Frankfurt & Southern Rhineland

Darmstadt’s focal point is the 18th-century Luisenplatz, a veritable hive of activity thanks to the adjacent shopping precinct, which stretches south from the Luisencenter shopping mall.

In the centre of Luisenplatz, a 39m-high column, erected in 1844, holds aloft a statue of Grand Duke Ludwig I of Hesse and the Rhine (1753–1830). The square itself is named after his wife, Grand Duchesse Louise (1761–1829).

Luisenplatz is 1.5km east of the Hauptbahnhof, linked by trams 2, 3 and 5.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Frankfurt & Southern Rhineland attractions

1. Hessisches Landesmuseum

0.16 MILES

An exceptional selection of works by pop artist Joseph Beuys is the highlight of the wide-ranging art collection at the Hesse State Museum. Other displays…

2. Schlossmuseum

0.17 MILES

Ornate furnishings, carriages and paintings pack the Schlossmuseum, one block east of Luisenplatz. It occupies the southeast corner of the Schloss complex…

3. Kirche Hl Maria Magdalena

0.73 MILES

Mathildenhöhe’s western slope is graced by the three golden onion domes of this mosaic-adorned Russian Orthodox church. It was built from 1897 to 1899 for…

4. Mathildenhöhe

0.78 MILES

Established in 1899 at the behest of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, the former Künstlerkolonie (artists' colony) at Mathildenhöhe is famous for its Darmstädter…

5. Grube Messel

5.41 MILES

A Unesco World Heritage Site, this one-time coal and oil shale quarry 10km northeast of Darmstadt is renowned for its superbly preserved animal and plant…

6. Burg Frankenstein

5.53 MILES

Built by Lord Konrad II Reiz von Breuberg around 1250, this hulking, partly ruined hilltop castle was visited by Mary Shelley on her German travels in…

7. Grube Messel Museum


Fossils excavated at Grube Messel are on show in Grube Messel's own museum, in a pretty half-timbered house.

8. Lorsch Abbey

15.58 MILES

Founded around AD 760, Lorsch Abbey, in the charming village of Lorsch, was an important religious site in its Carolingian heyday (8th to 10th centuries)…