Is it fun to visit Karlsruhe with kids? Basically, you have enough activities there to have a good time in the city with your family for at least a day. The city is also an ideal stopover if you are going on vacation to, say, Lake Garda in Italy or the Black Forest in Germany. The city is not too crowded and quite green, so after a day of sitting in the car, you and your kids can recover from the trip here. We list the best activities and attractions in Karlsruhe with kids for you.
Table of contents
Karlsruhe with kids #1: Zoological Gardens Karlsruhe
The zoo is within walking distance from the center of Karlsruhe (a ten-minute walk) and is located in the south of the city. It feels like walking through a large city park and that there are animals in the park as well. This is partly because the zoo also has a number of gardens, such as a rose garden, Japanese garden and several more botanical gardens.
Still, there are quite a few large animals to be found at this zoo. For example, the zoo has hippos, zebras, elephants, giraffes, polar bears and monkeys. In addition, of course, many somewhat smaller animals. Especially in summer, the flowers are in bloom and it is very beautiful to walk through the zoo. Because the park is spacious, it is fine to spend half a day here. The zoo also has two large playgrounds for big and for little kids.
You can also ride in a boat with your kids and view the zoo and animals from the boat. You do pay extra for this, as do the electric cars driving down a lane through the zoo. Zoo admission prices are reasonable and about half the price of Dutch zoos.
Karlsruhe with kids #2: Karlsruhe Castle
One of the city’s most famous attractions is Karlsruhe Castle. The castle also forms the heart of the city, so to speak, and from the center it is a short walk to this castle. From the outside, the castle looks beautiful and you can see the castle inside, as the Badisches Landesmuseum is located in the castle.
It is a pity that you can only tour the castle if you buy a ticket for the museum, as the museum is not very interesting for kids. You’ll find a lot of art and old sculptures here and few interactive exhibits for kids. From the castle tower of the castle that you can climb, you do have a great view of the gardens and the city, but then you have to pay the entrance fee to the museum and then it is a bit on the high side.
So why is a visit to the castle still recommended for parents visiting Karlsruhe with kids? Through the beautiful gardens that surround the castle. First you have the beautiful botanical garden lying in the park near the castle. This is free to visit and it is a beautiful garden with lovely ponds for walking. Furthermore, in this park there is quite a large playground with a large climbing frame, a house and some smaller playground equipment.
The park is nice and green with lots of grassy areas, where in the summer the local people lie around enjoying the sun. A tourist train also runs through the park. So in that respect, a great place to spend a few hours with your kids in the summer.
Tip: A 5-minute walk from the castle is also a very cool playground: Spielplatz am Fasanengarten. A large playground with lots of climbing equipment.
Karlsruhe with kids #3: Turmberg
The Turmberg is a hill in the Durlach suburb of Karlsruhe. It is located in the east of the city, and by public transportation you will be half an hour away. By car, it is about 15 minutes away. You also have excellent parking on the mountain. You can also go up the mountain by cable car. On the mountain itself you have a beautiful view of the city and the region. Here you also have a restaurant (Anders auf dem Turmberg restaurant) sitting with a terrace overlooking the area.
A few minutes’ walk from this restaurant is a wooden playground with several slides and playground equipment in the woods. Also located next to this playground is the Waldseilpark Karlsruhe. In this climbing park, they have as many as 12 courses that kids can run in the forest among the trees. The minimum age for kids here is four.
Furthermore, on the mountain near the end station of the cable car, you will find a kind of castle tower, where you can climb the stairs for free for even higher views of the area.
Karlsruhe with kids: outdoor pools
If you are passing through to the south and using the city as a stopover, it can be nice to spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool with your kids. Especially when the kids have spent a few hours in the car, it’s nice to be able to go for a swim on a hot day. Karlsruhe has a number of large outdoor pools that would be great for that.
#4 Rheinstrandbad Rappenwört: This is one of the largest outdoor pools in the region and is located in the west of the city. In just over fifteen minutes you can drive from downtown Karlsruhe to this pool. The outdoor pool has several slides, a wave pool and also several diving boards. The pool also has a spacious paddling pool for the youngest kids. In this pool you can easily have a whole day of fun with your family.
#5 Sonnenbad: This pool is also located in the western part of the city and is a ten-minute drive from downtown. Also a fairly large swimming pool. Slightly fewer slides than the former pool, though. There is a paddling pool and a medium-sized slide. There are also sunbeds around the two pools.
#6 Freibad Rüppur: This outdoor pool is located in the south of the city and is an 8-minute drive by car. The pool has a 50-meter pool and several smaller pools as well as several smaller slides and one large slide. There is also an excellent playground by the pool with a climbing frame and slide. The advantage of this pool is that there are grassy areas around the pools, where you can sunbathe and picnic.
#7 Turmbergbad: This pool is located in the east of the city and is just over ten minutes away by car. The pool has some great slides and also here you have plenty of grassy areas where you can sunbathe.
Karlsruhe with kids: other kids’ activities
#8 Hop on Hop off bus: if you want a quick and relaxed way to get an impression of the city of Karlsruhe with kids, you can use these famous double-decker buses with open roof. The entire tour of the city takes two hours and the bus stops at 9 different stops, including on Mount Turmberg.
#9 Natural History Museum: this museum is located right in the center and is dedicated to animals. Of course, you will find many stuffed animals and also a number of exhibits about dinosaurs. There are also a number of live animals at the museum. For example, the museum has a large aquarium with tropical fish as well as a number of snakes and large lizards.
#10 Europapark: if you are in Karlsruhe with kids for an extended period of time, a visit to one of the most beautiful amusement parks in Europe should not be missed: Europapark. Located just over an hour’s drive from Karlsruhe, the amusement park is decorated in country themes. Many countries from Europe can be found here. In the area of a particular country, everything is themed. You have more than 100 rides at this amusement park, including 13 roller coasters. A great option as a day trip from Karlsruhe with kids.
Where to sleep in Karlsruhe with kids
Achat hotel Karlsruhe city
If during your city break in Karlsruhe with your family you are looking for a hotel located right in the center, then the Achat Hotel Karlsruhe City is a good option. You can park your car at the hotel and you can walk from the hotel to the city center in a few minutes. The hotel has several rooms, including family rooms, and serves a delicious breakfast in the morning. We wrote about this hotel the blog Achat Hotel Karlruhe City with kids.
Karlsruhe with kids: other options
Budget hotel: Hotel Elite
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Am Markt
Luxury hotel: Hotel Barbarossa
To search for other hotels in Karlsruhe with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Karlsruhe with kids
Karlsruhe Card: like every major city, Karlsruhe has a card, which allows you unlimited public transportation and gives you many discounts on many attractions in Karlsruhe. A number of museums in the city are also free to visit with the card. You also get discounts at the zoo with the card. Take a look at what you want to visit in Karlsruhe with kids and then calculate if the card is advantageous for your family.
Environmental sticker: keep in mind that when you visit the city of Karlsruhe by car that you need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.