Karlsruhe City Guide: Things to Do, See and Eat traveling in Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Travel Guide

Photo by ValdasMiskinis on Pixabay // CC0
Photo by ValdasMiskinis on Pixabay // CC0


Karlsruhe is a centre for science and technology. As such, it makes sense this city is rife with museums and art galleries. Throw in a centuries-old palace and nearby mountainous terrain, and you have a compelling off-the-beaten-track destination in Germany.

Top Attractions

Begin your trip by paying a visit to Karlsruhe Palace. In the 18th century, Charles III William of Baden-Durlach wore out his welcome with the citizens of nearby Durlach. So, local authorities constructed this castle for Charles III William of Baden-Durlach.

Shortly after, the community that became Karlsruhe grew up around the fortification. Today, it serves as this city’s star attraction. As you stroll through this gem, take time to enjoy its architecture and its statues. Stick around after dark, as palace staff put on a light show every evening during the summer.

Before leaving the palace grounds, learn about the Karlsruhe area by checking out the State Museum of Baden. In this institution, you’ll find artifacts dating from the Roman era to modern times. Before entering, though, know that most captions are in German only. Also, be aware that this attraction closes on Mondays.

Next, move onto Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. You won’t want to miss this place, as it features artists such as Claude Monet and Peter Paul Reubens. Overall, the styles in this space range from expressionist/impressionist pieces to modern/abstract works.

The building itself is also a work of art. In the 19th century, its builders crafted it in the neoclassical style, so don’t be in a rush to head inside. Also, after your tour, hang out in the on-site coffee shop to ruminate on the paintings you just saw.

Still haven’t got your fill of art? Schedule a trip to Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medien. This institution focuses on three areas – hosting a media and a contemporary art museum, as well as events. The exhibits are fascinating, as are their surrounds – this museum used to be a munitions factory. Come back in the evening, as this building is brilliantly lit up at night.

Other Attractions

Still in the mood to explore museums? Take time to explore Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe during your time in this city. This institution primarily focuses on the geology and ecology found in the German state of Baden.

Every year, over 150,000 people (mostly locals) pay a visit to this museum. Many of these visitors are families, who hit up this attraction on weekends. Thus, to avoid crowds, we recommend dropping by during the week.

Escape the hustle and bustle of Karlsruhe city centre by heading to the top of Turmberg. If you don’t have a car, get to the top by taking the Turmbergbahn, a funicular that runs from the city below. At the top, ruins of a former castle is the primary historical attraction.

However, the view over Karlsruhe and vicinity is Turmberg’s biggest draw. After you finish taking panoramic shots, pop into the on-site cafe for a quick shot of caffeine. After that, get into nature via one of several trails.

If you’re travelling as a family, be sure to stop by Zoo Karlsruhe. Open for over 150 years, this facility is one of the oldest of its kind in Germany. In all, you’ll find over 4,000 animals representing 250 species. From polar bears to seals, there is lots to take in.

However, you can do more here than just look at fauna – this attraction also offers boat rides. From their boats, you’ll see this park’s residents from a unique perspective.

If flora is more in line with your interests, stop by the Karlsruhe Botanical Gardens. Charles III William of Baden-Durlach commissioned the creation of this green space in the mid 19th century. In addition to endemic plants, a series of glass greenhouses host flora from tropical and desert biomes.

What To Eat

On a cool day in Karlsruhe, there’s nothing like a bowl of Flädlesuppe. True to the name of this dish, it contains thins strips of flädle, a savoury style of crepe. Chefs cook it in beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, and sprinkle on herbs like parsley as a garnish.

At dinner, go local by ordering some Gruenkohl und Pinkel. This dish takes kale and cooks it with onions and lard. Once complete, the chef pairs it with sausage and boiled potatoes. As a popular winter meal, you’ll most often find it during the colder months of the year.

If you aren’t feeling that dish, then consider having some Zwiebelkuchen. This savoury pot pie contains a heavy mix of caramelized onions, bacon, sour cream, and eggs. If you are visiting during the annual grape harvest, you’ll find this meal everywhere.

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