Germany Travel Guide
Typical Frankfurt skyline
Don’t complain while in Frankfurt am Main!
Do you have a few days to kill in Frankfurt or perhaps just a few hours? Whether you're stuck with an extra-long layover or find yourself with spare hours between business in town, contrary to popular opinion Frankfurt does actually have interesting things for you to do.
Here are our easiest and cheapest suggestions within spitting distance of the Hauptbahnhof:
Today could be a rough day at the airport, so we recommend charging up those electronic doodads and maybe even grabbing a magazine. Lufthansa is having a little bit of a problem with their worker bees today, and as a result they’re canceling all kinds of flights.
In total it sounds like they are proactively canceling around 1,700 flights; however, most appear to be shorter flights in and around Europe, as well as domestic options. It’s all part of a one-day strike finalized late last week, as a group representing around 33,000 Lufthansa employees hopes to show the carrier that they need a little more cash in their paychecks.
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This capuchin monkey is outraged
It may seems like just another April Fools' story, but trust that the news of Justin Bieber's monkey being held in quarantine in Germany is true.
Bieber flew to Germany's Munich Airport late last week as a stop in the European leg of his "I Believe" tour and, of course, traveling by private plane has its advantage...like bringing along a pet monkey for the ride. Justin's capuchin monkey made it to Germany, but didn't make it out of the airport as it seems the singer did not have the proper documentation to bring a monkey into the country.
David Hasselhoff not only feels partially responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but now feels like he has to save what's left of it, too.
In 1989, the Baywatch star (who is probably better known as the old drunk guy eating a burger to anyone under 25) performed "Looking for Freedom" on top of the Berlin Wall and the song became an instant hit in Germany.
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Although there are many great driving roads in the world, perhaps the most famous is the Nürburgring. Built and completed in 1927 around the medieval castle city of Nürburg, it lies about 75 miles northwest of Frankfurt and 50 miles south of Cologne. Easy day trip distance, which is exactly our focus.
Though the Nürburgring is used mainly by car companies for testing and sanctioned races, examples of the latter being DTM (German Touring Car) and Formula 1, it is open to the public...if you can handle it. Nürburgring is widely regarded as the toughest and most demanding race track in the world due to its long length and sheer number of corners. Public access is typically on the weekends, and all road-legal vehicles can pay to drive on this historic road. Sports cars and motorcycles are the of course the most common sights, but even RVs and tour buses are allowed to have their turn.
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When was the last time you flew in a plane piloted by a woman? What about two women, both pilot and co-pilot? It's possible to not even know since passengers rarely see their flight crews much anymore, but they are up there. Trust us.
Starting this week, travelers on Lufthansa will get to see the very rare occurrence of two women in the cockpit...before even stepping onboard a plane. Famous Berlin-based photographer Kiki Kausch has installed her triptych, titled "A380 Female Cockpit," at the JFK Business Class lounge.
The three images capture two normal Lufthansa pilots, Fleur and Karin, at work in their office, which just happens to be the cockpit of one of the airline's A380 superjumbos en route from Frankfurt to Singapore (LH 778). The photos were actually taken as the plane cruised high above Afghanistan, the ethereal light of sunrise over the Hindukush illuminating the women.
Now, when stepping on-aboard an Air Berlin flight, those sexy red leather gloves may point your to the newest business class seats the airline has to offer. Just last week, the second largest German airline introduced its brand spanking new premium look on a flight from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi.
The flashy lie-flat seats are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to upgrades to the long-haul A330 business-class cabin for the carrier. Each of the 19 seats in the biz cabin will offer a 15-inch personal television loaded up with about 200 hours of on-demand programming and a USB port to keep those devices charged up.
The nicely canopied entrance to Munich Airport Center
Sure, airports across the country and the globe get into the holiday spirit with lights, trees, and decorations, but that’s usually it. There is at least one airport over in Germany that takes it to the next level, as one of the country’s famous Christmas markets makes an appearance outside the terminals.
All the holiday stuff goes down at the Munich Airport Center, as they’ve been enjoying their own version of a Christmas market amidst the arrivals and departures. Holiday stuff includes at least 50 different vendors, 400 Christmas trees, Bavarian curling, and even an ice skating rink—with free skate rentals.
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Air Berlin's flight attendants in red calfskin leather gloves.
Air Berlin has traditionally been recognized as a low-cost carrier, but recent years have proven they're more full service than one would expect. For example, they offer Business Class on their A330s and free snacks and drinks on all flights, plus complimentary hot meals on long-hauls. Also, fun fact: the airline was founded by a former pilot of the famously full-service airline, Pan Am. For now, however, let's take a moment to focus on the very classy touch to their flight attendants uniform: leather driving-style gloves.
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Ach! Was ist denn los?
Not great news this month as Berlin-Brandenburg Airport is rumored to throw out yet another delay on top of the many they've already delivered. As it stands, BER is scheduled to debut in late October 2013, but some news of late may throw that date into the trash pile with the other four opening dates they've previously teased.
The fresh estimate isGott im Himmelsometime in 2014 after fire safety experts recently reported more problems with the facility’s security system. On top of this bad news, already the airport finds itself on the receiving end of legal action from Air Berlin, who claim damages to their business on account of the massive delays. It's beyond a waiting game now; the situation has gotten ugly.
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It's been far too long since we last named an "in-flight cocktail of the month," but there's a good reason for that. You see, airlines just don't offer all the libations they once did, and a prime example of this is the classic Lufthansa Cocktail.
Though the Orange-Apricot liquor of 12 ingredients was once served to passengers onboard Lufthansa flights decades ago (sometimes even in cute mini bottles), the Lufthansa Cocktail is now so extremely rare that it can only be had in two ways:
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What do you do when you've just built an airport addition that, in itself, is the size of a whole other airport? Well, if you're Lufthansa at Frankfurt International, you fill it with some superlatives like, say, the largest lounge in the entire system.
This is the case at FRA's brand new A-Plus Concourse, where the LH Senator Lounge on the non-Schengen departures level takes top spot. Its 23,000 square feet easily beats the 19,400 square feet of the airline's next largest lounge, which just happens to be next door in Terminal 1 proper. In total, A-Plus adds five sparkling new, sprawlingly spacious lounges to the roster: a First Class Lounge, a Senator Lounge and a Business Lounge on the EU Departures and Arrivals level and, on the non-European area (Non-Schengen area), there is a Senator Lounge and a Business Lounge.
Now that we've shown you around the rest of the A-Plus Concourse, it's time to have our boarding pass checked, grab a Frankfurter Allgemeine and a tall, cold glass of Franziskaner beer and have a good look around a couple of these spaces.