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FAQ Public Toilets

Why does the city of Frankfurt provide public toilets?

The provision of public toilets is a voluntary activity undertaken by municipalities and district authorities as part of their financial obligations. Public toilets are a service for all residents of the city – and also contribute to the city’s cleanliness.

What does the use of public toilets cost?

Using a public toilet currently costs 30 to 50 cents depending on the set-up and state of the facility. Urinals are generally free of charge. Some public toilets are also still free of charge.

Why must women always pay for the use of WCs?

The approach adopted by the city of Frankfurt am Main in this respect is informed by long-standing experience and observations of users, particularly men. Of those who visit public toilets, 70% are men. They have jobs such as taxi drivers, couriers, street cleaners, energy-supply installers, etc. and while they of course have access to toilets on their employers’ premises, the nature of their jobs mean that they are on the road all day.

As many men are used to urinating standing up and in public, this is often practiced. This is why the city provides alternatives to the tree or recesses in walls in key locations across the city. Providing free urinals encourages men not to urinate in public. If we started charging for the use of urinals, demand would drop and there would be an increase in fouling of public spaces and also private land.

Why haven’t all city toilet facilities been renovated yet?

Since 2005, nine WC facilities have been renovated. However, given our finances, it is not possible to renovate all 19 WC facilities still in use. This will be undertaken gradually over the next few years.

Why don’t all WC facilities have staff on site?

Permanently employing cleaning personnel is very expensive. It is only economically viable to have staff on site during opening hours in larger WC facilities that experience high visitor numbers and thus need continuous cleaning. Staffed toilets are located on the Konstablerwache, Hauptwache and Paulsplatz.

Why are some toilet facilities closed in winter?

Some toilet facilities in park areas are hardly used in winter. This runs the risk that they may be inhabited or misused, causing damage or making the facilities dirty. Toilet facilities must also be kept frost-free in the winter to ensure that the water pipes do not freeze. For facilities with a lower number of users, it is more economical to shut the facility in winter.

Why are there no public toilets on the banks of the Main?

The banks of the Main are a very popular area of Frankfurt. The newly designed green areas are a great place for relaxation. But the problem here is that part of the area is listed and in terms of planning, it is a designated ‘reserve area’, which means that it is an area where special importance is attached to certain uses of the area over and above any other uses. It is also an area that is frequently flooded and is only in high demand on a seasonal basis.

The municipal authority is currently attempting to provide a toilet facility at this location that meets all the requirements. However, it is a long process. Until a solution is found, visitors can use the renovated toilet facility on Paulsplatz. This is located just 100 metres away from the Eisernen Steg (north side).

Why are there no public toilets in play areas?

There are around 400 play areas in the city. As operating public toilets is very expensive, not all play areas can be equipped with WCs. Play areas that are heavily frequented by visitors from several districts, e.g. the Waldspielplätze, have toilet facilities.

What are contract WCs?

The construction and operation of public toilets is very cost intensive. In various locations, cooperating with shop and restaurant owners is a better option. These have to provide sanitary facilities for their customers anyway. We have already reached over ten agreements enabling the public to use these customer toilets.