The Best and Worst of Kaiserslautern Military Community, Germany
Every base has its pros and cons. While most jump at the chance to live in Germany, here’s what great and what’s not so great about the KMC.
The Best of KMC, Germany
Churches, castles, wineries, and breweries – OH MY!
We loved exploring Europe for the culture, art, and food! See some of our trips here.
RyanAir often has $10 sales on flights in Europe. There are a few other discount airlines too. Take advantage and see everything you can!
Beer and Wine
Even if you don’t drink, the grapes on the hillsides are lovely to see. The festivals are fun. If you do drink, it’s cheaper and better than anywhere.
The Worst of KMC, Germany
I learned German in college. Textbook German. No one could understand me in the KMC, so I pretty much gave up. Most people know at least some English. Some are really nice and try to work with you. Do try to learn some helpful phrases. There are classes on and off base if you really want to immerse yourself.
- Sundays. Most European stores are closed on Sundays, except for special Sunday Shopping Days, about once a quarter.
- Commissary. This is the only store you can shop at for American food.
- KMCC. This is kinda the equivalent of a mall, with the BX and lots of little shops and food court. I think prices are high and quality is low. Selection is also limited.
- Screens. There are no screens on windows. So, bugs. you can buy and install screens, but it’s a hassle.
- Storage. Most European houses have little in the way of storage. FMO provides shranks, but we miss basements, real closets, cellars, and attics to put away items we don’t use very often, like holiday decorations.
- No Air Conditioning or Central Heating. It can get pretty hot in summer. You need lots of fans and shut all the Rolladens during the day. Stone and brick houses stay cool, and it was hard to stay warm in winter. Buy lots of rugs and wear house slippers.
- Dust. Everywhere. I can sweep, mop, and dust every day and it still accumulates because the windows are always open.
- Should you live on or off base? We’ve heard horror stories about German landlords and there are lots of issues to think about if you want to live off-base. For sure, it’s easier and more familiar on base. Do your research and make an informed decision. Be proactive and communicate with your landlord, take lots of pictures, record everything, and refer to the housing office for advocacy.