15 Best Things To Do in Karlsruhe, Germany

Karlsruhe is a city in southwestern Germany that houses some of the most diverse activities to indulge in. It is the second-largest city in Baden-Württemberg and home to the two highest courts of law in Germany – the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice. There are plenty of places to visit in Karlsruhe to keep you occupied on your vacation to the city, Not one to fall behind on scenic beauty, Karlsruhe is located on the Rhineland Plain between the Vosges Mountains, Black Forest, and Palatinate Forest. It is also a nerve center of science, technology, and culture and many prime Karlsruhe points of interest are an extension to this. Some of the top Karlsruhe tourist attractions include ZKM Center for Art and Media and The Karlsruhe Palace.

Here's the list of 15 best things to do in Karlsruhe:

1. Visit the ZKM Center for Art and Media

ZKM Center - ImageImage source: wikipedia.org

Once known to house a weapons factory, the ZKM Center for Art and Media proudly stands as one of the most cultural buildings in all of Germany. It is a lovely place for social gatherings and organizational events and is easily accessible by local transport. Both temporary and permanent exhibitions are known to be the epitome of cultural and artistic advancement as advertised in the modern era. The ZKM also organizes special events, research projects, and trans-disciplinary projects under the same roof. The Lecture Hall, the Media Theater, the Foyer, and the ZKM Cube are all highly coveted spots and uniquely their own in each and every respect.

2. Stop by The Karlsruhe Palace

Things to do in Karlsruhe  - ImageImage source: wikimedia.org

Erected in 1715 by Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, the Karlsruhe Palace is now home to the main museum of the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe. The entire city was originally planned to incorporate the Karlsruhe Palace at its very center. Also, it was originally made of wood until it was revamped and reconstructed from stone in 1746. One of the most interesting things about the palace is its distinctive ‘folding fan’ layout. The museum itself has a wide array of temporary and permanent listings that are part of a superb collection that makes it completely worth the trip. It may be a good idea to start the trip right from the palace.

3. Visit the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe

Must see in Karlsruhe - ImageImage source: wikimedia.org

The Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe is an extension of the Karlsruhe Palace museum. There are lots of exhibits on the Landesmuseum as well that are extremely rare and valuable. The museum itself is capacious and airy that allows visitors to comfortably move around and take their time with the exhibits. In all truth, the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe epitomizes true respect for art and culture and knows how to hang on its roots and not be swayed by the advancement of time and technology. This is an excellent follow-up the Karlsruhe Palace.

4. See the Castle Ruins of Turmberg

The Turmberg is a hill located in a quaint suburb of Karlsruhe known as Durlach, which is the former royal seat of Baden. The seemingly nondescript hill plays home to a beautiful German castle’s ruins. The ruins themselves are quite impressive and it paints a picture as to what it must have been like in its former glory. The easiest way to reach the Turmberg is by means of the Turmbergbahn, which is a funicular railway set for visitors. Originally, the railway system was built to be driven by water weights. The modern version runs on electricity. The location is also naturally quite beautiful and full of rustic charm. 

5. Spend a Day at The Karlsruhe Zoo

The Karlsruhe Zoo - ImageImage source: wikimedia.org

Conveniently located north of the Karlsruhe Central Station, the Karlsruhe Zoo is one of the oldest and most diverse zoos in all of Germany. Built in 1865, the zoo hosts about 4400 animals ranging over 250 species. It houses a monkey house, an African Savanna Collection, Himalayan Mountains Park, a Pachyderm House, Owl Aviaries, Exotics House, Small Predators House, a Petting Zoo, and many more such theme parks. The fauna is not the only thing to enjoy here as the zoo houses a remarkable collection of flora as well in its many Zoological Gardens that includes a Japan Garden, a Rose Garden, a Perennial Forests Garden, a Scent and Tactile Garden, and even a Seasonal Garden. Fully meant for family fun, the Karlsruhe Zoo is a great place to visit.

6. Take a Trip to the SMNK

The SMNK is the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe and one of the two Natural History Museums Belonging to the State of Baden-Württemberg. It is also one of the most important repositories of the State of Baden-Württemberg in terms of Natural History. The museum conducts research on geology, paleontology, taxonomy, biogeography, and ecology. It is also quite well known in Karlsruhe and beyond for house a remarkable collection of exhibits with the permanent ones resting on the upper floor of the museum. 

7. View the Karlsruhe Pyramid

Karlsruhe Pyramid - ImageImage source: wikimedia.org

Made entirely of red sandstone, the Karlsruhe Pyramid was built over the vault of the city’s founder – Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach. Located at the center of the market square of Karlsruhe, it was erected in 1823-1825. The pyramid is reckoned as the city’s second emblem as a counterpart to the folding fan of the Karlsruhe Palace. Originally, the location was occupied by the Lutheran Concord Church which was later demolished to create the pyramid. Till date, the pyramid can be accessed only by express consent of the House of Baden who formerly owned the church. Nevertheless, the majestic pyramid makes for quite a sight on a trip to Karlsruhe.

8. Go to the Badisches Staatstheater

Any trip to Karlsruhe is incomplete without a trip to the Badisches Staatstheater. To say that it is a theatre and opera house is to call the Sphinx Egyptian. It has existed since 1975 at Ettlinger Tor and is home to many a great event in the world of music and theater including the Hndel Festival on 23 February celebrating the birthday of the baroque composer Georg Friedrich Hndel.

9. Take a Trip to the Karlsruhe Botanical Gardens

Like the SMNK, the Karlsruhe Botanical Gardens are a state-owned source of pride. A complete haven of tranquility, the Botanical Gardens is surrounded by greenhouses, orangery, and a winter garden. Built in 1863, the stately building houses a huge expanse of exotic foliage that is preserved extremely well. This is one of the many reasons why it is completely worth the trip.

10. Art Nouveau at the Museum at Market Square

The Museum at Market Square is yet another extension of the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe. The best thing about it is the huge range it has to offer and documents Art Nouveau of regional variations. It exhibits French Art Nouveau displays, featuring the prestigious works of École de Nancy artists. This includes glasswork by Emile Gallé and Daum Frères, pieces of furniture by Louis Majorelle and Gallé, and the outstanding La Nature by Alfons Mucha.

11. Visit the Karlsburg Castle

The Karlsburg Castle located in the Durlach district of Karlsruhe documents and records the history of Baden in Germany since 1563. Only the Prinzessinnenbau or Princesses’ Wing is still intact and standing but even the rest of the building is still quite remarkable. Not only is it set in the suburbs, which lends it superb scenic beauty, it also sets the gold standards in the architecture of that era.

12. Stop by the Museum of Literature

The Museum of Literature on the Upper Rhine region of Karlsruhe upholds literary history dating back to the medieval age. Housed in what was once a 19th-century palace, is one of the largest libraries in Germany. Permanent exhibits aside, the museum houses over six thousand different temporary exhibitions in addition to the Scheffel Archives passed down by Joseph Victor von Scheffel. This is quite possibly one of the most remarkable literary collections in documented human history.

13. Take a Look at the Beautiful Pieces in the Städtische Galerie

The Städtische Galerie in Karlsruhe exemplifies and upholds the works of superb artists such as Marlene Dumas and Rosemarie Trockel. This Municipal Gallery is housed in the same building that houses the ZKM. The primary focus of the gallery is German art after 1945, but it also houses several older masterpieces. Many of the pieces held by the museum are privately loaned by wealthy patrons. A trip to this remarkable gallery is well worth the time and money.

14. Spend the Day at Verkehrsmuseum Karlsruhe

Any vehicle museum is an interesting place to be with family for the day. The kids especially love the way vintage cars look, not to mention the architecture of different kinds of vehicular engines. The Verkehrsmuseum Karlsruhe is one of the most beautiful places in Karlsruhe to spend a day with family viewing over two hundred years of road and rail transport ranging from bicycles to trains.

15. Visit the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

The Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe is an art museum located in Karlsruhe that was inaugurated in 1846. It acts as a bridge between the past, present, and future with regards to art. Any form of art is held in high regard and the outreach, restoration, and exhibition activities are based in pure academic pursuit. Some of the most remarkable pieces of art from different eras are housed right here and make for a great day. Sightseeing does not get any better than the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.

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Top Karlsruhe Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Karlsruhe. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Karlsruhe, Germany

Must see places in Karlsruhe ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Karlsruhe and point of interests to visit.

  1. Zoo Karlsruhe

    # 1 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 677 times in trip plans
    Zoo Karlsruhe

    Tags: Garden, Zoo, Play Ground, Picnic Spot

    Address: Ettlinger Strasse 6, 76137 Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    A one of it’s kind combination of Zoological city garden Karlsruhe zoo and park, is home to over 900 animals from 150 different species. Opened in 1865, Karlsruhe zoo is one of the oldest runnin...Read more

  2. Karlsruhe Palace

    # 2 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 425 times in trip plans
    Karlsruhe Palace

    Tags: Museum, Castle, Historical Site, Palace

    Address: Schloss Karlsruhe, Schlossbezirk 10, 76131 Karlsruhe, Innenstadt-West, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Karlsruhe palace, built in 1715 by Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, has served as the residence and seat of the government of the Baden dynasty for 200 hundred years. Since it came i...Read more

  3. Center For Art And Media Technology

    # 3 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 323 times in trip plans
    Center For Art And Media Technology

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Gallery, Educational Site, Entertainment

    Address: Lorenzstr. 19, D-76135 Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, founded in 1989, is a home for all forms of contemporary art. An unparalleled cultural institution where the visitors get an exciting chance for active intera...Read more

  4. Europabad

    # 4 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 439 times in trip plans
    Europabad

    Tags: Water Body, Waterfront, Water Park, Entertainment

    Address: Hermann-Veit-Str. 5, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany.

    Timings: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Europabad is considered as the most modern and exciting water park in the entire Karlsruhe region. This lively splash-and-play swimming pool serves a perfect hangout for the whole family, featuring a ...Read more

  5. Badisches Landesmuseum

    # 5 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 338 times in trip plans
    Badisches Landesmuseum

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum, Museum, History Museum

    Address: Schloßbezirk 10,, 76131 Karlsruhe - Downtown West, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Built in 1919, Badisches Landesmuseum is located inside the Karlsruhe Palace and exhibits one of the largest architectural, cultural and historical collections. The majestic art collections cover hist...Read more

  6. Karlsruhe Pyramid

    # 6 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 353 times in trip plans
    Karlsruhe Pyramid

    Tags: Landmark, Walking Area, Historical Site, Tourist Center

    Address: Marktplatz, 76133 Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

    Timings: 04:00 pm - 11:59 pm Details

    Established in the years 1823-1825 over the vault of the city’s founder, Margrave Charles III William (1679-1738), the Karlsruhe Pyramid is regarded as the city’s second emblem. The pyrami...Read more

  7. Durlach

    # 7 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 229 times in trip plans
    Durlach

    Tags: Historical Site, Architecture , Neighborhoods

    Address: Durlach, Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Durlach, first mentioned as a city in 1196, is a borough of the German city of Karlsruhe with a population of roughly 30,000. Durlach holds significant importance on the historical timeline of Germany...Read more

  8. Badisches Staatstheater

    # 8 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 205 times in trip plans
    Badisches Staatstheater

    Tags: Performance, Theatre, Opera House

    Address: Baumeisterstraße 11, 76137 Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 02:00 pm - 08:00 pm Details

    The Badisches Staatstheater, is a theatre and Opera house in Karlsruhe. This theatre is a Dreisparten house, comprising in three performance genres of music theatre, ballet and the studio stage. Attac...Read more

  9. State Art Gallery

    # 9 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 226 times in trip plans
    State Art Gallery

    Tags: Art Museum, Art Gallery, Architecture , Arts And Crafts

    Address: Hans-Thoma-Straße 2-6, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Opened in 1846, the state art gallery has maintained most of its original works of the collection since it’s year of inception. Opened with a motive to serve as an agent between the past, presen...Read more

  10. Schauburg Kino And Theater

    # 10 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 219 times in trip plans
    Schauburg Kino And Theater

    Tags: Garden, Performance, Theatre, Cinema

    Address: Marienstrasse, 16 , D 76137 Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    The Schauburg, opened in 1929, is a classic old school cinema where you can enjoy the films in their original version. Set in the premises of the former Apollo Vaudeville Theatre, which was Karlsruhe&...Read more

  11. Ettlinger Tor

    # 11 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 173 times in trip plans
    Ettlinger Tor

    Tags: Leisure, Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: Ettlinger-Tor-Platz 1, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    The Ettlinger Tor Karlsruhe was opened in 2005, owned by the ECE group in downtown, is considered to be the largest urban shopping center in southern Germany. Spread over a total of 33,000 square mete...Read more

  12. Therme Vierordtbad

    # 12 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 218 times in trip plans
    Therme Vierordtbad

    Tags: Water Body, Leisure, Spa

    Address: Ettlinger Straße 4, 76137, Karlsruhe, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Therme Vierordtbad was first opened in 1900. Built in the Art Nouveau style, this is considered as the best sauna in Karlsruhe. Located in the historic bathhouse, this indoor swimming pool offers larg...Read more

  13. Evangelische Christuskirche

    # 13 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 184 times in trip plans
    Evangelische Christuskirche

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: Riefstahlstrasse 2, 76133 Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 09:00 am - 12:00 pm Details

    Evangelische Christuskirche is a 19th century protestant church in Karlsruhe. The architects of this church won the order for its execution in an architectural competition. They further revised their ...Read more

  14. Pfarrkirche St. Stephan

    # 14 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 139 times in trip plans
    Pfarrkirche St. Stephan

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: Erbprinzenstrasse 14, 76133 Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 09:30 am - 12:00 pm Details

    Inaugurated in 1814, The Church of St. Stephan is the oldest Catholic Church in Karlsruhe. Grand duke Karl Friedrich had founded the place in Erbprinzenstraße for Catholics in Karlsruhe and dedi...Read more

  15. Zeitgeist-uhrenmuseum

    # 15 of 584 Things To Do in Karlsruhe | Added 172 times in trip plans
    Zeitgeist-uhrenmuseum

    Tags: Museum, Educational Site, Exhibition , Specialty Museum

    Address: Rittnerthof, Jean-Ritzert Street 1/3, D-76227 Karlsruhe-Durlach, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Zeitgeist-Uhrenmuseum is the world’s most unique clock museum which has a marvelous collection of public clocks on display. The public clocks collection has all types of watches such as huge tow...Read more

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  • Verfassungssäule

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Feuerwehrgerätehaus Rüppurr

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  • Kloster Maulbronn

    Klosterhof 5

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Pfirmann Ranch

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  • Waldmühle Dettenheim

    Grabener Straße 7

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  • Bezirksamtsturm

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  • Autor Udo M. Berg

    Kriegäcker 3

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  • Maier Ulrich

    Gartenstraße 4

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  • Mineral plus GmbH

    Holzhof 10

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  • Berg, Gerhard

    Am Eichholz 15

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  • Pflegeteam Dolphin Inh. Heike Fuhrmann

    Römerring 66

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  • Epplesee

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    Am Baggersee 4

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  • Baggersee Weingarten

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  • Hardtsee

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  • Badesee Rülzheim

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  • Baggersee Spöck

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  • Verkehrsmuseum Karlsruhe

    Werderstraße 63

    Museums
  • Badisches Landesmuseum

    Schloßplatz 1

    Museums Landmarks
  • Museum für Literatur am Oberrhein

    Karlstraße 10

    Museums
  • Museum in der Majolika

    Ahaweg 6

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  • Badischer Kunstverein

    Waldstraße 3

    Museums
  • Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe

    Erbprinzenstraße 13

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  • Freizeitpark Heidesee

    Heidesee 0

    Amusement Parks
  • Union Sportive

    Club House 1 rue Stade

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  • Fünf

    Kanalweg 52

    Restaurants Bars
  • Kaisergarten

    Kaiserallee 23

    Restaurants Bars
  • Leonardo Espressobar

    Zähringerstraße 96

    Bars
  • Stövchen

    Waldstraße 54

    Restaurants Bars
  • Allvitalis Cocktailbar

    Stephanienstraße 38-40

    Bars
  • Der KofferRaum

    Hirschstraße 17

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  • Saturn Automaten Betriebs- und Verwaltungs GmbH

    Amalienstraße 42

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Reitanlage Rosenhof

    Rosenhofweg 12

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casino Royal Spielcenter GmbH

    Amalienstraße 55

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Atlantik Casino GmbH

    Kaiserstraße 5

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
  • Spielcenter West

    Kaiserallee 71

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Spielhalle Las Vegas A.L.U.

    Passagehof 18

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  • Alb

    Natural Parks
  • Barfußpark Ötisheim

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  • Rheinufer

    Beaches
  • Sunshine Reggae Festival Plage de Lauterbourg

    chemin des Mouettes

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  • Stierhütte

    Hiking
  • Turnverein Obertsrot 1906

    Hiking
  • Hochseilgarten

    Hiking
  • Grafensprung

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  • TOPGAL a.s. - Schulranzen, Rucksäcke und Taschen

    Hartfeldstraße 20

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  • Naturfreundehaus Alm-Walzbachtal/Jöhlingen

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