LivingTravelKarlsruhe Travel Guide, Germany

Karlsruhe Travel Guide, Germany

Karlsruhe, home to about a quarter of a million people, is located in southwestern Germany, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. You will find Karlsruhe north of the spa town of Baden-Baden, and south of Heidelberg, both interesting travel destinations.

Karlsruhe is known as the center of justice in Germany, due to its two high German courts, and is known to tourists as a “gateway to the Black Forest” which lies to the south, bordered by France and Switzerland.

Why do people go to the black forest?

The idea of the Black Forest, Schwarzwald in German, may be grander than reality. Still, the Black Forest offers hiking trails, spa towns, and some interesting wine trails, including the Baden and Alsace wine trails.

Christmas markets and festivities are very frequent in the Black Forest from the last week of November.

For more information on the Black Forest, visit the official Black Forest site.

Karlsruhe Rail Station

The Karlsruhe or Hauptbahnhof train station is located in the center of a large transport hub. Exit the station and you will face a tram hub that can take you into the city center or far away. There are several hotels in the area.

Inside the station, you will find restaurants, bars, bakeries, and sandwich vendors. Indeed, in 2008 Karlsruhe won the ‘Train Station of the Year’ award for a ‘lively and relaxing service-oriented station’.

Nearest airports from Karlsruhe

Frankfurt International Airport is about 72 kilometers from Karlsruhe. Trains from the main train station go directly to Frankfurt Airport.

The nearest airport is Baden Karlsruhe Airport (FKB), 15 km from the city center.

Where to stay

We had a pleasant stay at the Hotel Residenz Karlsruhe, which has a bar, a restaurant and is next to the train station.

The best views – what to see and do in Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe has a lively center built around Marktplatz or the main market square. Shoppers will be rewarded by many pedestrian streets lined with shops in the city center.

Start with the Karlsruhe Palace (Schloss Karlsruhe), because Karlsruhe started here when the palace was built in 1715. Today you can tour some rooms of the palace or the very extensive Badisches Landesmuseum (Baden State Museum) that occupies much of the Palace today . If you are there on a rainy day, it is a way to escape the humidity. There is a cafe inside, and the entrance fees are reasonable. The palace sits at the center of a “wheel” of paths radiating from it, a rarity on a map and a fine example of Baroque city planning.

As near Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe has several spa complexes. Terme Vierordtbad (pictured) has a complex of baths, saunas and steam rooms at a reasonable price.

Right in front of the train station complex are the Stadtgarten and the site of the Karlsruhe Zoo. It is a wonderful place to walk, with hidden exotic animals that sometimes seem to be free inside the garden.

The Kleine Kirche (Little Church) is the oldest in Karlsruhe, dating back to 1776.

Technologically inclined artists would do well to visit ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie), the Karlsruhe Center for Art and Media Technology.

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