Karlsruhe Germany Trip | Value, Experiences, and Cost

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Not many people have heard of Karlsruhe, Germany! It is more of an industrial area that is on the border of France, in fact some people even speak French there. Why would you travel here? Well, as a long-term traveler, this may be a perfect secret spot. It is a great base to visit other towns such as Baden Baden and Freiburg. 

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Karlsruhe (and Freiburg) Germany is definitely a trip worth taking! How can you go wrong with a 7 day trip that only costs $52.31 per day total and has something new to do each day?

Cost Per Day


Number of Days On Trip


Total Trip Cost


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The quality of food at the market is amazing and the market runs every day. Awesome for fresh food. The restaurant we went to was okay. 

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Karlsruhe does not have a particular history, however its proximity to Freiburg makes it a great place to stay and take transportation to more historical and architectural locations. 

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We were staying in a fully furnished apartment where someone normally lives! It isn’t luxury, but we did have a cat to snuggle. The city is safe and we had everything we needed. 

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Karlsruhe is simple to navigate. The train station is easy to access and there are local trams right outside of the station. Everything is walkable, even to the markets and grocery stores.


After Colmar France (trip breakdown here), we used our Eurail pass to head to Karlsruhe, Germany! It was quite simple with few transfers. For this trip, we had obligations to take care of an apartment and a cat while the host was on holiday! That changed our potential experiences as we needed to be home at certain times to take care of things. That said, we were still able to make the most of it!

We had the luxury of asking our local host for some recommendations before their trip!

Day Trip to Freiburg Germany

Freiburg im Breisgau is the full name of this amazing quaint and gorgeous town in Germany! A two hour train ride (again using or Eurail pass) from Karlsruhe, sits this vibrant university town on the edge of the Black Forest. What is it with university towns? 

The old town of Freiburg has a compact pedestrian only zone with a large square and several winding walking streets along the “large” canal. I call it a large canal because some of the streets have “Bächle” (small stone-lined channels) that are believed to be around from 1250. They carried water from the river Dreisum to the city. They were used as drinking water and helped fire fighting efforts. 

Schwabentor (Swabian gate) & Bächle canel

After walking around the old town we needed a beer. Kastaniengarten sat atop the hill and we had no plans of hiking up it. Luckily, there is a very well hidden elevator down a dark tunnel. I marked it on the map below! We took it all the way up to the top of the hill and what a view! 

Quaint streets galore

Trip to the quarry for swimming

Okay, lets get this out of the way… we are always looking for water. Since we were housesitting this trip, we asked the host if there was anywhere we could go swimming, and there was! A quarry south of the town where all the locals go for the day to swim, sail, and get their tan on.


It was easy to get to also! We walked to the train station and picked up a local tram that dropped us off just a short walk through a woodland path to the destination. The trams were on time and it was super simple. 

It was nothing special, enough to not have any decent photos….it was just for the sake of staying cool.

Local walking tour of the city, palace, and gardens.

One of the things we LOVE to do in a new location is walk and get a feel for the area. In Karlsruhe, one of the main attractions is the palace and gardens. We spent some time relaxing here and enjoying the botany. Not only is it free to enter parks like this, but it is also fun to have a picnic, read a book, or write in a journal!

Karlsruhe Palace

ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe Germany

It is always a good idea to check out local to-do’s online. You can find some cool things to do! We found a museum within walking distance of our accommodation that had a special exhibit going on. It was interactive with video games through the years as well as Sci-Fi exhibitions. Very cool stuff!

Trip Cost Breakdown – KarlsRuhe Germany

Item Category Cost
Der Frische Market
Penny Karlsruhe

Cost Analysis and savings opportunities – Karlsruhe Germany

We were able to get free accommodation here! We used Trusted House Sitters and took care of a cat and an apartment for the full 7 days of the trip. Estimated cost savings: $500!


You will notice that groceries are one of the largest % of this trip. Since we had a local apartment due to the house sitting, we were able to purchase food from local markets and make our own meals instead of going out (except for the 1 time we did)! Estimated cost savings for 2 people: $250!


Transportation is the largest cost of this trip and we utilized it as much as possible! We took day trips from our location 2 times during the week and did not have to pay for any extra tickets (including local trams to get around easily). Did we spend almost $200 in tickets during this trip? No, estimating that we would have spent $100 in local transportation for 2 people. However, we used the pass to enter and leave Karlsruhe from other cities which have large ticket costs. In this case, the transportation cost is close to the same as if we purchased individual tickets… but with the bonus of convenience and flexibility! It was also one of the reasons we were able to land free accommodation (because we had the flexibility to work with the host for timing where others did not).


Finally, we did have some pharmacy costs. We actually purchased some hair clippers (weird right?). Now we no longer need to spend money on hair cuts which save tens of dollars every time and the mind space needed to figure out how to get a haircut in a “strange place”!


Bottom line, we were able to have an excellent experience, explore the area, and gain experience/reviews house sitting while saving around $750 on the trip. Bonus is that the cost per day ends up being less than our $100 per day target. This is a huge win for continuing to travel long term!


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