Karlsruhe Palace

Karlsruhe is a city on the Rhine in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It is located in the north of the Black Forest, close to the French border. Karlsruhe is famous in Germany for both hosting two federal courts and being a major hub for science and technology. With 300,000 people, Karlsruhe is the largest city within 60 km. It is not usually visited by tourists from abroad, but is a relaxed and pleasant city to work and study in.

Currently the city centre is plagued by considerable construction sites for a tram subway ("Kombilösung") that is to be completed in 2017.


The city was founded in 1715 by Margrave Karl Wilhelm von Baden. The city was laid out on the drawing board. It consists of a central circle, containing the castle, and streets running towards the castle as radial "spokes". This pattern is still visible today. Due to the fan-like layout, Karlsruhe is known as the "fan city" (Fächerstadt).

The Rhine valley, where Karlsruhe is located, is the warmest part of Germany because it is only about 115 m above sea level and there are mountains in the east (Black Forest) and west (Vogesen). Therefore, Karlsruhe has more sunny days than many other parts of Germany.

There isn't a lot of tourist traffic to Karlsruhe. Tourists generally tend to gravitate towards the cities of Heidelberg (50 km to the north) and Freiburg (100 km to the south), with their well-preserved old towns. It's a shame though, as Karlsruhe's radial layout is one of the best early examples of New Urbanism, and is really a joy to explore. Maybe that's a benefit to travelers who do venture there as the number of visitors is low enough to be sort of a novelty for the locals.

Karlsruhe is home to the two highest federal courts of Germany, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal constitutional court) and the Bundesgerichtshof (Supreme federal court). Because of this and other administrative facilities, Karlsruhe has a reputation as a city of civil servants.

Karlsruhe has a large and renowned technical university (KIT) as well as several other colleges. The presence of the technical university has promoted the city somewhat in the world of Free and Open Source Software: Karlsruhe was the home of LinuxTag until 2005. Karlsruhe also hosts some of the major internet companies of Germany.

Get in

Maxau Road and Railway Bridges, spanning the Rhine to Karlsruhe

By plane

By train

The train station (Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof) is located south of the city centre, with roughly 5–10 minutes by tram to the central market square, and direct tram links to other parts of the city. Karlsruhe is well linked to other larger cities by ICE high-speed trains. The schedules for the inter-city connections can be found on the site of Deutsche Bahn (German railroads). There are also direct links to Paris and Marseille by French TGV high-speed trains.

By car

Karlsruhe has several exits from the A5 autobahn, approximately 130 km south of Frankfurt. The autobahn A8 joins the A5 just south of the city, connecting to Stuttgart 80 km east.

By bus

The bus station is located at the south entrance of the train station. You can buy tickets for a couple of international destinations inside the train station.

By bicycle

There are long-distance cycle routes connecting Karlsruhe with the surrounding cities, such as Heidelberg and Pforzheim. It is especially convenient travelling along the Upper Rhine Plain between the cities of Mainz and Basel.

Get around


St. Stephan's Catholic Church


Court Pharmacy (Hof-Apotheke), Kaiserstraße 201, the oldest pharmacy in Karlsruhe and an early building by the Art Nouveau architect Hermann Billing (1867-1946), a native of the city





What to eat (if you want to try something typical):

Where to eat:


"Leonardo's Expresso Bar" directly located in the Center of Karlsruhe in the Zaehringerstrasse. There you can enjoy original Italian Coffee, good cocktails and also a lot of wines. The bar is a smoker Bar with a separated room where you can smoke cigars. The Bar is also offering many cigars from around the world. The prices are okay. The personnel speak English. The Leonard, or also called Leo is one of the political Bars in Karlsruhe. High ranking Officials from the City, the Courts, the University and the Party are there often seen.


Most shops are located in the pedestrian zone in the Kaiserstrasse. At Ludwigsplatz, near Kaiserstrasse, there are various open-air cafes where the shopper can relax. Some of the more expensive boutiques and shoe shops are also located in this area. In the south of the Marktplatz, at the end of the pedestrian zone, is a big shopping mall called "Ettlinger Tor". Definitely an alternative to the Kaiserstrasse, especially when the weather is bad.


Stay safe

Karlsruhe is maybe one of the safest cities in Germany especially the centre of the town. There are a lot of policemen walking and driving around, mainly because of the important courts. Maybe some suburbs should be avoided at night (Oberreut, Neureut and Daxlanden (not really)), but otherwise, one will feel safe in this city.



Religious services

Overview over all Catholic churches in Karlsruhe here

Deutschsprachiger Muslimkreis (German-speaking Muslim circle), Kaiserpassage 10 (from central station 1400 m direction center).

Chabad of Karlsruhe Jewish Synagogue and Center that holds services on Friday nights (varying times), Saturday mornings 10 am as well as on other Jewish holidays.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 13, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.