Mannheim was a small fishing village before it became a city at the beginning of the 17th century. It was constructed on the site of a fortress guarding the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar. Even now, a few remnants of the fortification can be seen, and the peculiar street layout owes to that part of its history. For 58 years, Mannheim served as a royal residence, and gave Schiller, Lessing, Goethe and Mozart a home for some time. Before World War II, Mannheim was a beautiful city, but it was flattened in bomb raids due to its industrial significance. When it was time to rebuild the city, Mannheim, like many other German cities, opted for an all out modern approach to urban development. Thus, most of the old quarters were replaced by buildings typical of the 1950s. If you are not an adept to architecture, their appeal might not be easy to grasp. As a result, the impression is more of an industrial city with a few spots of beauty.
Modern Mannheim is the second biggest city in Baden-Württemberg and one of the hotspots of immigration. Because of that you'll encounter a lively and colorful mixture of nationalities and cultures in the city.
- See also: rail air alliances
Transport from Frankfurt airport (FRA IATA), to Mannheim or neighbouring Ludwigshafen, is by ICE high speed train (30 minutes, €25) with Lufthansa Express Rail. Mannheim also has a small local airport, the 1 Mannheim City Airport (MHG IATA). This airport is connected to Berlin Tegel and Hamburg up to twice a day (weekdays) by Rhein-Neckar-Air with small Turboprops, but their fares are pretty high. In the summer there are even flights to Sylt.
Mannheim is a regional transport hub with ICE, IC and regional trains all stopping in 2 Mannheim Hauptbahnhof. There are direct connections to and from many major German Cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, international destinations are Basel, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Paris and Marseille (via Strasbourg and Lyon). There are three CityNightline (CNL) trains crossing Mannheim, connecting it to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Milano and Prague overnight. However, arrival and departure times for night trains can be in the middle of the night as Mannheim lies along the line and not on either terminus and onward connections can be scarce or nonexistent.
- See also: intercity buses in Germany
Mannheim is served by Eurolines (Deutsche Touring) with overnight long distance services to destinations in France, UK and other neighboring countries. The 3 bus station (ZOB) is at Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str, near the Main Station (Hauptbahnhof).
In the domestic business, Mannheim is served by - among others - Flixbus.
The centre of Mannheim is laid out like a chess board, with no real street names. Addresses in the Quadrat take the form of a grid reference, such as Q3, 12 designating a block. The streets are not named:r "Q3" refers to the block. If you follow a street from Q3, you might end up at either Q2 or P3. It is best to navigate by "following" the blocks rather than the streets. If you get lost, a rather high probability, ask a local. They are used to it.
The public transportation system is quite extensive. Bus routes cover Mannheim, and the tram system connects Mannheim to Ludwigshafen across the river, Heidelberg a few minutes away, and Weinheim, in addition to major routes across and through the city. Local/Regional Trains of the S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar connect Mannheim and the surrounding cities and countryside. As of 2018, the automatic ticket machines only accept coins, not notes or cards.
- Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar Transport) - Public transportation network
- S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar - Local/Regional trains
- 1 Water tower (Wasserturm), Friedrichsplatz. One of the most famous icons of the Jugendstil (Arte-Nouveau style) in Germany, the water tower (and small park surrounding it) is a great place to sit in the summer for a picnic or just a little rest (officially, walking or sitting on the lawn is prohibited). The park is surrounded by the Rosengarten, a conference hall of reddish brick, and the colors on a sunny day are amazing.
- 2 Mannheim Palace (Barockschloss Mannheim), Bismarckstraße (next to the main train station), ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Su holidays 10:00-17:00. Part of the University of Mannheim; Mozart used to give concerts here. Adult €7, concessions €3.50.
- 3 Paradeplatz (the centre of the city, pedestrians-only). A small park, surrounded by shops, restaurants and everything you can imagine.
- 4 Konkordienkirche. With about 92 m, the tower of the church is the highest one in Mannheim.
- 5 Christuskirche, Werderplatz 15, ☏ . The original Steinmeyer Organ with about 8000 pipes is one of the biggest within Germany and was built in 1911.
- 6 Luisenpark, Theodor-Heuss-Anlage 2, ☏ . 09:00-16:30 in winter and 09:00-18:30 in summer. The attractions include a greenhouse, "gondoletta" boats, and a variety of facilities for children. Entrance to one side is free, but there is a charge to enter the other side (summer: €8, winter €4).
- 7 Herzogenriedpark, Max-Joseph-Straße 64, ☏ . Main attractions are a little zoo, a rose exhibition and the park lake. €3.5.
- 8 Reiss-Engelhorn Museum (REM), Museum Weltkulturen D5, 68159 Mannheim, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 11:00-18:00. At D5 and C5 (see above for an explanation of downtown addresses), the REM houses a permanent exhibition world cultures along with an exhibition hall whose contents range from photography to astronomy. Adult €12.50, concessions €6.50.
- 9 Technoseum (Museum of Technology), Museumsstraße 1, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 09:00-17:00. The Technomuseum displays various tools and machines from different times. Adult €9, concessions €6.
- 10 Kunsthalle (Art Gallery), Friedrichsplatz 4, ☏ .
- 11 Zeitgeschichtliches Museum Mannheim. History museum in a former bunker.
- 12 Aufzugmuseum (Elevator museum), Kloppenheimer Straße 94, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Housed inside the Water tower.
- 1 National Theater Mannheim (NTM), Mozartstraße 9 (The street car stops right outside the theater), ☏ , email@example.com. One of the most important theatres in Germany. "The Robbers" of Schiller had its world premiere here. Has a different show almost every night (for some shows, like ballets or opera, the language barrier is not an issue). student tickets are much reduced (€5 or 15).
- 2 Cineplex, P4 13 (Tram: "Strohmarkt"), ☏ . Includes showings of films in original English.
- 3 SAP Arena, An der Arena 1 (Tram: "SAP Arena" / Train: "Mannheim ARENA/Maimarkt"), ☏ . Ice hockey, Handball and music concerts.
- 4 Congress Center Rosengarten (m:con), Rosengartenplatz 2 (Tram: "Rosengarten"), ☏ . Music concerts and conferences.
- 5 Capitol, Waldhofstr. 2 (Tram: "Alte Feuerwache"), ☏ . Tickets: Tu Th F 14:00-19:00, Sa 11:00-13:00. Concerts, musicals and comedy.
- 6 Maimarkt ("May Market"), Xaver-Fuhr-Str. 101 (Tram: "Maimarkt"). Late April 27 to early May: 09:00-18:00. Largest regional consumer exhibition of Germany, for eleven days in April/May. There are also many other events on the site over the rest of the year. €8.5 (€5 advance sale).
The most parts of Mannheim are safe, but there are a couple of districts that have higher crime rates (compared to other German cities; compared to non-European cities whole Mannheim is super safe). Examples are Vogelstang, Neckarstadt-West, Jungbusch (night) and some others. Street crime and violence, however, are very rare, so you will be perfectly ok if you simply use your common sense. In particular, it is not dangerous at all to visit the pubs and clubs of the Jungbusch or the Neckarstadt.
In the city centre of Mannheim you can find two big shopping streets, the "Planken" (planks) and the "Breite Straße (broad street), both of which are only open to pedestrians and the tram. Here you can find dozens of shops and stores for clothes, shoes, jewelry and sweets. See below for more information. On the other side of the river Rhine, in Ludwigshafen the "Rhein-Gallery" is a big shopping mall, an even bigger mall is located in Viernheim (Tram line 5), the "Rhein-Neckar-Zentrum".
- Spaghettieis was invented in Mannheim in 1969. Vanilla ice cream is pressed through a spaetzle press, creating the spaghetti-like shape, over which comes strawberry sauce as tomato sauce and grated white chocolate as grated cheese.
- Mannheim is known for its many pretzel stands. Little pretzel baguettes with mozzarella and tomato are quite yum.
- The Döner is a kind of Turkish kebab found throughout Germany and is definitely worth trying! One of the most popular Döner stalls is located right across the train station, called City Döner (see below). It is very common to have a Döner there after partying.
- 1 City Döner, Willy-Brandt-Platz 5-7 (located opposite from the central station). 06:00-05:00. One of the best and most-visited Döner shops in Mannheim, open almost 24/7.
- 2 Schotti's Burger Imbiss, Friesenheimer Str. 6 (in the industry area "Friesenheimer Insel"), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Small burger shop, makes the best burgers in Mannheim.
- 3 Benjamins Diner, Gorxheimer Straße 9, ☏ . M-F 10:00-23:00, Sa Su till 00:00. American-style diner near the old Army facilities of Benjamin-Franklin-Village in "Käfertal". Usually crowded; reservations suggested.
- Katik Döner, Kaiserring 40, 68161 Mannheim (Across the street from Heller's). Another döner shop near train station.
- Little India, T2 17, ☏ . 11:00-22:00. Very small Indian restaurant. Don't get fooled by the look from the outside. The food is delicious.
- Metzgerei, Rheinparkstraße 4. In summer you can rent a full picnic basket there and take it to the Rhine river. Of course you can also eat inside the restaurant, but reserve a table in advance.
- Heller's. Vegetarian restaurant since 1987. Self-service with a huge buffet. You pay by weight. Also cakes and other deserts are available.
- 424, Rheinpromenade 15. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. High class vegetarian restaurant at the Rhine river. The building is split in two areas. In the other part there is a non-vegetarian restaurant called Rheinterrassen.
- Rheinterrassen. Shares the space with 424 and is run by the same owner. In summer the big beer garden is open. Many people pass by, since this is the main Rhine promenade.
- Istanbul and Meydan, G1 (Marktplatz). Both restaurant are close together. Only Cafe Journal (good breakfast) is in between. Both are Turkish restaurants. Mannheim is famous for its big Turkish community, so these restaurants offer a variety of different and traditional Turkish dishes, not limited to Döner Kebab. Definitely a part of Mannheim's food culture. There are many more Turkish restaurants and shops in the area west of Marktplatz. Therefore some refer to the area as "Little Istanbul".
- Sunday morning buns. Get fresh buns for breakfast even on Sunday morning at G1 (Marktplatz). Backfactory and another bakery on the other side of the tram tracks are open on Sundays.
- 1 Blau (German for "blue"), Jungbuschstraße 14. The favourite hangout for leftists, post-punks and alternative culture adepts. It is also here where you are likely to run into activities of the "Büro für angewandten Realismus" (office for applied realism), a group of artists that organise cultural events every now and then. Additionally, there are displays of their artwork in the pub.
- 2 Onyx, Friedrichsplatz 12 (near the Wasserturm), ☏ . It is bustling with activity almost every night after normal working hours. They offer a full bar and excellent menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Typically more dressy than other hangouts.
- 3 Café Bernstein, Seckenheimer Straße 58 (in the Schwetzinger Vorstadt, 10 min walk from Main station), ☏ . A nice French-style bar/café that offers a good selection of beers and wines. They also offer a small but fine selection of lunch/dinner. Reasonable prices. Exceptional friendly staff!
- 4 Café Odeon, G7,10. A nice bar that belongs to an alternative cinema. Reasonable prices and relaxed people.
- 5 SOHO Club, J7,16 (on ring-road around the inner city), ☏ . A small club with reasonable prices, good music and relaxed guests between 20 and 40. Music varies from night to night. Don't miss the cocktail happy hour until 23:00.
- 6 Murphy's Law, Kaiserring 10-12 (Bahnhofvorplatz), ☏ . A great Irish pub that serves up Boddington's and Kilkenny on tap (a rare find), in addition to the usual suspects. The pub fare is better than most, especially the Irish breakfast, chili, and fish and chips. It's usually packed on the Weekend nights with English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and American ex-pats and a few Germans (typically university students) thrown in there for local flavour. Just a hop and a skip from the main train station. Weekends, Fall to Spring usually feature live music. Tuesday is trivia night. Be sure to say hello to John at the end of the bar.
- 7 Havana Bar, P6, 16 – 19 (Tram: "Wasserturm"), ☏ . M-Th 09:00-03:00, F Sa 09:00-05:00, Su 11:00-03. Nice bar near one of Mannheim's main streets ("Planken"), also offers great Food. Weekly offers.
- 8 Café Vienna, S1 15, 68161 Mannheim. Su-Th 10:00-14:00, F Sa 10:00-03:00. Popular amongst student for its cheap price for its drinks (especially beer) and foods.
- 1 Youth hostel (Jugendherberge Mannheim), Rheinpromenade 21, ☏ .
- 2 Etap Hotel, Langlachweg 18 (about 8km east), ☏ .
- 3 Hotel Luise, U1 11, ☏ .
- 4 Bed & Breakfast Mannheim (Apt Inn Mannheim), Waldparkstraße 30, ☏ . An affordable hotel with kitchen located within walking distance of the train stations in an historic building in Lindenhof. €50.
- 5 Dorint Kongresshotel Mannheim, Friedrichsring 6, ☏ , email@example.com. Quality hotel in the centre of town. from €76.5 per room/night.
- 6 B&B Hotel Mannheim, Will-Sohl-Straße 7 (Tram: "Neuostheim", next to the City Airport), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. €61.
- Overview of mass times in all Catholic churches in Mannheim
- St. Ignatius und Franz-Xaver, Jesuitenkirche, A4, 2 (15 min from central station, direction Nordwest; bus 60 to "Mensa"). Sat: 18:30; Sun: 9:30, 10:30 (span.), 11:30, 18:00; Mon-Fri: 18:00
- Hl. Geist, Moltkestr. 14 (5-8 min from central station, direction east). Sun: 11:00, 13:00 (Croat.), 19:00; Tue, Thu: 18:00, Fri: 10:00
- St. Joseph , Bellenstr. 67 (8-10 min from central station, direction south). [dead link] Sat: 18:45; Sun: 11:00; Tue, Fri: 19:00; Thu: 9:00
- Bertha Benz Memorial Route - Follow the tracks of the world's first automobile journey back in 1888 (Mannheim - Pforzheim - Mannheim)
- Ludwigshafen is right across the river.
- Heidelberg the most famous city near Mannheim and is reachable by tram/street car (40-50 minutes), regional train (15 minutes) or IC (10 minutes).
- The cathedrals at Mainz and Speyer, and the cathedral and Nibelungen bridge at Worms are all about 30 minutes away.
- The gardens at Schwetzingen are worth seeing (about 30 minutes away by regional train)
- Weinheim is a nice little town with the traditional red roofs and is reachable with the tram no. 5.
- Ladenburg is an idyllic and historical town with traditional red roofs reachable by regional train (18 mins).