I allow myself to say this now. I think I’m allowed to do that, too, because after all, I live in Berlin. Mannheim, that’s a bit like a mini Berlin. There are magnificent buildings, a multicultural community, a "Little Istanbul" à la Neukolln, lots of creative drive and a pronounced gay and lesbian scene with pubs and clubs.
Mannheim is rough, but also rich in great diversity. Did you know that Mannheim has the second largest baroque palace in Europe after Versailles?? And the largest density of shoe shops in Germany? Chris Cosmo once sang:
In Mannheim, one cries twice,
If this is where it takes you,
In Mannheim you cry twice:
Once when you come, and once when you go.
I felt the same way about Berlin. I hated the city and then learned to love it after all. What Mannheim has to offer for visitors and what is the reason "why here the whole year and the people from the ass the sun shines" I tell you in my post about the Mannheim sights. To get you in the mood, let me first show you a little video I made:
Mannheim Sights: Pure nature on the Reibinsel
I couldn’t believe it when I drove past a riding stable to stop in a parking lot surrounded by woods and meadows – I’m in the middle of Mannheim. If you want to visit the Reibinsel and are traveling by car, it’s best to drive as far as the Rheingoldstrasse 215, 68199 and parked 100 meters away at the edge of the forest. There is a public parking lot on the right side of the street. Before there you can run off and purely in the oldest and most famous nature reserve in Mannheim. The Reibinsel even belongs to the most important floodplain protection areas in the Upper Rhine region.
The goal of the Mannheimers is to fulfill the wish of the island’s former owner, Consul Karl Reib: "Let the island remain in its pristine state for eternity.". This is what has happened so far. I first walked over a dam and then along a small beach with twisted branches and trunks. I felt a bit like in the jungle.
If you follow the Franzosen- and Strandbadweg, you will come to a sunbathing area, a small promenade and a brand new Italian restaurant, the PURiNO. Here you can sit on the terrace, have a view over the water, watch the ships and feel through the small waves that run out on the riverbank almost a bit as if you were at the sea. This place is beautiful at sunset. However, my reader Nadja recommended me that the Italian restaurant at the camping site is a bit nicer and more traditional. On the Reibinsel the sportsmen among you will also get their money’s worth, because there is also a forest sports path. I have seen so many joggers and bicyclists.
Mannheim Sights: The most beautiful park in Europe
The Luisenpark is not just a park. It’s a bit of a journey because something happens at almost every fork in the road. At the entrance to the park, I was a little surprised that I had to pay an entrance fee of six euros. But in retrospect I can say the visit was worth the six euros. A real entertainment program is offered for young and old. You can take a gondola ride over the Kutzerweiher, drink a pot of tea in the Chinese Garden and ride the Duo Jing train through the park. I also really liked the hand and barefoot path where visitors can walk over different surfaces and also through water. I also took a ride on the Gondoletta, because it is not only the park highlight, but also the trademark of the park. If you’re lucky, Mario, the Gondoletta veteran who has been working there for 15 years, will personally help you into the boat.
On the way you will meet giant carps, hopefully turtles and maybe a stork. A whole family of storks was nesting on the tree during my visit and every now and then you could hear them "chattering". If you are interested in the feathered creatures with the long legs and would like to see a baby stork grow up, you can do so via the stork cam, which is installed on a nest. Plan a whole day in any case to discover everything in the Luisenpark and also to lie a bit lazy in the meadow.
Theodor-Heuss-Anlage 2, 68165 Mannheim – Phone 0621 410050
Mannheim Sights: Regional, Seasonal and Social – Cafe Vogelfrei
In Mannheim, I found a really unique place – the Cafe Vogelfrei. You can eat homemade and exclusively vegan food in the backyard or on a cozy granny sofa. The cakes are baked by hand, only vegetables, water, herbs and spices are used in the soup and the dough for the pizza, quiche and bread is homemade.
Once a week the cafe gets an organic box with regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables, whereupon the menu is then made. And also the cakes look simply divinely good. What I find really great – here everything is thought through to the end. The milk and the tea are also certified organic, the coffee comes from No Marketing, whose economic profit is not put into advertising but into a social project and besides all the delicious food there is also a great supporting program. Cafe Vogelfrei is perfect for a coffee chat with your girlfriend. Every last Friday of the month a live band plays and on Sunday we watch Tatort together. Around the corner is also the Mannheim Castle. It is not only available for guided tours but is also the venue for various events. Just ask in advance what is going on during your stay.
C 3, 20, 68159 Mannheim
Mannheim sights: The sacred halls of the Popakademie
There are few people who are allowed to look behind the scenes and into the building of the sacred halls of the pop academy once. Udo Lindenberg is a producer here and under the wing of renowned musicians such as Xavier Naidoo, Smudo or Tim Renner, the young talents are taught how to storm the ranks of the charts. Or how to make the dream of your own label come true. Every year 500 musicians apply, but only 30 are accepted.
I have created a graduate playlist for you here:
I think the concept of the Pop Academy is terrific. Musicians meet singer-songwriters, music business students and producers. Everyone fits together and can benefit from each other. Only yesterday Udo Lindenberg was still there and from tomorrow the entrance exams begin. While I was walking through the building a few bands were rehearsing. It was very interesting to see how the stars of tomorrow might grow up here. For 12 years, the Pop Academy has been located in the Jungbusch district, which was once considered a rather difficult neighborhood. In the meantime, however, it has become a small trendy district with many great bars and pubs.
I was really inspired by how many projects the Popakademie is involved in. For example, they cooperate with the neighboring elementary school, which has a 90% immigrant rate. Rappers come to school classes and work on songs with the kids. Through the new "World Music" course, children learn about traditional musical instruments, can make music together and then listen to recordings of their music. The Pop Academy also supports a senior citizens’ choir, the (F)Altenrock. The choir writes new lyrics for modern songs. If you want to listen to two graduates of the Pop Academy from the electronic field, then enter Jewelz and Sparks and Virtualriot at Deezer.
It was so interesting and a real honor to get this tour. In 2014, UNESCO, the world’s most important cultural institution, included Mannheim in its Creative Cities Network and since then Mannheim has also been allowed to call itself UNESCO City of Music. There are so many events where you too can experience the students and graduates and hear their talent. HERE you can find all events.
The place to be in Jungbusch – the Hagestolz. At the end of October the festival "Nachtwandel" takes place here. The whole neighborhood is alive, artists can exhibit their work and music is made in every backyard. Almost 30.000 visitors come from all over for the duration of the festival.
Mannheim Sights: Nightlife Tips
- Speicher 7: Hotel& Bar in a former granary. Here is a beautiful terrace right on the water. Perfect for a relaxed summer evening. – Rheinvorlandstr.7 CLICK
- Tower cafe& Cocktail Bar StarsSince 1994, the Skyline-Bar above the roofs of Mannheim with a view of the beautiful old town. This is the best place to enjoy the sunset with one of the delicious cocktails. – Townhouse N1 CLICK
- Manufaktur MannheimSuper chic restaurant with its own stylish beach. The restaurant is open every day and in summer there are places to relax and smoke hookah on the beach. – Industriestrasse 35 CLICK
- Barhopping in the trendy district JungbuschThe Jungbusch quarter is the trendy quarter of Mannheim. In about 25 different pubs you can drink and party as much as you like. The place to be at the weekends.
- Hafen49: In Hafen 49 in the harbor district it gets really loud on weekends. Between brick walls and rusty containers, Mannheimers party the night away to house, techno and electro music. – Hafenstrabe 49 CLICK
- Cafe BlueIf you haven’t been to Cafe Blau, you haven’t been to Mannheim, because this "cafe" is Mannheim’s cult pub. On weekends indie DJs play indie rock, soul, new wave and occasionally there are concerts. – Jungbuschstrabe 14 CLICK
- SohoIt’s loud, it’s colorful, it’s the Soho. In the Soho there is a lot to listen to – from electro to rock, soul to black music – everything is there. Off to the club! – J7,16 CLICK
Mannheim sights: The ZeitgEISt ice cream shop
The copy hangs in the window of the ZeitgEISt ice cream shop in Mannheim like a certificate. This year the Zeitmagazin made a survey and searched for Germany’s best ice cream parlors. The 15 best ice cream parlors were shown on a map of Germany and the Zeitgeist ice cream factory was among them. I can only confirm the verdict: This ice cream parlor is the hammer.
Probably the secret recipe is the passion that Christopher puts into his ice cream manufactory. After studying digital media, 5 years as an employee in a print shop and an occasional job as a wedding photographer he made a break and did his own thing. In May last year he opened his own ice cream parlor. There were two reasons for this:
- He did not like the ice cream in Mannheim.
- He has always wanted to work in an ice cream parlor.
Then, because he was a little too old for that, Christopher simply decided to open one of his own. The queue in front of the door definitely gives an idea of the taste of the ice cream scoops. They are so good that you like to wait 10 minutes for them. Anticipation is the best joy anyway. On Facebook you can find out the daily varieties. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mango and yogurt are always on the list. But there are never more than 13 kinds. Among its wackiest creations are apple celery and rice pudding. I had three vegan ice cream scoops – raspberry, mango and chocolate and I really have never had such good vegan ice cream before. If I could have, I would have loved to take a big bowl for myself at home. Too bad you can’t ship ice cream.
Mannheim Sights: After the market, a short trip to Istanbul
The market place is located in the northern part of Mannheim. Every Tuesday and Thursday the weekly market takes place on the market place, where fresh fruits, vegetables and also regional specialties are sold. At the edge of the market place the neighborhood "Little Istanbul" begins. This neighborhood is characterized by Turkish bakeries, such as Saray Pastanesi in H2, a variety of Turkish restaurants and stores, ranging from hair salons to bridal fashion.
Mannheim sights: Get off at the Staytion
The Staytion is a hotel of a very special kind. Motto of the house is: music meets industry. The hotel follows three consistently implemented concepts: Urban design, music and sushi. You can feel that in the total of six floors. All are infused with cool decor, great pictures on the walls and individual music. Each floor is dedicated to a different artist, style or Mannheim band. Of course the Sohne Mannheims will be there as well. Visitors can even borrow an iPod at the front desk, which is full of music to play on the various floors – music fans will get their money’s worth here.
Another specialty of Staytion is sushi. It’s worth spending an evening at the hotel bar, feasting on Euro-Asian sushi creations while sipping craft beer or cocktail classics.
Heinrich-Lanz-Strasse 5, phone: 0621 4907670 KLICK
My room in the hotel
Music meets Industry
And my absolute favorite restaurant – My heart beats vegan!
This post was created in cooperation with Stadtmarketing Mannheim GmbH and Urlaubsland Baden-Wurttemberg.