Mannheim's city center has a unique feature: the streets are laid out in a grid pattern, resembling a chessboard - hence the nickname City of Squares. At the center of the grid, the famous Barockschloss (Baroque Palace) is situated. The second-largest Baroque palace in Europe- after Versailles - today houses what's probably the most beautiful university in Germany. But this is not the city's most famous landmark: that honor goes to the Wasserturm (Water Tower). The Wasserturm is located at the Friedrichplatz: an ornamental art nouveau site, complete with splashing fountains and elegant promenades and arcades.
Mannheim features plenty of parks, and the famed Luisenpark is the green heart of the city. It's considered one of the most beautiful parks in Europe and a popular place to gather and relax for locals and tourists alike. Besides all this, the city surprises visitors with a variety of attractive shopping streets and its lively and creative Jungbusch district - also referred to as Mannheim's mini-Berlin. Train station Mannheim Hbf is located on the southern edge of the city center's grid named the Quadrate. The station provides easy access to the city's local public transportation system, consisting of several tram and bus lines. Mannheim is also a great city to explore on foot, and many top sites are located within walking distance from the train station.
The Barockschloss is located west from train station Mannheim Hbf and within easy walking distance. Trams and buses are also available: tram lines 1 and 5 and bus lines 7 and 60 all leave from station Universität and stop at the central station. The Friedrichtplatz with its iconic Wasserturm is located at a similar distance from the station in northern direction. Travelers can walk the distance or use tram line 3, which has a dedicated stop at the Wasserturm. From there it's just a short ride to the station. The green oasis of the Luisenpark is located further away from the station. Although still within walking distance, public transport is also available. Travelers can take tram lines 6 and 9 from station Luisenpark/Technomuseum to station Tattersall, from where it's only a short walk to the station. Alternately, it's possible to take bus line 60 from station Lanzvilla, which stops right at the central station.
The distance from the Barockschloss to train station Mannheim Hbf is 0.5 miles (0.75 kilometers). On foot, the station can be reached in ten minutes, walking straight ahead along the Schlossgartenstraße. Following along the row of buildings lining the bank of the Rhine, the station appears on the right-hand side after just a short walk. By tram or bus, the journey takes approximately seven minutes. From the Friedrichplatz and Wasserturm the distance to the central station is also 0.5 miles (0.75 kilometers), with a walking time of ten minutes. The route is easy to find as it requires simply walking down the Kaiserring, the inner-city ring road that leads straight up to the station's front entrance. Along this road, the interesting Kunsthalle can also be found. By tram, the travel time is approximately six minutes. The distance from Luisenpark to the central station is 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) and can be walked in half an hour, following along the Elzbergstraße, Mollstraße, Seckenheimer Straße, and ultimately the Heinrich-Lanz-Straße. By bus, the journey takes around 21 minutes and by tram it takes just a little bit longer with a duration of 23 minutes.
Train station Mannheim Hbf is easily accessible for travelers with reduced mobility. Both elevators and escalators are available to bring travelers to the train platforms. The lifts can be accessed from the northern wing of the entrance hall, while the escalators can be found at the southern wing. A direction system for the visually impaired is available as well. The station has a Bahnhoffsmission (station mission) on platform one, aiding travelers with reduced mobility. The Bahnhoffsmission is a charity organization that's mainly operated by volunteers and has a long tradition: it has been active on train station Mannheim Hbf since 1897.
Between 1999 and 2001 train station Mannheim Hbf has been renovated and redesigned. Since the update, the station includes a modern shopping and service center. The buildings lining the platforms have been extended and symmetrized and the entrance hall has been given a glass dome. The station now represents an appealing blend of traditional and modern architecture, that suits the city's character well. Although Mannheim is a relatively small town, the station has grown in importance and is now the fifth most important hub in the German railway system. In 2014, a train collision took place at the station, that caused several train carts to derail and overturn, and left around 40 passengers injured. Investigations showed that the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the driver of one of the trains.