Come to Karlsruhe and enjoy its museums, castle and zoo.

Karlsruhe is an ideal central stop on a European vacation. Located in the southwestern corner of Germany, this city appeals to visitors for its blend of modern and traditional qualities.

An intellectual city by nature, Karlsruhe houses Germany’s oldest technological university. It also recently adopted the SmarterCity Initiative, marking the metropolis as a leader in environmental efficiency and self-sustainability for urban areas.

Its science-driven personality is tempered by a thriving arts scene. Be sure to explore the Center for Art and Media, which holds both the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Media Museum, the world’s first completely interactive museum. Your visit will not be complete without checking out the Karlsruhe Pyramid, an Egyptian-style crypt that is the tomb site of Margrave Charles III William, the city’s founder.

Karlsruhe itself has an artistic layout, and is rumored to have provided the inspiration for Washington DC. Relatively new by German standards, the city was founded in 1715 and features a central palace with streets fanning outward in a circular shape. Despite its young age, the city holds an important place in German history. The country’s first Parliament was erected here. A memorial park honors the city’s Jewish population that was devastated during World War II.

Treat your palate to a variety of traditional and ethnic dishes, courtesy of the diverse offering of restaurants throughout the city. Karlsruhe also abounds with beer gardens and pubs. During the summer, both the Medieval Festival and Das Fest, a music fair, fill the streets with activity. The Botanical Gardens and Palace Gardens provide a stunning setting to enjoy the outdoor charm of this German city. If you want to mix rural exploration with your urban experience, the Palatinate Forest, Black Forest, and Vosges Mountains are close enough for a day trip.

Less than half an hour from the French border, Karlsruhe is also equidistant between Luxembourg and Zurich. This makes it an ideal central point to make your home base while exploring Europe’s distinctive cities. The Baden Airpark is twenty-five miles outside the Karlsruhe and has flights to and from the continent’s major destinations. Regular buses, trains and well-maintained highways make Karlsruhe easily accessible by all modes of transportation.

Known for

Shopping, Skyscrapers and Museums

Explore map

Where to stay in Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe City Centre
Karlsruhe which includes art and interior views

Karlsruhe City Centre

Known for Museums, Castles, Entertainment

4.5/5(8 reviews)

Well-liked for its museums and gardens, Karlsruhe City Centre is worth a visit. Check out the variety of things to see and do like Messe Karlsruhe and Marketplace Square, and jump on the metro at Karlsruhe Bahnhofsvorplatz Station to get around the city.

Innenstadt-West
Karlsruhe which includes art and interior views

Innenstadt-West

Known for Museums, Castles, Entertainment

You'll enjoy the museums and gardens in Innenstadt-West. You might want to make time for a stop at Karlsruhe Palace or Prince Max Palace.

Top hotels in Karlsruhe

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Greif Karlsruhe
Hotel Greif Karlsruhe
Ebertstr. 17, Karlsruhe, BW
£37
per night
27 Oct-28 Oct

Situated in Karlsruhe, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Karlsruhe Zoo and Messe Karlsruhe. Europahalle and Federal Court of Justice are also within 1 mile ...

3.1/5 (491 reviews)
elevator cage motor block

"First night I slept near the elevator Motor block on 7th floor, which kept me awake until 00h30 and woke me up at 6am. After complaining, they moved me to another room on the second night which was much better. On first night also there was no soap in the communal showers."…"

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2019

Hotel Greif Karlsruhe
Novotel Karlsruhe City
Novotel Karlsruhe City
4.5 out of 5
Festplatz 2, Karlsruhe, BW
£69
per night
9 Nov-10 Nov

Located in Karlsruhe City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Karlsruhe Theater (Badisches Staatstheater) and Messe Karlsruhe. Marketplace Square ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (756 reviews)

"Hotel staff was really helpful. Have enjoyed my stay at the hotel"…"

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2019

Novotel Karlsruhe City
Leonardo Hotel Karlsruhe
Leonardo Hotel Karlsruhe
3.5 out of 5
Ettlinger Strasse 23, Karlsruhe, BW
£50
per night
31 Oct-1 Nov

Located in Karlsruhe City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Karlsruhe Theater (Badisches Staatstheater) and Messe Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe Zoo and Marketplace ...

3.9/5Very Good! (530 reviews)
Would recommend

"It was a nice weekend trip. Hotel was comfortable. staff was very friendly."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jul 2019

Leonardo Hotel Karlsruhe

Top activities in Karlsruhe

Baden-Baden & Black Forest Day Trip from Frankfurt
Image for Baden-Baden & Black Forest Day Trip from Frankfurt

Baden-Baden & Black Forest Day Trip from Frankfurt

£179

Baden-Baden is so nice you have to name it twice. Baden-Baden is one of Europe's most stylish and exclusive spas. The hot springs have been known since 2000 years, and the city has an international reputation for healthcare.

Explore Baden Baden &Savor Black Forest Cake from Strasbourg
Image for Explore Baden Baden &Savor Black Forest Cake from Strasbourg

Explore Baden Baden &Savor Black Forest Cake from Strasbourg

£65

Depart for the spa town of Baden Baden nestled at the foot of the Black Forest. The city has attracted royalty, the rich and celebrities over the centuries. Follow your guide and discover the numerous architectural splendors and magnificent villas that are lined along the Lichtentaler Allee.

Panoramic Baden-Baden Walking Tour (2h with guide)
Image for Panoramic Baden-Baden Walking Tour (2h with guide)

Panoramic Baden-Baden Walking Tour (2h with guide)

£31

During this highlights walking tour you will visit the old town, the spa quarter, parks and beautiful gardens all while learning about the city’s history and the secret of the hot springs' healing power. What you will see: Festspielhaus & Casino Kurh

Merkur Mountain Tour & Railway ride (4h with guide)
Image for Merkur Mountain Tour & Railway ride (4h with guide)

Merkur Mountain Tour & Railway ride (4h with guide)

£36

The fascinating Merkur mountain is 668m high and can be reached by the steepest and longest funicular railways of Europe. During the 5 minute ride with an incline between 23 and 54 percent, you will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the Merkur mountain.

Private Baden-Baden Casino Tour (40min with guide)
Image for Private Baden-Baden Casino Tour (40min with guide)

Private Baden-Baden Casino Tour (40min with guide)

£46

Baden-Baden’s Casino is located in the city Kurhaus and could be straight out of a James Bond movie. With a history going back over 250 years, the Kurhaus looks like a French Royal palace – walking through the colonnades and the state room, you will notice the feeling of history.

Day Tour with Lake, Palace and Wine (8h, chauffeur, guide)
Image for Day Tour with Lake, Palace and Wine (8h, chauffeur, guide)

Day Tour with Lake, Palace and Wine (8h, chauffeur, guide)

£299

Mummelsee, a beautiful lake in the heart of the Black Forest, is mesmerizes you with unique insights of untouched nature. While there, you can admire a beautiful view and learn something about the lake’s history.