Hey guys! Happy second day of spring! I am so excited! I actually need it the sun right now. Ya girl is starving for some sunshine and 70 degree weather, but we can hold off on that sweltering German heat wave that we all know is coming. Alas, I am ready for all the things that spring and summer entail (i.e. day trips and village festivals). So what better way to get pumped up for a few of my favorite things than to share with you guys some of my favorite places to travel (within a reasonable distance). Don’t forget, I always link the websites to the places I mention at the end of blog, so feel free to check out the links if you want some more info. So first things first, lets start with the places closest to Ramstein and then we will work our way up to the trips that require a little more time.
Homburg (23 Minutes from Ramstein Air Base)
Alright, alright. I know I am going to get a lot of flack for mentioning Homburg as a “day trip” but hear me out: Homburg has a lot to offer and honestly I like some of my day trips to not be jam packed full of a million things to do. So what should you do there? Well, leave Ramstein close to lunch time and stop in at Yedo for some yummy sushi. Seriously, it’s the best. Also right across the street is a delicious gelato cafe called Gelat!oh. I had the equivalent of a strawberry sundae and Andrew got Tiramisu. Andrew’s coworker said it is the best gelato he has had outside of Italy. I haven’t been to Italy yet, but I don’t he is lying! Afterwards, if you are down for a little bit of a hike, I have the perfect recommendation for getting a view of the city.
Check out Schlossberghöhlen! Once you get to the parking area, it has some great views of the city, castle ruins, and even some caves you can walk through. Sadly, we didn’t make it in time to check out the caves, but the views of the city and the Hohenberg castle ruins was worth the hike up the hill to me! Which brings me to my next point, if you are like Andrew and I and decide to walk up to the castle from Yedo, be prepared for those inclines! If inclines aren’t your thing, there is also some parking available near the hotel by Schlossberghöhlen. So that it an option as well! After we finished with the castle, we made our way back down to the town square and walked around to the different shops and window shopped.
Not into castle ruins? No worries! Karlsberg brewery is located right next to Homburg. They weren’t offering brewery tours when we visited, but we also enjoyed just walking around the outside of the plant and check out some of the statues and art work. Check out their website and watch to see when they will bring back the brewery tours! I know Andrew and I have talked about revisiting the plant once tours are available again.
Mannheim (58 Minutes from Ramstein Air Base)
Moving on to a more “industrial city” and the last day trip Andrew and I took, Mannheim! Alright full disclosure: we didn’t eat in Mannhiem. We actually only went to a park there simply because we got a little bit of a later start to the day than what we hoped for, but the show must go on! So I 100% recommend going to Mannhiem on a beautiful day and leaving around lunch time. First I would stop in the amazingly huge Luisenpark. This place is insane! Andrew and I spent a couple of hours here and didn’t even see the entire park. Honestly my favorite part was lounging in the sun in the lounge chairs spread out through the park.
Afterwards, we just went back home and had dinner at a restaurant close to Ramstein village. If you are interested in spending more time in Mannhiem, I suggest checking out the local shopping district and doing some research on places to grab a bite to eat before heading home.
Heidelberg (1 Hour and 11 Minutes from Ramstein Air Base)
One of my favorite day trips probably has to be to Heidelberg. There is so much to see and do that honestly, it is difficult to fit it all into one day. Andrew and I actually got here around lunch time on a rainy day and spent a good chuck of time just walking around and exploring the different shops on the main streets of the town square. We didn’t make it to the Heidelberg castle, but I managed to snag a picture.
Our (mainly mine, but Andrew loves me and just tags along) pit stops were the local yarn store, LUSH, Antiquariat Hatry (a used bookstore that has multiple levels), and Amarino (the flower gelato place that I am obsessed with for some reason). We also purchased homemade gummy bears from a local shop and had a schneeball pastry (a treat that is honestly so complex, but tasty). After walking around the square some more and visiting Old Bridge, we decided to have a traditional German meal at Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus.
Y’all, Andrew picked out this particular restaurant and I am so happy he did. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting and the menu has something for everyone! I opted for the white pork sausages and pretzel, while Andrew got I believe it was called the farmer’s platter. Both of our meals were incredible. Andrew’s meal (a hash mixed with blood sausage and pork sausage) was possibly the greatest thing I’ve had since moving to Germany. The beer there is also amazing! I highly recommend if you are in Heidelberg, you have to try this place!
Maastricht, Netherlands (3 Hours from Ramstein Air Base)
Last, but for not least, is an interesting little town in the Netherlands. Andrew and I stumbled upon this place all because of a bookstore that Andrew discovered through some research. I will be honest, I can’t recommend places to eat in Maastricht. We had lunch and dinner there, but both places were just okay. I wouldn’t really recommend them, so I’ll instead share with you some of the places to visit!
We first stopped in Boekhandel Dominicanen. It is an old church that has been transformed into a bookstore and cafe. This place was insane! Andrew and I took our time here just browsing the book selection (they have books in English) and adoring the bookshelves effortlessly melting into the church’s arches. There is lovely cafe towards the back and also a record section on the top level. If you aren’t in the mood to purchase a book, I highly recommend you just stop in and witness probably the coolest bookstore you’ll see in your entire life.
The last place we visited was the Bonnefantenmuseum. It is an unique art museum that was honestly something I have never experienced before. At one point, Andrew and I were in a domed ceiling room, laying on ginormous bean bags with strangers, staring at the hypnotic paintings splashed across the ceiling, and listening to calming music piped in from an unknown source. It was one of those “cool, but you had to be there to understand” moments. We could have spent hours in here. The museum has a mixture of contemporary and traditional art, so a little bit of something for everyone. The entrance fee was small, but the impact of this place is huge!
That’s all I got today y’all. I may update this blog with more trips as we take them. Where are your favorite places to take day trips? I am going to write a blog soon about some of my favorite places to visit in the South, so keep your eyes peeled!
Links to Websites
Yedo – http://yedo-sushi.de/
Gelat!oh instagram page -https://www.instagram.com/gelatoh.homburg/
Schlossberghöhlen – https://www.homburger-schlossberghoehlen.de/
Karlsberg brewery – https://karlsberg.de/
Luisenpark – https://www.luisenpark.de/
Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus – https://www.brauhaus-vetter.de/en
Boekhandel Dominicanen – https://www.libris.nl/dominicanen/history-of-bookshop-dominicanen/
Bonnefantenmuseum – https://www.bonnefanten.nl/en/