Are there awesome things to do in Kaiserslautern, Germany? Certainly yes! Read on to see why it should be on your list of the best cities to visit in Europe.
When you visit Germany, a tour of Kaiserslautern city will undoubtedly be worth your time. There are so many things to do in Kaiserslautern, including a tour of the historic Palatinate Forest, and numerous other gorgeous sites to visit.
Kaiserslautern was first inhabited in the year 800 during the Celtic reign in the region. The city got its name from being a favorite hunting area for a Holy Roman emperor in 1155. Its growing population influenced King Rudolf von Habsburg in 1276 to give Kaiserslautern city status.
Later on, most of the city was rebuilt after WW2. It suffered immense damage due to allied bombings, with more than 80% of the city was reduced to rubble. The good news is that today, the city is among the greatest in Germany and is a hub for ICT.
Top Things to do in Kaiserslautern, Germany: Points of Interest
Below are some of the fantastic things to see in Kaiserslautern.
1. The Japanischer Garten
How about beginning your checklist of things to do in Kaiserslautern with a tour of this Japanese Garden?
Here, you step into the charming part of Japan by simply touring the Japanese garden. You don’t need to go all the way to the Far East to catch a glimpse of Japan’s magnificence.
The Japanese Garden dates back to 2000, when it received its first visitors. Before that, it was a simple municipal garden with lots of ancient trees like hazelnuts and others. These helped the developers create one of the perfect Kaiserslautern attractions.
Now, everything about its layout and design resembles the enchanting gardens in Japan. Everywhere you turn, there are waterfalls, ponds, tea houses, and lanterns made of stone. And besides touring the many attractions, you can catch some temporary exhibitions or take some courses.
2. Humberg Tower
After spending time in nature, you can keep the theme going by scaling the Humberg hill. The 425m high hill offers incredible views of the entire city. And at the top, you can also enjoy another of Kaiserslautern tourist attractions – the Humberg Tower.
Humberg Tower has always been an observation point that Kaiserslautern’s residents often frequent. While it was built in 1899, the tower continues to attract both locals and visitors in equal measure. Interestingly, even before it was constructed, the locals loved coming up to the hill to enjoy marvelous views of the city and the nearby Palatinate Forest.
However, the idea of an observation tower was intriguing. Architect Ludwig Ritter von Stempel came up with the design and oversaw its construction. It’s made using the locally available sandstone that was commonly used for building structures at the time.
Once it was complete, an official opening took place in 1900. Visitors can now head to the top of the tower using the 130 steps in a spiral staircase. The city is responsible for its maintenance, and it continues to encourage visitors to the location every year.
The collegiate church also ranks among the top things to see in Kaiserslautern. From the exterior, you can tell the church has lots of history to reveal. It is one of the city’s top tourist attractions.
Spend some time here with family and create worthwhile memories. For instance, its red brick exterior and spires form amazing sights.
The spires are pretty impressive and can be seen from all parts of the city. In addition, the church Gothic architecture style that’s distinctive of many historic churches in Europe is just mind-blowing.
Back in the 14th century, a Barbarossa group had built a monastery here. But, it later closed in 1511, and a secular one took its place.
The new occupants only stayed here until 1565, after which construction of the collegiate began. The old structure’s walls were the guide for the new building.
Today, visitors can attend protestant services at the church. However, you can tour the church and enjoy its marvelous interior instead.
4. Heidelberg Castle
After spending some time in the city, it would also be a great idea to check out some of the amazing things near Kaiserslautern. For instance, 1 hour to the east of the city is the ruins of Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg. The ruins are the pride of Heidelberg.
Construction of this once massive castle began in the 11th century as one castle. However, later expansion efforts resulted in two castles in 1294. There was an upper and lower castle for the royals.
Unfortunately, the upper castle suffered immense destruction in 1303, after a lightning bolt struck it, leaving the structure in ruins. It remained as is until the coronation of Rupert the third as the new German king. He started renovations on the upper castle and further expansion.
The kings that followed continued with the process until 1618, when the castle suffered its first attack. During these times of war, the castle remained in disrepair until 1897, when artists made it famous in Europe. Today, this part remains in ruins while the other is wholly restored to its original glory.
5. FC Kaiserslautern
Picture this: you head to Kaiserslautern on holiday and get to enjoy watching the finest football games in Europe. That’s possible when you get some time to attend FC Kaiserslautern games.
Whether you’re interested in football or are just curious about the club, be sure to check it out. It’s part of the 2nd division clubs in Germany but has a remarkable history. 2 decades ago, it was one of the top clubs in the country.
Unfortunately, there’s no official stadium for the club, but you can still catch some matches. One location to head to is the Fritz-Walter Stadion. Buy your ticket and enjoy some action among thousands of cheering fans.
Also, you can book a tour of the stadium during off-days.
6. The Kaiserslautern Zoo
Are you still wondering what to do in Kaiserslautern? You can spend time touring the city zoo, a perfect location to bring along the whole family.
The Kaiserslautern zoo has numerous activities to keep you engaged. Apart from guided tours, you have the option of adopting an animal or attend wild classes.
There’s a warm house that creates a tropical atmosphere for the zoo animals. The house contains two levels full of different animal species. There are monkeys, snakes, frogs, and spiders.
After spending some time in the place, you can head to the petting zoo. Here, there are numerous goats that you can enjoy feeding with the kids.
Don’t forget the guided tours that take you over the expansive area. These are wonderful when you want more information about the different animals. Also, kids can spend time in wild classrooms learning about the importance of conservation, among other wildlife topics.
7. Wildpark Betzenberg
When it comes to nature, there are numerous things to do in Kaiserslautern. After spending time at the zoo, head to the Betzenberg Wildlife Park, where native animals roam.
In 1970, the city set up the park to help locals and visitors to enjoy watching animals in an area similar to the wild. There are species native to the place that once roamed freely but only exist in the conservancy today.
Inside, tour the six large enclosures built plus the open stables for the animals. There are grassy areas where the animals browse, plus watering holes.
Not to mention the century-old trees that dots the landscape. These trees include large beech and oaks.
Though this is a human-made reserve, it has created a natural environment for the animals. It covers 25 acres and is home to deer, bison, wild cats, wild bores, and wild horses. There is never a shortage of exciting stuff to do in Kaiserslautern.
8. Day Trip to Palatinate Forest
Bordering Kaiserslautern is the Palatinate forest. Gather some friends or head out alone for a day trip. It tops up your list of things to do in Kaiserslautern.
The UNESCO listed Palatinate forest beckons every adventure seeker who wants to spend time away from the city. You can head there on foot, in a car, or on a bike. The choice is yours as long as you want some adventure.
Among the top sights to enjoy on your trip are amazing landscapes with numerous viewpoints. Also, you can tour the castles and big manor homes. One of the most formidable castles is Stifle, but you should also try to visit Hambach Castle and Berwartstein Castle.
More so, there are other national monuments that dot the landscape. One is the Devil’s table, plus rock formations like the Dahner Felsenland. Finish your trip by entering one of the museums or information centers inside the forest.
If you are out of ideas on what to see in Kaiserslautern, why not try the historic churches. Start by heading to Martinskirche parish, which sits in the oldest part of the city.
Originally, the Catholic parish was joined to a monastery but today stands on its own. It’s not a grand structure, unlike other churches in Europe, but there’s a reason for that. The Franciscan Monastery was known for its modest ways, which is reflected in many of its structures.
Another difference the church has from many others is the absence of a tower. The order didn’t believe in showing off using architecture. Instead, the church has a Baroque-like steeple.
From the time the structure was completed in the 13 century, the interior has undergone numerous renovations.
10. Wine Tour
Did you know that Kaiserslautern has lots of wineries that welcome visitors? How about planning a tour of these wineries as part of your things to do in Kaiserslautern?
Wine tours are popular in this part of Germany. Therefore, you can pick a day or two to hop on the wine tour and have some fun. The best way to book a tour is online, although you can visit the information centers in the city when you need more information.
Once the trip is planned, bring some friends along and enjoy some wine tasting. Fun fact: numerous German wineries permit visitors to taste wine for free! Also, most don’t require visitors to book an appointment but be sure to call and find out before making the trip.
The good news is, the wine lists are familiar. Though they encompass numerous varieties, they aren’t challenging to understand. And you can purchase a couple of bottles of your favorite to take home after completing your Kaiserslautern visit.
11. Mikveh Jewish Bath
Things to do in Kaiserslautern aren’t complete without touring a crucial part of Jewish culture in Germany. A Mikveh bath was unearthed in the city in 1995 at Am Altenhof. It’s thought to be quite old, dating back to the 12th century.
Chances of unearthing this Jewish historical sight were slim, but construction work in the area led to the discovery. During that time, the Jewish population in the region was significant. However, the Jews were expelled from the city later in 1398.
Today, visitors can tour the bath. But, you have to first visit the tourism office before making the trip.
12. Kaiserslautern City Museum
In 1978, the city chose a picturesque home in Kaiserslautern to house its museum. It was a perfect choice, given how wonderful the structure looks. Though the museum began back in 1934, it wasn’t moved to the current location until later.
All the artifacts inside are from across the region and span over eight decades. There’s pottery, jewelry, and artwork to view. There are also artifacts from the Neolithic era that prove the area had inhabitants from long ago.
Another part of the museum showcases the industrial revolution in Kaiserslautern. Here you’ll see all the different products the city was famous for during that period. Most industries are represented here and include pottery, metalwork, stone works, and many more.
See related: 20 Best Museums in Berlin, Germany
13. Pfalzgalarie Museum
In 1870, the Pfalzgalarie was set up as a center for German art. The president of Palatinate, Paul von Braun, saw a need for such a museum in Kaiserslautern. It’s located near the old town hall and has numerous exhibitions showing.
You can catch the permanent exhibitions that contain artwork from the region spanning more than two centuries. Both the neoclassic and imperialistic eras in the area are represented in art. Once you finish that, head to the 2nd floor to view the decorative works of artists from the 13th century, including furniture.