How to enjoy your time in Karlsruhe

Outdoor Activities


The Castle Gardens. The landscape park north of Karlsruhe Palace in the center of Karlsruhe and is also called 'Schlo' among the students. Just a few minutes away from the Meteorological Institute, it serves as a local holiday spot and is regularly used for events like city anniversaries, opera performances and the annual beer festival. Enjoy a day in summer with fellow students in the Castle Gardens, have some chilled drinks, have a picnic, play volleyball or try to walk on a slackline. Make sure to take a ride with the historical 'Schlossgartenbahn', a small train on a steam locomotive. Even in winter, the Castle Gardens offer you a place to walk along the frozen river and enjoy the wintery scenery.

Lakes. Several artificial lakes around Karlsruhe are accessible by public transport or bicycle within half an hour from the city. Enjoy the afternoon in summer at a lake, cool down and go swimming in the lake, make a BBQ and watch the sunset with some friends while sitting on sands. At quite a few lakes you can even go for a surf! Students often go to the "Epplesee" near Forchheim, to the "Streitköpflesee" near Linkenheim-Hochstetten and the Baggersee near Weingarten.    

Karlsruhe Zoo. As one of the oldest zoos in Germany, the Karlsruhe Zoo is located north of Karlsruhe Central Station in the middle of the city. As a student you can watch more than 4.400 animals and 250 species for 9 Euro per visit. Make sure to go to the festival of lights in August where you can exerience a romantic scenery in the zoo with an uncountable number of tea lights.

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Arts & Theaters

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Located in a histroical industrial building in Karlsruhe, the ZKM is a cultural institution that organizes special exhibitions and thematic events, carries out research projects, produces works in the field of new media and offers public as well as individualized communications and educational programs. Every Friday, you can enter the ZKM from 2pm for free!

Badisches Staatstheater. The theater and opera house in Karlsruhe includes opera, ballet, concert, drama as well as the divisions Young State Theater and Volkstheater. Make sure to watch the program, as upon presentation of the student ID, students receive about 50% reduction on pre-sale on almost all performances.

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Badisches Landesmuseum. Located in Karlsruhe Palace in the Castle Gardens, the Karlsuhe Palace is home to the largest cultural-historical museum in Baden. It offers temporary and long-term exhibitions and a breathtaking view from its palace tower of the fan-shaped city. Make sure to visit the museum on Fridays between 2pm and 6m, as you will have free admission during that time (special exhibits: 3 Euro for students).

Zoological Gardens Karlsruhe. One of the oldest zoo in Germany in the heart of the city center. It comprises the municipal gardens and the zoo itself. Watch sea lions, penguins, elephants and many more animals on a sunny day and make sure to get a discount at the entrance with your student ID card.

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Concerts and Festivals

DAS FEST. With its 250,000 visitors every year, DAS FEST is one of the biggest open air events in Germany. Since 1985, it takes place on the last weekend before the summer vacation in Baden-Wurttemberg at the 'Günther-Kloz-Anlage' in Karlsruhe. Renowned artists like Rea Garvey, PUR, Sunrise Avenue, Gentleman and many more have attended over the years. The tickets are 10 Euro per day and sold out very quickly, so make sure you catch one of them at the christmas market in Karlsruhe, as this is your first opportunity to buy them!

Happiness. Every year, 10,000 fans are expected at the happiness festival where indie, pop, hip hop and electro music meet. In the last years, artists like Casper, Deichkind, K.I.Z. and AnnenMayKantereit have attended. The festival is located in Straubenhardt near Karlsruhe and takes place every year in july.

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Postgalerie & Kaiserstraße. The postgalerie is a shopping center located in the heart of Karlsruhe where you can shop groceries, clothes, books and much more. Following the Kaiserstraße to the east, you can enjoy the pedestrian zone and go shopping in the stores and shops close by.

Ettlinger Tor. One of the largest inner-city shopping centers in southern Germany is the Ettlinger Tor. On 33,000 square meters, you can find nearly everything in the 130 shops on the three storeys.

Weekly Markets. If you're interested in regional food and clothes, make sure to visit the weekly markets in Karlsruhe. One of the most beatiful markets is the one at th Gutenbergplatz. In summer, there is a night market on wednesdays at the Kronenplatz.  

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Drinks & Food:

Oxford. If you're looking for cheap beers and burgers near the campus, the legendary 'Oxford Pub' is your first address. Just a 5 mins walk away from the physics building, you can enjoy different beers at a place, where all students go after uni. 

Badisch Brauhaus. Are you looking for traditional regional dishes? Grab some tradionional dishes like Wurstsalat, Sauerbraten and Schnitzel mit Spätzle at the Badisch Brauhaus and enjoy your time at the brewery.

Multi Kulti. This place might not be that famous as other ones in Karlsruhe, but if you like cocktails, you should try the 'Captain Chaos'-cocktail at the Multi Kulti near the Castle of Karlsruhe. A hint: Order your drinks in the happy-hour!

Santos Cocktailbar. If you want to have drinks in a more high-society style in Karlsruhe, go to Santos Cocktailbar. This bar belongs to a hotel, but is accessible for all. Go there on wednesday or friday to get 50% discount to all cocktails in the happy hour.

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ZKM Filmpalast. The Filmpalast at the ZKM is one of the top ten multiplex cinemas in Germany. It has several large cinema rooms, some restaurants in the building and as a highlight a cinema with IMAX technology. 

Schauburg. This old school movie theater is famous for its program as current and retro movies are shown in original language. Recommendation: Go to the sneak preview (surprise movie befor federal launch in English) on wednesday at 9pm for just 5 Euro incl. a glass of Prosecco and a german Prezel.

Open-Air Cinema. From July to September, the Schauburg hosts open-air cinema nights at the Gottesauer Castle. Bring a picnic blanket and some pillows, grab some drinks and food at the food trucks nearby and enjoy a movie on a warm summer night. 

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There is a lot to discover in Karlsruhe...

Outdoor Activities:



The Castle Gardens

Copyright: Stadt Karlsruhe

Zoologischer Stadtgarten


Arts & Theaters:



Copyright: Stadt Karlsruhe

Copyright: Stadt Karlsruhe

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

For information about special offers for students like reduced last-minute tickets or the learning room concept TheaBib, please check the website: (only available in german language)

Copyright: Jochen Klenk



Concerts and Festivals:

Das Fest






Copyright: Hapiness Festival


Einkaufszentrum Ettlinger Tor

Copyright: Stadt Karlsruhe


Copyright: Stadt Karlsruhe, MMG
Weekly Markets