Magical Mannheim: The city in the heart of the Rhine-Neckar region presents itself to interested flower admirers from all over Germany from its most diverse side on the occasion of the Federal Garden Show 2023 - and is thus blossoming from a holiday underdog to a top tourist destination.
"2023 is the year in which you should visit Mannheim": This sentence in a travel guide should surprise many. But the new "Marco Polo" book "Where is the journey going? - The best destinations for 2023" tries to leave the beaten path. The aim of the trend guide from MairDumont, the largest German travel publishing group based in Ostfildern near Stuttgart, is to present "40 exciting travel trends and destinations" for the coming year.
About Mannheim, the second largest city in Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, the book of the popular travel guide brand "Marco Polo" says that the city has the second largest baroque palace in Europe after Ludwigslust. Also: "Letters and numbers instead of street names (...) and a lot of new things because of the Federal Horticultural Show." "Monnem", as the city is affectionately called by its residents, was primarily chosen as a tip because of this Federal Horticultural Show.
The Federal Garden Show, or Buga for short, sounds "like tour buses and old-school staring at flowers", but it can mean so much more, they say. For example, after the Buga of 1975, Mannheim had two large parks, a telecommunications tower with a revolving restaurant and a huge pond.
"Bugas trigger urban development activity," says Marco Polo. "And that will also happen at the garden show, which will take place in 2023 in the Palatinate city with the square core. The cable car between the Spinelli Park, which brings completely new greenery to the city, and the one with 'Underwater World' and 'South America -Haus' pimped Luisenpark."
Incidentally, the history of German garden shows dates back to the 19th century. After the war, the tradition was taken up again. Federal Garden Shows have been held every two years for a good 70 years. There are also state garden shows in the federal states. The first Buga was in Hanover in 1951, the last ones were in Erfurt (2021) and Heilbronn (2019).
The Völklinger Hütte or the Franconian Lake District near Nuremberg are also recommended by "Marco Polo" for Germany. The Bavarian Forest National Park is also a tip: "With the decision of the Bavarian state government to enlarge the protected area by almost 700 hectares, it has come back to our minds."
The "Urban Hiking" trend is also a topic - for example in the Ruhr area city of Essen, but also in Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin: "Hiking is the new clubbing. Really now? The fact is that more and more people are leaving their hometowns with backpacks and trekking shoes, also thanks to new hiking offers." It is also about "astro tourism", i.e. stargazing, for example on the East Frisian island of Spiekeroog or the Wadden Sea island of Pellworm and in Jena, in the oldest planetarium in the world.
The trend targets in the book are divided into four criteria: "Experience 2023!" (Events), "Not yet discovered" (hardly anyone has it on their radar so far), "Sustainable" and "New Shine". The topics in the volume are divided into the destinations "Germany/Austria/Switzerland", "Europe" and "World".