The Rheinhafenbad, recently renamed Sonnenbad, is the only outdoor swimming pool in Karlsruhe that stays open from mid February to early December.
The water is heated to 28°C in the colder season, heated indoor changing rooms and showers available.
The 50 m basin makes it suitable for sport swimmers who want to do their regular training.
Entrance fees: adults 3,50 €, kids/concessions 2,20 €.
In March/April and October/November an extra fee of 1,50 € (kids/concessions: 1 €) for heating is added.
Equipment: Swimwear and towel
About every second week, usually on a Thursday evening (7:30 p.m.), from late April to the end of August some of Karlsruhe's streets are "skaters only". Meeting point is always Kronenplatz. A certain route along main streets, 11-16 kms long, will be officially closed to all other traffic by the police. The field does two rounds on this track, the first in medium speed (which is still rather fast), the second is "sporty" high speed.
Dates and routes on the website (in German, see the "Kalender" page for dates)
Warning: The Skatenite is NOT suitable for beginners. You have to be a trained and experienced skater to join.
New photos: I finally caught some snapshots of a skatenite, but they were taken through the window of a running tram. Apologies for bad quality, but bad photos are better than no photos...
Equipment: Bring your own skates and gear. You are expected to wear helmet, knee, elbow and hand protection - they can be borrowed for free at the meeting point.
Boule/Petanque is a sport originating in France. You have two teams who try to throw a metal ball as close to a little wooden ball (the "piggy") as possible. The team with the closest ball wins.
It is not only fun to play, but also to watch the players!
In front of the Karlsruhe Palace you will be able to find players almost all year around! They even have tournaments there every once in awhile.
Two garden chess boards are situated under neath the trees on Schlossplatz. Chess players meet here to play or watch others play on the big boards. You'll also often see people sitting at the tables nearby playing chess on 'normal size' boards.
It doesn’t matter what you call it – it’s popular here. I kept finding the tables all over the city. I always thought as a child that it was German. It’s not. A guy from Spain invented it over 100 years ago. Besides they call it Tischfußball or Kickern here. What skill do you need? Not much. Guys that practice too much have strong wrists and that leads to all sorts of questions. Youi have 2 teams of 2 and the least skilled always gets lucky goals. That’s the only reason I ever loose.
Equipment: 2 HANDS
Rabbit hunting is a VT extreme sport...
You should catch as many as you can on your camera. You could practice this activity by day or by night. Success was on rendez-vous as you could notice the very big smile of competitors ;-D
What's Up, Doc?
Camera and good legs.
A special tip dedicaced to all my Londoner friends ;-)
The first thing I learned when I went to London was not how to speak English but how to queue in English style... a real national sport.
When the buffet was opened everybody stand up and begin to line up... Can't believe the "so British queue" is back (approx. 24 meters and 74 VTer's...)!
How to avoid the Buffet traffic jam? Estimate the hunger of every VTer's and the waiting time needed... head to the bar where I find amazingly no queue? Ok must admit that Klaus, DAO and VT's founders were already queueing but German service was as good as during an Oktober fest so I got enough time to taste all the Hopfner brewery products.
Keep 2 or 3 Toblerone in your pocket to survive until the Buffet approching queue is acceptable...
The Hardtwald (forest) begins right beyond the gates of the Schlosspark and extends far North till Graben-Neudorf. A couple of straight, seemingly endless alleys, part of Karlsruhe's spike wheel ground plan, cut through the forest for kilometres and kilometres.
Bikers and inline skaters appreciate the long sealed alleys of the Hardtwald while joggers and nordic walkers will prefer the smaller unsealed paths.
A network of marked bike trails leads through the floodlands on both sides of the Rhine along the whole Upper Rhine Valley. The "Pamina" trail is a German-French cooperation and continues into Alsace.
The trails are mostly not paved, thus not suitable for inline skaters, and they are too far out of town to see many hikers. Bikers can cycle along undisturbed.
The forests and the old Rhine branches are natural reserves where birds and amphibia can be observed.
Some lakes further inland, like Epplesee or Neuburgweierer See, allow swimming.
Near Neuburgweier a small ferry that carries pedestrians and bikes crosses the river. From the point of arrival on the Western bank it's only 3 kms to the French border.
The valley of the small river Alb leads up into the Northern part of the Black Forest. Hikers will find a dense network of marked trails. Users of public transport may consider those trails that connect the tram stops in the Alb valley (S 1) with those in the Murg valley (S 41) or Ittersbach (S 11).
The small spa town of Bad Herrenalb at the upper end of the valley offers a thermal spa, restaurants and cafes and a fine park.
The romantic ruin of the baroque church is all that's left of Frauenalb monastery, which burnt down in the early 19th century.
The lush forests of the Black Forest have been heavily hit by the gale "Lothar" in December 1999. The marks are visible in some places along the Alb valley, too. Stop for a moment and think about the dangers of pollution, global warming and changes in climate...
Equipment: No special equipment needed, any comfy walking shoes will do (unless the paths are wet and muddy after a bad weather period).
The white church on top of the Michaelsberg on the edge of the Rhine valley is visible from afar. The small pilgrimage church is not the only attraction, though. The view of the Rhine plain is quite something. Besides, the Michaelsberg is a protected nature reserve because of its rare vegetation. Several species of extremely rare orchids are in bloom here in May/June.
Take care and please don't leave the paths. Orchid 'loving' tourists with their cameras have become a real danger to the plants because while taking photos of a big pretty flower they trample on the smaller hidden ones.
Equipment: No special equipment needed, comfy walking shoes will do.
Bring a camera.
The Kraichgau is a hilly area Northeast of Karlsruhe, East of Bruchsal, which offers easy, off-the-beaten-path hikes in a pretty, though not spectacular, landscape among apple trees, fields and small forests. Most beautiful in late spring when the apple trees are in bloom!
The villages of the Kraichgau show traces of their particular history. The noble families of the area ruled independent states (which consisted of hardly more than one or two villages) underneath the roof of the Holy Roman Empire. Their castles and palaces can still be found in places like Gochsheim or Menzingen.
Equipment: No equipment needed, any comfy walking shoes will do.
Around Karlsruhe thera are a lot of small artificial lakes due to the fact that the Rhine Valley offers large resources of gravel. These lakes offer great oportunities for watersport like swimming, diving, surfing, fishing and so on.
Combined with the mild climate in the Upper Rhine Valley this quarry ponds are a perfect place for a summer vacation.
This year for the first time they opend up an ice skate rink just in front of the Karlsruhe palace. The ice is not really good, the rink is rather small, but the atmosphere is fantastic!!! And the Gl?hwein (hot red wine with spices) is said to be VERY good!
Do you like Carting, well this is the best place to test your driving skills. On this outdoor track in Liedolsheim the European championships in carting took place a few times. Even Michael Schumacher drove on this course. Liedolsheim is just 20 kilometres away from Karlsruhe, but you need a car to get there
Equipment: Nothing special, just sports clothes or Jeans and sneakers
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