Presiding over the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar 19km from Heidelberg, MANNHEIM has a big-city feel quite unlike its bookish neighbour. It gained urban status in 1607 under Elector Friedrich IV of the Palatinate, its glory days coming a century later when Elector Carl Philipp transferred his capital from Heidelberg. The industrial revolution affected the city profoundly: Karl Benz founded his motor company in Mannheim in 1883; three years later he tested the world’s first real car here. Mannheim lost much to World War II bombs, but the major landmarks were restored afterwards, the museums are excellent and it remains a good place to see Jugendstil (Art Nouveau). Nowadays it’s one of Germany’s most cosmopolitan cities – a fact reflected in the multiethnic make-up of platinum-selling local R&B group Söhne Mannheims (Sons of Mannheim).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
10 of the best European city breaks

10 of the best European city breaks

In this article sponsored by Scenic Australia, Emma Gibbs picks 10 of the best city breaks across Europe. Europe is so crammed full of fascinating, vibrant c…

01 Dec 2015 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
Discover Berlin's biggest bathtub: the Baltic Sea

Discover Berlin's biggest bathtub: the Baltic Sea

Carved balconies like lace, swaggering villas in spacious gardens and an absurdly long pier. Who would have expected “Herring Village” to be so glitzy? I…

08 Oct 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month