12 Best Things to Do in Mannheim, Germany (2021)

Mannheim is a city in southwest Germany, situated on the junction of the Rhine and Neckar rivers, just north of the historicy city of Heidelberg. It is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The city holds historical and artistic importance with its Baroque style of architecture, notably Mannheim Palace.

Be prepared to be awestruck by the magnificent water tower, the Jesuit church, SAP arena, the University of Mannheim, the unique grid pattern streets, and much more.

If you are a lover of art, music, drama, and history, you will not be disappointed. Did you know that it was in this city that Germany’s first National Theatre was opened? This cultural center is a place you can’t miss.

Here is the list of 12 places to visit while in Mannheim:

12. Paradeplatz

Paradeplatz in Mannheim

Paradeplatz is a central square located in the center of Mannheim. The Paradeplatz was redesigned many times. The place has an underground bunker dating back to WW2. It was left fallow after the war and has been restored in the 1980s.

Grupello Pyramid (1743), in the middle of the square, is the primary site attraction. The pyramid depicts the allegory of the triumph of princely virtues over vices and the unveiling of truth through time.

The square is surrounded by markets, department stores, town halls, post offices, and cafes. On summer evenings, the area is bustling with locals and tourists. You can enjoy leisure time through lunches and shopping.

11. Planetarium

Mannheim Planetarium
Mannheim Planetarium (Taxiarchos228/Wikimedia)

The Mannheim Planetarium is located in the center of Europaplatz in eastern Mannheim. The first planetarium was destroyed, and the present one was inaugurated in 1984. The structure can accommodate 280 visitors.

The place will make you lose yourself in the dreamy world through its laser system, glassy coned roof, and central star projector. There is much to gain through lectures, discussions, and shows with like-minded people if you love space and galaxies. You ought not miss the full dome video show that uses the entire dome for a 360-degree display.

More info: www.planetarium-mannheim.de

10. Fernmeldeturm Mannheim

 Fernmeldeturm Mannheim
Fernmeldeturm Mannheim (Taxiarchos228/Wikimedia)

This striking landmark is located on the banks of the Neckar. Also known as the telecommunication tower, it is next to Luisenpark. Standing at 715 ft high, it contains the transmission facilities for UHR radio services, microwave communications, and omnidirectional radio services, and a glassed observation deck. It was built between 1973 and 1975.

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One of the hotspots that you must visit is the revolving restaurant which is a beauty in itself. Visitors can have a peaceful escape enjoying the sunset while also absorbing the view of the Rhine plain on the east and Palatinate in the west.

9. Wilhelm-hack-Museum

Wilhelm-hack-Museum

This museum for modern art is located in Ludwigshafen am Rhein. It is believed that the inhabitants started buying paintings and sculptures from the Palatinate after the first world war. The motivation to build the museum was due to the donation of Wilhelm Hack in 1971. One major landmark of the museum would be the Miro walls, a ceramic wall designed by Joan Miro.

Make sure to notice the entrance area, to the right, is the ”Endless Staircase” by the Swiss artist Max Bill and on the left, ”Two Indefinite Lines” by the French artist Bernar Venet. The museum is known for its open architecture both inside and outside. The interconnectivity of galleries with bridges and windows provides a wider perspective. The Wilhelm Hack Museum is regularly represented as an exhibition venue at the biennial for contemporary photography.

More info: www.wilhelmhack.museum

8. Herzogenried Park

Herzogenried Park

Known as the little brother of Luisenpark, it is located in the Mannheim district Neckarstadt-Ost. The site, known for its greenery, was opened as a park in 1934. Covering an area of 22 hectares, sports lovers can enjoy sports like table tennis, boules, and exercise! Interestingly, it was part of the National Garden Show along with Luisenpark in 1975.

It is the best place to visit for nature lovers as it is surrounded by the beautiful rosarium, fountains, cottage gardens, and lakes. Once here, you can experience the “Wonder of Mannheim”, the largest multi-hall wooden lattice bowl construction in the world. Designed by Mutschler, Langner, and Frei Otto, it is an architectural masterpiece!

More info: www.herzogenriedpark.de/

7. SAP Arena

SAP Arena
SAP Arena (D.roller.saparena/Wikimedia)

It is one of Mannheim’s largest multipurpose arenas. Opened in 2005, it has a capacity of 15,000 people. The arena with its modern glass and high tech is ideal for ice hockey, handball, other sports events, and concerts. You will be thrilled to know that it is home to German ice hockey record champions Adler Mannheim and Rhein-Neckar Löwen handball club. If you love sports, this one’s for you.

The arena is notable for providing location-based services like indoor navigation and proximity marketing to its visitors. Visitors on business can book the place as it gives conference rooms furnished with all the necessary technical equipment and catering facilities.

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6. Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche)

Jesuit Church Mannheim
Jesuit Church (Frank C. Müller/Wikimedia)

The Mannheim’s Roman Catholic is bound to leave you awestruck with its majestic beauty and architecture, typical for German churches of that time. Located within the vicinity of Mannheim’s palace, it has impressive features both exterior and interior. The Church was completed in 1760 and consecrated to St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier.

The interior was designed by Paul Egell and Peter Anton von Verchaffelt and exterior by Alessandro Galli da Bibiena. You will be thrown away by the rich Baroque art justified by decorated domes, twin facades, high altars, statues of four cardinal virtues, etc. The exterior of the church was designed after the church “Il Gesu” in Rome. The most important sculpture is the 1747 “Crowned Silver Madonna.” 

5. Technoseum

Technoseum is one of the largest technology museums in Germany with outstanding architecture. It is a working museum, completed in 1990. The building is entirely in white, and the inclined planes give the impression that the building is in motion. Visitors can get the experience and understand the social and economic changes of more than 200 years.

As a visitor, walking from top to bottom will give you the journey from the industrial revolution in Baden-Württemberg till date. From more than 100 experimental stations, you can understand the influence of technology on people’s living and working conditions. You can try out experiments at numerous stations yourself. Moreover, it has machines that are regularly demonstrated, such as a weaving mill, a paper mill. If you love knowledge and adventure together, this is it!

More info: www.technoseum.de

4. Kunsthalle Mannheim

Kunsthalle Mannheim
Kunsthalle Mannheim (Ronald Buck/Wikimedia)

It is a place for art enthusiasts. Kunsthalle Mannheim was built in 1907 to serve as an “International Art Exhibition”. Later, it transformed into an art gallery. It is a museum for modern and contemporary art designed by Hermann Billing. 

The building was redesigned and opened in 2018. With 13,000 square feet in size, seven exhibition halls, and a 22m high glass roof atrium, the new building is at Friedrichsplatz in the Art Nouveau building. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of the Wassertum and the most splendid view of Mannheim’s most beautiful square. Tourists are often left impressed by the “collection wall” that provides an insight into the museum’s entire collection.

More info: www.kuma.art

3. Schloss Mannheim (Mannheim Palace)

Schloss Mannheim
Schloss Mannheim (Hubert Berberich/Wikimedia)

Mannheim Palace is in the heart of Mannheim city. It is distinguished for being the second-largest Baroque complex globally. It was the main palace of the Electorate of Palatinate.

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You can visit the many wings containing palace church, courtyard (Ehrenhof), district courts, and Mannheim University. Below the Ehrenhof wing also lies a bunker that served as a hotel after the second world war. With its magnificent ceiling paintings, chandeliers, furniture, etc., you will get the feeling of living in the past. It should be on your bucket list if you love history and German castles.

More info: www.schloss-mannheim.de

2. Mannheim Wasserturm

Mannheim Wasserturm
Mannheim Wasserturm (Oberlausitzerin64/Wikimedia)

Also known as the water tower built between 1886 and 1889 by Gustav Halmhuber. A significant landmark, located at 60m in height and 19m in diameter at Friedrichsplatz, in an Art Nouveau square. Initially built as a drinking water supply, it later served as an aboveground water tank till 2000.

A picturesque site, surrounded by an art gallery, rose garden, park, and arcade buildings. An ideal place to take a stroll, meet people or sip on your coffee while inhaling the view. The bright fountain at dusk at the foot of the tower is a sight to marvel. You cannot miss the Christmas market around the Wassertum during the winter!

Tourist Fact: The tower was partially destroyed during WW2 but repaired in 1962 under Ferdinand Mundel.

1. Luisenpark

Luisenpark
Luisenpark (Quadratestadt Mannheim/Wikimedia)

A place to have leisure time with your family and friends, Luisenpark is located on the left bank of the Neckar river. It is named after Princess Luise Marie Elizabeth of Prussia. The park was built between 1892 and 1903 upon the legacy of Carl William Casimir Fox.

Here you can explore the greenhouse, an exhibition garden, a playground, and the zoo. Gondoletta, a towboat ride, is the major highlight of the place. Luisenpark is divided between the lower and upper Luisenpark, but the latter has more range of activities.

While at it, you can climb over the mountains, enjoy Chinese tea and concerts with its open-air stage in the middle of a lake. Animal lovers will be thrilled to see varieties of animals and get the pleasure of feeding the penguins too!

Tourist Tip: Visit during the winter to attend the Winterlichter event that transforms the park into a sea of lights.

More info: www.luisenpark.de