I am Gerhard, the House Manager at THE FIZZ Darmstadt. Actually, I moved here to study 30 years ago and then stayed forever. Let me show you my "adopted home"!
With it's nearly 160.000 inhabitants and 42.000 students, our smallest THE FIZZ house is located in a real student city. With 18 % international students, Darmstadt is also truly multicultural. In the head picture, you can see the "Mathildenhöhe" with the "Hochzeitsturm" (wedding tower) and the "Russische Kapelle" (russian chapel).
At Darmstadt, you are living in the „City of Science“ „City with the best prospects for the future“ „City of Art Nouveau“ or the „City with so many attributes“ ;). From other cities, you might be accustomed to having use public transport to explore the town. You can do that here, too… but you don't have to! In Darmstadt, everything is easy to reach on foot or by bicycle. This applies to the 5 universities as well as to the numerous parks, pub districts or sights.
If you want to take the bus or the tram anyway, you will be in the pedestrian zone at „Ludwigsmonument“ („Langer Lui“) after 2 stops with the tram from THE FIZZ.
And since we are talking about mobility, with our public transport (RMV Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund) you can not only reach Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Mainz or Heidelberg in no time but also the countryside in „Odenwald“ and „Bergstrasse“ (mountain road), which Goethe raved about „it probably wants to outdo Italy“.
Enough with the traffic. Off to highlife. You will find this concentrated in the popular districts „Martinsviertel“ (the locals call it „Watzeverddel“ and themselves „Watzeverddeler“), the adjacent „Johannisviertel“ as well as in „Bessungen“ (here the locals call themselves „Lappings“).
In the „Martinsviertel“, between Mauerstrasse, Alexanderstasse and Dieburger Strasse (right next to the TU), one student pub is next to another. Whole generations of students have already forgotten the stress of university here for a few pleasant hours.
Of course, this is just the same in „Bessungen“, where between Karlstrasse and Heidelberger Landstrasse not only old-established cult pubs can be found, but also the legendary „Jagdhofkeller“ with a fantastic range of live music.
When it comes to live music, the „Krone“, the oldest building in the old town, directly at the Darmstadt castle, is an absolute MUST-SEE. Those who don't know them haven't experienced Darmstadt. Further more there is also the „Centralstation“ in the middle of the pedestrian area.
Not everything can be listed, take your time and also enjoy the peace and quiet of Darmstadt after long nights…
Darmstadt is criss-crossed by parks. Most famous are „Herrengarten“, „Orangerie“, „Mathildenhöhe“, „Rosenhöhe“, „Woog“ and the Darmstadt Zoo „Vivarium“, where you can visit our god goat „Blacky“ in the petting zoo. (Yes, THE FIZZ Darmstadt has really adopted a goat!) At least as a student at the TU, you can't avoid the „Herrengarten“ anyway as it borders directly on it. In summer, you can relax on the meadows to let the last lecture sink in.
You can get to know the „Orangerie“ at the latest when you visit either the Bessunger Christmas market or a classical district festival, namely the „Bessunger Kerb“ (if you have paid attention, this is where the „Lappings“ live).
„Mathildenhöhe“, with the „Russische Kapelle“ (russian chapel) and Darmstadt's landmark, the „Hochzeitsturm“ (wedding tower, locals often say „Fünffingerturm“), is completely under the sign of Art Nouveau and is about to become an UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here, it is only a stone´s throw up to „Rosenhöhe“ (tip for june when the roses are in bloom in the rose garden).
Well, and the „Woog“…that's Darmstadt's inner city bathing lake and a full compensation for the missing river (Darmstadt has only a small stream, the „Darmbach“, and it mostly flows underground) :)
Numerous cabaret stages such as the „halbNeun“ theatre, the „Kikeriki“ theatre, the „Moller House“ or, if you like it bigger, the „Staatstheater Darmstadt“ (State Theatre Darmstadt) offer entertainment on a high level and… you remember… they are all within walking distance. So, if the bones hurt after sitting for a long time, perfect.
„Hessisches Landesmuseum“ (HessianState Museum), nope not a yawn, directly at the „Herrengarten“. That was the park mentioned above. You see, the circle closes again and again because of the short distances. Thinking about that, the headline of this post should actually have been „How to arrive and then walk in Darmstadt“.
Alternating, fantastic art exhibitions can be found in the museum „Mathildenhöhe“, see above under Green Oases. Oh, and I almost forgot that under the plane trees on the Mathildenhöhe is the very best place to play boules.
With Boule, we're already talking about sports. If this is too comfortable for you, you can of course go to one of the numerous fitness studios, jump into one of the numerous swimmimg pools or the Woog, jog through the countless green spaces or even go for a walk to Hochschule Darmstadt and choose from the many university sports offers.
The already mentioned „Odenwald“ and the areas along the „Bergstrasse“ are also predestined for hiking. For those who don't like this sport so much, I recommend the annual „Weinlagenwanderung“ (wine region hike), which leads through the local wine-growing area and is very popular even for non hikers due to the numerous wine tasting stands :)
It's up to you! Either go to Darmstadt-Weiterstadt and there to „Loop5“ with 90 shops under one roof. There you can make a stopover on the top floor and choose from 23 gastronomic offers. Or maybe you prefer to walk through the pedestrian zone in the city centre and sit down in one of the many cafés.
Both shopping options have their charms, but due to the proximity and healthy walking, the city centre is of course a good choice - especially on Saturdays, when the weekly market takes place at the market place of Darmstadt´s castle.
So, have I forgotten to mention anything? Quite a lot, I think! You have to explore and ask for that yourself. Have fun and success in Darmstadt. Tell me about your favorite corners - I am curious to hear about it. Me myself, while writing, I got in the mood for many corners where I have not been for a long time.