Great for “fans” of urban design
It’s hard to appreciate at ground level exactly how intricately the streets of Karlsruhe have been planned, but you’ll more than likely spot a drone or two in the palace gardens (we did), taking aerial photographs of the spoke like streets that radiate out from the picturesque palace, giving the impression of a giant fan. So impressive is the design that none other than Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have suggested a similar design for Washington DC when commissioning Pierre L’Enfant to design the fledgling city.
So Karlsruhe is perfect for a day trip then?
Not at all, we visited for two nights and struggled to fit in all of the city and one or two suburbs, let alone Baden Baden or Heidelberg. You’ll need at least a couple of days to appreciate the city itself and it makes a great base for exploring the surrounding region. Regional rail cards give up to five people unlimited travel for a day and hotels are far cheaper here than in Baden Baden. We stayed at the Novotel, situated at the northern entrance of the zoo and close to the Palace and its gardens. It’s also right next to a host of museums and a concert house, so the perfect base for Karlsruhe card holders. Good quality rooms cost as little as £69 a night at the time of writing.