Discover the beautiful state of Rheinland-Pfalz!
Stunning abundance of nature, cultural highlights & enjoyment of life
Rheinland-Pfalz is not only a great place to live in but also offers countless breathtaking travel destinations nearby you should consider exploring with the family. The region is well-known for its forests, its wine-growing regions, its historic cities, its magnificent castles, and all around beautiful countryside.
No matter if culture or nature travel, sightseeing in one of the many fascinating cities, marveling at UNESCO sites, enjoying the calming picturesque landscape, visiting the infamous Wurstmarkt, lovely Christmas markets, or extraordinary parades during the crazy carnival season. Rheinland-Pfalz is a highly attractive and popular travel destination in the heart of Europe at any time of the year!
Are you rather the active type when it comes to planning your leisure time?
No problem! Here, you will find plenty of insider tips where you can pursue your favorite leisure time activities like cycling, hiking, swimming or ice-skating.
Have fun checking out your options!
A girl’s best friend
Diamonds stand for immeasurable wealth, imperishable beauty, and material harshness - Marilyn Monroe sang of their appeal in her song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.“ More than one hundred years ago the Ohmbachtal near Kusel in the Pfalz was home to a growing diamond-cutting industry. Today, a small museum preserves this history in a lively and impressive way. The museum shows, with the help of devices and demonstrations, how to work with the precious raw material.
Art at the post?
The cultural center “Old Post Office” (“Alte Post”) is characterized by impressive architecture—after an extensive restoration, this building originally built in 1893 shines in a new splendor.
The forum hosts a permanent exhibition with works of the romantic painter Heinrich Bürkel and, with the Hugo-Ball-Kabinett, exhibits a permanent exhibition on the founder of the art style Dada. Check the website for temporary exhibits.
In the old town hall the exhibition “Wald, Schloss, Schuh – die Geschichte der Siebenhügelstadt” reflects on the city Pirmasens’ changing shoe history. You can marvel at about 30 historic shoes. A shoemaker’s workplace shows the working conditions of a typical “Bermesenser Schlabbefigger” (shoemaker from Pirmasens). The children’s carousel from the company Salamander, decorated with Lurchi and friends, is naturally not missing. The advertising movie released by the company Rheinberger in the 60's is fun to watch because it gives a very good impression of the past time.
Baroque architecture for the nobility
Between 1735 and 1775 the former duke residence in Zweibrücken was in its period of glory under Duke Christian IV. Once, famous artists shook hands with the court. Nowadays the palatine Higher Regional Court and the Attorney General’s office Zweibrücken are situated in the building. As it is not far from the heart of the shopping district, a small detour to the castle and its pretty gardens is definitely worth your time.
Phone (0 63 32) 80 50
Photo: Harald Kröher
Dinosaurs in the flowerbed
Open from April to October, the Rhineland-Palatinate Gartenschau (Garden Show) annually attracts thousands of visitors to the grounds of the former worsted spinning mill with its “Gärten der Vielfalt” ("Gardens of Diversity") show. The show offers attractions for the whole family with its magnificent seas of flowers and a diverse program of events and cultural offerings attractions for the whole family. Notable highlights: the largest dinosaur exhibition in Europe and an impressive Lego collection.
Dive into the past
See how the Celts lived: the Keltendorf (Celtic village) in Steinbach is not a museum in the classic sense, because here visitors actively follow in the footsteps of the people who lived on the Donnersberg Mountain over 2000 years ago. Steinbach offers numerous opportunities for people of all ages to test their creativity and skill in the Celtic village. On the weekends, in addition to expert guides leading tours, there are also changing activities such as archery or felting.
Keltendorf am Donnersberg e.V.
Phone (06352) 17 12
Folk Festival (Volksfest) of the Westpfalz
The biggest party of the Westpfalz, called the Lautrer Kerwe (fair), lasts a whole 11 days. Between 200,000 and 250,000 visitors come to the Rummelplatz in Kaiserslatuern twice a year (once in May and once in October) for this popular festival. The Kerwe kindles the summer feeling, party mood, and love of life and adventure. The last day of the fair is celebrated with a large fireworks show.
The famous Pop-Art artist James Rizzi was very passionate about inspiring people with his craft. The Rizzi gallery picks up on that and has left its mark on the scene. The glass facade of the former shoe-factory is a spectacular sight – a real “Rizzi” dazzles. On the inside, the art gallery and the fashionable restaurant-café attract many visitors. With its many choices for breakfast and its seasonal cuisine, the restaurant is worth a visit by itself.
The Carolinensaal in the city center of Pirmasens is fairly unknown. The building was built with Greek temples’ architecture as a model and was used as a consecration hall for the old cemetery between 1880 and 1959. Only recently its purpose shifted; since then concerts, readings or exhibitions have taken place there. Princess Caroline of Hessen-Darmstadt spent her childhood in the southern West Palatinate and the temple is dedicated to her.
At the Dynamikum Science Center in Pirmasens, everything is different. 160 scientific and technological exhibits cannot only be looked at but also touched, explored and tried out. The first Rhineland-Palatinate science center has specialized on the topic of movement. The two-story building offers very interesting materials that are mediumistic and artfully prepared. The Mitmachmuseum (hands-on museum) in the former shoe factory “Rheinberger” and its vast grounds are close to the center of the city. This unique museum is known to be very high up on the to-do list of many families.
In the Japanese garden kingdom
The Japanischer Garten (Japanese Garden) in Kaiserslautern is far more than a pretty garden with pink Cherry blossoms. This garden—the largest closed Japanese garden in Europe—magnetically attracts lovers of nature with its natural landscape designed according to strict aesthetic and philosophical considerations. The garden also has a waterfall, ponds and a historic tea house. For information on events and opening times, visit the website.
La vie en rose
The rose garden gives Zweibrücken the melodious moniker “Rosenstadt” (city of roses) which is its badge of honor. With good reason, because the park is Europe’s biggest rose garden. Starting in April, the dreamy seas of flowers and incomparable aromas coax garden enthusiasts and knights of the rose in this beautiful park. Apart from rose arrangements, lush rhododendron and azalea fields, blooming perennial beds and exotic trees cast a spell on visitors. The family-friendly rose garden is open all year round.
Mill construction an architectural treasure
Situated beside the Glan-Blies bike path, the village St. Julian should not be missed out on. If you stop by, you should see the local oil mill built in 1730. Nowadays, it is one of the last functional oil mills in Europe. The husking and tanning process supported by agitator equipment and the Windhaus is unique in Germany. The mill is a listed building and said to be an architectural wonder. You can visit the mill all year round even from the inside if you call (0171) 2 63 90 76 and make an appointment.
The former Benedictine monastery Hornbach impresses with its traditional architectural beauty and is intertwined with modern elements, and the spiritual presence of the past still resides within these walls. Here, the hotel Kloster Hornbach resides with its unobtrusive elegance. It promises relaxation and hospitability. Guests are pampered in four restaurants and therefore visit from all over the world.
The vaulted cellar under the Hummel pharmacy in Wallhalben is a secret. Underneath lies a second pharmacy from a bygone era. It hides in its old cupboards glass bottles with original ingredients and packaging, and recipe books. Helke Burkhardt, owner of the Hummel pharmacy, inherited these treasures from her father and created a small pharmacy museum. On special occasion or by appointment, she shows visitors how tablets and tinctures were once made.
Phone (06375) 242
Of witches and beauties
The southwest Palatinate tour guides are always on the move with heart and a lot of dedication. They work to give visitors a closer look at the beauties of the region. With a plethora diversified guided tours, guests have the opportunity to discover dreamlike trails legendary in the Südwestpfalz, or to wander on the remnants of the past, the present and the future. The guided hike through the rock canyon of the witches gorge is especially popular.
On the heels of the Celts
Don’t forget to accompany a visit to the Donnersberg Keltendorf with a visit to Der Keltenweg (The Celtic Way). Der Keltenweg leads visitors to witness how our Celtic ancestors lived, along the mighty ramparts - relics of the former city wall. Reconstructions and restored walls testify to the architectural achievements of the pre-Roman inhabitants. The starting point of the Der Keltenweg is at the Parkplatz Donnersberg (Donnersberg parking lot).
Palatinate Theater Kaiserslautern
On September 30, 1995, the new theater at the Willy-Brandt-Square was inaugurated with a big opening weekend. The director Pavel Fieber opened the gates to a thrilled crowd.
It took almost 40 years to replace the provisionary theater at the Fackelrondell. Thanks to the aid of the Pfalztheater’s legal entity Bezirksverband Pfalz, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and the city of Kaiserslautern, the long-cherished dream of a modern theater came true. The Pfalztheater features all three genres: there is a music theatre (opera, musical, operetta) and two stages. The big house and the smaller stage (Werkstattbühne) offer 628 and 99 seats respectively.
Apart from musical theater, acting, and ballet ensemble the theatre has its own orchestra and an internal choir. 330 employees behind the curtain and on stage work towards a versatile program. The Pfalztheater offers a variety of different subscription possibilities and discounts for students, trainees, and severely disabled.
There are numerous music theater, ballet and theatre premieres per season. The Pfalztheater presents a versatile selection of theatre, opera and ballet productions as well as chamber concerts on the Werkstattbühne. Furthermore, the theater offers concerts, children's concerts, children's theater, song evenings and foyer programs. Special productions (Werkstattbühne extra) can be watched in unusual places, guest performances in Rhineland-Palatinate and beyond to display the function as a regional theater.
The Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern is the only theater with a permanently appointed ensemble in the Palatinate and the second biggest in the state. The director Urs Häberli is in charge of the theater since the 2012/13 season. The musical directorship has been with Uwe Sandner since 2006/2007.
Germany’s biggest outlet shopping center is located at the southern tip of the West Palatinate: Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet. 130 fashionable brands in 120 shops offering minimum 30% discount all year round compared with the former recommended retail price. Fashionistas and families aware of current trends are able to discover their personal style from Monday – Saturday from 10am – 7pm. The convenient location with 2.900 free parking spaces attracts visitors from all of southwest Germany and the neighboring regions of France and Luxembourg. US-citizens are welcome to get their VIP DAY PASS* with 10% extra discount. VAT Acceptance**.
* Available in the information center at shop 48 (for ID card holders), only valid in participating stores and on day of issue. Not combinable
** Overview of participating stores available in the information center
The landscape park Strecktal is very close to Pirmasens’ city center and was built between 1998 and 2001. Stretching across 17 acres, the “green lungs” are used as a multifunctional recreation area by visitors. There’s a Disc-Golf installation where you can get twelve holes in as well as a skate park. Adventure, water playground, and a barefoot path are ideal for energetic and adventurous young people. You can also spend your time treading in the Kneipp-basin or biking on the 24,8 kilometers long Dynamikum trail that leads you over the border to France. At the center of this park, you can find a pond with a stage, a small waterfall with its creeks, and a Poissy-Garden to stay in.