The TRK offers a wide variety of recreation activities - if you are into sports, culture or culinary delights, there is something for everybody in our region. More information on cultural events, shopping, outdoor activities etc.
The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion's 3,240 square kilometers offer no shortage of cultural highlights. Fans of theater and music, art and technology aficionados, culinary connoisseurs, and those just looking to relax are sure to get their money's worth in our active and vibrant cultural scene. There are plenty of attractive and diverse cultural activities for children and teenagers, as well.
The region's museums, theaters, art and culture associations, cinemas, and libraries put together programs that draw numerous visitors every year. Dates and other information on cultural events in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion are advertised through these and other channels:
- Newspapers and other publications
If you are particularly interested in museums in the region, the website Deutsche Museen provides an overview of Germany's museums and their addresses.
The same service is also available for theaters in the region.
Below, we present a list of some of the most well-known cultural institutions and events in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion.
At a glance
Museum Frieder Burda Baden-Baden
The world-renowned Frieder Burda collection currently consists of more than a thousand works of contemporary and modern art.
Every summer, Ettlingen's castle courtyard transforms into an open-air stage featuring everything from classical comedy to musicals performed before a breathtaking backdrop
Europe's second-largest opera house offers room for 2,500 guests, and its program and acoustics are among the best in the world.
Germany's largest street theater festival, which astounds more than 150,000 attendees every two years, has long since become a hallmark of the KTR far beyond the region's borders.
This annual summer event is one major reason why the region enjoys a strong cultural reputation.
The Baroque castle formerly occupied by the prince-bishops of Speyer presents its own exciting program every two years: At the Kultursommer Open Air Festival, historical cultural heritage meets modern entertainment!
ZKM | Center for Art and Media
The ZKM deals with new media theories and practices like no other cultural institution in the world. It combines research and production, exhibitions and other events, intermediary functions, and documentation under one roof.
The regional newspapers and TV stations give you an overview of upcoming events.
Volkshochschulen (VHS) are institutions that serve the public good by providing education services to young people and adults. They are an integral part of social life in Germany. Despite the name, however, Volkshochschulen are not institutions of higher learning, but rather part of the quaternary field of continuing education.
Volkshochschulen offer courses in a wide range of subjects that are open to all ages and population groups. As a result, they promote both individual personality development and social interaction in public life.
In addition, Volkshochschulen provide their services near residential areas and at affordable prices without any bias toward a particular ideology or political affiliation. VHS course programs cover the following areas: Politics – Society – Environment, Culture – Creativity, Health, Languages, Work – Careers, and Basic Education – Graduation Certificates. These areas are then aligned toward the interests of participants in terms of their orientation, education, and qualifications. Volkshochschulen thus seek to aid their students in reaching their individual potential, acquiring new vocational skills, augmenting their current qualifications, and becoming integrated members of society.
Through courses in literacy, basic education, and obtaining graduation certificates, Volkshochschulen give educationally disadvantaged groups a second chance. Since the inception of Germany's related immigration law, they have also worked to provide comprehensive for integration courses. Certification, meanwhile, plays a prominent role in learning foreign languages (telc certificates, for example) and acquiring vocational skills (such as with Xpert certificates). This can be very helpful in receiving recognition for accomplishments in these areas.
At a glance
The VHS program areas address topics concerning:
- Jobs and careers
- Society, knowledge, and politics
- The environment
- Culture and creativity
- Basic education and graduation certificates
- Languages and Integration
- Job-related German language courses
- VHS for specific groups
VHS Karlsruhe – a welcoming culture
Since 2011, VHS Karlsruhe has been carrying out various projects designed to get citizens from other countries excited about the history and culture of the city and Germany in general, as well as about taking part in German society.
These cultural integration efforts have met with success thus far thanks to their focus on respect and appreciation.
In the process, participants are encouraged to contribute their particular strengths and skills. They engage in spirited intercultural discussions by relating their own past experiences to those of fellow citizens from Karlsruhe and the rest of the world. This has created a lively intercultural knowledge exchange among all participants.
vhs Bretten e.V.
vhs Bruchsal e.V.
vhs Ettlingen e.V.
vhs Karlsruhe e.V.
vhs Karlsbad e.V.
(District of Karlsruhe)
vhs District of Karlsruhe e.V.
vhs District of Rastatt e.V.
vhs Waldbronn e.V.
(District of Karlsruhe)
Job-related German Language Courses at VHS
VHS Karlsruhe offers job-related German language courses for the care sector as well as for doctors.
For more details, see the programme of the vhs Karlsruhe.
The Karlsruhe Technology Region offers a wide range of shopping opportunities: From the most prominent fashion chains and individual owner-run businesses to boutiques, furniture stores, outlets, and shops selling luxury items made right here in Germany. Information on business hours and what you should keep in mind when paying are just a few of the tips this section provides.
In downtown areas, larger stores are typically open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some supermarkets do not close until 10:00 p.m. or even midnight. Smaller businesses, boutiques, and individual specialty shops usually close at 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and at 2:00 or 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. A number of train station shops, gas stations, and kiosks sell the most essential foods and beverages around the clock – even on Sundays and holidays.
The sale of goods is generally prohibited in Germany on the following days:
- Sundays and public holidays
- December 24 (if this date falls on a business day, stores close at 2:00 p.m.)
When December 24 falls on a Sunday, stores that sell mainly food and beverages (or Christmas trees) are allowed to open for up to three hours that day, but must close by 2:00 p.m.
Many cities also schedule Sundays on which stores are open for business, which is possible up to four times per year. On these Sundays, shoppers can often enjoy live music and arts and crafts as they stroll from store to store downtown. You will usually find out about these special Sundays on the radio, through posted advertisements, or in regional newspapers.
Please note that hair salons, restaurants, and various other service providers are often closed on Mondays. Doctors' practices, meanwhile, are typically closed on Wednesday afternoons.
Paying for goods and services
In Germany, you can pay with cash, EC cards, or credit cards in most businesses. The use of credit cards, however, is not as conventional here as it is in other European countries or the United States. Smaller shops often accept only cash, while others require a minimum purchase amount for EC card payments. Checks, meanwhile, are uncommon and rarely accepted.
When shopping online, you can choose from a variety of payment options. Along with the usual methods (such as credit cards or money transfer services like PayPal), you can transfer money directly from your bank account or pay in cash upon delivery.
In Germany, negotiating prices is not a common practice. Most advertised prices are actually suggested retail prices. This does not include books or food products - those prices are binding.
Most things available for purchase in Germany are subject to the federal sales tax (19%). For certain products – basic food items like milk and bread, for example, as well as books, newspapers, flowers, and works of art – a lower rate (7%) applies. You don’t need to crunch the numbers in your head while shopping, however: The prices indicated in stores and restaurants already include the applicable sales tax.
Shops and stores
Supermarkets and smaller businesses like bakeries and butcher shops are available to meet local citizens' daily needs in most residential areas. To buy fashionable clothing, household items, and electrical appliances, however, many Germans opt for nearby downtown areas for the greater selection their shopping thoroughfares provide. Large furniture stores, consumer electronics stores, and shopping centers, on the other hand, can often be found on the outskirts of cities. They usually feature large parking lots and good bus and train connections. Supermarkets that sell food and other important everyday items can be located both within cities and in the surrounding areas.
Buying items online is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Indeed, more than half of the country's Internet users order goods and services online. If you ever receive a delivery of something that is damaged or otherwise not what you were expecting, don't worry: When you order something from an online shop in Germany, you have the right to send it back within 14 days, no questions asked. For your own security, you should always check the "Impressum" section of any online shop you are visiting for the first time for information on the site's owner.
Weekly Farmer's markets
Our region is a paradise for connoisseurs of food and drink! This is true of the products offered outside of local supermarkets, as well. If you appreciate the value of regional and seasonal items, there is a wide selection of farmer's markets to visit in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion. This gives you the chance to buy local – and often exotic – specialties that have spent very little time in storage and transport. Why not take a stroll through a farmer's market near you? The colors and aromas of the goods on sale might just inspire your next great meal.
If you buy certain foods when they are in season, the prices typically range between fair and very reasonable (depending on supply conditions, of course). However, Germany differs from many other countries in that buying food at an open market is not always cheaper than at a supermarket or discount store.
Flea markets are enjoying ever-greater popularity, as well. Whether you're looking for an antique piece of furniture, jewelry from generations past, or whatever might catch your eye, they present a colorful alternative to conventional shops and products. After registering with the organizers, you can also make a bit of money yourself selling used furniture and other items, unused toys, or clothing your children have outgrown.
You can find current information on the flea markets in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion on the Internet and in local and regional newspapers.
If you're a fan of high-quality brands and don't insist on keeping up with the latest trends, shopping at an outlet store can be well worth your while. These businesses offer discounts of up to 70% on the original prices of items from seasons past. In the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion, an outlet in Roppenheim (France, just under 20 kilometers from Baden-Baden) sells a diverse selection of international products.
German companies set great store by the quality of their products and are also required to heed the country's consumer protection laws. Carcinogenic or otherwise toxic materials are either subject to strict controls or simply banned. In the case of toys, tattoo products, and cosmetics, particular attention is paid to harmful substances. For this reason, companies must verify that their goods are free of such materials and otherwise comply with the relevant quality requirements. These measures are primarily designed to protect consumers.
There are also dedicated consumer centers that can provide you with independent, unbiased information and advice on a wide variety of topics. Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg e.V., for example, provides guidance on the following subjects:
- Retirement plans, banks, and loans
- Home construction and maintenance
- Health and care services
- Food and nutrition
- Telecommunications, recreation, and household matters
You can take advantage of such consumer protection services if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You are a private end consumer.
- Your question concerns an existing contractual relationship (or the preparation thereof) with a commercial entity.
- A provider is falsely claiming to have a contractual relationship with you.
- Your query relates to one of the areas in which advice is provided.
These consultations are subject to fees that vary by the subject at hand and the time they require.
Bottle deposit system
In Germany, many beverage containers are subject to a deposit. This means that you pay a small surcharge on each container and receive your money back upon returning it. Such deposits are required by law on most disposable beverage containers, including cans and bottles made of glass or PET plastic. The amount is typically 25 cents, or eight or 15 cents in the case of multi-use containers. Empty containers can usually be returned to any store that sells the same type of containers.
Most supermarkets and some smaller stores make shopping carts available to their customers. Some years ago, a system was introduced to prevent these carts from being stolen. Shopping carts are thus now part of another deposit system: To unchain a cart from the others in the stack, you will need to insert a one-euro or 50-cent coin (or a corresponding plastic chip). After finishing your shopping, you only need to return your shopping cart to the stack and reattach the chain to get your deposit back.
Our country's strong tradition of establishing associations is definitely something one could call "typically German". Such organizations (which are often also referred to as clubs) are founded by people with a wide variety of common goals or interests, such as:
- Social interests
- Youth issues
- Parents' issues
- Animal protection
Many people, including a great many children and teenagers, are members of an association. This entails taking on one or more responsibilities within the organization on a voluntary basis. Of course, membership also comes with all the benefits an association provides. It is also a way to meet plenty of people with similar interests. If you are looking to interact with like-minded people in your area and engage in fun, worthwhile recreational activities together, joining an association is an excellent and affordable way to do so.
The stakeholder of the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion has added an area to their website that enables you to search for associations within your own personal field of interests. This overview is arranged alphabetically and should not be considered exhaustive.
Overview of associations in the TRK
If you would like to become a member of one of the many associations in the TRK, have a look at the list below.
Joining an association can be great, but like most things, it's not for everyone. Would you rather go on a nice weekend excursion? On your own or with your family? On foot or on your bike? The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion features a large number of bike trails and hiking paths that offer the perfect starting point for an extended outdoor adventure.
The Rhine Cycle Route (available in English, French, German, and Dutch), for example, covers 1,230 kilometers and crosses four countries between the river's source in the Swiss Alps and its estuary in Rotterdam. In Baden-Württemberg, it runs from the shores of Lake Constance through the Upper Rhine Plain to the Electoral Palatinate capital of Mannheim. On its eastern side, the route is bordered by the Black Forest, the Kraichgau, and the Odenwald, and in the west by the Vosges and the hills of Rheinhessen. It offers ideal biking conditions – with even terrain and Mediterranean climes – and is also suitable for both family excursions (on partial sections) and longer, more demanding rides. Finally, the Rhine Cycle Route includes connections to numerous regional bike paths and corresponding opportunities to discover each area's hinterlands.
If you'd prefer heading into the mountains, the Black Forest is well-suited to a wide range of outdoors activities in both summer and winter. Those who enjoy hiking, for instance, should visit the website of the Wanderinstitut to learn more about the various trails in the region.
The Palatinate's southern reaches also boast a large number of hiking paths.
Watch a video about the Rhine Cycle Route.
Welcome offers for new residents!
New residents get a New Resident’s Voucher Book and a special introductory offer on the CIK-club New Resident’s Card!
Every year, more than 50,000 people decide to make the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion their new home. To make our new residents feel even more welcome, the Regio Service Südwest gives every newcomer to the region lots of great welcome offers.
All new residents are given the New Resident’s Voucher Book (Neubürger-Scheckheft) as a special welcome gift when they register at the Einwohnermeldeamt (residents’ registration office). The more than 50,000 Regional New Resident’s Voucher Books given out across the region are provided by Regio-Service Südwest, partner and service provider to the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund public transport network (KVV). Thanks to this partnership, in the regional version of the Voucher Book you’ll find a free KVV weekly season ticket to make it easier for you to explore the area and find out what it has to offer completely stress-free for a whole week.
You’ll also find lots of attractive discount offers for services, restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities across the region to give you a taste of the exciting diversity that abounds in our region. The handy-sized square welcome gift contains vouchers for a wide range of experiences and activities in the region, ranging from a day ticket to the Baden State Museum and a surprise pack from the Die Neue Welle radio station to free bowling. So there’s something for everyone.
But that’s not all: Regio Service Südwest has yet another attractive offer for new residents!
With the exclusive CIK-club Neubürgerkarte (New Resident’s Card) you can get special offers and discounts of up to 50% on goods and services from more than 850 businesses, shops, restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities. You can also use it to enjoy more than 100 local events completely free or at discounted rates.
But discounts and prize draws aren’t the only things that make this little card so special. Regio Service Südwest has come up with an innovative feature that makes it even more unique: it’s a great way to get to know lots of lovely new people fast! Because this card is part of the CIK-club, the biggest community for new working residents in Region Südwest, with more than 24,000 members. As a New Resident’s Card holder you will enjoy even more friendly service and lots of discounts.
So if you’ve just moved to the Karlsruhe region, go ahead and treat yourself! Start making the most of the many special offers the CIK-club New Resident’s Card provides now. The card is free for the first year (minimum subscription 2 years) and costs just €30/year from the 2nd year onwards.