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Kaiserslautern

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Kaiserslautern [1] is in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Understand

Nicknamed "K-Town", Kaiserlautern was home to many military personnel during the Cold War, and several American Military Installions, including Ramstein Air Base, are still in operation nearby.

In the middle ages, the town was chosen by Emperor Friedrich I (Barbarossa) as a seat of government.

Kaiserslautern was the smallest of the twelve host cities for the 2006 World Cup.

Touristically, this town has not much to offer but some nice restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Get in

By train

Regional trains travel to Kaiserlautern from Saarbrücken (€10, 45 min) and Neustadt(Weinstr) (€9, 25 min). An ICE from Frankfurt takes 1½ hours and costs €32. An S-Bahn connects with Heidelberg (1¼ hour) and Mannheim (1 hour). There are also TGV trains to Paris that take about 2½ hours.

By car

The motorway A6 passes near Kaiserslautern. The city is 65km away from Mannheim, 70km away from Saarbrücken and 120km away from Frankfurt (on A61). Hitchhikers can also look for cars online [2].

By bus

A private bus line Luxembourg (city) - Trier - Kaiserslautern - Mainz - Frankfurt is run by DeLux Express [3].

From Frankfurt am Main's airport, military travelers can take a shuttle bus to various posts around Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, and Landstuhl. Most shuttle services will cost you around €45 one way. At the airport, go to the U.S.O. office and ask them to arrange for a shuttle, you'll need to have your ID ready.

Get around

Kaiserslautern has a city bus system [4]. It has also night buses, but mostly during weekends. You can get tickets from the driver for €1.90 one-way. Group tickets, day tickets and three-day tickets are also available. The buses also accept US dollars.

An popular way to get around is by bicycle. Most of the streets have bicycle lanes, either as a part of the sidewalk or near the car lanes. You can get usually get from one side of the city to the opposite in less than an hour. However, be aware that some streets have steep hills. You can rent a bicycle online [5] for €15/day (€9/day reduced) and pick it from the Central Station. VELO Projekt [6] also lends bicycles for 6 months for a deposit of €75.

See

Japanese Garden in the botanic gardens.
  • Gartenschau (garden fair) [7]. Varying indoor and outdoor flower shows, as well as other events take place here. The garden fair is also home to the largest open-air dinosaur exhibition in Europe. Open April through October, from 9:00 (or 10:00 during weekends and public holidays) until 19:00.
  • Japenese Garden [8]. One of the largest Japanese gardens in Europe. It is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00 (or 19:00 during the summer). The entrance fee is €4.50 normal price and €3.50 reduced. Children under 12 can enter for free.
  • The Imperial Palace and the Casimir Castle Ruins. Open daily from 15:00 to 17:00, as well as Tuesday and Saturday from 11:00 to 13:00.
  • Kaiserbrunnen (the imperial fountain). Built in 1987, it features Emperor Frederic Barbarossa and King Rudolf von Habsburg.
  • Stiftskirche (the collegiate church).
  • St. Martinskirche (St. Martin's Church) [9]. Built at the beginning of the 14th century as a Franciscan monastery church, it is now a Catholic parish church. Open daily from 09:00 to 18:00.
  • Zoo [10]. Hosts around 115 animal species and 415 wild and domestic animals on its area of 17 acres. It is open April through October from 8:30 to 18:30 and November through March from 9:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is €6.50 normal price or €4.00 reduced.

Do

Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern
  • FC Kaiserslautern - FC Kaiserslautern is Kaiserslautern's professional football/soccer team playing in Bundesliga. FCK plays its home fixtures in the Fritz Walter Stadion, with a capacity of 49,780.
  • The Palentein Forest is 5 minutes away from the city centre, and there are many nice walks available. A classic combination is walking to the Humberg Turm and then visiting the Bremerhof pub, also located in the forest. Starting at the technical university the walk should take no more than thirty minutes.
  • Volkspark.
  • Gelterswoog Lake. A nice lake near Kaiserslautern with grassy ground and boating facilities. There are also a couple of Bar-B-Q huts for rent nearby.
  • A great well maintained 35 km bike trail to Lauterecken is available. If you are tired once you arrive you can take a train back to Kaiserslautern HBF. More information is available here.

Buy

Eurollar
Business in the Kaiserslautern area, or any area in Germany with a significant American military presence, will often give you the option of paying in either euros or dollars. The exchange rates may vary from place to place with you usually finding the best exchange rates on a military post.


Eat

  • Glockencafe, Glockenstr. 43, tel:0631/60384. Cafe/Restaurant that usually opens at 19:00. If you want to eat budget, go for the baked breads. Otherwise, quality food, beer and nice atmosphere. No loud music and a garden make it a good place to hangout.
  • Uwe's Tomate, Schillerplatz 4, tel:0631/93406. Upper class restaurant in the city center. Quality food and service. Good choice for small celebrations.
  • Pizza-Attack, Berliner Strasse 24, +49 (0/631) 73011, [11]. Good pizzeria, which delivers. It's possible to pay in Euro or US Dollars.
  • Pizzeria Wagon Wheel, Ebertstrasse 114 (Near the parking lot next to Kleber Kaserne off of Mannheimer Strasse), 0631-40936, [12]. Decent pizza joint that serves up salads, burgers, and pasta in additional to 15 pizzas on their menu. You can't dine at the restaurant, so any order is either to-go or for delivery. (Minimum of a 6 euro order before they will deliver).
  • Spinnradl, Schiller Strasse 1 (In the downtown area, around the corner from the Burger King across from the church). Historic building that serves as a restaurant serving classic German dishes. The atmosphere is very quaint, and the food is a fine example of regional specialties. While it can be a bit pricey, it still makes for an excellent place to dine."

Drink

  • 21 is a cocktail bar situated on top of the city-council building, the tallest building in Kaiserslautern. It offers a nice view, if for no other reason because it's the only place in town where you cannot see the city-council building itself.
  • Bremerhof - Is a beer-garden situated in the palentine forest, they have a large outdoor service area, with expensive pub food, and normally priced drinks. It's good for the view of the forest, and it is near to a children's playing ground as well as a fenced off area with wild deer.
  • Thursty Nelly's - An Irish pub in the downtown area, they have karaoke on Thursday nights. The staff all speak excellent English, and drinks are normally priced.

Sleep

Budget

  • Ramstein Inns Vogelweh, (DSN: 496-8510), [13]. checkout: 11AM. For US military personnel. All the rooms share a bathroom, except for in one building, where the rooms all have separate bathrooms. $35 - $54.

Mid-range

  • Alcatraz Hotel, +49 (0)631 414040-0, [14]. €50 - €160.
  • Zollamt Hotel, +49 (0)631 31666-00, [15]. €110 - €150.

Splurge

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