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Ramstein Air Base in Germany is a fantastic US Air Force base in the heart of the Rhineland-Palatinate region. You are well positioned in Ramstein to visit Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Austria, and of course Germany.
I spent many months TDY to Ramstein from 2012-2020. Google Maps works well to get around and find stuff to do outside of work.
Renting a car is probably the easiest and cheapest option to get around. A round trip taxi fare to Kaiserslautern or “K-town” is approaching 100 Euros in 2020. Uber was not available last time I was there in December 2019.
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TDY Hotels Near Ramstein
Staying in the KMCC Ramstein Inns makes things very convenient. You have full access to the giant AAFES BX, rental car kiosks, and many restaurants in the KMCC.
If there's no room at the inn, you may be put up in Building 541 or 542, a short drive across base.
If there's no room on base, you might get put up at Hotel Christine Landstuhl. I've also stayed at the Burgschänke Gaststättenbetriebs GmbH, which was comfortable. The bar is fun for a relaxing drink with friends. There are some hiking trails nearby but be careful not to get lost.
What To Do Near Ramstein Air Base
Climb from the village of Landstuhl to the top of the hill and see the Nanstein Castle. At the top you have a great view of the base and you can have a drink or lunch at the Burgschänke, or Castle Tavern.
In the late spring, summer, and fall you can rent a mountain bike at Outdoor Recreation and ride to Landstuhl via a path that goes around the flight line. The bike trail starts here.
Day Trips from Ramstein
Rent a Car Ramstein Air Base
Easiest way to rent a car is in the KMCC or Kaiserslautern Military Community Center. There is an Enterprise and Sixt. I usually got a better deal at Sixt and they seemed to have nicer cars and vans. If you have a large group, you can usually rent a “Eurovan” or similar and fit 5-7 big people in it.
Experience a Roman bath house from the 19th century in Baden-Baden at the Friedrichsbad Baden-Baden. Fully nude and mixed genders most days. Probably not a good work offsite trip! My wife and I did it a few years ago. Definitely an experience I'm glad I did, but not sure if I would do it again.
Heidelberg is about 1 hour and 15 minutes drive on the autobahn (highway) from the KMCC. Take a walk on the Philosophenweg or Philosopher's Walk.
Stuttgart is about a 2 hour drive away. There is a large Markthalle Stuttgart with lots of little cafes and food stalls. The Porsche Museum and Mercedes-Benz Museum are in Stuttgart and well worth the journey if you have a free day.
Neuschwanstein Castle is about a 4 hour drive from Ramstein. I recommend stopping by if you are on your way to a ski trip in Bavaria or Austria.
If you have enough time and energy, Paris is only a short 4 hour drive away through the French countryside. You could stay at a hostel for a very cheap night away in Paris.
If you have a long weekend, Prague is a five and a half hour drive away. Again, stay at a well reviewed hostel from booking.com or hostelworld.com and you can have a cheap getaway in one of the most beautiful and fun cities in Europe. The beer or “pivo” is literally cheaper than water.
Gyms and Fitness Centers on Ramstein
There are 2 main fitness centers: Southside Fitness Center and Northside Fitness Center. There also used to be a small gym on the first floor of the AMCC building across from the KMCC. Not sure if it's still there.
Places To Eat Near Ramstein Air Base
Brit Cafe over by the Ramstein Inns Building 541 and 542. Usually open 8am to 1:30pm weekdays.
Bun-d is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Think Chipotle style build your own bowls and salads with lots of vegetables and protein options.
Decent German food at the Deutsches Haus Ramstein
Landstuhl – Good pizza, pasta, and steak at Pizzeria Taormina
My favorite spot Alt Landstuhl (Old Landstuhl) permanately closed. Rumor is the owners were over 80 years old and finally wanted a rest.
For Indian food there is a good Curry House in Kaiserslautern.
Best Donor Kebab in Ramstein
In K-Town, you can find doner around the corner from the central church and square at Schlemmer-Eck Doner Kebab.
Best Dessert Near Ramstein
Christmas Markets Near Ramstein
Rent a car and drive to Cologne, especially during the Christmas Market season, usually 23 November to 23 December.
There is also a Christmas market in Kaiserslautern but it is quite small. Still fun for a few hours or a day trip. The gluhwein (hot mulled, spiced red wine) is hot and the people are friendly!
Nightlife, Bars, and Clubs Near Ramstein
Nachtschicht Kaiserslautern – famous (or infamous) night club on south side of Kaiserslautern. Usually a younger crowd, think 18-21 year olds. You will probably feel old there if you are over 30 but can still be fun. Multiple rooms with different music (rap, EDM, country, rock, etc).
The famous “Meter Bar” or Hannenfass Kaiserslautern burned down in 2016 but like a phoneix rose from the ashes and rebuilt in the same spot with nearly everything the same. Popular bar with aircrew and other TDY airmen and soldiers to Ramstein.