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Safety of Frankfurt compared to London?

Safety of Frankfurt compared to London?

Old Aug 24, 19, 8:49 pm
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Safety of Frankfurt compared to London?

Asking opinions for those familiar with Frankfurt and have been to London...I would like to say I returned just a few months ago from spending 2 months "living" in Muenster and I was really impressed with Germany, overall. I've also been to London (as has my daughter) several times, but we were strictly tourists.

Our daughter has been accepted into a Master's program in Frankfurt as well as London. She is leaning towards London because she is a native English speaker. Last winter she studied abroad in Germany one semester and she is assuming London will be like Germany, where she felt quite safe when walking home alone from the university library late at night, or leaving a late-night meeting with friends She also spent a term studying in Istanbul, a real 24-hour city, and she felt completely safe there. She would go out at night for coffee and simits and bring her laptop to the cafe. (As my husband says, going out to different cafes at night and drinking coffee and typing on her laptop is probably her primary hobby!) .She is expecting the same level of freedom in London. But we, her parents, have heard quite a lot recently about the high crime levels in London, and how the police force is overwhelmed, there are too many assaults and thefts to contend with. A NY Times article mentioned that London has 300% more muggings and rape crimes than New York City. The area that our daughter would be in is SouthWest London, the higher-crime area of Southwark/Lewisham/New Cross. Also, there is the concern of Brexit. We don't want to discourage her: we want her to make an informed decision so if she does go with London at least she will not be walking in blind to the situation and with realistic expectations.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 2:54 am
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Frankfurt is fairly safe. Most (violent) crime occurs between gang members, criminals and such. There are a few areas which should be avoided at night but these are areas your daughter probably wouldn't want to visit anyway (e.g., the red-light district). I don't have in-depth knowledge regarding London, but I assume the neighborhood plays a big role there, too. I'd assume after dark, Hampstead is a lot safer than, say, Brixton.

But I have a few other thoughts.

I wouldn't put too much weight on safety considerations. As long as you apply common sense, both cities are fairly safe. (I guess an exception would be if your daughter's budget is very tight and she would have to live in a very dodgy area in London.)

Instead, as somebody who used to work in academia, I suggest your daughter should evaluate carefully which program is a better fit academically. Which is the "better" school in terms of rankings and such? Which school is strong in subfields of particular interest to your daughter? Does your daughter want a large department with lots of elective courses or a more personal experience? Etc.

Also, if you really want to make this about the city, then personal preference plays a big role as well. In Frankfurt, you can get basically everywhere by foot or on a bike. In London, you're bound to have public transportation nightmares. But London is a truly global city, Frankfurt isn't. London has more to offer culturally as well. (While Frankfurt isn't London, it has a lot to offer, too. A world-class opera, vibrant clubs such as Robert Johnson, excellent museums such as the Staedel...) Again, it's a matter of personal preference.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by speed.skater View Post
Frankfurt is fairly safe. Most (violent) crime occurs between gang members, criminals and such. There are a few areas which should be avoided at night but these are areas your daughter probably wouldn't want to visit anyway (e.g., the red-light district). I don't have in-depth knowledge regarding London, but I assume the neighborhood plays a big role there, too. I'd assume after dark, Hampstead is a lot safer than, say, Brixton.

But I have a few other thoughts.

I wouldn't put too much weight on safety considerations. As long as you apply common sense, both cities are fairly safe. (I guess an exception would be if your daughter's budget is very tight and she would have to live in a very dodgy area in London.)

Instead, as somebody who used to work in academia, I suggest your daughter should evaluate carefully which program is a better fit academically. Which is the "better" school in terms of rankings and such? Which school is strong in subfields of particular interest to your daughter? Does your daughter want a large department with lots of elective courses or a more personal experience? Etc.

Also, if you really want to make this about the city, then personal preference plays a big role as well. In Frankfurt, you can get basically everywhere by foot or on a bike. In London, you're bound to have public transportation nightmares. But London is a truly global city, Frankfurt isn't. London has more to offer culturally as well. (While Frankfurt isn't London, it has a lot to offer, too. A world-class opera, vibrant clubs such as Robert Johnson, excellent museums such as the Staedel...) Again, it's a matter of personal preference.
Compared to London, Frankfurt is a village. The criminals fight against each other and leave "normal" people alone. And what was mentioned as the red light district, is the area between the banking and legal district, the InterContinental and the Le Meridien and the Central Station. I am in Frankfurt more or less every week and walk from the office through the red light district at night either to the station or two one of the two hotels. If the daughter is shocked when seeing a drug addict or a m/f/d prostitute then she should avoid this quarter after dawn and take the S-Bahn directly to the station, if not, it teaches something for life. Brexit is a big questionmark. The British are currently discussion everything from riots to food shortage. I don't really believe that and the Uk currently is financially relatively a steal, considering the weak GBP.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 12:59 pm
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I would agree that other considerations than safety are probably more important, except if budget is tight and she has to live in a rough area of London. The posts above are sensible,
I disagree with one point above that you could go anywhere in Frankfurt by foot. This is not true, the city is large enough that she likely will need public transport on a regular basis.
One point if you happen to look at Frankfurt criminal stats: they are skewed as all financial crimes that happen in Germany are reported in Frankfurt.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by elizadoo View Post
Asking opinions for those familiar with Frankfurt and have been to London...
I'm in the process of moving back to Germany to the Frankfurt area after having offers both in London and Frankfurt and it appears to me that FRA costs a lot less flat/apartment wise then London does.

I've walked/mass transited it over both Frankfurt and London when i was there 2 years ago and never every had an issues.

I just like Germany better hence the reason I'm not taking a London gig.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 3:46 am
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Let me confirm the previous statements from other posters in terms of security, the size of the city and the much lower cost of living in Frankfurt.

Let me also confirm what was previously said about focusing on the academic aspects of both master programs in London.

What I would like to focus on is living in a city, where the native language is not your own and you have (hopefully) the possibility to get to know another language. Although most people in Frankfurt speak English perfectly well, I hope your daughter will seriously entertain the thought of learning German in case she moves to Frankfurt, thereby adding another challenge to her academic journey.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 4:04 am
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I think the other thing you need to consider is the social aspect. London will be more diverse and open to people of varying nationalities whereas in Germany if you aren't German, it will be harder to adapt than in a place like London that's more of a magnet for people from everywhere.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
Compared to London, Frankfurt is a village.
I agree to that. I Just to compare this two cities is like comparing New York to some town in the Midwest. You are comparing a city with over 8 million people to a town 700.000 people. Frankfurt is absolutely safe. Like every city is has some not so nice spots but they are very very limited. The nice thing about Frankfurt is that while it is a relatively small town it is still very international with a lot of arts and culture. Many international banks and companies have offices in the city. There is a relative large expat community for a city of such size. The central location in Germany with a major train station and the airport is also great to explore Germany and Europe. It does not have the standing and glamour like London but its definitely a good place to study, work or live.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:05 am
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London is big and one person is talking again and again about safety in London. I will be there next week and have no concerns. It very much depends were you are. Frankfurt has a relatively bad reputation in Germany for safety but again, I never had an issue and in figures it´s not nearly "as violent" as London.

This said I wouldn´t have any concerns with both cities.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by speed.skater View Post
The GBP has recovered some over the last few days. It is basically exactly where it was one year ago vis-a-vis the EUR. It is down just 4.5 per cent vis-a-vis the USD (again, vs. the rate one year ago). Even if you look at the pound's decline since the vote for Brexit, it's not all that dramatic. Differences in the real cost of living between Frankfurt and London are probably bigger than recent movements in the GBP.
I am traditionally getting paid in GBP and got a large amount in GBP in June 15 when leaving one company after 25 years - so I remember pretty well the GBP was at 1.41 to the EUR in June 15 which was pretty good for me. Currently we are at 1.10 to the EUR. Admittedly not as bet as 1.05 to the EUR. I am very much familiar with the London market and that was the reason for me to say "relatively" affordable. The housing market is no longer that expensice in London compared to 2010/11 (they built over capacity) and the GBP is as low as is had never been for ages. Given what I read from Donald every now and then, the USD is that strong v/v every currency, so it must be even better for you guys
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:27 pm
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Thank you for the information. Yes, the GBP is down compared to the USD, and already we are seeing 'discounts' and 'offers' for reduction of rent in London. Also, our daughter was notified by several UK universities the acceptance period had been extended (due, no doubt, to under-enrollment as a result of upcoming Brexit fears) and we have read in the news that UK unis are begging for more international students for financial reasons. And yes, Brexit will certainly affect budgets and services. I suspect there will be cuts--the uni my daughter has chosen has a small population of only 8000 students, yet it has a library open 24/363! That would be unheard of in the US, and that will be the first type of service to be cut, I am sure.

The Master's program in London is only 10 months in length, whereas the same program in Frankfurt is 2 years. For that reason she has chosen London. I have to say that she was in Germany last fall, Muenster, and she made many wonderful friends and really enjoyed the city. However, the uni program was not quite what she wanted, and she found it difficult getting by knowing only a little bit of German language.

She has said she does not intend to stay in the UK after getting her Master's degree but would consider going back to Germany for an intensive German language course with the intention of later finding a job there.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 2:46 am
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Originally Posted by elizadoo View Post
The Master's program in London is only 10 months in length, whereas the same program in Frankfurt is 2 years. For that reason she has chosen London. I have to say that she was in Germany last fall, Muenster, and she made many wonderful friends and really enjoyed the city. However, the uni program was not quite what she wanted, and she found it difficult getting by knowing only a little bit of German language.

She has said she does not intend to stay in the UK after getting her Master's degree but would consider going back to Germany for an intensive German language course with the intention of later finding a job there.
Well, Muenster is a wonderful university town, but surely not as international as Frankfurt, which is probably the most international and diverse city in Germany after the capital Berlin.

I understand that she wants to do a compressed masters program in London and then get on with her life, but if she really wants to move to Germany thereafter, nothing will prepare her better than doing her masters here, finding German friends (and potentially even her significant other) and just living her life here. That will do so much more for her German skills and her getting to know the German culture (there are a lot of differences to the US, just search for "usa germany differences" on youtube) than an intensive language course ever could achieve. Just my 2c.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 1:45 am
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London is perfectly safe, when you read about the knife crime "epidemic" you need to bear in mind that our government (and their supporters in the media) currently needs to deflect attention from the more important issues that it's currently struggling with, and the ethnicity of the current mayor of London is like manna to our populist press. I've always felt considerably safer there than in Paris, for instance, where I have also lived.

Frankfurt is an interesting city, safe, affluent and very German. Not remarakble, but fine.

I'm presuming that your daughter is not currently a citizen of an EEA member state, and therefore her residential status would not change in the event of the UK leaving the European Union on 31 October/January 2019/2020/2427/ever? Because that will also be worth consideration. And if she's planning on maybe settling in Germany after the masters, things can become a whole lot easier for her after a few years of continual residency.

That said, if I had the opportunity to spend a year of my life in London, even with the uncertainty at the moment regarding Brexit, I'd take it with both hands. Sometimes life's for living, and not for planning.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 6:54 am
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Was recently in London - totally safe! Absolutely no issues. Of course in a big city it's never 100% but I never felt unsafe, even near demonstrations which are frequently at the moment.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Was recently in London - totally safe! Absolutely no issues. Of course in a big city it's never 100% but I never felt unsafe, even near demonstrations which are frequently at the moment.
I am in London and in Frankfurt every week and it is generally perfectly safe. It however always depends on where you go and normally you do not get into contact with the shady neighbourhoods which certainly do exist.

I personally feel by far safer there than in most cities of the United States. Considering the mass shootings taking place in shopping centres, churches, schools and other very public spaces in the US, the risk of getting murdered or hurt appears to be by far higher in the US than in any place in Europe. In Europe not any idiot can get an assault weapon in the next shop down the block.
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