Mannheim offers something for everyone.
After a long and cramped flight, visiting my boyfriend for three days in a German hospital and just trying to understand despite the language barrier, it was finally time to enjoy the vacation my family and I took to Germany. The things we stumbled upon were some of the most interesting parts of Germany, and were things that I would definitely recommend to any families looking to travel to Deutschland.
First on our stop: Mannheim.
Mannheim is a beautiful town with so much to offer those who visit, and our first day was spent exploring. There is a tram-like system running throughout the entire town, similar to something you would see in New Orleans or San Francisco. The hotel we stayed in even gave us a complimentary day-long pass (which can also be purchased), which allows you to use the train as many times as you need.
Surrounding the many hotels in Mannheim are countless shops, restaurants and other little stands. In the mood for lunch? Every cuisine you could think of is located on one street! My personal favorite is a Turkish dish, extremely popular in Germany and many European countries: a doner. A doner is traditionally a sandwich, served on a thick pita bread. Inside is shredded meat cooked by rotisserie, usually pork or chicken but varies at every restaurant. Then, you can add things like lettuce, onions, tomatoes and many other toppings. Lastly, the doner is topped with this ranch-esque sauce that ties everything together. Don’t like sandwiches? Most places offer a doner box: all of the doner meat poured on top of french fries.
In the mood for something French? A block down from the doner store is a French restaurant that serves the most delicious frozen Bailey’s coffee, perfect for walking around on a hot day. Want more of a sit-down meal? Across the street is an Irish pub which makes the best fish and chips and a cottage pie that is to-die for.
No matter what you’re craving, there are places for everyone to satisfy their hunger in Mannheim.
Keep walking past the restaurants and you’ll come across a beautiful little area with a gigantic pillar, fountains, benches, walkways and gorgeous architecture, also known as the Rosengarten. Catch it on the right weekend and you’ll be surrounded by vendors and food stands, as it’s a very popular location for festivals. Beer and wine are also sold in little carts around the street, for the adults who are looking for a little relaxation of their own.
After the Rosengarten in Mannheim are many other stops for those who have interest: a planetarium, a science museum, thrift shops and so many other places. However, the real adventure came when we began looking for the castle of Mannheim.
Following the signs that read “schloss,” castle in German, my sister and I led my family around the streets of Mannheim, searching for the great palace we had heard about. Finally, we came across a huge building which we were sure was the castle. However, when we peaked in a window we realized that there were people instead, and not just people: students.
After some more wandering, we realized that parts of Castle Mannheim had been turned into a school. The castle spanned for miles and miles, an enormously long building that was about three or four stories high. We eventually found a courtyard and realized that the left-hand side of where we were standing was actually a college, a business school. In front of us was the rest of the castle, which had been turned into a museum. It wasn’t exactly the “castle” we were expecting, but it was so interesting to be standing in the courtyard of a castle where there used to be dances, festivals and other medieval activities, yet have a student running past you trying to make it to class on time.
Most of our first day in Mannehim was spent searching for a palace, exploring the restaurants and getting a sense of the area. Our second day (to be discussed in another article) was spent at one of the most interesting places I’ve seen: Luisenpark.
Are you planning a family vacation, or just want some more information on how to get away? Be sure to stop by Broad Vistas Travel, located on Church Street in Montclair. The folks at Broad Vistas Travel are sure to get you to your most-desired location, so start planning your getaway today!