If you’re hoping to drive and change your US driving permit when you arrive in Frankfurt, you’ll need to prepare for a lot of administration and expense. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable.
A German driving licence is known as a Führerschein, and how easy it is to obtain depends on where you have moved from. Some US states have what’s called a reciprocal relationship with Germany, and as a result you’ll be able to transfer your licence with minimal fuss. If you’re not one of the lucky few, you’ll unfortunately have to retake your test in Frankfurt, a process that includes lessons at a driving school as well as written and practical exams.
The tram is the preferred mode of transport for Frankfurt city centre residents. It runs every ten minutes (five during rush hour), so you’ll be able to hop from one end of the city to the other with minimal fuss using these facilities.
Frankfurt also has two train lines, the overground U-Bahn (which is replaced by buses after about 1am) and the high-speed S-Bahn metro. However, be careful with the latter. Although it is fast, pickpockets and other such crimes are rampant on the metro, and it is advisable to avoid it if you are carrying a significant amount of cash or anything else of value.
Cycling is also popular in Frankfurt, and you’ll be able to rent a bike that can be locked in secure locations around the city. As there are many bike lanes in Frankfurt that cars are not allowed on, this can be a great way to explore the city at a leisurely pace after moving to Frankfurt.
As such a thriving business hub, it’s hardly surprising that Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is one of the busiest in the world. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, Frankfurt Airport serves long and short haul flights (including Chicago, San Francisco and New York), also acting as a central source for German national airline Lufthansa.
Frankfurt benefits from a small port, located in the heart of the city. The port itself is used commercially, as it is too small for luxury cruise ships to depart and arrive from, but it is a beautiful part of Frankfurt in its own right and can come in handy when you want to transport your belongings to your new home, saving huge amounts of money on air transport.
There are neighbourhoods in Frankfurt to suit a variety of desires, whether you’re looking for a place filled with life and energy thanks to its young population, or a conventional family area or something in between.
If you want to be close to the commercial heart of the city and have the budget to be in this more expensive area of Frankfurt, look out for Niederrad. Niederrad is close to the airport (but not so close that you’re exposed to noise), which means you’ll have excellent public transport links at your fingertips, as well as plenty of entertainment. Grüneburgpark is another option for those who aren’t concerned about budget. This is Frankfurt’s most exclusive neighbourhood, full of elegant buildings and public green spaces.