You might have seen it on the map en route to cities like Stuttgart, Strasbourg or even Zurich. You might have even made a quick stopover there on a long drive. But what do you really know about the city of Karlsruhe?
5 reasons for a city trip to Karlsruhe.
We admit: not much. So when we were invited by Karlsruhe Tourismus to discover Karlsruhe, we said yes. And we found five great reasons to consider Karlsruhe for your next city trip, Instagrambloggers style.
(1) It’s the low-profile art & culture hotspot that nobody knows about… yet
Every city has a unique identity. Karlsruhe’s is intimately connected with art and culture. A stopover seems way too short to get acquainted with the city’s hidden art and culture gems: its outstanding museums.
Start with a visit to the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (State Art Gallery), one of the oldest art museums and one of the biggest private art collections to be made into a public museum in Germany. The Badisches Landesmuseum (State Museum) is located in the city palace, Schloss Karlsruhe (in the above photo). Then there’s the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde (the State Museum of Natural History), also in the city center.
For lovers of modern art, there’s the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) and Städtische Galerie (City Gallery), which were our favorite visits. More on that up next…
Good to know: The Karlsruhe Card includes access to Karlsruhe’s major museums and more, starting from €16,50.
(2) ZKM: the world’s first interactive media museum that’s totally worth going out of your way for
How did we not know that a museum like the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) existed? Built in a former ammunition factory, the massive ZKM is the world’s first museum of media. Media can be practically anything. But the ZKM specializes in media that were once considered futuristic at some point in history.
The ZKM collection includes some of the very first attempts at interactive and computer-generated art, plus cutting-edge artworks that explore data and algorithms. Much of the collection demands the participation of the museum-goer making it interactive, fun, and so very Instagrammable. You could spend hours here!
The ZKM’s neighbors are the Karlsruhe University for Art and Design and the City Gallery, which houses installations and large works by artists like Anish Kapoor, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, and more. Now you know!
Good to know: Exhibits at the ZKM are free from 2pm on Fridays (but you already have your Karlsruhe Card anyway, right? Right.)
3) Fun for everyone: a castle, botanical garden, and zoo
If you’re traveling with the whole family, you’re in luck: Karlsruhe has something to please all ages. And all types of bloggers and Instagrammers too!
#Facadelovers will love the yellow prettiness of the city castle, Schloss Karlsruhe. For #Archilovers: if you go up to the tower of Schloss Karlsruhe, you’ll find a spiral staircase for your #theworldneedsmorespiralstaircases and #treppenhausfreitag posts. For #urbanjunglebloggers, there’s the Botanic Garden, which is 10 football fields large (it doesn’t look it at first glance, but it’s huge!). And all #Momswithcameras should definitely take the minis to the Zoologischer Stadtgarten for a little boat ride among the animals.
Good to know: Led by a gossipy washerwoman in old-era costume, Waschweib Mimi combines the city castle and botanic garden in an interactive walking tour with fun roleplays and great storytelling.
(4) Beautiful mountain views without leaving the city
Living in flat-as-a-pancake Holland, we miss the magic moments and beautiful views that only mountains can give. Karlsruhe’s very own “Beverly Hills” is called Turmberg, which is accessible with a short drive or cable car ride. The top of Turmberg offers the best city views and wasn’t too crowded during our visit.
Good to know: Have sunset drinks or dinner with a view at the excellent restaurant Anders auf dem Turmberg. Here you can order local specialities from the region, including wine from the vineyards of Turmberg, just a few meters below your dinner table.
(5) Close to nature: an easy gateway to the Northern Black Forest
If you feel like escaping the city and being close to nature, Germany’s famous Black Forest is a perfect day trip from Karlsruhe.
Take it as slow or as active as you want. Do you prefer to relax in spa parks and picturesque villages with lots of stops for cake and coffee? Or an active adventure with hiking, mountain biking, treetop walking, and crossing a suspension bridge 60 meters above the forest floor? The Nordlicher Schwarzwald (Northern Black Forest) has it all within an hour’s drive from Karlsruhe.
Good to know: we’re working on a blog with a list of Instagrammable spots in the northern Black Forest. Stay tuned!
Vielen dank Karlsruhe Tourismus, which covered our travel, accommodation, and meal expenses for this stay. Also to Baltus Communications for the invitation!