The university city of Mannheim is known for its grid-like street network, once described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as "built equal and cheerful". And cheerfulness characterizes the entire character of the city.

By train to Mannheim: Plan arrival

The chessboard-like arrangement of the streets in the center, once conceived in this form for strategic considerations, is just one of the special features of this city of a good 300,000 inhabitants. If you stroll through Mannheim, you won't get bored in a hurry. In the park at the water tower, for example, with its water basins and sculptures from Greek mythology, the largest continuous Art Nouveau complex in Germany, you can spend some pleasant hours, especially on warm summer evenings when the fountains are lovingly illuminated. Then the cafés and restaurants under the arcades around the park are buzzing with an almost Mediterranean-like life.

The water tower itself, built from 1886, is considered a landmark of the city with a height of 60 meters and a capacity of 2 million liters. Just like the mighty palace from 1720, second largest baroque complex of its kind in Europe and largest in Germany - the associated museum bears witness to life at the electoral court. Top then for relaxing: the large Luisenpark with tropical flora and fauna in the plant show house.

Good connection by train: From Stuttgart, it takes one and a half hours by IC or ICE to get to Mannheim's main train station. From there, it's a good 5-minute walk to the water tower.

The special tip: Ride gondolettas across the Kutzerweiher pond in Luisenpark - the small boats with bright yellow roofs are guided by underwater ropes.

By the way, you can find tips on how to travel comfortably and inexpensively on long-distance and local trains with Deutsche Bahn here.

More articles from Baden-Württemberg

Cover photo: Y. Pieper /