We’ve been here almost a week and we decided that we were ready to venture out into the city! I had stopped by the welcome room near the hotel and was given “directions” to take the city bus.
The directions were a joke, but what fun would it be if we didn’t get lost on our adventure, right???
So- before I get into telling you all about our day, here is a quick “how to” guide for taking the bus from housing to downtown (and anywhere in Wiesbaden once you get brave)
To get off base and to the bus stop, go down to the PX area. You can either walk down New York Strasse by going left by the gate, instead of going into the PX area (which is recommended if you have a stroller), or you can go through the PX parking lot, straight past the gas station, to the turn gate which spits you out at the corner of New York Strasse and Berliner Strasse.
Go left on Berliner Strasse towards the bridge. If you do not have a stroller, you want to go over the bridge and come down the stairway to the platform in the middle of the street. This is the bus stop heading towards downtown. If you have a stroller, you have to cross the road to get to the platform by walking on the sidewalk beyond the bridge. I don’t know if jaywalking is illegal here, but, I don’t know how else you would get there if you can’t do stairs. So- Jaywalk (but shhh, I didn’t tell you to!)
Once you get on the platform, wait for either the 5 bus or the 15. The busses come through about every 10 minuets.
When you get on the bus, ask the driver for a “Gruppen Ticket”- this will allow your family to ride the bus all day, for 8.50 euro. Place your change in the cup, the driver will sort it, and hand you the ticket and the change. You do not need to show your ticket again unless asked for it. You probably will not be asked for it, and you don’t need to worry about getting it validated or anything like that for the rest of the day. Don’t think this means that you don’t NEED to get a ticket, because if you were caught riding the bus without one, you’ll face a 40+ euro fine.
Taking a stroller on the bus is no big deal (as long as it isn’t packed! Today is a big football match and we tried to ride home right as everyone was headed to Brita Arena. Whoops) the busses have a low floor, and we rolled the stroller right on and off all day.
You’ll want to get off the bus at Kirchgasse. This is displayed on the board at the front of bus, and will also be called out at each stop. From this stop you can get to the main shopping district. I’ve been told you can also get off the bus at Dernsches Gelande which as more shops and a marketplace, but I have not done that yet.
To come home, you’ll want to get on the bus at Luisenplatz (Bussteig A), which is directly across the street from St. Bonifatius Church. You can’t miss the church.
The bus, and the church
Luisenplatz, Bussteig A
See? Can’t miss it.
Again, get on the bus 5 or 15, and take it back to Berliner Strasse. From that stop, you simply cross the bridge, and walk back on post.
This is your stop coming back to base, Berliner Strasse, right in front of Brita Arena
We made the mistake of going ACROSS the bridge when we started out this morning (instead of waiting on the platform in the middle of the road), and got on the bus here, at Berliner Strasse, Bussteig D (because that’s what out *cough* terrible *cough* printed directions told us to do) and we went the wrong way. Luckily, I was watching the station map, and we got off, crossed the street, and got on the bus going the right direction. Thank goodness for many, many busses, running often.
All in all, taking the city bus is CRAZY easy. I will admit it would have been easier if we were more comfortable with our german. The phrasebook is good, but not when I am trying to make sense of what people are saying to ME! I am surprised to hear that some of my new friends here haven’t done it, it looks like my family will be picking up monthly passes and using this as our main means of transportation in the area. In a couple of weeks, one of my new german friends is going to go with me to the train station and show me how all THAT works, so I’ll be back with more “how to’s” soon!
(for more info, go to the transportation website– it’s in english!)