Not many people visit Kaiserslautern, for the simple reason that most people haven’t heard of it, and the locals would love to keep it that way. This little town in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in southwest Germany is affectionately guarded by the dense Palatinate Forest, making the town a wonderful base to go cycling or hiking. Additionally, Kaiserslautern has interesting museums, a famous football stadium and beautiful architecture to ensure an enjoyable short holiday.
Kaiserslautern is known for several noteworthy buildings. Ruins of the 12th-century Hohenecken Castle, complete with a bailey, a moat and thick protective walls tell stories of an era long gone. The massive Emperor’s Fountain on the Mainzer Gate has come to be recognized as the icon of Kaiserslautern. Don’t miss the Fruchthalle (a grand concert and events hall, and among the most important secular buildings in the Palatinate), the towering Rathaus and the Moorish-Byzantine-style Synagogenplatz dating back to the 1880s. Your tour of Kaiserslautern is not complete without a tour of the Count Palatinate Hall, the Casimirs Building and the subterranean passages.
The region around Kaiserslautern is any hiker’s dream come true. The challenging 140-kilometer (87-mile) Palatinate Forest Trail meanders through verdant forests, spectacular rock formations and deep valleys, while the three-hour Humberg Tower Route takes you past interesting cultural and natural landmarks. Also, you can go on a thrilling tour of 60 kilometers (37 miles) of prehistoric burials, or enjoy panoramic views along the 130-kilometer (81-mile) Vista Trail between Bad Bergzabern (Oberotterbach), Fischbach bei Dahn and Kaiserslautern.
Fritz Walter Stadium doesn’t need an introduction to football fans. This is the home ground of the popular team F.C. Kaiserslautern, which boasts legendary football stars. This hilltop stadium has a massive 49,780 seating capacity and is agreed to be one of the grandest football stadiums in Germany. You can catch a game at the Fritz Walter Stadium and even explore the interior of the stadium as part of a guided tour.
Excavations have unearthed traces of a Jewish settlement in Kaiserslautern from the 14th century, including a school, a synagogue and, most importantly, a Mikveh (Jewish ritual bath). The Mikveh welcomes visitors to explore this amazing discovery and significant monument of Jewish culture as part of a guided tour.
Cycling is another great way of exploring the UNESCO-listed Palatinate Forest. The 90-kilometer (56-mile) Barbarossa cycle route connects the Rhine bikeway at the imperial city of Worms with the bikeway Glan-Blies at Glan-Münchweiler across the dense Palatinate Forest. On the other hand, the 40-kilometer (25-mile) route Lautertal snakes through picturesque hamlets and gorgeous landscape between the Kaiserslautern and the Veldenz City of Lauterecken. If you wish to feast your eyes on breathtaking river valleys and discover a trove of red sandstone, set out on the 61-kilometer (38-mile) long Palatinate Forest Tour. Guided bike tours are also available.
The Japanese Gardens is an oasis of peace right in the city of Kaiserslautern. This park is a stunning ensemble of Japanese tea houses, stone paths, traditional lanterns, moss gardens, waterfalls, ponds and towering hazelnut and beech trees. Additionally, you can observe animals in an almost-natural habitat at Game Park Betzenberg and the Zoo of Kaiserslautern. These are particularly popular options for families with children. The Garden Fair (Gartenschau), open from April to October, enthralls visitors with beautiful flower beds and impressive exhibitions.
To appreciate the beauty of Kaiserslautern and the verdant Palatinate Forest from a bird’s-eye view, climb up to the Humberg Tower observation deck at a height of 28.16 meters (93 feet) above ground. We guarantee that the views awaiting you at the top will be worth climbing up the 130 steps.
Municipal museums Theodor-Zink and the Wadgasserhof trace the social, economic and cultural history of the region through ethnic and handicraft exhibits. Art enthusiasts should make a beeline for Pfalzgalerie, a gallery with an admirable collection of paintings, sculptures and graphic art pieces from over 200 years ago.
Theodor-Zink Museum, Steinstraße 48, Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 631 3652327
Pfalzgalerie, Museumspl. 1, Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 631 3647201