BW: A perfect place for arts and culture enthusiasts

Do you love art, music, film and history? You’ve come to the right place. Arts and culture are highly valued in Baden-Württemberg. You’ll find not only great museums and concerts, but also historic places and UNESCO world heritage sites that are well worth a visit.

Baden-Württemberg has a very rich history and culture. If you love castles, concerts, art exhibitions, theater plays, festivals, comedy, film or alternative culture, the southwestern German state certainly has a lot to offer.

Historical sights

Let’s start with history – all the way back to the stone age. The reconstructed stilt dwellings in Unteruhldingen at the shore of Lake Constance form the oldest open-air archeological museum in Germany. Visitors can examine a wide range of Stone and Bronze Age artefacts. The impressive stilt houses that are witnesses of early settlements have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

If you are more into castles, there are many great places for you. Take, for example, the Hohenzollern Castle in Sigmaringen. You’ll see how the aristocrats lived and get a close look at the dining hall and a knight’s armor.

Other must-see places that are on the UNESCO World Heritage list include the Cistercian monastery in Maulbronn. The monastery was founded in 1147 and is considered the most complete and best-preserved medieval monastery north of the Alps.

The Reichenau Abbey on Lake Constance is also rich with history. Founded in 724, it exercised remarkable spiritual, intellectual and artistic influence in the region.

There are many more fascinating historical sites in Baden-Württemberg, from castles to medieval towns. One great place to visit is Bad Säckingen with its medieval town center and its thermal spa. Or take a trip to Ehingen, the beer culture city with 5 breweries and 53 different kinds of beers. Ehingen is located right on the Danube bike trail.

The Hohenzollern Castle in Sigmaringen


Baden-Württemberg is also home to a variety of museums from classic to contemporary. The ZKM – the center for art and media in Karlsruhe – offers thought provoking talks and exhibits at the intersection of the digital and material world.

The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart features an impressive collection of prints, drawings and paintings from the medieval period onwards together with talks, workshops and concerts. The Art Museum in Stuttgart offers interesting contemporary art exhibits and interactive spheres.

The Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in Mannheim are nationally and internationally established venues for historical and cultural exhibitions. They include photographic collections and are renowned for their expertise on cultural heritage. The museums are also internationally respected for their research.


You love books and reading? Great. Baden-Württemberg enjoys a lively literary scene. The Stuttgarter Stadtbibliothek is one of the most remarkable modern libraries in Europe. Built by the Korean architect Eun Young Yi, the impressive cubic building attracts tourists and photographers from all over the world. Inside, the library features more than half a million media on a surface of 18 000 m². In addition to books, you’ll find graphics, animated films and several workshops as well as an extensive music library.

If you enjoy browsing and like to listen to authors present their work, you’ll find readings at book shops and libraries in almost every town. Baden-Württemberg also has a wide variety of literary museums showing important events and works from the writers’ lives, including first editions of their work.

The German literature archive in Marbach is a must-see for book aficionados. It is one of the most significant literary institutions in the world. Its collections contain an abundance of valuable sources of literary and intellectual history from 1750 to the present day. They are also the subject of many national and international research projects. The Schiller National Museum​​​​​​​ and the Museum of Modern Literature showcase a wealth of historic manuscripts, books, images and objects of the German Literature Archive.

Historical places such as the Annette von Droste-Hülshoff memorial in the old castle in Meersburg, overlooking Lake Constance, also make for an interesting and worthwhile visit. For those you want to combine activities with culture, Baden-Württemberg offers literary bike-tours that show the residencies of important writers along a bike route.

Music and theater

Music lovers have a wealth of choices in Baden-Württemberg. Every university town has bars and pubs with live music from local bands or larger acts. There are many concerts ranging from classical to jazz and rock in many cities.

If you love opera, ballet and theater, you’ll love Baden-Württemberg. Visit the Staatsoper Stuttgart or the Junge Oper Baden-Württemberg. You’ll also find cultural and musical highlights at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. For articles and upcoming music performances, check the German website

The Stuttgart Ballet is internationally known for its excellent performances. The affiliated John Cranko School that just celebrated it 50s anniversary is one of the most renowned ballet schools in the world.


Baden-Württemberg hosts many film festivals in different genres, from feature to animation and documentary. One well-known festival is the International Film Festival Mannheim Heidelberg, another one is Filmschau Baden-Württemberg or the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film.  

If you love Indian movies, check out the Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart. If French movies are more to your liking, have a look at the Französische Filmtage Tübingen. Curious what else is there? Have a look and discover more film festivals in Baden-Württemberg.