Top things to do in Darmstadt

Top Choice Archaeological Site in Darmstadt

Grube Messel

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 remains from the Eocene era (some 47 million years ago). Earl…
Top Choice Cafe in Darmstadt


Hidden down a passageway in a picnic-table-filled courtyard, this wonderful spot specialises in homemade soups like pork meatballs and split green peas, curried apple and potato, lentil, carrot and leek, and roast t…
Arts Centre in Darmstadt


Established in 1899 at the behest of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, the former Künstlerkolonie (artists' colony) at Mathildenhöhe is famous for its Darmstädter Jugendstil architecture. Its on-site museum displays supremel…
Castle in Darmstadt

Burg Frankenstein

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 1814, inspiring the title of her famous novel and its protagonis…
Museum in Darmstadt

Hessisches Landesmuseum

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 include art nouveau pieces from around the world, along with…
Museum in Darmstadt


Ornate furnishings, carriages and paintings pack the Schlossmuseum, one block east of Luisenplatz. It occupies the southeast corner of the Schloss complex, one-time residence of the landgraves and grand dukes of Hes…
Church in Darmstadt

Kirche Hl Maria Magdalena

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 the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, who married Darmstdt-bor…
Live Music in Darmstadt


The city’s first electric power plant, built in 1888, is now a multipurpose cultural centre hosting concerts (especially jazz but also pop and classical), along with comedy, puppetry shows and DJs. There's an upstai…
German in Darmstadt

City Braustüb'l

At this classic brewery-affiliated restaurant – with wood-plank floors, hops hanging from the rafters and a beer garden out back – you can wash down hearty German dishes with a Darmstädter beer brewed over near the …
Live Music in Darmstadt

Goldene Krone

An long-time student favourite, this sociable bar is known for its nightly concerts as well as dance parties, many held on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9pm. Enter via Holzstrasse. Cash only.