Photo of Darmstadt

About Darmstadt

A city of poetry, beer, song and science, Darmstadt has a fascinating history and an even more fascinating future. A luminary of technological innovation and a great patron of the arts, the city teems with art galleries, concert halls and technical universities. Adorned with elegant Art-Nouveau buildings and countless parks where roses bloom, it is the ideal destination for a weekend away. From sipping on a beer at one of its many breweries, strolling aimlessly through the lovely parks or visiting the artist's colony of Mathindenhohe there's plenty to do here. Our collection of the best places to stay in Darmstadt are well positioned for exploring the city.

Prior to WWI, Darmstadt was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. It was in 1899 that the Grand Duke invited seven artists to come and live and work in the city, and this spurred on the creation of the Mathindenhohe colony of artists on a hill overlooking Darmstadt, and this, in turn, engendered the building of the magnificent Art Nouveau buildings that adorn this area of the city. Be sure to walk up the hill and see the colony: there is a beautiful Russian chapel, an art gallery and artists workshops. However, Darmstadt was also highly damaged by Allied bombing during WWII, so much of the Old Town sadly does not remain.

Fast-becoming a leader in scientific innovation, it was in Darmstadt that the radio clock was engineered alongside Plexiglass, enzyme-based washing agents and importantly, in 1994, Darmstadtium - a new chemical of the periodic table. Darmstadt is a university town, which isn't surprising considering the level of innovation and is also home to the European Space Agency's satellite control centre.

The first thing you notice is Darmstadt is how green it is. It has countless public parks full of gigantic Californian trees and gardens bright and cheerful with blooming roses, particularly the Park Rosenhohe - a popular attraction - boasting over 10,000 roses that flower between May and November, as well as being a lovely place to stroll in the shade of trees and shrubbery. After a long day of walking, don't forget to relax in a beer garden or breweries such as the Grohe Brauerei or the Ratskeller tavern in the city centre, and drink some freshly-brewed high-quality Rhine beer!

What not to miss

  • Head to the outskirts of town, to the village of Muhltal, where you can explore the Castle Frankenstein, a gloomy and stark 13th century castle perched atop a hill, which was allegedly the inspiration behind Mary Shelley's novel.

  • Check out the Vivarium - a small zoo with over 700 animals of 150 different species.

  • Walk to the Mathindenhohe artists colony on a hill overlooking the city, where you can find a small art gallery, a Russian chapel, artists workshops and the famous "Wedding Tower".

  • Explore the Messel Pit Fossil Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a peek at the lives of our fossilised prehistoric ancestors.

  • Stroll aimlessly through the gorgeous Park Rosenhohe, where 10,000 roses bloom between May and November.

  • Drink beer at one of the many breweries, like the Grohe Brauerei, Ratskeller tavern and the Rummel Brauerei - whose popular beer can be found in most restaurants.

To start planning your trip you can browse through our collection of the best places to stay in Darmstadt below.

The best places to stay in Darmstadt

Local exploring

  • Hotel Jagdschloss Kranichstein: an elegant hotel set in former hunting woods, boasting charming contemporary rooms, a gorgeous lounge, excellent restaurant, a gym, bar and terrace. Ideal for couples.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Frankfurt Airport and either get a taxi or train to Darmstadt city centre, the journey takes roughly 20 minutes.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the summer, when the roses are in full bloom and beer gardens brim with life, and when the temperature flits between 13 and 24 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Darmstadt

  • Hotel Jagdschloss Kranichstein 48 rooms from £96

    Darmstadt

    Charming hotel set in former hunting woods. Elegant rooms have contemporary touches, with big beds and desks. Cosy lobby lounge, gym, excellent restaurant as well as a bistro-bar. Large gardens and terrace. A sophisticated country break.

    Country Escape  -  Charming hotel set in large woods with ponds and meadows, and plenty of guided walks to enjoy
    Sights nearby  -  30 minutes from Frankfurt city centre
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Check prices