Avoid driving: parking fees, inappropriately high
Anyone who would like to visit Darmstadt: please leave your car at home or at the rental company. Use public transport which is good and frequent, albeit slightly expensive compared with other public transport systems, e.g. Munich or Berlin.
Parking cars in the town centre can be a nightmare and parking fees are inappropriately high, compared to what can be seen and done in town. Again, if I compare parking fees in Darmstadt with the ones in well known and famous towns such as Munich or Berlin or Amsterdam (see @P J’s and my comments at the bottom), they are very high. 1 hour parking costs approx. 2 Euro (as of September 2013). Even in London’s suburbs I saw parking fees to be 0,50 GBP per 15 minutes – 2,30 Euro for the hour at the current exchange rate.
Yes, there is parking free of charge in Darmstadt, but that is well off the town centre hence not so easy to locate for foreigners. In the website section I have added a link to the locations and current fees (Sept. 2013) of the parking garages in town. However, given my long-time experience with Darmstadt’s city marketing company it is likely that the website will change within the next months. Let me know if the link appears broken because I don’t control my Darmstadt reviews every month.
Recently a German car and traffic magazine published the highest parking fees in cities throughout whole Germany. I was not amazed to see that Darmstadt is quite high in this ranking:
Parking fees in Germany (German only though)
© Ingrid D.: February 2005; update September 2013: wording and links only.
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Beware of Nutella thieves !!!!
A very serious danger is waiting around in Darmstadt these days .
Nutella thieves are practically mugging every household in search of their favourite dish - Nutella !
You can't do anything against them - just pick them off the Nutella jar and throw them out of the house.
Don't you dare to rate this tip !!!!
(I did not place it here to be rated, I placed it as I am having my silly mood :-)
Stick to traffic rules! Better for your pocket
In no other German town (or anywhere in Italy for example) I have experienced or heard of that many hidden traffic controls as I’ve experienced it in Darmstadt in the many years I live here. The “delicts” noted down and issued range from “wrong direction” parking in streets, driving through streets reserved for residents only, crossing a solid line on streets even when one does that only to make room for cyclists who drive on the almost non-existent or too narrow bike lanes. But in contrast to other cities and towns car owners won’t likely find the ticket on the windshield but weeks later in the mail.
While I understand the need of issuing tickets for speeding and other dangerous situations, what I find borderline with several situations one could be ticketed is that the traffic signs involved are often contradictory. And if we locals hardly understand the superior rule when contradictory signs appear – how should all the poor visitors understand them!
Hence my suggestion: don’t drive your car or your rental car here. Just use public transport.
© Ingrid D., 2007; update Sept. 2013: wording only.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Letters and cards vanish sometimes..
My experience with sending letters and postcards from mail boxes located in Darmstadt’s north and northern suburbs is … not the best. Several times it happened that letters either never arrived or if they arrived then it was weeks and weeks later. Consequently I am sending my letters, cards and packages only from the main post office and ask for a receipt. No one at the post office could explain this to me up to now. (I have my theories, in context to privatisation of Germany’s postal system, but I better shut my mouth….).
Similar mysterious “mail vanishing” happens also with the items sent to me and people who live nearby. Approximately only 70% of the items sent to me in the suburb north of town make it into my letterbox. The rest … I have no idea and like with mysterious vanishing of sent items, I don’t get a satisfying answer. Consequently we affected neighbours need to do a lot of “controlling”, follow-ups and embarrassing phone-calls when especially bills or other official papers and letters don't arrive.
My recommendation? Very simple: just don’t send things from here, wait until your next destination.
© Ingrid D., 2008; update Sept. 2013: wording only.
If you Stay In Darmstadt sleep might evade you
Darmstadt is very close to a huge hub which is Frankfurt International Airport. Coming from a little rural village the noise from the approaching aircraft can be deafening at time = well all night actually Ha Ha. Either bring some ear plugs or don't try to sleep with the window open.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
I'm sorry, I don't understand German, its awful to walk into a museum and not understanding a word. People aren't very helpful either. I walk in, they look away. Damn, the universal language didn't work either.