Travel Guide Europe Germany Hessen Kassel

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Introduction

Kassel is a city in the German state of Hessen in the central part of the country. The city has about 200,000 inhabitants, though the total metropolitan area is over twice as large.

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Neighbourhoods

Kassel consists of 23 boroughs, the most important being the following:

  • Mitte - the centre with the city's main shopping street Königsstraße
  • Südstadt - south of the centre with some nice parks
  • Vorderer Westen - a very popular residential quarter west of the centre
  • Bad Wilhelmshöhe - Kassel's spa district with lots of great sights
  • Süsterfeld-Helleböhn - mainly residential with the "documenta urbana" settlement and the Dönche nature reserve just next door

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Sights and Activities

Most of Kassel's sights can be found either in the centre (Mitte) or in Bad Wilhelmshöhe. The former is home to lots of documenta-related sights, the latter boasts the spectacular water features in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.

  • UNESCO World Heritage site Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe - easily Kassel's no. 1 in terms of sights: a lovely park / forest landscape with water features from the 18th century, Wilhelmshöhe Castle, Löwenburg Castle, Kassel's landmark "Herkules" and much more.
  • Karlsaue - a very nice park just next to the city centre.
  • Museum of Sepulchral Culture - a museum dealing with death and funeral rites from all over the world.
  • Brothers Grimm Museum - a brand-new museum about the world famous Grimm brothers.
  • documenta - the world's largest exhibition of contemporary art, taking place every five years (next: 2017) all over Kassel.
  • Kulturbahnhof - Kassel's former main station has in parts been turned into an art and culture space incorporating among others the cartoon museum "Caricatura".
  • Museum Fridericianum - another famous art museum.

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Events and Festivals

Documenta

The documenta, taking place every five years, is Kassel's most important event. As the world's biggest exhibition of contemporary art it attracts thousands of visitors and makes the city boom for 100 days in summer (between June and September). The next documenta takes place in 2017.

Other Events and Festivals

  • Summer, to be specific Pentecost, is also the time of the Stadtfest.
  • Between June and August, a series of concerts ranging from rock to jazz take place in the Kulturzelt Kassel.
  • In December, Kassel, like many other places in Germany, hosts a Christmas market.

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Getting There

By Plane

While there is the Kassel Airport (IATA: KSF) in Calden, just 10 km out of town, which serves Kassel, chances are, you won't be arriving there. Bus no. 100 connects Kassel Airport with the city centre and the train stations Hauptbahnhof and Wilhelmshöhe. The next major airports are in Hanover (IATA: HAJ) and of course Frankfurt airport (IATA: FRA). As they are both excellently connected to the German railway network (Frankfurt airport even has an high speed ICE stop) and Kassel is a major hub, you can get from the airport to town in no more than two hours. You can even buy combined tickets for flight and train.

By Train

Kassel is an important hub in the ICE network and was one of the cities on the first purpose built German high speed rail line connecting Würzburg and Hanover. The best way to reach Kassel is by train since most of the Inter-City Express (ICE) trains and plenty of local trains stop at the Fernbahnhof Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, about 4 kilometres west of the city centre. Kassel's historic Hauptbahnhof (main station), also known as the Kulturbahnhof since it was redeveloped in the 1990s, is very near the city center. Trains run between the two stations. It is much easier to see the downtown area if you take a train to the Hauptbahnhof and begin your exploring from there.

By Car

Motorways 7 (Hanover-Würzburg), 44 (Kassel-Dortmund) and 49 (Kassel-Marburg) lead to Kassel.

By Bus

The Busbahnhof Kassel Wilhelmshöhe (intercity bus station), also known as the ZOB (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof), adjoins the Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe Bahnhof. There is another intercity bus station at Kaufungen-Papierfabrik, only a few meters behind the city boundary of Kassel at the motorway. The tramlines 4 and 8 connect the Papierfabrik with the city centre.

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Getting Around

From the Station, trams leave towards the town centre and one can easily walk to the Bergpark which is visible from where the trams leave. If you are staying a few days in Kassel buy a public transport Wochenkarte. Ride as much as you like on the streetcars and buses for a full week from date of issue.

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Eat

There are great bakeries on every corner and throughout the city. Another great place to eat is any of the little stands located in the City Point or Kürfürsten Galerie (city centre).

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Kassel or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.

Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.

Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.

The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.

Post

Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.

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Accommodation in Kassel

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kassel searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Kassel and areas nearby.

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This is version 20. Last edited at 12:54 on Dec 7, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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