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Getting around Frankfurt

Public transport

Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund - RMV (tel: +49 69 2424 8024; www.rmv.de) runs public transport within Frankfurt.

The city has underground (U-Bahn), tram (S-bahn) and bus lines, including a weekend night bus service. These are supplemented by a network of city trains (S-Bahn) operated by Deutsche Bahn (tel: +49 180 699 6633; www.bahn.de).

The Frankfurt Card, available from tourist information offices, gives unlimited use of public transport, including access to the airport. One- and two-day cards are available for individuals and groups. The card also includes discounted admission to numerous attractions.

Otherwise, you can buy single tickets, day passes or weekly passes. Smartcards, called eTicket RheinMain, are gradually replacing paper tickets.

Taxis

Taxis are usually beige Mercedes and they can safely be hailed on the street. A tip of 5 to 10% is normally expected, or you can round up the fare. You can also book taxis via Main Taxi Frankfurt (tel: +49 69 73 30 30). Most accept major credit cards.

The pedal-powered Velotaxis (tel: +49 69 71 58 88 55) also operate between Opera Square and the Main Embankment and offer an up-close view of the city.

Driving

Driving in the centre of Frankfurt can be stressful, as it requires a good knowledge of the one-way system. It can be heavily congested, especially during rush hours, when it can be even more confusing. Furthermore, German drivers are not known for their patience. The Strassenverkehrsamt, Gutleutstraße 191 (tel: +49 69 2124 4734; www.frankfurt.de), provides up-to-date information. Street parking is scarce, metered and pricey. There are numerous covered car parks. Some hotels offer on-site parking.

Car hire

Drivers generally must be at least 21 years old (in some cases 19 years old) and have held a full driving licence for at least half a year (an International Driving Permit is only accepted in combination with a national licence and it only needed if the national licence is not in Roman script). Some car hire companies have special offers for young drivers.

Providers include Avis (tel: +49 69 2799 7010; www.avis.de), Budget (tel: +49 69 7104 45596; www.budget.de) and Sixt (tel: +49 180 625 2525; www.sixt.de).

Bicycle hire

You can hire bicycles from Call A Bike (tel: +49 69 4272 7722; www.callabike-interaktiv.de/de). You can either book by phone and receive an electronic code which unlocks a bike from one of the depots situated at major crossroads throughout the city. Or, a dedicated Call A Bike iPhone and Android app lets you see where bikes are available and arrange hire via your smartphone without needing to make a call.

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Featured Hotels

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Maritim Hotel Frankfurt

Directly linked to the Trade Fair Centre, this very modern circular, glass hotel is most convenient for travellers visiting one of Frankfurt's numerous international fairs. The 5-star Maritim caters mainly for professionals, providing everything the sophisticated traveller expects, from extensive business facilities such wireless internet and digital fax machines to a laptop-sized safe. Excellent relaxation options are also available at the Maritim Sports Club.

The Pure

The Pure is one of the trendiest hotels in Frankfurt. Just around the corner from the main station this style haunt is decorated in a palette of white, white and white. The staff are warm enough to add a bit of colour and all rooms have flat screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access, air conditioning and iPod docks. The lobby bar stocks an impressive range of single malt whiskies and there’s also a modest gym for more active types, as well as a sauna and steam room.

Pension Aller

This delightful guest house might be small in size but it offers great service and a homely atmosphere. Situated in the tranquil Gutleutviertel quarter, Pension Aller is ideal for visiting the busy city by day but offers a remote oasis of peace and quiet at night. Advance booking is required for this popular no-frills establishment.

Hotel Am Berg

This beautiful neo-romantic hotel is quietly situated in a private villa in the quarter of Sachsenhausen. Its special ambience and warm and quirky décor make every visitor feel at home and at ease. There are a small number of guest rooms and most are en suite. Wireless internet, tea- and coffee-making facilities, as well as newspapers and magazines, are always available.

Gerbermühle

Housed in a former mill building on the south bank of the Main about 4km (2.5 miles) east of the main railway station, this small boutique hotel is where Goethe is said to have met Marianne von Willemer, who he'd later write poetry about. With only 19 rooms and suites, the hotel has very high standard in terms of comfort and service, offering a refreshing alternative to the major chain hotels that are so prevalent in Frankfurt.

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof

Destroyed during WWII and entirely rebuilt by hotelier Albert Steigenberger, this fantastic listed building combines historical glory and modern convenience. Despite the elegant furnishings, the discreet service and the majestic atmosphere, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof retains character and intimacy. The facilities are fantastic, including a wellness club and business centre. For very important guests, who require extra special treatment, the Presidential Suite even has bullet-proof windows.