If you’ve ever wanted to learn about running around Frankfurt, whether it’s the airport during a stopover or downtown by the river, read on. I was there twice recently, so thought the novelty of running around the airport was worth writing about. Definitely recommended if you have a layover…
Frankfurt airport run around: 19k, 90 minutes
On a recent skiing trip to Austria, I had a 4hr layover in Frankfurt. Most people would kill the time browsing duty free, having a pint, eating, reading or watching the plane go by. I figured all that would cost more money and not give me much enjoyment, as I love being outside.
So inspired by reading DCRainmaker’s blog about his airport stopover runs (Newark, Seattle, Heathrow) I did a bit of research online and found a blog from Jamie who did exactly what I wanted to do, with hours to kill in Frankfurt airport.
My main concerns were:
- A nice route
- Luggage storage
- Shower facilities
- Not getting lost (or losing my passport)
Good news on all 3 in Frankfurt. The airport is surrounded by forests, so once you navigate across the autobahn and figure out your bearings. It was really peaceful running through the forest towards the River Main.
Luggage was available in one of the terminals, so after a 20-minute tour to find out where, I eventually found it. It only cost €5.50 to leave my bag and jacket for 2 hours. I’d worn my leggings, running gear and runners on the plane that morning to save time. It was only 3-4C outside, so I needed gloves.
I set off outside the terminal, phone & passport in my bumbag, just in case. I’d an idea of direction, heading towards the river being my goal. The forest had loads of trails and was dead flat. It was a bit disorienting but I had 90 minutes so figured I could reach the river and return on time. I picked up the pace into a steady run and really enjoyed the novelty of it. Plus, I knew it would be my last run for a week – the only week of the year when I never run is skiing.
I passed through a residential neighbourhood and was happy to see the wide and flat River Main. I turned back and made it back in time for my flight. No need for a shower – I grabbed a bit to eat, then hit my gate for next stop Salzburg.
Post-script: Frankfurt City run-around
Downtown 90 min Long Run
Downtown 60 min River Run
Two weeks later I was back in Frankfurt, this time to stay for the weekend visiting a friend. I got to run twice, so thought I’d share the maps. Frankfurt am Main as the name suggests is on the river Main, a tributary of the Rhine. It’s a wide, busy working river, full of ships transporting all sorts of food, liquid and mineral products into the region or out to the ports in Belgium and Netherlands.
The run is dead flat. You can run along both banks, with nice wide separated bike & footpaths. It’s busy with people walking, running, cycling. In summer I guess it’s packed with people having picnics sitting in the sun. The city centre is dominated by all the skyscrapers of all the main banks, so it’s pretty to look at. You also see the Dom and Paulskirche domes and crosses. Most architecture is 20th century, as the city was destroyed during the war. Apartments along the river look nice.
You pass under several bridges along the way, so you can turn back whenever you choose. My first run was 60 minutes and the second one 90 minutes, so I just went further into the docks on the second run. I also did a loop around the city centre on a path through a narrow green area. You pass some nice sights along the way – the Alte Oper, the Eschenheimer Tower and I ended up down by the shiny new European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters.
I can see why it’s a great place to run or cycle – there are big marathon and IronMan events there each year. Running around the port was interesting – eerily silent at the weekend, but nice to see it’s an active, living port with lots of grains, wood, food being imported and exported.
P.P.S. I ran around Shannon Airport in 2015 – check out the Garmin route here. Dublin Airport is also easy to run around – the Old Airport Road to the south of the airport runs parallel to the runway, so great for plane spotting too.