Pforzheim, a city in southern Germany near Stuttgart, is known primarily for its jewelry and watchmaking workshops, which is why it has received the informal names “Golden City” and “Gate to the Black Forest.” Pforzheim appeared about 2000 years ago as a Roman port settlement and has been completely rebuilt twice in its long history: the first time after the devastating fire of 1789, the second after the bombings at the end of World War II. Because of this, there are practically no ancient buildings preserved in their original form: most of the neat “gingerbread” houses, among which it is so pleasant for tourists to walk, are a remake of the 50s. last century.
The city is developing intensively and attracts not only jewelry lovers, but also those who prefer cultural and educational tourism: there are many museums, churches, and an international high school. See educationvv.com for education and training in Germany.
How to get to Pforzheim
The nearest airport is located in Stuttgart, it is only 44 km away along the A8 highway. You can get there by bus carrier Werner Reisen from the airport or by regional or high-speed trains that leave from Stuttgart Central Station every 30 minutes. The airport and railway station of Stuttgart are connected by a railway line, electric trains run every 10-20 minutes from 5:00 to 0:00. It is easy to get from the airport by taxi – the journey will take no more than half an hour.
Another major city near Pforzheim is Karlsruhe. It can be reached by train or taxi in just 25 minutes. In addition, you have to pass through Karlsruhe if you make your way to Pforzheim from Frankfurt, with which the city does not have a direct railway connection. From many cities in Germany (for example, from Munich, Siegen, Rosenheim) and Europe (from Prague, Zenica) buses also run to Pforzheim.
The city has a developed bus service. Taxis can be found near hotels and the train station, ordered by phone or via the Internet. A 5 km trip (for example, from the Residenz hotel to the historical center) will cost 15-20 EUR. The city center is convenient for walking and cycling. Bicycle rentals are available at some hotels and guest houses. Since the city is rather big (98 thousand sq. km), it is more convenient to get to remote areas by bus or taxi.
Through the railway station, which is located in the center of Pforzheim, there are two branches of intercity communication (Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt – Stuttgart and Karlsruhe – Stuttgart – Nuremberg) and 7 lines of regional importance. You can go, for example, to Maulbronn, famous for its monastic complex, or to Bad Wildbad, located in the fabulous foothills of the Black Forest.
You can park your car for free along many roads, near large shopping and business centers. Cheap or free parking is available at most hotels.
There are relatively few hotels in Pforzheim, mostly small three to four star hotels. All of them serve in accordance with European standards, often providing free internet, parking and breakfast. There are also large hotels designed for 100-200 guests: Parkhotel, Residenz, Hohenwart Forum. The price for a room in a three-star hotel starts from 61 EUR, in a four-star hotel – from 94 EUR. Small apartments (studio apartment) can be rented for 40-60 EUR. There are no hostels in Pforzheim.
Cuisine and restaurants in Pforzheim
There are many cafes and restaurants with German cuisine in the city. At Hoppe’s Badisch-Elsassische Essfreude or Altes Pfarrhaus, you can try rostbraten, icebein, spattle and other dishes prepared according to traditional recipes. As a drink, they offer, first of all, beer – a wide variety of varieties for every taste. The average check is within 30 EUR per person. Meat lovers and good service can go to one of the steakhouses – for example, Steg Sieben or Tango. The prices here are a little higher – 35 EUR. Excellent wine is served with steaks.
There are many places in Pforzheim with good Italian cuisine. Prices for pizza and carpaccio range from 6 to 17 EUR. Relatively inexpensive you can eat in restaurants with oriental food – Thai, Japanese, Korean. The average check for dinner will be 15-20 EUR per person, prices for most menu items – 8-10 EUR. For those who prefer fast food, there are McDonald’s and KFC in the city. The price for a hamburger starts from 2 EUR.
In bakeries and confectioneries you can have a snack with fresh buns and pies for 2-3 EUR.
Attractions and entertainment
Perhaps the most famous sights of Pforzheim are the Jewel Museum, representing 5,000 years of jewelry history, as well as the Technical Museum, most of whose exposition is dedicated to watches. In addition, you should definitely visit the ruins left from the time of the Roman settlement and the medieval city (Kappelhof and Kanzlerwald). Other popular museums include the City, Railway, Peasant Economy, Minerals, philosopher Johann Reuchlin, as well as the GDR Museum “To Remember”.
To feel the architecture of pre-war Pforzheim, you should pay attention to the building of the archive and the administration of the district, the House of Industry, look at the Hahel and Leitgasturm towers, and also take a walk to the former hunting lodge of the Seehaus dynasty.
The temples of Pforheim are must-see places. Church of St. Michael at the monastery, church of St. Martin, the Cathedral of the Resurrection, the Catholic churches of St. Francis and the Heart of Christ, the Protestant City and Christ in Bretzingen – they all carry both religious and historical value. The New Synagogue, destroyed in Nazi Germany and completely restored in 2006, can also be called an important monument.
In Pforzheim, the chamber orchestra of Southwest Germany is based, the first German jazz club, the puppet theater, as well as the Osterfeld cultural center with several high-level theater and dance groups operate.
Lovers of outdoor recreation will appreciate the hiking trails laid through the hills of the Black Forest, and can also look into the Alpine Garden, which contains more than 100 thousand varieties of mountain plants.