When visiting this part of Germany, travellers head to world famous Heidelberg to see the Heidelberg castle and the well preserved historical centre of the city. I would like to draw your attention to Mannheim, located less than 20 km away from Heidelberg. Let me offer you my list of 5 must-see attractions of the city. There are several good reasons to visit Mannheim. First of all, it’s not touristy, accommodation is cheaper and you can easily visit Heidelberg from there. It’s also good for shopping but most importantly, it has Luisenpark that is especially beautiful in spring. But let’s start from the very beginning.

Mannheim intro

Mannheim, with its population of more than 300 000 people, is the second largest city of Baden-Württemberg. It is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. In 1720 the capital of the Electorate of the Palatinate was moved to Mannheim.10 luisenpark mannheim www.thesanetravel.com 1430385

In this time Karl III Philipp began the construction of the Mannheim Palace and the Jesuit Church. It is the economic and cultural center of the metropolitan Rhein-Neckar region. Mannheim is also known as the Quadratestadt, or the City of Squares, for its grid-like pattern of the town center, unique in Germany.

Daimler AD, successor to the Karl Benz automobile manufacturing company founded in Mannheim, has a large presence in Mannheim, assembling both diesel engines and buses. The city hosts many large international factories and offices.

Unfortunately, as a key Nazi industrial center, Mannheim was heavily damaged by the U.S. and British bombing in WWII and many historical buildings were lost. In 2007 Mannheim celebrated its 400th birthday.

And here is my list of 5 must-see attractions of the city.

1) Mannheim Palace

It is the largest Baroque palace in Germany with 400 rooms. It was built in the late 18th century and originally served as the main residence of Prince Electors of the Palatinate branch (House of Wittelsbach). The building is now mostly used by the University of Mannheim but there is also a museum with all the glory of the palace on display. Worth viewing are the elegantly decorated Knights Hall with its parquet inlay flooring, the elaborate ceiling frescoes by Cosmas Damian Asam and the Trabantensaal with its antique furniture exhibition.

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2) Jesuit Church

This Catholic Church, finished in 1760, was designed by Alessandro Galli Bibiena and is an accurate replica of the Church of the Gesù in Rome. The church was almost completely destroyed during the heavy bombing of the Second World War, but today shines in all its Baroque glory once again. The reconstructed altar, royal boxes, frescos and paintings are a feast for the eyes – even if churches aren’t usually your thing.

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3) Paradeplatz

The heart of Mannheim is located at the Paradeplatz (‘parade square’) where two shopping streets, Planken and Breite Strasse intersect. A restored Pyramid fountain with the bronze pyramid designed by sculptor Gabriel de Grupello in early 18th century dominates the center.

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4) Luisenpark

When you are in Mannheim, do not miss out on a trip to Luisenpark. The park was established in 1892 and named after Princess Luise Marie Elizabeth of Prussia, a close relative of three German emperors. It is the biggest green space in Mannheim. More than 40 hectares of the park contain a number of gardens and attractions, including a Chinese garden, a rose garden, an arboretum, and a tree fern greenhouse. For me the symbol of the park is yellow-white gondolettas floating in the Kutzerweiher lake. The Chinese garden and its tea house located in the park were built in co-operation with Mannheim's Chinese twin city Zhenjiang.

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Initially I had planned a mostly shopping trip to Mannheim, and only at a very late stage of planning discovered Luisenpark. I ended up spending two evenings there because it is too big to entirely explore within a few hours. I recommend that place to everyone visiting Mannheim.
A handy tip: after 6 p.m. the tickets only cost 1.50 Euros, while the regular price is 6 Euros. The park was open until 9 p.m.

5) Mannheim TV tower

If you want to see all of Luisenpark at once, getting up to the Mannheim TV tower may be a great idea. It's located at one of the park entrances and you can get back to the park later with the same park ticket. It is a 205 meter high telecommunication tower (Fernmeldeturm). The highest you can get is to the 124 meter revolving restaurant or the 120 meter observation deck. The views of Luisenpark, the city, the Palatinate forest and Odenvald are striking.

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Mannheim Shopping Tip: don’t put off your shopping for Sunday since most stores are closed. Shop hours are usually Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm.
Where to stay? 4-star hotel InterCityHotel Mannheim is located just a few steps away from Mannheim Train Station and 700 m from Mannheim Palace. It offers modern rooms and free WiFi.

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Read more about InterCity Hotel Mannheim clicking this link.
If you have more time to spend in this area, follow my Rhine river valley itinerary clicking this link.

Have you been in Mannheim? Share your experience in the comments section.

  • Published by Anita on March 25, 2017
  •  

    Author: Anita Sāne

    DSC 7536 m

    About the author
    Anita is a part time traveler, passionate photographer and a mature career woman
    from Latvia, 
    traveling mostly solo for more than 10 years. She is a skilled travel planner
    planning and executing her travels by herself. Follow Anita also on Instagram.

     

     
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    Comments   

    Claire
    #9 Claire 2017-04-02 21:02
    I've never heard of this city but the architecture is amazing!! It looks like an absolutely beautiful place. I find that with Germany a lot - sometimes the smaller less touristy towns nearby are way nicer - Like Bamburg which is near Nuremberg! This was a great read!
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    Julie Cohn
    #8 Julie Cohn 2017-03-31 18:32
    Beautiful photos. I have been to Mannheim in the winter, but not in the spring. I will have to make another trip back!
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    Sheena
    #7 Sheena 2017-03-31 15:08
    Great post and your pictures are AWESOME. Adding Mannheim to when I visit Germany.
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    christine
    #6 christine 2017-03-31 13:02
    Great guide. Looks like an interesting and beautiful city. I love your pictures.
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    neha
    #5 neha 2017-03-28 15:48
    wow..both the palace and the church have beautiful architecture. And also such beautiful interiors. And the garden is so lush green and full of life. And finally the hotel room is so comfortable. And that bed absolutely makes me want to crawl into it and fall asleep :)
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    Kevin Wagar
    #4 Kevin Wagar 2017-03-28 13:43
    This is a gorgeous palace. It's made even better by the stunning grounds. What a perfect place to explore.
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    Ilana
    #3 Ilana 2017-03-28 06:52
    Stunning pictures! The inspiration I was looking for, while planning my next German trip! Now, can't wait to visit Mannheim! Thanks for the inspiration
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    Tami
    #2 Tami 2017-03-27 20:20
    Stunning photos! Especially from the tower looking down on the park and the ciity. And those little yellow gondolettas were so cute! Mannheim looks like a wonderful place to visit. I wish I'd known about it when we went to Germany. Oh! And I love the way they set up the beds in German hotels -- they are so comfortable!
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    Leah
    #1 Leah 2017-03-25 17:31
    Absolutely gorgeous place, and photos! I love how many green spaces there are and wildlife. I will certainly keep this destination on my radar for my next visit to Germany!
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