Frankfurt Airport

Oktoberfest at Frankfurt Airport

It’s Oktoberfest season and a good time to check out pubs and tap rooms in airports.

I’m making a list of some travelers’ favorites – so send in y our suggestions, please.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a layover coming up this month at Frankfurt Airport, you can grab a beer in the airport’s traditional beer tent and be entertained daily by Bavarian brass bands.  There’s evidently even a ‘high striker’ on site where guests can test their strength.

Restaurants and bistros throughout the airport are serving special Bavarian specialties, including white sausage, giant soft pretzels and one-liter mugs of fresh tap beer and there are some Oktoberfest-themed items in the shops, including this Minnie Mouse in a dirndl and Mickey Mouse in leather trousers.

Free movies & games at Frankfurt Airport


If you have to get to the airport really early – or wait around for a few hours during a layover – why not take in a movie?

You could watch it on your computer or tablet of course, but an increasing number of airports are showing movies – for free – in their own movie theaters.

The latest to add this cinematic amenity is the Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, which has set up two “Movie World’s” in Terminal 1, on Piers A and Z, to show full-length movies, documentaries and some popular series.

The screening areas don’t have rows of seats, but are set up in a living-room style, with carpeting, couches and small niche seating areas, with TV screens. Each theater can accommodate 22 people in eight separate viewing niches and, like airplane entertainment systems, travelers can choose what language to watch a film in and when to start it.

There are a handful of other airports that offer movie theaters for travelers,  including Portland International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Sinagpore’s Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and some others. I’ve wrote about airport movie theaters in one of my “At the Airport” columns on USA TODAY.

No movies? How about gaming?

For those who would rather play computer games than watch a movie on a layover, Frankfurt Airport has also opened a second Gaming World offering free, controller-based, interactive games such as FIFA, NBA and racing and a variety of others. “Scientists have shown that playing video games helps overcome jet lag,” says Frankfort Airport operator, Fraport, and these games “have the extra benefit of reactivating tired limbs after hours of sitting still in the plane.”

Not sure if that’s true, but free games – and movies – are certainly welcome airport amenities.

Look for Movie World at Frankfurt Airport in Terminal by Gate A58 and Gate Z58 and find the Gaming World areas in Terminal one by Gate A52 and Gate Z54.


Frankfurt Airport has pink parking spaces for women

The 250 “Ladies Parking” spaces have been scattered throughout the garages at Frankfurt Airport since 2013, but suddenly they’re super controversial and in the news.

Chalk it up to the internet (someone incorrectly dubbed them ‘new’ in a blog post and the story took off) and to our collective “Are you serious?” reaction when stereotypes surface.

Here’s some of what I wrote about Frankfurt Airport’s “Ladies Parking” for USA TODAY:

There are 14,000 parking spaces at Frankfurt Airport, but if you want one that’s “bigger, nicer and closer to the terminals,” look for spots reserved for women only.

The specially designed parking sections are scattered throughout the airport’s parking garages and are easy to find: a pink ribbon of paint on the floor marks off the wider-than-average parking spots and the pink-painted walls.

Why are they there?

“In Germany, it is a legal requirement to provide these designated parking spaces for women,” said Frankfurt Airport spokesman Robert Payne.

Why are they painted pink? “For quick and easy recognition by women drivers, who are sometimes traveling with children,” he said. And to let other drivers — i.e. men – know not to park in those spot. “They cannot say they didn’t notice the bright pink area designated for women drivers,” said Payne.

Rules requiring women-only parking sections in many parts of Germany were created more for safety than for convenience back in the 1990s.

Today many consider these set-asides patronizing and truly sexist.

#NoFilter Frankfurt with London City Airport


London City Airport contacted me a few months back to ask if I’d be a judge for the latest chapter of a photography contest they host called “#NoFilter.”

Having been on an enjoyable and educational all-area tour of London City Airport  a while back, and knowing that the airport is innovative in its social media projects, I of course said yes.

I was even more interested when I learned that photos and blog posts I’d be judging would be featuring travel photography from Frankfurt – which is home to another airport I’ve had the pleasure of touring.

The #NoFilterFrankfurt contest asked a group of bloggers to share photos of the city with no Instagram-type filters applied.

Here’s a selection of some of the best photos from the competition, along with some of the #NoFilter photography tips and advice for visiting Frankfurt.

All the entries were great and it was difficult to pick just one winner, but you’ll see my top pick at the end.

Yolande’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Chronicles of Yoyo, Yolande suggests that time-pressed tourists “hop on the Ebbelwei-Express, which brings you on an hour-long journey to cover all the main sights in Frankfurt.”

Kate’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


Along with her Frankfurt photos on Relokate, Kate said that the contest not only gave her a chance to “go out and capture the beauty of Frankfurt,” but taught her that “the ‘A’ setting on my camera would automatically adjust the aperture, which I found worked best given the sunlight I was working with in most of them.”

Menorca’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


In her Europe Diaries, Menorca noted that “Frankfurt is such a city of contrasts,” with “all the skyscrapers, banks and financial institutions, and …history, old architecture, plentiful museums and parks.”

Lauren’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Belle du Brighton , Lauren’s suggested that “looking at your surroundings from different angles can really help to get a good photo without the need to edit. Sit on the ground, look at the ground! Get high up, whatever works! Thankfully in this day and age of digital photography you can snap away till you get the perfect photo, and sometimes the ones that you think won’t turn out okay are the best ones!”

John’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Continental Breakfast Travel, John let loose about those love locks. “I’ll be honest, I hate the things (and was very pleased the other week when they were removed from Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris) but I’ll admit: they do take a very good photo. I particularly like how the locks in the foreground make a heart-shape. Or at least I would if I wasn’t such a bitter person.”

Tom’s #NoFilter Frankfurt:


And on Anita’s Feast, this photo of a unusual subway station entrance by Tom really caught my attention.

“The entrance depicted against a backdrop of a modern high-rise building shows that this is ‘city art.’ Keeping the background mostly in focus allows you to see the details of the buildings,” said Tom.

This was the winning image I chose for the competition, in part because it shows two very different sides of Frankfurt: the sleek architecture associated with city’s financial reputation, alongside what is clearly a fun, artistic vibe.

Thanks London City Airport, for asking me to be a judge for the #NoFilterFrankfurt contest.


(Note: I received a small honorarium for being a judge in the the #NoFilterFrankurt contest.)