Germany: Mannheim – The hidden charm


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With a small amount of visits from tourists, Mannheim has been always in a shadow within travellers that roam Germany. This city basically gets shadowed by Heidelberg, a city which is well-known as a beautiful city of the region Baden-Württemberg. Most tourists or people passing by this region most likely visit the city next by, Heidelberg, rather than Mannheim. Mannheim is also a common stop for transit for most trains to other parts of Germany. However, would you ever wonder this city has more than just that? You should definitely consider it once again because you might just fall in love with city at one point.

As people say: “You cry two times when you are in Mannheim – once you come and once you leave”. Basically what it means is you would be very disappointed being here because the city does not look pretty but when you are here for awhile you wouldn’t feel like to leave this place anymore. In fact, it really makes sense. At first glance, Mannheim has nothing to be called beautiful. For some people having travelled in Germany, the city could be just like any other German city. Surprisingly, once you get out of the inner ring of the city centre, there the charm comes and it would just be better and better as you have never expected.

What is special about Mannheim?

Whenever you visit a city, you are more likely to visit the city centre, which in Mannheim it is called the square (Quadrat). Apparently, it would not be the one certain spot that impresses you. From a personal point of view, the inner ring of Mannheim is not a pretty place. However, it carries a long history. The street/block naming system is divided upon alphabet from A – U plus numbers (J is not in included since the letter did not exist in the German alphabet in the old time). It is believed that the New York’s street system is based on Mannheim’s but there is no written proof. Talking about the ‘not-so-pretty city centre’, you are going to be surprised seeing Mannheim showing its charm at the outer ring.  It is a big difference between these two parts of the city.

Mannheim has a variety of cultures but somehow they manage to live friendly and peacefully with each other (ironically saying). Most people has the first impression on German people is ‘they are very unfriendly’. You can find the ‘not-so-German-like’ in this city. You might be amazed how friendly the people here are and being quite international, they won’t refuse to help you because of the limited English. Shocking huh?

The water tower (Wasserturm)

DSC_0309It is located at the Friedrichsplatz which could be considered the most beautiful square of Mannheim. With a large space, it lures all the attraction of visitors. The fountain is not spectacular but beautiful by its own and brings a touch of freshness besides all the green surrounded. If you are lucky enough to be there on a sunny day, you will feel all the charm with full of colours that this place offers.

The area is quite overwhelmed compared to the city centre. Walking further along Agustustaanlage street, you will find great architecture and nice areas to hang out.

Luisenpark

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If you stay in Mannheim for more than a day, pay a visit to Luisenpark. The concept of the park is very interesting, including multiple playgrounds, animal farm, Chinese garden and several attractions based on different parts of the park. The whole park is huge and perfect for an afternoon hang. If you have children, they are gonna love this place. Every part of Luisenpark has its own theme and always brings the fascination.

Cross over Kurpfalzbrücke

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Gotta be honest, the city centre of Mannheim does not have the beauty that most people would expect but  the outer ring would probably wow you by its unexpected charm. It is a short walking distance from the Markt to the other side of Neckar via Kurpfalzbrücke. You will see the difference right at the moment you step on this side of the city. Lange Rötterstrasse is the street that offers you all the finest – coffee hang and chic café.

Other tips:

  1. If you are foreign, don’t hesitate to ask for help. People in Mannheim a super friendly and they don’t mind offering their help, even if they don’t speak so much of English
  2. Mannheim is nice for a one day city trip because the city is really small and does not have so many special attractions
  3. Sunday is a bad to visit the city because everything is closed, including restaurants.
  4. Turkish food seems to be the finest in Mannheim

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