You’re about to embark on a new adventure with your first overseas assignment to Grafenwoehr or Vilseck Germany army base! But have you thought about how to get around without a car?
Assuming that you’ve already touched down and checked in to your living quarters, it’s time to start checking out your new location.
Upon arriving at your new duty station in Germany, you will notice there’s two bases, Grafenwoehr (Tower Barracks) & Vilseck (Rose Barracks), which are about 20 minutes apart via the “tank trail.”
The tank trail connects both bases, and it’s also dedicated to tactical vehicles driving throughout the 90 square mile training area. Keep in mind, speed limits are very slow on this road and military police are always watching when you least expect them!
Other than walking, there’s plenty of options that’ll get you to your destination.
First, let’s talk about riding the Grafenwoehr & Vilseck Shuttle Bus.
Taking the shuttle bus is a great way to get familiar with your local base amenities, especially when you’re running errands and going from appointment to appointment.
Garrison Shuttle Service
The shuttle buses are free of charge for DOD ID cardholders and dependents under 16 w/out ID. ALWAYS make sure you have your ID on you because you must show it when going from base to base.
The shuttle runs Mon-Fri between 0700 – 1700. To locate a stop, look for a sign that has a big letter “H,” which stands for Bushaltestelle (“bus stop” in German). Parents can bring strollers/booster seats on the shuttle bus for kids with plenty of comfortable seating.
When you make it to your destination, don’t forget to gather your personal belongings and throw out your trash.
*You can find updated bus timetables on the signs at each bus stop.
Grafenwoehr & Vilseck Army Base Shuttle Bus
These buses drive to and from each base on a daily route. From Rose Barracks, you’ll find bus stops all over the base. The primary locations for each bus stop are 2CR (Bldg 400), the dining facility – DFAC (Bldg 603), the health clinic, and the commissary. The Vilseck shuttle bus is very popular during the school year for high school kids to get around the base.
In the Grafenwoehr, Tower Barracks community, you’ll find bus stops at SLC (Bldg 244), the health clinic, the dining facility – DFAC (Bldg 101), Burger King, and the commissary.
Netzaberg Shuttle Bus
Similar to Vilseck, the Netzaberg shuttle bus goes to/from Grafenwoehr and also provides the middle school kids with transportation after school. Netzaberg has several stops within its large community of government homes, this makes it convenient for kids to walk from the bus stop back home, or to meet parents on one of the main bases.
There’s also a Sunday shuttle if you choose to go to the Netzaberg or Camp Aachen chapel service.
5th Community Shuttle Bus
In addition to Grafenwoehr and Vilseck army base, there’s a shuttle service for small “camps” along the tank trail. You can find a shuttle bus to Camp Kasserine, Normandy (NCOA), Algier (Bldg 2441), and Aachen (Bldg 1180).
For more information, check out the Bavaria transportation guide, which gives you holidays and weather schedules, Hohenfels shuttle service, and other travel resources.
If you’re looking for a more direct route, a taxi is a perfect solution for a stress-free, comfortable ride, from drivers who are familiar with the area.
When calling a taxi, you’ll need to make sure they can drive on base. Most taxis in the area know this requirement, but to ensure a timely pick up, request a taxi with a US installation pass.
The majority of taxis are located near the Vilseck/Grafenwoehr speak english and are located at the commissary or PX. The cost will vary depending on your destination, but be prepared to pay in Euro cash only (welcome to small town Bavaria).
There’s a variety of options to choose from below.
Grafenwoehr Army Base Taxis
Tina’s Taxi Crew: 0174-185-3101
Taxi Renner: 09641-926-8969
Rene´s Taxi: 0171-498-8810
Stefan Farago: 09641-3959
Henry’s Taxi: 0152-5353-1639
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Vilseck Army Base Taxis
Taxi André Piehler 0171-369-5156
Mike’s Taxi 0160-9925-2550
Sertl Bernhardt 09662-7604
Taxi Piehler Oliver 0170-480-1050
Another long term option is renting a car until your POV arrives in the country. Make sure you get with the transportation office to obtain your USAREUR driver’s license (if/when driving on base) and international driver’s license (if/when driving outside of Germany). You’ll definitely want to understand the driving rules throughout Germany, and you’ll need to be insured!
All car rental options at Vilseck/Grafenwoehr are inside the BX. You can also find car rental stations near the movie theater at Grafenwoehr, and there’s an Enterprise right outside the Vilseck main gate.
What would a move to Europe be without enjoying the convenience of public transportation? There are several city bus stops outside of Grafenwoehr and Vilseck, but I would recommend using the train system if you want to do some “real” travel.
Train Station Outside of Vilseck Army Base
Vilseck has the closest stop right outside of base (not really walking distance from the gate though). From the Vilseck train station, you can travel to just about any major city in Europe (yep, you read that right). You’ll find a parking lot right in front of the train station, and you can also buy tickets right near the tracks at a kiosk center.
For travel around the state of Bavaria, get the €26 Bavaria pass which gives you:
– An unlimited number of trips anywhere in the state for the whole day
– Travel with up to 5 people for only €8 per additional passenger
– Monday to Friday travel from 9am – 3am the next day
– Weekends and public holiday travel is valid till midnight
– Up to 3 children between the ages of 6 and under 15 travel free of charge – regardless of whether they are your own or not.
– Travel with all local trains, transport associations and almost all regular buses in Bavaria
Timetables and booking tickets through Deutsche Bahn (DB Train) can be found here.
Walk or Bike around Grafenwoehr/Vilseck Army Base
Walking and biking is surprisingly a popular option to get around the base. If it’s nice outside and you don’t have a lot of belongings, I’d recommend to walk or bike (with a helmet) around the base to get yourself familiar with all the roads and trails.
Germany is a beautiful country with incredible views around Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, and Netzaberg.
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Can I satay in Army lodging,i’ll visit my son.
Good question. Your son can make the reservation for you to stay there. He would also have to sponsor you on base since you do not have a military ID card (I assume). Keep in mind, official travel (TDY, PCSers) will have priority.