This airport feels like my second home; my family lives only about 1 hour away and it is my usual airport when I fly home to visit them; as I haven't lived in Germany for almost 4 years that has been quite a lot recently and I arrived/departed in Hahn way over 40 times.
Waiting at the airport is never a really pleasant experience, usually it's very dull and boring and Hahn is no exception from this rule - food, drinks and newspapers are there but apart from that not much else.
However, the airport is always very clean and the staff is incredibly polite and helpful. In all this time I never had any serious problem with the facilities of the airport.
Where is it?
Frankfurt/Hahn IS NOT Frankfurt International Airport. I met several people that upon arriving in Hahn wanted to go to 'the city centre' by taxi, not realising that this would cost several hundred pound and take over two hours.
It's actually a joke, Hahn is nowhere near Frankfurt, it is over 75 miles away from the actual city.
Hahn is located in the Rhein-Hunsrück area in the county of Rheinland Palatinate; it's in the southwest of Germany close to the luxembourgish and French border.
The area is exceptional beautiful but unfortunately the transportation links are not very developed. Depending on from where you are coming you cannot even use the motorway to go to the airport. The two motorways you can use are the A1 and the A61.
There are sufficient parking facilities at the airport. Please note that parking is very expensive and only advisable for short time users; if you want to leave your car for longer consider leaving it in a nearby village and using the nus to reach the airport.
Hahn does not have a railway connection; the closest station would be in Bulley but bus connections to the airport are very infrequent; it's only advisable if you plan ahead and have some time to spare.
The easiest way to and from Hahn is by bus; many bus companies offer rides to all major cities throughout the day. However, these buses don't leave very often; to go to Trier for example there's only 1 bus every 3 hours - which is a long time to wait in a small airport like Hahn.
If you want to go to Frankfurt city centre you have to be prepared to pay 12euro for the 2 hour bus ride. Tickets don't have to be booked in advanced, you can just turn up and it's highly unlikely that the bus will be full.
Car rental is possible at the airport with Avis, Europcar and Sixt operating from the airport.
Which airlines and destinations?
Only three airlines are currently operating from Hahn, Iceland Air (Reykjavik), Whizzair (Poland) and Ryanair. Hahn is one of the main hubs of the Ryanair network with flights to most European countries.
The UK - Germany connection is very good and cheap with up to 4 flights every day between Hahn and London Stansted. Other destinations in the UK and Ireland include Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Kerry and Birmingham.
All in all you have 52 destination you can choose from, some as exotic as South Tenerife and Reykjavik. Even if you don't want to stay in Germany you can still use it as a base to catch a connection flight.
What is there to do?
Despite all the Ryanair flights that arrive in Hahn daily it is still a very small airport with only few options to spend your time there. 5 years ago the only shops at Hahn were a bakery, a solarium, a casino and a erotic shop - all apart from the bakery are gone now.
Of course you can find the typical airport shops here, you definitely won't die of starvation - however, you might die from boredom.
There are several small shops selling travel accessories from suitcases to sleeping masks and some traditional souvenirs. As always the souvenirs are quite tacky and the rest is usually overprices.
There's one newsagent/bookshop with a good selection of national and international newspapers and magazine as well as travel books and dictionaries for all major languages.
You'll find plenty of options to grab a quick snack or even a big meal but be warned that all of these places are very expensive. Don't use the Döner Kebab place - it's very pricey and the food is just horrendous, fatty fries, tasteless meat and not really fresh veggies.
For a cheap snack have a look at the food stalls outside selling bakery products and hot dogs or grab a pre-made sandwich at the newsagent.
There are 3 places where you can have coffee/tea, sandwiches and cakes - all three are equally priced and the products seem to be the same.
The upstairs restaurant is a lot more expensive than the similar one on the ground floor, both are offering soups, salads and pasta dishes.
After you checked in you'll find the usual duty-free shopping options with a good selection of spirits, jewellery and perfume. There are a few bars that serve coffee and little snacks but not a real meal.
Frankfurt/Hahn was really close to the city I lived in while being at University; this combined with the many cheap offers Ryanair has lead to tons of flights to destinations all over Europe.
As parking is incredibly expensive I always went by bus to the airport, unfortunately there was only a bus every 3 hours which meant ages waiting at the airport to check in.
Given that there's not much to do and most of the bars are really expensive I regularly passed the time with sitting on the floor - as seating is limited - and staring into space. Food and drinks are very expensive but that's normal for an airport; however there are some cheaper options as well. Just outside the main building are several food stalls, normally a bakery, a fish & chips shop and a hot dog stall - I have to urge you to try the hot dogs, the best I've ever had in my whole life and with 3 Euro the cheapest available food.
It is not the most comfortable airport in the world, the seats are few and hard, the food is good but expensive and the bus connection are not very frequent. All in all it is an ok-ish airport but let's be honest, the destination itself is a lot more important than some minor inconveniences at the airport.
I used Hahn more than 40 times so far - yes, I know that I travel a lot - and never had any major problems. The staff was always polite and friendly and the airport itself is clean and has all the facilities you need.
I can recommend this airport to everyone who is looking for cheap no frills flights that will bring you to some of the most stunning places in Europe.
If you use Frankfurt/Hahn as a stopover between flights please note that it is very expensive to go to the next bigger city - it might work out cheaper to stay in the business hotel next to the airport than going to a town in search of a hostel.
You can stay or even sleep at the airport but unfortunately it's not very comfy. I slept in quite a few airports and my experience lasts from loud music in Girona, cheap free wine in Milan to comfy couches in Stockholm - sadly Hahn was the worst airport I stayed in; there are only chairs so you cannot sleep, the bars close at night so you cannot get a coffee and it is very, very cold throughout the whole year.
If sleeping at Hahn is your only option you can try to go to the bar on the upper floor after they closed (around midnight) and sleep on their couches - security won't be happy but the worst thing that can happen is that they wake you up and you have to go downstairs again.
As you are probably travelling with Ryanair to and from Hahn please note that this is one of the strictest airports concerning security and luggage; double check that your hand luggage is withing the allowed measurements or you have to pay extra.
Hahn is very busy and you are well advised to come early. Ryanair is not going to wait for you and if you - because of too much/big luggage - have to use the normal check in you'll have to be prepared for long waiting times.
There are many Ryanair flights every day as it is one of the main hubs of the airline so it's worth looking for connection flights from here.
Frankfurt/Hahn can be used as a base to visit many great places in Germany; from the obvious Frankfurt you can also visit Trier (50min by bus) which is the oldest town in Germany, Koblenz (1 1/2 hours by bus) and Luxembourg (70min by bus).
This is one of the most beautiful regions you'll find anywhere in Europe, lush green valleys, clean rivers and great local wines invite you to a relaxing break from the English summer rain.
There are many good reasons to explore Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate region
1. Visit the famous wine-growing regions and enjoy delicious white wines
2. Go walking, cycling or relax in one of the many spas in this area
3. See the beautiful rivers Rhine, Moselle and Saar
4. Many medieval castles are waiting to be explored
5. Taste the delicious local food and the friendly atmosphere.
Frankfurt Hahn airport should certainly not be confused with the major Frankfurt International airport.
This airport is situated in the middle of nowhere, however, it has very cheap longstay carparking (approximately 7 Euros per day), is a major hub for many lowcost airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz etc., and is small enough to be able to find your way around easily. When living in Strasbourg, I frequently travelled to this airport to take advantage of the cheap flights, cheap carparking and direct flights that they offer to many European destinations. A word of advice, don't go through security until you really have to as there is very little to do on the other side and for even cheaper parking, stay the night in the hotel just across from the airport and you can leave your car here free of charge. The hotel is nothing special (only costs 30 Euro for 2 people) but its worth it for the free carparking.
I don't think much of Frankfurt Hahn Airport, although I have flown home from here 3 times. It does it's job, but I just don't think of it as a great airport.
Since we have flown with Ryanair a few times, they always land at this airport when flying into Frankfurt. As with Ryanair, this is a secondary airport and far far away from actual Frankfurt. For to go to the main centre of Frankfurt you have to travel 90 miles. Although there is a direct coach outside the Airport, which costs 12 euroes each way that takes you straight to the city centre, after you have been on a flight for 1 hour 40 minutes, then having to be on a coach for 2 hours maybe isn't people's idea of fun. Also if you consider that if there is 2 of you, then with the coach fare then that can bump up your cheap flight by another £50! There is Frankfurt International airport, which is 15 minutes from the city centre, but the flights are expensive from there.
The airport isn't that large, but it seems to be a busy airport. At the front there is check in desks listed as A and B. A covers desks 1-7 and these are at the front of the airport, B is along the front, then a turn right, so it doubles up on its self, but it is up a ramp. In the main area there is 1 shop, and 1 cafe/bar area. Up the stairs is a watch tower area to see the planes. Straight next to the check in desks you can see everyone going through baggage check.
When you are in departures it isn't that exciting either. There is 7 departure lounges and they perhaps have less than 100 chairs in each area, so you will get people standing. If you go into the departure lounge, but want to leave the room to perhaps go to the toilet or to a shop, although these are still part of the departure area, you must take your passport and then show it to the guards again to get back in!
Through in departures their is a duty free shop, a newsagent, 2 cafe's and a sandwich shop. As usual these are quite expensive for to buy bits and pieces, but you know what airports are like.
I know it does it's job, but it isn't as glitzy as other airports that i've been to, and the location is so far away from the city. Then again this what normally happens when you buy a cheap flight!
A few years ago, I flew in to Frankfurt Hahn. Frankfurt Hahn accepts all the budget traffic for Franfkurt but it's also one of the cheapest and well-connected budget airlines in Germany, so it sees people from all over the country heading there.
I flew in from Warsaw on a very cold morning, the weather was around -20 when leaving Poland and it took a while to de-ice the plane. Having not slept the night before (decided to stay up and head to the airport a few hours early in order not to wake anyone), my friend and I were ready for some kip on the plane. That wasn't going to be though, as a pedantic gay cabin crew member called Konrad pranced up and down the aisle bothering people who just wanted to sleep! Not only was this character very active but he was also very talkative, never off the speaker - anyone would think he wanted to be a DJ. Wizz Air had a problem with their water, so there was no coffee available either.
Having touched down in a field somewhere near France (the airport is located a ridiculous 120km from the city) after an incredibly uncomfortable and irritating flight, we collected our bags and made our way through border control. All very Germanic and efficient.
The exchange rate at the airport was awful and as our intentions were to buy a car to take down to West Africa and sell, we could do with saving every bit of money we had - the 12 euro bus at an awful exchange rate was out of the question. The American friend in question is a huge sufferer of bad luck and felt our chances of building on the naff flight with two guys hitchhiking looking like junkies from the lack of sleep and cold were minimal. Mr. Positive here though thought differently.
My lips were cracked after a cold winter (my determination to reject any lip balm and the like anyone had to offer probably helped) and although the weather was quite a bit warmer at Hahn, my cracked lip just decided to split and spurt blood all over my chin. Despite looking a bit like a horror film character at the time, we waited no longer than 4 minutes near the terminal and there we are - a very authoritave German waved us over from a distance. Turned out to be a doctor who had driven up from Munich to drop his friend off, he tapped in the address of our friend in Frankfurt to his Sat Nav and drove us the 120km, right to the door of our friends as it was roughly on his way.
Hahn is in a ridiculous location but the services can't be faulted, there's a lot of cheap connections to be had too.
I've flown to FRANKFURT-HAHN airport many, many times.
Do I choose this airport because it is one of the most efficiently-run facilities of its kind? Maybe Hahn is the tourist destination to die for or the business capital of Western Europe? Perhaps it is conveniently located as a hub for travel further afield, or set amidst spectacular scenery?
Not a bit of it.
It's far more mercenary than that.
I usually end up flying to FRANKFURT-HAHN because those nice people at Ryanair will take me there for practically nothing. The last 3-4 times I've flown there, it has cost me 1p each way (plus taxes which are just under £20 return).
Ah, typical mean Scotsman eh?
- Could be.
It could also be that if you look closely at the back of my head, and slightly part what little hair is left, you'll find that my head, in fact, does NOT zip up the back. It costs me just about as much in petrol to drive the 60 miles or so to Prestwick Airport than it does to fly to Germany. But I digress.
Where was I?
Or, to be more accurate, where is IT?
Contrary to the impression given by it's name, this airport is NOT in Frankfurt. It's actually getting on for 70 miles south-west of the city. It's situated in the region of Rhineland called Hunsrück.
What? You're not familiar with the geography of the region?
It's slap bang in the middle of a finger of land just south of where the rivers Mösel and Rhine join forces at Koblenz.
Oh for goodness sake, just go to mapquest.com
It's reasonably well situated for access to many cities in Germany, France, and Luxembourg. Indeed, bus services are co-ordinated so that the bus service compliments the flight timetable. But, to my knowledge, there is no train service nearby.
HAHN was at one time an air base for the USAF but with the end of the cold war, it was vacated and
in danger of falling into ruin. Step in Ryanair and budget flights.
The airport hasn't just survived with the arrival of cheap flights, but has positively flourished.
When I first flew there, around 3-4 years ago, the terminal building was really not much more than a big shed with very limited facilities. Nowadays, although it still has the feel of a small, provincial airport (hardly surprising since that's exactly what it is), there are around a half-dozen or so assorted retail outlets, from hairdressers - to souvenirs - to duty-free.
It's hardly Schipol, but let's face it, if you've got a flight of just over an hour ahead of you, and you can check-in just 30 minutes prior to departure, who needs a huge shopping mall with over-inflated prices anyway.
Personally, the less time I spend cooped up in an airport terminal building, the happier I am.
As for eating and drinking, HAHN is actually surprisingly well catered for in that department. There are four cafes/restaurants in the terminal, and an assortment of bars and restaurants on the campus.
As I mentioned earlier, HAHN used to be a USAF base and the area immediately adjacent to the terminal, and its attendant buildings, is made up of this former base. It's a vast sprawl of what once were the administration and accommodation blocks which serviced the base.
When we first travelled here, these were mainly semi-derelict but this is what now forms the campus. Much of it has been converted into a business park with meeting/conference halls, while a lot of the former housing is being/has been/will be renovated for private housing.
This is also where you'll find Pizzerias, American-style sports bars and various other bars and restaurants and hotels.
There's even a go-kart track and a 9-hole golf course!
* WHERE CAN YOU FLY TO/FROM? *
There are a few different airlines who use Hahn but far a
nd away the largest company is Ryanair. The destinations that can be travelled to are:
Alghero * Berlin - Schönefeld * Bologna-Forli * Bournemouth * Gerona * Glasgow-Prestwick * Gothenburg * Kerry * London-Stansted * Milan-Bergamo * Mallorca * Malmö * Montpellier * Oslo-Torp * Pescara * Pisa * Rome-Ciampino * Shannon * Stockholm-Skavsta * Varna * Venice-Treviso
* HOTELS *
There are several disused hotels surrounding the airport from the time when it was a USAF base but these have lain empty for a number of years. The last time I was there (Sept 03) at least one of these hotels was undergoing renovation. There are also several hotels in the neighbouring towns and villages and these can be accessed on the airport's website. But here's my story.....
Two years ago the timetable changed so that the return flight to Prestwick, instead of being at a convenient 2pm, was changed to 9am. Luckily, around the same time, a brand new hotel was opened on the campus. This hotel is the Steigenberger Esprix Hotel, part of a quality chain. It's quite a small hotel but the rooms are large, modern, well-equipped and sound-proofed. They do a 'Park & Fly' deal whereby a double room costs 68 euros instead of the standard 79 - which is also the going rate for most hotels in the area.
The hotel is situated on the campus, a short walk from pubs and restaurants and about a mile or so from the terminal building. There is a shuttle-bus which tours the campus and the terminal at 15 minute intervals.
There are several car rental options available at HAHN and the following companies all have desks within the terminal building.
Sixt Car Hire
I mainly use Hertz but have also used Avis. The desks are just a few metres from the arrivals exit and usually not too busy so picking up your car is relatively simple.
Hahn is a quiet airport which is growing daily due to the growth of the budget airline industry. The terminal building is open-plan, modern and exceptionally clean.
Because it's not overly busy and crowded, there's a nice relaxed feel to the place and the staff are friendly without being inefficient - even the security staff and passport control are quite laid-back and casual, swapping smiles and jokes with the passengers. That's not to say the security is lax in any way, it's just that you're not made to feel like some drug-smuggling, anarchic, grenade-wielding terrorist (not that I'd ever wield a grenade!) simply because you have the audacity to want to travel - the same can't be said for a great many airport staff.
Although to be fair, I think the staff in smaller airports probably have less stress and can afford to be more customer-friendly.
Many people would argue that HAHN is in the middle of nowhere (although everywhere is somewhere) and it's miles from Frankfurt. While it's true that it's not all that close to Frankfurt, that's never been an issue for me. I've used Hahn to get a cheap flight to continental Europe, picked up a car, and then went wherever the notion took me. You can be in Switzerland in 3 hours, Austria takes a couple of hours longer. France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands can all be reached in 1-2 hours.
The Black Forest is less than 2 hours drive, the Rhine is under 30 minutes distant, and the Mosel is just 10 minutes away.
As you can see, there are plenty of options within a short distance of Hahn.
You can get much more detailed information, including timetables, site plans and a full list of services available from the airport's official website.
Thanks for reading