The Ebbelwei-Express is a special tram which runs through Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It's a traditional tram which carries tourists and locals through the city letting them sightsee and drink Ebbelwei, Apfelsaft (apple juice) or mineral water, eating pretzels and listening to folk and schunkel3 music.
The Ebbelwei-Express was opened on 5 February, 1977. It uses the old k-style double-axle, which has been in service since 1949. The last regular tram of this series was replaced in 1978. The newly-created and specially-painted Ebbelwei-Express was also due for replacement. However, due to its huge success, it was reprieved and is still running today - after 30 years - and will probably continue for years to come.
The starting point is at Frankfurt Zoo.The tour goes through the Old City, passing the Römerberg, Paulskirche, the Hauptbahnhof (main station) and the Messe. It then goes back along Hauptbahnhof, crossing the river Main and travelling through Sachsenhausen (famed for its apple wine taverns), back over the Main to the zoo.
The tour takes approximately one hour. One beverage (apple wine, apple juice or mineral water) and one small bag of pretzels are included in the price.
The Ebbelwei-Express can be chartered for groups, and tours other than the fixed one can be chosen. During a private tour you can watch members of staff leave the tram now and again to manually adjust the points4.
Times and Costs
A regular service runs every 35 minutes between 1.30pm and 5.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays and most public holidays.
The Ebbelwei-Express can be chartered at times that fit into the schedule drawn up by the VGF (Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main mbH, translated as the Frankfurt Transport Authority).
At the time of writing5, prices are as follows:
Children under 14: €2.50
This costs €77 plus VAT6 per hour and includes a tram with 22 seats and standing room for eight people. The minimum rental period is two hours. More details are available at the Ebbelwei Express official website.