Unlike most motorshows, the Frankfurt Motorshow is on every two years and I was fortunate enough to go in 2017. Entry to the show starts at a bargain 10 Euros for a week day afternoon ticket from 3pm, to 12 Euros for a week day and 14 Euros at the weekend. These prices seem normal for a European motorshow, but cheap compared to most car shows in the UK.
Of course if you live in the UK the price of entry is a small part of expenses to experience this show. Getting to Frankfurt is quite easy with flights from various airports in the UK to Frankfurt Main (FRA). The only budget airline is Ryanair who as I write this are experiencing various problems and have cancelled a lot of flights, my own experience was that both flights to Frankfurt with them were delayed with little to no information as to why.
My flight going out arrived late at night, Frankfurt airport has a strict night flight policy and most flights arriving late are redirected to Cologne – my taxi driver told me I was lucky to have landed where I wanted to go. So try and book an early flight if you can, I spoke to some poor chap who had to pay a couple of hundred euros for a taxi from Cologne to Frankfurt due to the late night rule and a delayed flight.
Once you land I recommend a taxi which you can get straight from outside of the terminal, do not pre-book as I found a cab at the airport to central Frankfurt costs around 30-40 Euros depending on traffic yet a pre-booked one is around 40-50 Euros. As you would expect most of the taxis are late model Mercedes E-Class cars which are clean and tidy. Trains are cheaper at around 10 Euros.
There are many different hotels and hostels available in Frankfurt, but the price always increases based on demand. So of course when the motorshow is on the prices are much higher. I had the misfortune of staying in a dump of a hotel that charged me over 100 Euros per night, and they were fully booked.
Frankfurt is itself is a safe city, but always be wary of your surroundings and your belongings. Near the station is the red light district where there are many junkies and homeless people, they will mainly leave you alone if you leave them alone. Some clubs in the area will hassle you to come in, if they need people to convince you to come in they cannot be much good. Although its a red light area prostitutes are not on the streets but in ‘Love Hotels’ or Eros centres. Further away from the red light district the streets get better with nice bars and restaurants, there is something for all budgets and tastes.
The motorshow is held at the Messe Frankfurt (literally “Frankfurt Trade Fair”) and its massive, made up of various halls and exhibition spaces. Be prepared to do a lot of walking, and try not miss anything. There are cafes and restaurants on site and are quite reasonably priced, but try and score a drink off an exhibitor.
Walking between the halls is easy but you can easily miss a hall or two and the walkways are so long they have airport style moving walkways. Defiantly get a show guide and tick off where you have been.
The Frankfurt Motorshow is one of the largest motorshows in the world and the exhibitors put on some of the best displays and new model launches they can. This year BMW and Mercedes had their own halls as did the VW Group, but BMW won the best display with a driving stage show.
Frankfurt can be done in a day if you start when it opens, but I recommend two days to make the most of it and to ensure you don’t miss anything.
The Frankfurt motorshow returns in 2019. For more information – https://www.iaa.de/en/