The ‘Hauptbahnhof’, or Central Station, is an important crossroad, one of the largest train stations in Germany and Europe. For avid ‘train spotters’, come and see the ICEs – the bullet trains, the French high speed equivalent, and the regional trains chugging along at their own pace.
The station was built in 1888 and its stone façade and towering pavilions have a grand and stately presence. In the 19th Century, travelling by train was high-tech and important for a nation as much as air travel is today.
Every day over three hundred thousand commuters pass through the station. They take commuter, local (under Hauptbahnhof are U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines) and long distance trains, heading to cities like Paris or Amsterdam, and even as far away as Moscow.
Inside the station are shops, cafes, restaurants, Deutsche Bahn booking services, and Tourist Information, including multi-lingual staff.
If you have to entertain yourself or weary children at the station on your way to another destination in Europe, on the south side of the platform is an intricate model train setting in a large transparent plastic cube.
There is a food court, plus a bakery, a bar, restaurant and newspaper, book and magazine shops.
If you stand in front of the Hauptbahnhof, look up and you can see that on the roof of the front hall is a statue of Atlas supporting the World on his shoulder, assisted by two figures, representing Iron and Steam.
If you’re staying briefly in Frankfurt or have booked a hotel in the Bahnhofsviertel (Station Quarter) you can always take a quick ride into Frankfurt’s old town.
Next to the Bahnhofsviertel, heading west, are many ethnic restaurants, bars and clubs, and Frankfurt’s infamous red light district.