Updated: Aug 17, 2020
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
The ideal location for YOU will depend upon your families’ needs. Do you have children who need to have easy access to on-base schools?
Do you prefer city-living or rural communities? Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, beer gardens and shops? There are a lot of newer homes being built in rural communities, but if historic buildings are more your thing, most of those are in the larger towns. Both options typically offer lots of walking paths and beautiful scenery!
When we lived in Germany 2008-2012, we lived in the Kaiserslauthern Military Community (KMC), located in the Rheinland-Pfalz region of Germany. Specifically, we lived in Landstuhl, where we had several restaurants/pubs within a short walk, but most of the dining, entertainment and shopping required driving. We didn’t really understand (at that time) why anyone would need/want to live in cities like Kaiserslautern when they can just drive or take the train there on weekends. This time around, we get it! The rural option is probably great for families with children, multiple pets, and who want large yards. However, if you prefer to be surrounded by historical buildings, ancient gates and doors, statues and monuments, fountains, street cafés (where dogs are welcome!), round-abouts and parks adorned with gorgeous flowers, bike/walking paths, beer gardens that feature live entertainment, restaurants and shops all within a five minute (or less) walk from your front door, the search for your new residence is likely to be focused inside the center of a larger city.
Speaking only for the Grafenwoehr/Vilseck area of the Bavarian Region, Weiden and Amberg might be the two most desirable options for “city living”. While we did consider Weiden (and I’m positive residents of Weiden have lots of reasons why it’s better), for us the city center of Amberg is perfect for our needs. (Discover more about Amberg)
Occasionally you can get the best of both worlds by living just slightly outside the city center where more family-centric residences with large yards are very attainable while still being just a short walk to the more active city center.
All of Germany is so gorgeous that I can’t imagine anywhere you choose being anything less than perfect wherever you hang your hat!