the oldest (1971) Mall is Hessencenter which resides at the U7 towards Bergen-Enkheim station Hessencenter
South-east of the Zeil is the Goethestrasse (Goethe Street), which covers the exclusive and designer shops. If you are a foreign visitor, remember to ask for tax free shopping and ensure that you receive a "tax free" envelope for the customs officer. You will get your value added tax money back when you leave the country (16% in 2006). Often the store staff can speak English, other languages may be available.
 
 
EAT
 

There are of course restaurants all over Frankfurt. One notable area for dining may be what is locally known as the Fressgass (a "nice" translation would be "eating road"). The correct name of this street is Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse. As the nickname implies, the Fressgass features many Cafes, restaurant, and delicatessen food stores. It's a popular area to dine after the daily shopping. Take the subway to station Hauptwache or Alte Oper.

 
 
STAY SAFE
 
CRIME:
Frankfurt has one of Germany's highest crime rates (however, this also includes smuggling and similar offences at the airport, as well as anything concerning credit card fraud anywhere in Germany, since the main credit card clearing company is based in Frankfurt). Crime is mainly concentrated in the red light district which also is the hangout of the drug dealers/junkies. Nevertheless Frankfurt is still very safe compared to most other cities or nations—e.g. capital crime such as armed crime is very unlikely —it is still a smart idea to take the usual precautions. If you have a problem or are being harassed, don't be afraid to ask the police for help. The German police are not corrupt, but are competent and generally helpful. Germany is a very bureaucratic and structured country, so as long as you behave in a respectful attitude to the police you will have no problem.
 
 
COPE
 
TOURIST INFORMATION:
There are two offices for tourism information. The easiest one to get to is inside the Central Station. Look for the signs: it is near the main exit, next to the German Rail (DB) service area.
 
 

The official contact data is:
- Touristinfo Hauptbahnhof,
  (Tourist Information Central Station),
   Hauptbahnhof - Passage. +49 69 212-38800
  (fax: +49 69 212-37880, mail: info@tcf.frankfurt.de).
   Mo-Fr 8 AM - 9 PM, Sa-Su + Holidays 9 AM - 6 PM;
   New Year + New Year's Eve 8 AM - 1 PM;
   closed on December 25th + 26th.

- Touristinfo Römer,
   Römerberg 27. +49 69 212-38800
   (fax: +49 69 212-37880, mail: info@tcf.frankfurt.de).
   Mo-Fr 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Sa-Su + Holidays 10 AM - 4 PM;
   New Year + New Year's Eve 10 AM - 1 PM;
   closed on December 25th + 26th.

 
 
 
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