Karlsruhe's townscape would not be complete without the yellow trams. They take you (almost) everywhere in town and its surroundings. There is no better way of getting around. Trams travel every 10 minutes in the daytime, every 20 minutes in the evening and on weekends. Some main routes operate all night long on weekends.
Karlsruhe's public transport administration made a clever decision: The width of the tram rails is the same as that of the DB trains, which means that the trams can use the railroad tracks. This system has become known as the "Karlsruhe model" among transportation experts.
Tram routes extend far out of town - North to Heilbronn and into the Kraichgau hills, East to Bietigheim-Bissingen, i.e. the outskirts of Stuttgart, South beyond Baden-Baden, West across the Rhine to Wörth, into the Black Forest up the Alb valley to Bad Herrenalb and up the Murg valley to Freudenstadt. Most of these trams travel through the very city center of Karlsruhe.
The cheapest option to travel round the city is the Citykarte, which is valid for unlimited travel in the city for one calendar day: 5.60 € for one person, 8,80 € for up to five people travelling together. Since a single ticket for the city (2 zones) is 2,30 €, this is the cheapest option.
If you want to travel further, there is the Regiokarte which covers the whole area of the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund and all carriers including bus, tram and regional trains: 9.80 € for one person, 16.60 € for up to five people.
Theese fares have been valid since December 2012.
For the Germans: BahnCard holders can buy single tickets for 1,80 €.
Important update: Rules about City and RegioTicket have changed in December 2012. Our beloved 24-hour-tickets have become day tickets, i.e. they are not valid for 24 hours any more but only for one calendar day until 3 a.m. the following day. Despite this notable deterioration of the offer, they raised the prices for these tickets at the same time. Do I have to explain that I'm upset?
Karlsruhe has a very popular and efficient public transportation system. By tram and bus you can reach nearly every part of the city and the surrounding area.
The trains used have been a shining example for a lot of other cities because they invented a two-engine system. This made it possible to drive the trains with the different voltages of the tram system and on the tracks of the overland trains, thus allowing to build a large network without too many investment.
plan of the train net (pdf)
electronic schedule (in german)