There are a lot of tourist attractions in Karlsruhe that will attract you the city and make your holiday a delightful one. The city owns a dazzling nightlife scene, interesting museums and fun festivals that make up its list of things to do in Karlsruhe.
Some of the main attractions of Karlsruhe are its splendid Karlsruhe Palace, its beautiful botanical gardens, Federal courts of Justice, St. Stephan Parish Church, Evangelical Church and many others.
There are many squares where you can spend your leisure time such as Square of Fundamental Rights, Market Square (Marktplatz), the Pyramid and The Durlach District. You can also admire the Turmberg Castle Ruins as it forms the nortwesternmost peak of the Black Forest at the transition between the low maintain range and the hilly landscape of the Kraichgau region.Kaiserplatz is another attraction to look forward to. This place got its name from the monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback set in the middle of the square. The good part about this city is that all of its attractions can be easily covered on foot, making it a perfect destination to admire the culture traditions of Germany.
Can't wait to discover Karlsruhe by yourself? Create a Karlsruhe itinerary today!
What to Do in Karlsruhe
Enjoy 29 best Karlsruhe attractions and points of interest to choose from!
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 running zoos in Germany and is one of the major attractions of Karlsruhe City. Located right in the heart of the fan shaped city, this place offers something for people of all the ages, to experience and interact with nature and learn about a variety of animal species from all continents. One can enjoy underwater viewing and fascinating insights at the coastline provided by the naturally designed enclosures. Spread over 22 acres, it is the largest inner city park, complemented by varied offer gastronomy and children’s playground. Highlights and must sees include:
Japan garden in bloom – a special experience through the Japanese themed garden city
#2 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 554 times in trip plans
Schloss Karlsruhe, Schlossbezirk 10, 76131 Karlsruhe, Innenstadt-West, Germany
10:00 am - 05:00 pm
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 into existence this palace has witnessed numerous renovations as it stands at the hub of 32 avenues radiating outwards symmetrically to form Karlsruhe's iconic layout, the so-called "Fächer", or fan. This Palace turned museum, is one of the most active cultural history museums in Germany and has well-maintained beautiful gardens spreading over a large area in the backyard. Sitting on the banks besides the immaculate gardens during early spring or late autumn will fill you with a sense of peace and serenity. Highlights and must sees include:
Ancient jewellery, crockery and statues collection
Climbing the stairs to the top of the tower to catch the stunning view of the city
#3 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 649 times in trip plans
Lorenzstr. 19, D-76135 Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
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 interaction and discussion in the fields ranging from fine arts to media technology. Located in an old munitions factory, it hosts two museums, three research institutes, one media center, one laboratory and a number of interactive event spaces under one roof. Unlike most museums where one can only look and admire, this place opens up great possibilities of interaction with the exhibits. Highlights and must sees include:
Media Library - consists of extensive video collection, audio collection and library.
ZKM Game Play - classic video games section on the top floor.
Museum of Contemporary art
Media Theater, Lecture Hall and Cube, for interactive event spaces.
#4 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 1062 times in trip plans
Hermann-Veit-Str. 5, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany.
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
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 waterfall, a lazy river and one of the southern Germany’s longest water slide (170 m), there’s something special for everyone. The place has dedicated 1600 sq m kid’s pool, while adults can chill out in the relaxation area. Besides all the water fun, Europabad has a wide range of spa facilities to offer. Highlights and must sees include:
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 history from ancient civilizations to modern history, including WWII. The museum has been preserved for the most part, after the castle of Karlsruhe being destroyed during WWII. The museum’s collections are presented across four floors, equipped with fascinating exhibits of the Baden-Württemberg area. A walk through the beautiful gardens behind the main building is the perfect thing to do after leaving the superb interior designed walls of the museum.
Highlights and must sees include:
Ancient culture of the Mediterranean I and II: on the ground floor.
Cabinet of curiosities, Wunderkammer: on the First floor.
Weapons, armour and riding from the Turkish Wars: on the First floor.
Permamnent Exhibition of history of Baden : on the second floor.
The museum has a well equipped reference library for the exhibition themes.
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 pyramid’s architecture is an example of the ancient Egyptian revival architecture, which stands unaffected by the extensive bombings during the WWII. It is believed that ‘Karl’, the founder of Karlsruhe (meaning Karl’s rest), rests underneath this pyramid for eternity. Give this place a visit during the night hours to witness a bit of Egyptian beauty in the heart of Germany.
#7 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 786 times in trip plans
Kaiserstraße, 76133 Karlsruhe–Downtown Center, Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 08:00 pm
The Kaiserstraße is the main shopping street in the city located in the city center. Spread over the long road connecting the former city gates Durlacher Tor and Muhlburger Tor, is this Baden’s longest shopping street, where you can have a memorable shopping experience. On a stroll through this shopper’s paradise you’ll find numerous outlets selling almost everything, ranging from classic paintings on modern art to Italian interior decoration accessories, fine fabrics to precious leather and expressive Jewelry. Besides the interesting pedestrian shops there are numerous renowned fashion outlets and beautiful traditional stores, cafes, restaurants, and Boutiques. Highlights and must sees include:
#8 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 338 times in trip plans
Durlach, 76227 Karlsruhe – Durlach, Germany.
07:00 am - 08:00 pm
Turmberg, standing 256 meters high, is a large hill on at Durlach on the outskirts of Karlsruhe and is the highest point of the city. The Turmberg railway, the oldest funicular railway still operating in Germany, has been ascending the hill since 1888. Climbing the 528 steps of the ‘Hexenstäffele’, one can reach the top of the hill directly, to have the mesmerizing view across the Rhine plain over the rooftops of Durlach and Karlsruhe and understand its size. Catch the best view from the 28m high tower at Turmberg Remains of Castrum Gretzingen.
#9 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 429 times in trip plans
Durlach, Karlsruhe, Germany
12:01 am - 12:00 am
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. Emperor Fredrick II on the margrave Hermann V of Zähringen as an allodial possession bestowed it. It has served as a seat of the Liberal party of the Baden parliament in 1846 and witnessed the encounter between Prussians and the insurgents in 1849. Once a home to several traditional industries producing sewing machines, beer, tobacco and chemicals is now a popular tourist destination for people travelling to Karlsruhe. Durlach is gifted with astounding natural beauty and impressive architecture; the oldest running funicular railway network is a delight to experience and is highly recommended. Highlights and must sees include:
#10 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 474 times in trip plans
Baumeisterstraße 11, 76137 Karlsruhe, Germany
02:00 pm - 08:00 pm
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. Attached to the Staatstheater are the Badische Staatskapelle (Orchestra) and the Badische Staatsopernchor (opera chorus). The architure of this theatre tells the tale of its numerous resurrection after facing several crises since its existence. Built in 1715, the theatre hall was magnificent artwork of canvas and wood. A disastrous fire broke out in the year 1847 in a well-attended performance, burning down almost all the major parts of the theatre to the ground. The present theater has existed in its present form since 1975, at Ettlinger Tor and serves as one of the major attractions for theatre and music lovers in Karlsruhe. Highlights and must sees include:
#11 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 354 times in trip plans
Hans-Thoma-Straße 2-6, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
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, present and future, it not only preserves the legends of several centuries but also aims at modern historic collection and it’s perpetuation and expansion. The state gallery is spread over three historical buildings besides the Botanical garden. The main building and the palace Orangerie exhibit diverse art paintings from different periods through the impressionist/Expressionist period to the modern art abstract. The State gallery besides being home to one of the greatest German art collection, boasts of impressive architecture as well and has a dedicated section for art collections for adolescents and children. Highlights and must sees include:
The Copperplate cabinet
The Copperplate Cabinet is one of the oldest graphical art collections in Europe, and contains more than 90,000 prints. The State art gallery has one of the largest public museum libraries of southern Germany which has an impressive collection of over 1,50,000 volumes.
#12 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 520 times in trip plans
Marienstrasse, 16 , D 76137 Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 11:59 pm
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’s first true metropolitan area cinema with 600 seats, stands this great cinema with retro charm. After near total destruction in the WWII, the cinema was reconstructed on the same site in 1949. After several modifications and reconstructions the Schauburg today has three halls with 350, 150 and 61 seats. Located in a beautiful surrounding, it has a surprising décor with red velvet curtains and traditional seats. Addition of complimentary pretzel and champagne on weekly sneak adds to the wonderful experience of watching a movie here. This place has a long running tradition of showing thesis and always adds something extra to the normal cinema experience. Sometimes the director or members of main cast are present on the stage after the film to take questions from the audience and share their stories about the cinema. The staircase of the cinema with a curving, opposing stairs from the 1950s is a listed building. Highlights and must sees include:
Cinerama (the great room with a curved 17 X 7 meter screen and Todd-AO technique)
#13 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 241 times in trip plans
Adenauerring 17, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
Wildparkstadion, home ground of the local football club Karlsruher SC, is a football stadium located near Karlsruhe palace. There have been several football pitches at this location since 1922 but the stadium we see today was built in 1955 and has undergone several major renovations since. The stadium now promises of modern and comfortable facilities for the sport and is considered architecturally and functionally above the average standards of the Bundesliga. Wildparkstadion has hosted six international games till date, all of them won by Germany. This place derives its name from the Wildpark, a former deer park, which it was a part of. Spread over 7.5 ha, this stadium has a capacity of about 40,000 with a seating capacity of 14,890 and 363 box seats. Highlights and must sees include:
With it’s origin dating back to the mid 18th century, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe has been considered as one of the greatest scientific research museums in Germany. The Museum organizes special themed exhibitions at regular intervals, while the permanent exhibition shows continue to attract visitors in large numbers every year. This place witnessed a heavy restoration post WWII, when the museum building and its major departments were destroyed due to heavy bombing. The museum has a prehistoric collection of live animals stuffed with real fossils, and provides a representative overview of the nature and the animal kingdom. Highlights and must sees include:
The Saurierer museum
Andrias – The giant salamander fossil from Öhningen
#15 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 430 times in trip plans
Ettlinger-Tor-Platz 1, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 08:00 pm
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 meters of retail space stands this true shopper’s paradise. It has 130 stores located on either side of a three-Storey - open, the extension of the pedestrian shopping street adds to your shopping experience. The place offers a variety of fashion, beauty, literature and entertainment electronics. Hence here you’ll find almost everything that your heart desires. This architecturally unique shopping center is characterized by light, transparency and elegance, and provides a tint of cosmopolitan glare to the city of Karlsruhe.
#16 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 327 times in trip plans
Ettlinger Straße 4, 76137, Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
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 large sauna, physiotherapy and massage services. Besides the 95°, 90°, 85°, steam bath sauna inside, it also has 3 outdoor saunas. Every 30 minutes someone from the staff comes and sprinkles the hot stones with aroma-infused water. There is a dedicated relaxing area where you can find recliners and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the courtyards, which has the stone balance of Eckard Sültemeyer. This reasonably priced place serves a perfect spot to spend some wonderful hours of rest and tranquility in the middle of the city. Highlights and must sees include:
#17 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 524 times in trip plans
Atrium 10, Lorenz Straße 27, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
The Stadtische Galerie Karlsruhe is located in the southernmost part of ten atriums of the large hall building, which is also home to the very famous Center for art and Media Karlsruhe. In 1895, for the first time an amount of 7,000 marks was set in the city budget for the art collection’s inventory and expansion. The art collection at Stadtische Galerie is focused on the post WWII German Art, besides that it also exhibits the works of the graduates and teachers of The State academy of fine arts in Karlsruhe. The Gallery has a very prestigeous collection of masterpieces of printmaking from some of the most exceptional German, French, Italian and Dutch artists from the 15th-18th century. This surprisingly vibrant collection makes Städtische Galerie a museum fort he whole family to wander through and enjoy discussing it. Highlights and must sees include:
Mr. and Mrs. Ute collection
Eberhard Garnatz collection
Babylon – dithyrambic, 1975 by Markus Lupertz
Special exhibitions organized at regular intervals
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 competition design to set the final layout of the church. The design of the church is quite modern and distinct as compared to the other churches in vicinity. This big pillared structure does not quite matche the Teutonic style of churches and has a pretty basic interior unlike the other decorated churches of Germany, although it does not reduce the interest of it’s highly unusual design. The majority of the church was destroyed in WWII air strikes and has been rebuilt using the old architectural plans and pictures. Highlights and must sees include:
#19 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 282 times in trip plans
Liststraße 24, 76185, Karlsruhe, Germany
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Laserbase Karlsruhe is a recreational sports complex for people of all ages. The Laser games played at this popular venue are completely safe and are played under efficient supervision of qualified staff and special protective clothing to avoid injuries. This place serves a perfect blend of thrill and excitement with the 20-minute matches testing teamwork, attitude, accuracy and tactics of each player. On this 220-m² large futuristic game, you can play with 12 friends simultaneously. This is one of the major reasons of Laserbase becoming one of the favorite destinations of large groups of friends and colleagues. The staff conducts a briefing for each player before the start of this spontaneous action-packed adventure.
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 dedicated the Church to the princess Stephanie, an adopted daughter of Napoleon, naming the church after St. Stephen. This classical sacred building’s architecture is dominated by unplastered façade which being Weinbrenner’s major works is considered to be the most important neoclassical domed churches of southwest Germany. Inside the tower there is a church bell with Christmas motif that was saved in WWII after the air raids ended up destroying the church buildings partly. Since then the Church of St. Stephen has undergone several restorations and reconstructions. Highlights and must see includes 'The Organ'.
#21 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 240 times in trip plans
Rittnerthof, Jean-Ritzert Street 1/3, D-76227 Karlsruhe-Durlach, Germany
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 tower clocks, railway station clocks and various other special pieces generally used by people in community. A walk through the marvels of mechanics and precision is sure to take you back to the times when the first ever-ticking timepieces were engineered into existence. Besides organizing exhibitions, this one of its kind museum also takes orders for repair and maintenance of the existing tower clocks from all over Europe. The area around the museum boasts of a wonderful landscape as the rose garden and several other floral and herbal gardens are spread around the museum compound. Several cultural events, seminars, herbs courses, art exhibition and yoga evenings are also organized here throughout the year. Highlights and must see includes Medieval Waaguhr.
This is a cultural institution that has been located in this town since the 19th century. This center was founded to expand the media landscape. This center houses all forms of synchronous arts and equipment’s related to history. This center is also home to three research institutions and two museums. This place is very organized and well preserved.
‘Retro games’ is a permanent exhibition - arcade museum which has ready to play classic arcade game machines, video game consoles and Pinball.
Founded in 2002 in Karlsruhe, this place is a part of the Retro gaming movement and is considered to be German’s first and only registered association for the preservation and maintenance of the classic video game culture. The Retro Games exhibition currently has over 50 original video slot machines, various pinballs and a cross section of 30 years of video game history. Highlights and must see include:
Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe is a manufacturer of various kinds of ceramics in Karlsruhe. It is the only ceramic factory in Germany which survived all the crisis of the last century including WWI and still continues to produce some of the best pieces of ceramics. Renowned for its majolica, it produces ornamental ceramics of all kinds. For 100 years the Karlsruher majolica has been a symbol of successful fusion of craft tradition and innovation in art. Whether art ceramic statuettes, saucers, church roofs, vases, bowls or plates, the ceramic pieces of Majolika, manufaktur Karlsruhe has always enjoyed their creative expressiveness. One can trace the artistic transformation through expressionism. Highlights and must sees include:
#25 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 24 times in trip plans
Kaiserstraße 21, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
09:00 pm - 11:59 pm
Carambolage is a popular cozy music club located in the Kaiserstrasse old town Karlsruhe which calls itself ‘The living room of Karlsruhe’. The club is divided into a café, bar and dance area and a five table billiards room. It has a pretty diverse music culture, ranging from classics and rock and roll, pop, punk, indie, alternative to trip-hop. The front area invites you to cozy gatherings in the back there is a big smoking room with pool tables and table football. The decoration of the club is subject to constant change every week keeping the essence of this vibrant club intact. The club has a policy of entrance to all. Everyone is allowed here no matter what clothes you are wearing or how old are you, it’s a place which celebrates freedom. Highly crowded on Sundays as almost the entire Karlsruhe party groups pays visit, the audience here is mainly of students and regulars, as it is located near the KIT. Highlights and must see include:
#26 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 120 times in trip plans
Zähringerstraße 10, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
Z10 is a student center working on the idea of ‘By the students – For the students’. This hangout place is organized by volunteer students and is an important location in the cultural scene in Karlsruhe. The University’s theatre groups conduct events and Plays. It hosts annual summer festival, Cocktail evenings and various other university festivals. Besides that it offers a lot of courses and workshops in various fields such as cooking, photography, arts and crafts, building birdhouses, picture developing and tiffany technique. Z10 offers cheapest beer/long drinks in town though you are expected to clear your tables before leaving as there are no waiters and volunteering students run the bar. Highlights and must sees include:
Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe is an opera house and a theater. This building was constructed in the 18th century and hosts concerts and events. The architecture is amazing with convenient seating arrangements. The opera house has a large stage with modern technical equipment. Acoustically this museum is perfect. The museum, with its wide range of programs is one of the most popular opera halls in the country. The theater is easily accessible.
#28 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 264 times in trip plans
Karlstraße 4, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
03:00 pm - 11:59 pm
Scruffy’s is an Irish pub opened in 1999 and named after its owner, the Irish singer and songwriter Scruffy. This nice little authentic Irish pub has a cult status in Karlsruhe. It has gorgeous dark wood all around, from barstools to ceiling beams, rustic wooden tables and benches, everything around adds to the lovely cozy atmosphere of the pub. You can enjoy an Irish beer, Cider or whiskey here; there are British beers on tap and English speaking bartenders as well. The service provided at Scruff’s is ‘bar order only’, so you get to buy rounds at the bar. Performances from various local artists and bands are often organized here, which sets up a fun music night for the enthusiasts. Highlights and must sees include:
The Krusty Moors, Irish folk rockers perform every Tuesday
#29 of 29 Things to do in Karlsruhe | Added 264 times in trip plans
Stephanie 38-40, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
The Badische Brauhaus, a German restaurant and bar is spread over four levels of the Hotel Kübler. This place serves freshly brewed beer from the brewery and top notch German Alsatian cuisine. It has a large bar area and a number of smaller cozy rooms to fit in people in large numbers. Badisch Brauhaus has an Event level for large family or corporate events and the Vaulted Cellar for rustic medieval banquet. It features a slide right at the entrance using which one can get in the vaulted cellar. Traditional food is served in the Boulevard and you enjoy some of the best cocktails in Allvitalis cocktail bar. Highlights and must sees include: