Fun things to do in Karlsruhe

  • Things to Do
    by Kathrin_E
  • Things to Do
    by Kathrin_E
  • Things to Do
    by Kathrin_E

Most Viewed Things to Do in Karlsruhe

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    The Palace.

    by Maurizioago Updated Nov 3, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This large palace was built in 1715 by margrave Karl III Wilheim of Baden Durlach. Since then the city of Karlsruhe has grown around it.

    It was almost destroyed during the II World War, but soon it was rebuilt.

    Today the palace houses the Badisches Landmuseum that contains exibits from prehistory to the present days.

    The palace is surrounded by a big park.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    The Tulip Girls

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 25, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Three quarters of the way up the tower you come to one of the rooms where the Tulip Girls used to live. Here you are greeted by a sign saying you have already climbed up 121 steps and have only 37 more to get to the top.

    Originally there were 24 rooms for the Tulip Girls, who were young women from Karlsruhe and vicinity. The Margrave had about sixty of them on the payroll every year between 1717 and 1733. This is documented in the payroll records kept by the palace administration during that period.

    The Margrave's horticultural, musical and amorous interests were all dealt with by the Tulip Girls, who were charged with caring for his collection of tulips imported at great expense from Holland. A tulip bulb at that time could cost as much as 40 Gulden, which was twice as much as a washerwoman could expect to earn in an entire year. The Margrave once journeyed to Holland himself to buy bulbs, and he also employed painters to paint pictures of the best tulips that bloomed in the palace gardens in the spring.

    When the Tulip Girls weren't tending tulips, they were expected to sing in the many concerts and operas that the Margrave put on in the palace for himself and his courtiers.

    Inevitably there were rumors that the Tulip Girls also had certain other duties in the palace, and in fact some of them had illegitimate children named Carl or Carlina who were cared for in the palace at the Margrave's expense.

    Not everyone was amused by the Margrave and his Tulip Girls. His wife complained in a private letter about "Carl's ridiculous harem", and several German dramatists of the 18th century, such as Lessing and Schiller, wrote bourgois tragedies about upright young women who were driven to suicide by the lust of the local rulers -- though they seem to have had other, worse, potentates in mind than the Margrave of Baden-Durlach.

    Second photo: One of the rooms in the tower where the Tulip Girls used to live.

    Third photo: My copy of the novel Sylvia das Tulpenmädchen (Sylvia the Tulip Girl) by Toni Peter Kleinhans (1912-1996). This entertaining and no doubt somewhat idealized novel tells the story of one of the Tulip Girls who was employed in the palace in the year 1729.

    The author was a Karlsruhe journalist and screenplay writer who was taken prisoner by the French at the end of the Second World War. He wrote his novel about the Tulip Girls to pass the time while he was a prisoner of war, but it was not published until many years later when it appeared in thirty installments in a local newspaper, the Badischen Neusten Nachrichten, prior to being published as a book in 1991.

    The one anecdote I have found about the author Toni Peter Kleinhans concerns his brief imprisonment by the Gestapo in the 1930s, before the beginning of the Second World War. At the time he was a young man writing screenplays for a film production company in Munich. Repeatedly the company received instructions from the Nazis’ Reichsfilmkammer detailing all the things that were forbidden to be shown or said in German films. One day Kleinhans made the mistake of saying that to save paper and postage it would be simpler just to take a postage stamp and write on the back of it the things that were allowed. For this utterance, which in normal times would have been regarded merely as a lame joke, he was arrested by the Gestapo and spent five days in prison.

    A baroque statue in front of the Palace Where the Tulip Girls used to live
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Schlossplatz

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Apr 6, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The fine view at the Palace opens at the wide square. There are a beautiful park and a bronze statue of duke of Karlsruhe and Baden Karl Wilhelm who constructed all this remarkable ensemble in XVIII century.
    When passing the central avenue by fountains you can see the building of the palace built in classical style with a high central tower. There is a museum and showrooms Inside of the building.

    You can watch my 1 min 13 sec Video Asslan v Haus Schiran in Karlsruhe out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    Schlossplatz Schlossplatz Schlossplatz Schlossplatz Schlossplatz
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    The Margrave's Palace

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 8, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The graffito on the base of the statue says "Recht auf Freiraum", which means "Right to Free Space" -- or to Freedom, Tolerance or Scope for Development. Why the anonymous graffiti-writer wrote that here I don't know, since it would seem the Margrave left lots of free space in the gardens all around the palace. But I expect he or she had some reason.

    Second photo: Here's a closer look at that statue, which shows a large muscular man wrestling with a lion. Actually he has already subdued the lion and is holding its mouth open with his hands. So any of you lions that might get loose in Karlsruhe, beware! They don't mess around.

    Third photo: Bicycles parked in front of the palace at sunset.

    Fourth photo: VT member Madschick (third from left) playing boules in front of the palace at dusk.

    1. The Margrave's Palace in Karlsruhe 2. Subduing the lion 3. Bicycles at the Palace 4. Heinz (Madschick) playing boules
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    DURLACH: Old Town Feeling

    by Kathrin_E Updated Mar 21, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The narrow streets with their old houses are worth a stroll. Durlach has got the old, romantic lanes Karlsruhe is lacking. Pubs and cafes invite to stay and enjoy a little dolce vita.

    Durlach was Karlsruhe's precedessor as capital city and residence of the Margraves. The city was destroyed by French troops in the Palatinate heritage war in 1689, like so many other cities, towns and villages in the Upper Rhine Plain. The town was rebuilt shortly after. The houses from around 1700 were designed according to a uniform model plan: two storeys, mansart roofs hiding a third storey in the attic, large arched gates.

    See my Durlach travelogue for more pictures.

    Durlach, Amthausstra��e and Basler Tor Durlach, Schlossplatz with tram stop
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    DURLACH: Basler Tor and Fortification

    by Kathrin_E Updated Mar 21, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the former four 16th century city gates is preserved: The Basler Tor (Basel gate) on the Southern side of the old town. Next to it parts of the city wall are still visible. A short but quite romantic footpath leads along the former moat outside the wall.

    Durlach, Basler Tor Durlach, Basler Tor Durlach, city wall next to Basler Tor
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Schloß Gottesaue

    by tini58de Updated Jul 25, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gottesaue Palace is one of the oldest buildings in the Karlsruhe erected in 1588, destroyed in 1689, provisionally rebuilt, and again destroyed by fire in 1735. It was badly damaged by American bombs in May 1944. It lay in ruins for a long time, but was then completely renovated and now contains the State College of Music.

    There are concerts performed inside and during July and August, Schloß Gottesaue hosts the Open Air Cinema - a truly fabulous scenery!

    Gottesaue palace
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

    by Nemorino Updated May 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Baden State Theater is the main venue in Karlsruhe for opera, drama and ballet.

    The current building was opened in 1975. The acoustics are fine. You can see and hear perfectly well from any seat in the place.

    The only thing that takes a bit of getting used to is the fact that the inside walls are made of undisguised concrete, painted but otherwise not covered up in any way, so you can see the pattern of the wooden boards that the concrete was poured into. I found this rather crude at first, like being in a construction site or somebody's basement, but once you get accustomed to it it's all right.

    The large hall seats just over 1000 people (as opposed to 1300 and some in Frankfurt).

    An interesting feature of the Karlsruhe stage is that they have a revolving stage surrounded by three concentric rings that can also revolve independently in the same or the opposite direction. This arrangement is used to good effect in their new production of Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele, which has a large curved bookshelf on the revolving stage and another on the first concentric ring, so you get nice visual effects and rapid changes of scene as soon as they both start turning.

    See my travelogue "Behind the scenes in Karlsruhe" for more information on this interesting theater.

    Second photo: The theater with flowers.

    Third photo: Inside the theater.

    Fourth photo: Stage entrance, with bicycles.

    Fifth photo: This horse sculpture in front of the theater is called Musengaul (Muse's Nag), by Jürgen Goertz. If it looks vaguely familiar, perhaps you have seen the similar, but bigger, "S-Printing Horse" by the same artist, on my Heídelberg page.

    1. Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe 2. Theater with flowers 3. Inside the theater 4. Stage entrance 5. Musengaul by J��rgen Goertz
    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Music
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Applied arts since 1900

    by Nemorino Updated Mar 14, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Actually I was on my way to the Castle to see the big exhibition on the ancient Romans, but it so happened that Karlsruhe was in the throes of a torrential rain, sleet, hail and you-name-it storm which had turned the stately castle grounds into one huge puddle.

    To get out of the rain I ducked into a colonnade which turned out to be the entrance to the Museum at the Market Square (Museum beim Markt), a museum devoted to "the applied arts since 1900."

    The ground floor was closed for renovation when I was there, but on the first floor (one flight up, that would be the second floor in the U.S.) there was an interesting exhibition on the Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) and Bauhaus movements, among other things.

    Since I had just been to Dessau a few weeks earlier, I was particularly interested in the Bauhaus section, showing how they tried to optimize, humanize, standardize and beautify all sorts of everyday objects for the brave new modern world of the 1920s.

    Also for the first time (even though I have been living in Frankfurt for thirty-five years) I saw a partially preserved example of the then-revolutionary "Frankfurt Kitchen", which was intended to rationalize the working class housewives' daily grind and give them more time for self-fulfillment. What I hadn't realized was that the Frankfurt Kitchens were TINY and that they had the unwanted side effect of isolating the slaving housewife from any contact with her family or visitors while she was in the kitchen. Also it would have been very hard for a second person to help with the cooking or washing up, since the kitchen was so small and optimized for one person. Some 10,000 Frankfurt Kitchens were built in the 1920s and early 30s, but none have been completely preserved in their original form, not even this one.

    You can see the Frankfurt Kitchen in the third, fourth and fifth photos. Visible through the kitchen window is a photograph of some awful-looking apartment buildings that Walter Gropius built in Frankfurt in 1930. (These no longer exist.)

    Museum am Markt Museum am Markt Frankfurt Kitchen in the background Frankfurt Kitchen Frankfurt Kitchen
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    DURLACH: Walk with a View in the Vineyards

    by Kathrin_E Written Oct 21, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Southern slope of Turmberg is planted with vineyards. Merely by coincidence I discovered today that there are two paths that lead through these vineyards, one along its upper edge between vines and forest, and another about halfway up. The vineyards themselves are fenced off but these paths can be walked. It was a golden October day and the colours of the leaves and the sunshine were glorious.

    From the vineyards you have a view over Durlach and the city centre of Karlsruhe in the distance, and, depending on weather conditions (it was a bit hazy today) over the Rhine plain to the Palatinate Forest and Vosges.

    To find these paths, all it takes is walking from Turmberg tower down one of the forest trails and keeping left at the end of the forest, or walking uphill from the residential quarter at the foor of Turmberg in the small side valley.

    By the way - the grapes of Turmberg are processed by the State Winery Karlsruhe-Durlach in Posseltstraße, right at the foot of the vineyard.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS - THE SIGNS

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Do you know you rights? The Square of Fundamental Rights is located in the pedestrian area between Market Square and the Castle. It is a series of 24 metal signs debating the judicial system, people’s rights under the law and even their experiences. The City of Karlsruhe is home to the highest court in German and they commissioned an artist named Jochen Gerz to create the square. There are 24 signs here and another 24 located across Karlsruhe in places like the Central Train Station (pictured). The square was inaugurated on On 2 October 2005.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    Turmbergbahn : Ride to the Karlsruhe's Top

    by Tripack Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    If you are strolling around the pleasant Durlach area, do not miss a ride on this "mountain" railway Turmbergbahn. A good alternative to climb the 529 steps up to the Durlach Tower Hill, even if I just see a runner going faster than the funicular downhill!

    Nowadays Turmbergbahn is the oldest funicular Germany since its opening in 1888. But no worries, it was modernise in 1965 even if the ancient carriage were well design. After ringing the bell three times the conductor will arrive shortly. A cable will track you and other passengers (21 seats) for a 3 minutes trip to ride the distance 315 meters up to mountain station at an altitude of 241 m absl!

    Once on the top admire the view and climb the Durlach Tower - see my next tip for more.

    Uphill train Sprechen Sie Deutsch : Technical datas Departure station Oups, just miss the train... Inside the cable car with #1
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    TOURIST INFORMATION

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    This place just could not be easier to find. It’s located just across the street from the Train Station and near where many of the busses run. The nice lady that works here will help you with free maps, leaflets, opening times, directions and even travel passes (3 days, etc.) for the busses and trams. She can even help you with tickets to concerts and sporting events – at least information anyway. You can also buy postcards at grossly inflated prices. All in all, a very impressive operation.

    They are open:
    M-F 8:30-16:00 (4pm)
    SAT 9:00-13:00 (1pm)

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Schlossgartenbahn

    by Kathrin_E Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The narrow gauge train does a round trip through the whole park behind the palace.

    The trains run from April 6 to November 1 on Weekends and holidays, from late May to September also in weekdays in the afternoon.

    On special days the old steam engine "Greif" pulls the trains.

    Schlossgartenbahn 'train station'
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Trains
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    The castle

    by gubbi1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For students the castle and its garden is well visited during summertime instead of the lecture room. But not only for students and this purpose it is highly recommendable to have a look at it. You will very soon realize the concept of the castle with the streets leaving like rays towards the south. On the northern side you have a nice garden which invites to relax. Behind the garden you have the forest and more or less the end of urbanized town. You can make endless biketours form here. Actually my information is that it was planned to have city also in the north of the castle, but money went out for the Margrave.

    Castle Karlsruhe, KA, B.W., DE
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

Karlsruhe Hotels

See all 52 Hotels in Karlsruhe

Latest Karlsruhe Hotel Reviews

Renaissance Karlsruhe Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
City Partner Hotel Berliner Hof
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Alfa Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Hotel Am Markt Karlsruhe
1 Review
Queens Hotel Karlsruhe
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Allee-Hotel
1 Review
Schlosshotel Karlsruhe
1 Review
Handelshof
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Hotel Astoria Garni Karlsruhe
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Hotel Markgrafler Hof
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Novotel Karlsruhe
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Greif Hotel
1 Review
Gastehaus am Karlstor
1 Review
Hotel Am Tiergarten
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Hotel Eden Karlsruhe
1 Review

Instant Answers: Karlsruhe

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

36 travelers online now

Comments

Karlsruhe Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Karlsruhe locals.
Map of Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Members Meetings

Dec 12, 2015 
Glühwein-Meeting #12

see all Karlsruhe member meetings