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The city lies at an altitude between 100 m (on the eastern shore of the river Rhine) and 322 m (near the TV Tower). Its geographical coordinates are 49°00′N 8°24′E. The 49th parallel runs through the city center. Its course is marked by a stone and painted line in the Stadtgarten (city park).

City area:
173.46 km2, about 50% of which are covered by forests or used for agricultural purposes. The forested areas extend into the city centre.

291,959 (December 31,2009)

According to legend, the name Karlsruhe, which translates as Charles’ repose, was given to the new city after a hunting trip when Margrave Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, woke from a dream in which he dreamt of founding his new city.

Charles William founded the city on June 17, 1715 after a dispute with the citizens of his previous capital, Durlach. The founding of the city is closely linked to the construction of the palace. Karlsruhe became the capital of Baden-Durlach and in 1771 of the united Baden until 1945. Built in 1822, the "Ständehaus" was the first parliament building in a German State. In the aftermath of the democratic revolution of 1848, a republican government was elected here.

Much of the central area, including the palace, was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing during World War II but was rebuilt after the war.

The layout of the town, the fan-shape, was in itself fascinating and became a worldwide sensation. Weinbrenner, the master architect constructed the classical buildings which, even today, still attract many visitors from all over the world.

In 1825, the Technical University opened its doors to students. In 1950, the Federal Supreme Court moved to Karlsruhe to be followed, one year later, by the Federal Constitutional Court. Thus, Karlsruhe became the home of German jurisdiction.
As a technological region, Karlsruhe has been the centre of research in Europe for years. And with its many cultural events the Karlsruhe sets an example throughout the world.


Services Provided In Karlsruhe

The business hours for banks in Germany are from
Monday-Friday 09.00-16.00
Thursday 09.00-18.00
Banks are closed on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays.

If you wish to change money out of business hours, you can do so in the bank in the entrance hall of the Karlsruhe Central Railway Station.
Monday-Saturday 7.00-20.00
Sunday and holidays 9.00-13.00
Additional fees for services beyond the usual bank business hours.

Post Offices:

  • Innenstadt-Ost: Kaiserstraße 14, Berliner Platz, Ecke Englerstraße
    business hours: Monday-Friday: 09.00-19.00, Saturday 09.30-13.00
  • Innenstadt-West: Kaiserstraße 217, Post Galerie
    business hours: Monday-Friday: 09.30-20.00, Staturday 09.30-16.00
    business hours self service: Monday-Saturday 07.30-23.00
  • Südweststadt: Poststraße 1, near Main Station
    business hours: Monday-Friday: 09.00-18.30, Saturday 09.30-13.00

Phone cards for public telephones can be bought at

  • any post office
  • newspaper kiosks
  • tobacco shops

Attention: Please be aware that phone calls from hotels in Germany are essentially more expensive than from a public telephone. In order to avoid high telephone bills, please use public phones.

Phone cards for mobile Phones can be bought at various shops in the city center.

International Press:
A broad variety of international newspapers is available in the bookshop located in the entrance hall of the Central Railway Station.

Most shops are located in the pedestrian zone in the Kaiserstrasse. At Ludwigsplatz, near Kaiserstrasse, there are various open-air cafes where the shopper can relax. Some of the more expensive boutiques and shoe shops are also located in this area. In the south of the Marktplatz, at the end of the pedestrian zone, is a big shopping mall called "Ettlinger Tor". Definitely an alternative to the Kaiserstrasse, especially when the weather is bad.

Attention (for Non-EU nationals): When buying expensive goods which you want to take to your home country, please ask for a "AUSFUHRKASSENZETTEL" or a TAX-FREE CHEQUE (receipt enabling you to get back the VAT after having left Germany).
When leaving Germany, have these receipt stamped and signed by the German customs. If you leave from Frankfurt Airport, please observe the following procedure:

  • For merchandise you wish to transport in the luggage checked in:
    Please tell the personnel at the check-in desk that you have things in your luggage for which you claim tax refund. Your luggage will then be weighted and labeled and returned to you. Take the luggage to the customs office, "Export Certification", located on the arrival level in Hall B. Please have the receipts at hand and be prepared that the customs officers will check your luggage. After having obtained the necessary custom stamps, take the luggage to the check-in desk the customs personnel will show to you. After having proceeded through passport control on the departure level, you will find the desk of Customs Refund Service. Upon presentation of the forms stamped and signed you will receive tax refund.
  • For merchandise you wish to carry in your hand luggage:
    In this case, use the "Export Certification" Office on the departure level in Hall B (close to the passport control). Please have the receipts at hand and be prepared that the customs officers will check your hand luggage. After having obtained the necessary custom stamps go through passport control. Proceed to the desk of Custom Refund Service. Upon presentation of the forms stamped and signed you will receive tax refund.


Transportation, Traveling

Travel Agency:
Deutsches Reisebüro
Bahnhofplatz 8 (opposite the Central Railway Station)
Monday-Friday 09.00-12.30 and 14.00-18.00
Saturday 09.00-12.30

When taking a train in Germany, please mind that the ticket is to be bought either from a ticket vending machine or from the booking office in the station hall before boarding the train.

Public transport:
Karlsruhe has an excellent public transportation system called KVV; its mostly build on trams/streetcars. Trams run not just within the city but also far into the surrounding area. Don't be surprised when you see a tram in the pedestrian zone going to Öhringen, which is 110 km away. An overview of the entire tram network can be downloaded for the KVV homepage. A single ticket for a trip within the city limits costs 2.10€ for adults, 1€ for kids. Most tickets have to be stamped upon entering a tram and controllers are quite frequent. In particular, for longer distances outside of Karlsruhe buying the right ticket can be a bit challenging, but in front of the main train station, you will find a KVV office that will be happy to assist you. Trains run late into the night, in particular on weekends, but almost every line stops for a few hours every night. Schedules and maps are posted on virtually every station: you can also find more information on fares and timetables on the KVV homepage (German only).

Rental bikes:
During the summer, spring and autumn rental bikes are available throughout the city. A mobile phone is used to rent a bike and it can be 'returned' (again, using the mobile phone) at any inner city corner. To rent a bike costs no more than 0.08€/min or 9.00€/day. More information is available on the 'Call a bike' homepage.

Public Libraries

Badische Landesbibliothek
Erbprinzenstrasse 15, Phone: (0721) -0 (central office), -22 22 (information centre)
The Badische Landesbibliothek (Baden State Library) is a scientific and regional library. It now consists of more than 1.4 million volumes.
Monday - Friday 09.00-19.00
Saturday 10.00-18.00

KIT Library South:
Straße am Forum 2, Phone: (0721) 608 -3109
open 24/7

Ständehausstrasse 2, Phone: (0721) 133 -4258
Tuesday and Thursday 10.00-19.00
Wednesday and Fryday 10.00-18.00
Saturday 10.00-14.00