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Cape Town – Lonely Planet

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Cape Town – Lonely Planet

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Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa, forming part of the metropolitan municipality of the City of Cape Town. It is the provincial capital of the Western Cape, as well as the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are situated. Cape Town is famous for its harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is Africa’s most popular destination for tourism.

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a victualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.

As of 2007[update] the city had an estimated population of 3.5 million.[3] Cape Town’s land area of 2,455 square kilometres (948 sq mi) is larger than other South African cities, resulting in a comparatively lower population density of 1,425 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,690 /sq mi).

Transport

Air

Cape Town International Airport serves both domestic and international flights. It is the second-largest airport in South Africa and serves as a major gateway for travellers to the Cape region. Cape Town has direct flights to most cities in South Africa as well as a number of international destinations.

As of June 2006, Cape Town International Airport is being upgraded to handle an expected increase in air traffic as tourism numbers will increase in the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The renovations include several large new parking garages, a revamped domestic departure terminal and a new international terminal plus a new double-decker road system.

The airport’s cargo facilities are also being expanded and several large empty lots are being developed into office space and hotels. The Cape Town International Airport was among the winners of the World Travel Awards for being Africa’s leading airport.

Sea

Cape Town has a long tradition as a port city. The Port of Cape Town, the city’s main port, is located in Table Bay directly to the north of the central business district. The port is a hub for ships in the southern Atlantic: it is located along one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world.

It is also a busy container port, second in South Africa only to Durban. In 2004, it handled 3,161 ships and 9.2 million tonnes of cargo. Simon’s Town Harbour on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula is the main base of the South African Navy.

Rail

The Shosholoza Meyl is the passenger rail operations of Spoornet and operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Cape Town: a daily service to and from Johannesburg via Kimberley and a weekly service to and from Durban via Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg. These trains terminate at Cape Town Railway Station and make a brief stop at Bellville. Cape Town is also one terminus of the luxury tourist-oriented Blue Train as well as the five-star Rovos Rail.

Metrorail operates a commuter rail service in Cape Town and the surrounding area. The Metrorail network consists of 96 stations throughout the suburbs and outskirts of Cape Town.

Road

Three national roads start in Cape Town: the N1 which links Cape Town with Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Zimbabwe; the N2 which links Cape Town with Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban; and the N7 which links Cape Town with the Northern Cape Province and Namibia.

The N1 and N2 both start in the Central Business District, and split to the east of the CBD, with the N1 continuing to the north east and the N2 heading south east past Cape Town International Airport. The N7 starts in Mitchells Plain and runs north, intersecting with the N1 and the N2 before leaving the city.

Cape Town also has a system of freeway and dual carriageway M-roads, which connect different parts of the city. The M3 splits from the N2 and runs to the south along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, connecting the City Bowl with Muizenberg. The M5 splits from the N1 further east than the M3, and links the Cape Flats to the CBD. The R300, which is informally known as the Cape Flats Freeway, links Mitchells Plain with Bellville, the N1 and the N2.

Buses

Golden Arrow Bus Services operates scheduled bus services throughout the Cape Town metropolitan area. Several companies run long-distance bus services from Cape Town to the other cities in South Africa.

Taxis

Cape Town has two kinds of taxis: metered taxis and minibus taxis. Unlike many cities, metered taxis are not allowed to drive around the city to solicit fares and instead must be called to a specific location. Minibus taxis are the standard form of transport for the majority of the population who cannot afford private vehicles.

Although essential, these taxis are often poorly maintained and are frequently not road-worthy. These taxis make frequent unscheduled stops to pick up passengers, which can cause accidents. With the high demand for transport by the working class of South Africa, minibus taxis are often filled over their legal passenger allowance, making for high casualty rates when minibuses are involved in accidents. Minibuses are generally owned and operated in fleets, and inter-operator violence flares up from time to time, especially as turf wars occur over lucrative taxi route

Tourism

Cape Town is not only the most popular international tourist destination in South Africa, it is Africa’s main tourist destination even overtaking Cairo. This is due to its good climate, natural setting, and well-developed infrastructure. The city has several well-known natural features that attract tourists, most notably Table Mountain, which forms a large part of the Table Mountain National Park and is the back end of the City Bowl.

Reaching the top of the mountain can be achieved either by hiking up, or by taking the Table Mountain Cableway. Cape Point is recognised as the dramatic headland at the end of the Cape Peninsula. Many tourists also drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a narrow road that links Noordhoek with Hout Bay, for the views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby mountains. It is possible to either drive or hike up Signal Hill for closer views of the City Bowl and Table Mountain.

Many tourists also visit Cape Town’s beaches, which are popular with local residents.[22] Due to the city’s unique geography, it is possible to visit several different beaches in the same day, each with a different setting and atmosphere. Beaches located on the Atlantic Coast tend to have very cold water from the Benguela current which originates from the Southern Ocean.

The water at False Bay beaches is often warmer by up to 10 °C (18 °F). Both coasts are equally popular, although the beaches in affluent Clifton and elsewhere on the Atlantic Coast are better developed with restaurants and cafés, with a particularly vibrant strip of restaurants and bars accessible to the beach at Camps Bay. Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town is known for its colony of African penguins. Surfing is popular and the city hosts the Red Bull Big Wave Africa surfing competition every year.

The city has several notable cultural attractions. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, built on top of part of the docks of the Port of Cape Town, is one of the city’s most popular shopping venues, with several hundred shops and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Part of the charm of the V&A, as it is locally known, is that the Port continues to operate and visitors can watch ships enter and leave.

The V&A also hosts the Nelson Mandela Gateway, through which ferries depart for Robben Island. It is possible to take a ferry from the V&A to Hout Bay, Simon’s Town and the Cape Fur Seal colonies on Seal and Duiker Islands. Several companies offer tours of the Cape Flats, a mostly Coloured township, and Khayelitsha, a mostly black township. An option is to sleep overnight in Cape Town’s townships. There are several B&Bs where you can spend a safe and real African night.

Cape Town is noted for its architectural heritage, with the highest density of Cape Dutch style buildings in the world. Cape Dutch style, which combines the architectural traditions of the Netherlands, Germany and France, is most visible in Constantia, the old government buildings in the Central Business District, and along Long Street.

The annual Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, also known by its Afrikaans name of Kaapse Klopse, is a large minstrel festival held annually on January 2 or “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” (Afrikaans: Second New Year). Competing teams of minstrels parade in brightly coloured costumes, either carrying colourful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. The Artscape Theatre Centre is the main performing arts venue in Cape Town.

Cape Town’s transport system links it to the rest of South Africa; it serves as the gateway to other destinations within the province. The Cape Winelands and in particular the towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek are popular day trips from the city for sightseeing and wine tasting.

Whale watching is popular amongst tourists: Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales are seen off the coast during the breeding season (August to November) and Bryde’s Whales and Killer Whale can be seen any time of the year.[32] The nearby town of Hermanus is known for its Whale Festival, but whales can also be seen in False Bay.[32] Heaviside’s dolphins are endemic to the area and can be seen from the coast north of Cape Town; Dusky dolphins live along the same coast and can occasionally be seen from the ferry to Robben Island.

Approximately 1.5 million tourists visited in Cape Town during 2004, bringing in a total of R10 billion in revenue. The forecasts for 2006 anticipate 1.6 million tourists spending a total of R12 billion. The most popular areas for visitors to stay include Camps Bay, Sea Point, the V&A Waterfront, the City Bowl, Hout Bay, Constantia, Rondebosch, Newlands, Somerset West, Hermanus and Stellenbosch, as well.

Cape Town Tourism is the City of Cape Town’s Official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services. They offer a comprehensive service offering information and bookings for Cape Town attractions, tours and accommodation.

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Washington, United States

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Washington, United States

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Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the forty-second state in 1889. The United States Census Bureau estimated the state’s population was 6,549,224 as of 2008.

Nearly sixty percent of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of deep rain forests in the west, mountain ranges in the center, northeast and far southeast, and eastern semi-deserts given over to intensive agriculture.

Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, and is the only U.S. state to be named after a president. Washington is often called Washington state or the State of Washington to distinguish it from the District of Columbia. However, Washingtonians (and many residents of neighboring states) normally refer to the state simply as “Washington” while usually referring to the nation’s capital as “Washington D.C.” or simply “D.C.”

Federal land and reservations

National parks

There are three National Parks and two National Monuments in Washington:

  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
  • Hanford Reach National Monument

National Forests in the state include:

  • Colville National Forest
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
  • Okanogan National Forest
  • Olympic National Forest
  • Wenatchee National Forest

Other protected lands of note include:

  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  • Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, among others administered by the National Park Service.

There are many Wildernesses in Washington, including (Not in order of creation) :

  • Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • Glacier Peak Wilderness
  • Goat Rocks Wilderness
  • Henry M. Jackson Wilderness
  • Juniper Dunes Wilderness
  • Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
  • Norse Peak Wilderness
  • Mount Baker Wilderness
  • Pasayten Wilderness
  • Olympic Wilderness
  • Wild Sky Wilderness

There are several large military-related reservations, including:

  • Fort Lewis
  • McChord Air Force Base
  • Fairchild Air Force Base
  • Naval Base Kitsap
  • Hanford Site
  • the Yakima Training Center
  • Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton)
  • Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
  • Naval Station Everett

Largest cities

The largest cities in Washington according to 2009 state census estimates.

Rank City Population
1 Seattle 602,000
2 Spokane 205,500
3 Tacoma 203,400
4 Vancouver 164,500
5 Bellevue 120,600
6 Everett 103,500
7 Spokane Valley 89,440
8 Federal Way 88,580
9 Kent 88,380
10 Yakima 84,850
11 Renton 83,650
12 Bellingham 76,130
13 Auburn 67,485
14 Kennewick 67,180
15 Lakewood 58,840

Race

Demographics of Washington (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 88.64% 4.12% 2.73% 6.75% 0.74%
2000 (Hispanic only) 7.00% 0.23% 0.28% 0.15% 0.06%
2005 (total population) 87.65% 4.45% 2.65% 7.69% 0.78%
2005 (Hispanic only) 8.16% 0.33% 0.30% 0.20% 0.07%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 5.49% 15.37% 3.54% 21.57% 12.25%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 3.88% 13.41% 2.18% 21.11% 11.20%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 24.32% 47.88% 15.40% 41.33% 24.11%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican, (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).

There are many migrant Mexican American farm workers living in the southeast-central part of the state, though the population is also increasing as laborers in Western Washington.

Washington has the fourth largest Asian-American population of any state. The Filipino-American community is the largest Asian American subgroup in the state. Gary Locke was elected as the first Asian American governor (and so far, the only Chinese American governor of any US state) at the end of the 20th century.

African Americans are less numerous than Asian Americans or Hispanic Americans in many communities, but have been elected as mayor of Seattle, Spokane and Lakewood and as King County Executive. In Seattle, African Americans are moving into the southern part of the city as well as many suburban areas such as South King County. Seattle’s Black population is largely concentrated on Rainier Valley and the Central District which remains the one of the only majority-black neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest, the other being in Portland, Oregon’s King neighborhood, it is about 40% African-American. Tacoma also has a rising African-American population.

Washington is the location of many Native American reservations, with some placing prominent casinos next to major interstate highways. Residents have adopted many of the artwork themes of the northwest coast Indians who were noted for totem poles, longhouses, dugout canoes and pictures of animals. Many cities have traditional names created by Native Americans such as Yakima, Seattle, Spokane, Puyallup, and Walla Walla.

6.7% of Washington’s population was reported as under 5, 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population.

Religion

Major religious affiliations of the people of Washington are:

  • Roman Catholic – 16%
  • Protestant
    • Mainline – 23%
    • Evangelical – 25%
    • Other Protestant – 1%
  • Latter-day Saint; 2%
  • Muslim – 1%
  • Jewish – 1%
  • Other Religions – 3%
  • Unaffiliated – 25%

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 716,133; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 178,000; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 127,854.

As with many other Western states, the percentage of Washington’s population identifying themselves as “non-religious” is higher than the national average. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state other than Colorado with 31%

Transportation

Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation as well as the third largest in the world. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the US. The unique geography of Washington presents exceptional transportation needs.

There are extensive waterways in the midst of Washington’s largest cites, including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia. The state highways incorporate an extensive network of bridges and the largest ferry system in the United States to serve transportation needs in the Puget Sound area. Washington’s marine highway constitutes a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call. Washington is home to four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge which connects the Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap Peninsula.

The Cascade Mountain Range also provides unique transportation challenges. Washington operates and maintains roads over seven major mountain passes and eight minor passes. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Not all are able to stay open through the winter. The North Cascades Highway on State Route 20 closes every year. This is because of the extraordinary amount of snowfall and frequency of avalanches, leading to it not being safe in the winter months.

It is recorded that transportation, including automobiles, planes, trains and ships, is the cause of 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington.

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What to do in Frankfurt, Germany – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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What to do in Frankfurt, Germany – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Frankfurt am Main commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2008 population of 670,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2.26 million in 2001. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5.3 million and is Germany’s second largest metropolitan area.

In English, this city’s name translates into “Frankfurt on the Main” (pronounced like “mine”). A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is “Furt”. Thus the city’s name receives its legacy as being the “ford of the Franks”.

Situated on the Main River, Frankfurt is the financial and transportation centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks.

Frankfurt Airport is one of the world’s busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, and the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) is the most heavily used interchange in continental Europe. Frankfurt is the only German city listed as one of ten Alpha world cities. Frankfurt lies in the former American Occupation Zone of Germany, and it was formerly the headquarters city of the U.S. Army in Germany.

Among English speakers the city is commonly known simply as “Frankfurt”, though Germans occasionally call it by its full name when it is necessary to distinguish it from the other (significantly smaller) “Frankfurt” in the state of Brandenburg, Frankfurt (Oder).

Population

As a major center of international commerce, Frankfurt is a multicultural city, home to people of 180 nationalities. In addition to the ethnic German majority, the city contain sizable immigrant populations fromTurkey, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Pakistan, Italy, Spain, North African countries, Iran, and Lebanon. The Frankfurt area is also home to the second-largest Korean community in Europe, and to Germany’s largest Sri Lankan Tamil community.

For a long time Frankfurt was a Protestant-dominated city. However, during the 19th century an increasing number of Catholics moved to the city. Today a small minority of its citizens are Catholic. According to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, there are 7,300 Jews affiliated with Judaism in Frankfurt, giving it the second largest Jewish community (behind Berlin) in Germany.

Geographic location

The city is located on both sides of the River Main in the south-west part of Germany. The southern part of the city contains the Frankfurt City Forest (Frankfurter Stadtwald), Germany’s largest forest within a city. The centre of Frankfurt is located on the north side of the river.

Neighbouring communities and areas

To the west, Frankfurt borders the Main-Taunus-Kreis (Hattersheim am Main, Kriftel, Hofheim am Taunus, Kelkheim (Taunus), Liederbach am Taunus, Sulzbach (Taunus), Schwalbach am Taunus and Eschborn); to the northwest the Hochtaunuskreis (Steinbach (Taunus), Oberursel (Taunus), and Bad Homburg); to the north the Wetteraukreis (Karben and Bad Vilbel); to the northeast the Main-Kinzig-Kreis (Niederdorfelden and Maintal); to the southeast the city of Offenbach am Main; to the south the Kreis Offenbach (Neu-Isenburg) and to the southwest the Kreis Groß-Gerau (Mörfelden-Walldorf, Rüsselsheim and Kelsterbach).

City divisions and districts

The city is divided into 46 Stadtteile or Ortsteile which are again divided into 118 Stadtbezirke. The largest Ortsteil is Sachsenhausen-Süd. Most Stadtteile are incorporated suburbs (Vororte), or previously separate cities, like Höchst. Some like Nordend arose during the rapid growth of the city in the Gründerzeit following the unification of Germany.

Others were formed from settlements which previously belonged to other city divisions, like Dornbusch. The 46 city divisions are combined into 16 area districts or Ortsbezirke, which each have a district committee and chairperson.

History of incorporation

Until the middle of the 19th century, the city territory of Frankfurt consisted of the present-day Stadtteile of Altstadt, Innenstadt, Bahnhofsviertel, Gutleutviertel, Gallus, Westend, Nordend, Ostend, Riederwald and Sachsenhausen. After 1877, a number of previously independent areas were incorporated into the city, see list of current districts of the city.

Airports

The city is accessed from around the world via the Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 12 km (7 mi) from the city centre. The airport has three runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. It ranks among the world’s top ten airports and is the biggest cargo airport in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa.

Depending on whether total passengers or flights are used, it ranks as the second or third busiest in Europe alongside London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2007 was 54.2 million. The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two train stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. The S-Bahn lines S8 and S9 (direction “Frankfurt (Main) Hbf”, “Offenbach Ost or “Hanau”), departing at the regional traffic station take 10–15 minutes from the airport to the Central Station and the city centre, the IC and ICE trains departing at the long-distance traffic station take as well 10–15 minutes.

Despite the name, Frankfurt Hahn Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn) is not located anywhere near Frankfurt but is instead situated approximately 120 km (75 mi) from the city in Lautzenhausen (Rhineland-Palatinate). This airport can only be reached by car or bus. An hourly bus service runs from Frankfurt Central Station, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Last year over 4 Million Passengers used this airport in order to use Low Cost Airlines like Ryanair.

Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport is a busy general aviation airport located south-east of Frankfurt International Airport, near the town of Egelsbach.

Roads

The streets of central Frankfurt are usually congested with cars during the rush hour. Some areas, especially around the shopping streetsZeil, are pedestrian-only streets. There are numerous car parks located throughout the city.

Frankfurt is a traffic hub of the German Autobahn system. The Frankfurter Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange close by the airport where the Autobahnen A 3 (Cologne-Würzburg) and A 5 (Basel-Hannover) meet. With approximately 320,000 cars daily it is the most heavily used interchange in Europe. The A 66 connects Frankfurt with Wiesbaden in the west and Fulda in the east. The A 661 starts in the south (Darmstadt), runs through the eastern part of Frankfurt and ends in the north (Bad Homburg). The A 648 is a very short Autobahn in the western part of Frankfurt.

Railway stations

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (or short Ffm Hbf) is the largest train station in Germany by number of platforms and railway traffic. Regarding daily passenger volume it ranks second together with München Hauptbahnhof (350,000 each) after Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (450,000). It is located between the Gallus and the Bahnhofsviertel, not far away from the Trade Fair and the financial district (Bankenviertel).

It serves as a major hub for long-distance trains (ICE) and regional trains (all Rhine-Main S-Bahn lines, two U-Bahn lines, several tram and bus lines). Local trains are integrated in the Public transport system Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), the second largest integrated public transport systems in the world. Only the Berlin integrated public transport system (VBB) is larger.

Frankfurt Airport Long Distance Station connects Frankfurt International Airport to the main rail network, most of the ICE services using the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line. It is one of two railway stations at the airport, the other is for local S-Bahn (lines S8 and S9) and regional trains, called Frankfurt Airport Regional Station.

The two major stations in the city centre are Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, both located on Frankfurts most famous shopping street, the Zeil.

Public transport

The city has two underground railway systems: the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, as well as an above-ground tram system. Information about the U and S Bahn can be found on the RMV website.

Nine S-Bahn lines connect Frankfurt with the Rhine Main Region. All lines have a 30 minute service during the day but the majority of the routes are served by two lines thereby offering a 15 minute schedule. All lines, except line S7, run through the Frankfurt city tunnel and serve the stationsOstendstraße, Konstablerwache, Hauptwache, Taunusanlage and Frankfurt Central Station. When leaving the city the S-Bahn travels above ground. It provides access to the Frankfurt Trade Fair (S3-S6), the airport (S8, S9), the stadium (S7-S9) and nearby cities such asWiesbaden, Mainz, Darmstadt, Rüsselsheim, Hanau, Offenbach am Main, Bad Homburg, Kronberg and smaller towns that are on the way.

The U-Bahn has seven lines serving the city centre and some larger suburbs. The trains that run on the line are in fact lightrails as many lines travel along a track in the middle of the street instead of underground further from the city centre. There is only one line (U4) that is completely underground. The minimum service interval is 2.5 minutes, although the usual pattern is that each line runs with a 7.5-10 minute frequency which combines to approx 3–5 minutes on the city centre sections served by more than one line.

Frankfurt has 9 tram lines, with trams arriving usually every 10 minutes. Many sections are served by two lines, combining to give a 5 minute frequency during rush-hour. The tram runs only above ground and serve more stops than the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn.

A number of bus lines complete the Frankfurt public transportation system. Night buses take over the service of the U-Bahn and tram at 1:30 am to 3:30 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Taxis

Taxis can be found outside most S-Bahn or U-Bahn stations and major intersections. The normal way to obtain a taxi is to either call a taxi operator or go to a taxi rank. However, although not the norm, one can hail one on the street.

Bicycles

Deutsche Bahn also rent out bicycles to the public. One finds them at many major road intersections and railway stations. All one has to do is make a phone call to hire them for €0.06/min or they can be hired per day for €15,-. The bicycles are a bit heavy but they do haveshock absorbers to ensure a smooth journey. The silver-red colour of the bikes with their unique frame make them easily visible and difficult to steal.

The public can now use a velotaxi which involves the operator using a tricycle with a sheltered passenger cab. There is room for two people and the service covers all of the city centre.

Frankfurt has also a network of modern cycle routes throughout city. Many of the long distance bike routes into town have dedicated cycle tracks. A number of city centre roads are “bicycle streets” where the cyclist has the right of way and where motorised vehicles are allowed access if they do not disrupt the cycle users.

Every first Sunday in the month there is a Critical Mass cycle event which starts at 2 pm at the Old Opera.


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