CONTRIBUTED BY AROUND THE WHEREVER
Note: This is an annual event. It will be held on 8 -10 January in 2016. The author visited last year and has this to report:
Just because it’s winter time doesn’t mean that one has to give up hopes of traveling, or, at the very least, planning future trips. The Reisemarkt Rhein-Neckar-Pfalz is a welcome diversion for travelers who are suffering from cabin fever and are pining for the next trip. The event is a travel fair where local and not-so-local tourist associations, travel vendors, and associations set up booths at the Maimarkt location in Mannheim (next to the SAP Arena).
A friend and I took the train from Kaiserslautern to Mannheim, getting out at the Maimarkt stop just past the city’s main station stop. We then walked 10 minutes (straight ahead) to the fair location. There is also a tram that will shuttle people back and forth. Another option would be to drive and park in the lot across the street from the market; parking is one euro per hour after the first (free) hour.
We paid 6,50 euros a piece for the tickets and headed over to the exhibition hall. Inside, we wandered through the booths, picking up literature and dreaming of vacations to take. The majority of the booths were from tourist and travel associations, including those run by local governments. There were plenty of free informational fliers and maps. I would guess that about half of the travel destinations were within a couple of hours from Kaiserslautern. The other part included more distant parts of Germany, other areas in Europe, and even some travel agencies selling trips all over the world.
In addition, some booths were run by businesses selling goods, including a bicycle store, a winter clothing store, and some others. A motor home dealer had parked one of his vehicles inside but it looked miniature in comparison to the luxury travel coach on the other side of the building!
There was an area for kids, with comfy seating, a slack line to try, and a table to make wooden houses for bugs (for a fee). Those who worked up a hunger could eat at a Schwarzwald (Black Forest) themed cafe or stop by some food carts for a light snack. There were various stage presentations; during our visit, we saw karate students performing and then a travel agency highlighting some deals on tours.
It was a very enjoyable trip and was a great way to pick up travel ideas, maps, and tourist information to help plan that next trip. It is especially useful for those around Kaiserslautern because destinations within a few hours from there were plentiful.
Tips for Your Trip:
children under age 16: €5.00
There are also family rates
Deutsche Bahn stop: