Getting orders to Germany is quickly accompanied by a rush of emotions, ranging from joy to fear. It’s overwhelming thinking about spending three years in another country, but once you start really thinking about the opportunities, you’ll be itching to get on that plane! Wiesbaden is one of the options for your European military adventure, and we promise, you’ll love it.
Unlike your other moves, you have zero option in your transportation plan. Well, maybe you could do an Atlantic cruise, but there’s no way the military is paying for that. You’ll fly via space-A to Ramstein, and then drive up to Wiesbaden. (For the most part — some get lucky and fly commercial airlines into Frankfurt.)
Most of the housing options in Wiesbaden are stairwell apartments located in American neighborhoods off of the main installation, but not too far. There is some newer housing (like real houses — duplexes) on the airfield itself, but brace yourself for stairwell living. But even with the occasional annoyances of climbing three flights of stairs with two kids under two, you have zero lawn maintenance and built-in friends.
German Food and Drink
Schnitzel and beer — that’s all you need to know, right? Wrong — sure, schnitzel is incredible, and the café inside St. Joseph’s Hospital makes a great schnitzel sandwich, but there is so much more to discover in the area.
First, take a trip to BLUM, a café on Wilhelm Strasse — across from the Kurhaus (actually, park in the Kurhaus parking lot if you drive) — and drool over the fantastic pastries there.
You’ll also want to spend time walking up and down the streets of any German city and choose a restaurant based on the menu or your appetite. Other favorites in Wiesbaden include Niko (Greek food), Domane Mechtildshausen (located right by the airfield), and the Ratskeller, located underground at the main square of downtown. But, if your focus is first on beer, and second on food, try the Brahuas Castel in Mainz-Kastel or the Paulaner restaurant, again located by the Kurhaus.
Side Trips from Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is centrally located in Germany, which means it’s centrally located in Europe. There are several trips you can do within just an hour or two, but don’t feel the need to rush them. Koln is a great option for either a day trip or a quick weekend trip. While there you can see the gothic Dom cathedral, try Kolsch beer, and visit the Lindt chocolate factory. Frankfurt is another great option; it has tons of museums and markets throughout most of the year.
Rudesheim is a quick train ride from Wiesbaden and is a great place to visit in the colder months. While you’re there, you’ll want to try a Rudesheimer coffee, but maybe not one for the kids. Trier is just about two hours away and puts you right on the border of Luxembourg. As you get more comfortable driving in Germany, you’ll branch out more, six hours gets you to Vienna, Berlin, Prague, or Zurich. A few more hours and you’re in Italy. Seriously, it takes longer to get through Texas than it does to drive across Europe. And Texas is not as pretty.
One More Tip
Wiesbaden is one of the top 20 wealthiest cities in Germany, the main drag (Wilhelm Strasse) stores are more expensive than Rodeo Drive. So, while it’s fun to walk around and look at the beautiful cars, save your money and go across the river to Mainz. Mainz is a college town with wonderful restaurants and affordable museums and stores.
OK, the last tip — promise. Make your way downtown to the gummy store. Seriously, Haribo for everyone. In all shapes, flavors, colors, and sizes. And we mean all shapes. Wink, wink. You’ll thank us later.