Nicknamed "K-Town", Kaiserlautern was home to many military personnel during the Cold War, and several American military installations, 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.
- Check out the city tourism site for more information.
While the biggest military airport in Europe is Ramstein, just outside Kaiserslautern, the city doesn't have any commercial airports of its own.
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA IATA) is the easiest way to get in by plane, one of the busiest airports in Europe, with numerous destinations all over the world. Lufthansa offers a shuttle bus service between Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern, bookable under destination code KLT in conjunction with most European and intercontinental flights to/from Frankfurt. You can also book the shuttle bus on its own for EUR 27 one way with Lufthansa directly if you want to connect with other flights, or to high-speed trains via the airports railway station. There are multiple buses per day, the bus ride takes 1h 45min and counts as a Lufthansa flight for Miles&More purposes. See also below for the DeLux shuttle serving the same route. Rail&fly is also an option if not flying Lufthansa. For more on that topic see rail air alliances
- Saarbrücken Airport (SCN IATA) is close to Kaiserslautern, but offer very few flights, mainly to other German cities and to Luxembourg.
- Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN IATA) and Baden Airpark (Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden) (FKB IATA) are further away but have many destinations with low-cost companies.
- Stuttgart Airport (STR IATA) and Luxembourg Airport (LUX IATA) are also further away but have good connections.
Regional trains travel to Kaiserlautern from Saarbrücken (55 min, €12.20). An S-Bahn line connects Kaiserslautern with Neustadt(Weinstr) (30 min), Mannheim (1 hour) and Heidelberg (1¼ hour). An ICE from Frankfurt takes 1½ hours and costs €36. There are also several ICE and TGV trains each day from Paris East Station (2½ hours, €87).
Kaiserslautern is located on the A6 Federal Motorway. The city is 65 km away from Mannheim, 70 km away from Saarbrücken and 120 km away from Frankfurt (on A63). Hitchhikers can also look for cars online.
see also: Intercity buses in Germany
A private bus line Luxembourg - Trier - Kaiserslautern - Mainz - Frankfurt Airport - Frankfurt am Main is run by DeLux Express and runs every 2 to 3 hours, taking 1½ hours and costing €20. See also above for the Lufthansa shuttle bus.
From Frankfurt 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.
Kaiserslautern has a city bus system. 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 for €15/day (€9/day reduced) and pick it from the Central Station. VELO Projekt also lends bicycles for 6 months for a deposit of €75.
- 1 Gartenschau (garden fair), Lauterstraße. 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 09:00 (or 10:00 during weekends and public holidays) until 19:00.
- 2 Japanese Garden, Am Abendsberg 1. 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.
- 3 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). 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.
- 4 Zoo. 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.
- FC Kaiserslautern. FC Kaiserslautern is Kaiserslautern's professional football/soccer team playing in second Bundesliga. FCK plays its home fixtures in the Fritz Walter Stadion, with a capacity of 49,780.
- Palatinate Forest. 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 in the forest. Starting at the technical university the walk should take no more than 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Bike. 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.
- Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Gottlieb-Daimler-Straße (Uni Ost), ☏ . University of technology with a nice campus.
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.
- Glockencafe, Glockenstr. 43, ☏ . 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.
- [formerly dead link] Uwe's Tomate, Schillerplatz 4, ☏ . Schillerplatz 4. Upper class restaurant in the city center. Quality food and service. Good choice for small celebrations.
- Pizza-Attack, Berliner Straße 24, ☏ . Good pizzeria, which delivers. It's possible to pay in Euro or US Dollars.
- 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 specialities. While it can be a bit pricey, it still makes for an excellent place to dine."
- 21. 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.
- Bremerhof. A beer-garden 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 and to 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.