The university town of Mannheim is a multicultural, vivid and creative city located in the south-west of Germany. It is known as square-city (Quadratstadt) because of the special way the streets are laid out — similar to Manhattan’s grid pattern. Mannheim’s creativity is reflected in both its past and present, for it is the birthplace of the bicycle, the automobile, the tractor and it is Germany’s pop music capital. With its 300.000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the third biggest city in Baden-Württemberg.
Things to see and do
The Water Tower — the city’s landmark
The water tower was built in 1889 by German architect Gustav Halmhuber, who was also involved in the construction of the Reichstag building in Berlin. The water tower arises at the highest place of Friedrichsplatz. With its ensemble of the tower, the garden, the water pools and the contiguous festival hall, Friedrichsplatz is ranked as one of the most beautiful art nouveau complexes in Germany.
The Baroque Palace Mannheim is the largest baroque palace complex in Germany. Today, the palace is the home of arguably one of Germany’s most beautiful university — the University of Mannheim. The building was completed in 1760 after fourty years of yonstruction, but was badly damaged during World War II. The reconstruction was completed in 2007. The palace museum located inside the marvellous building, provides insight into 18th century royal life.
The huge, 15.000-seat multifunctional SAP arena is the venue for numerous large-scale concerts, cultural events, shows as well as home to the city’s ice hockey champions Mannheimer Adler (Mannheim Eagles) and the handball Bundesliga team Rhein-Neckar-Löwen (Rhine Neckar Lions). If you are interested in ice hockey or handball games, you really should not miss the opportunity to visit the SAP arena with its special atmosphere.
Luisenpark and Telecommunications Tower
Luisenpark is the largest green area in Mannheim. It offers visitors a great outdoor space and Europe’s biggest Chinese garden, where everybody is welcome to have a cup of tea in the Chinese teahouse. Furthermore, one can join open-air-concerts at the lake stage or take a ride with one of the gondolas. The Telecommunications Tower stands next to the park and the Neckar banks. The viewing platform and the Skyline revolving restaurant offer a breathtaking view of Mannheim, the Rhine plain and even as far as the Odenwald and Pfälzerwald.
Mannheim Planetarium with its 280 seats and 20-metre high projection dome, offers young and old visitors alike a wonderful sky sight experience and fascinating shows. There is a huge variety of planetarium shows in English.
How to get here
The nearest airport is Frankfurt Airport and the train and bus connections between the two cities are very well-developped and quick.