Mannheim is mostly known as an industrial city, but it is also a student city. This city in the northernmost part of the state of Baden-Württemberg is an internationally renowned city as it is very close to Heidelberg, Germany’s most famous university city, and Heidelberg University has a medical school in the city.
In fact, in addition to the medical school, Mannheim is also famous for the University of Mannheim, which is internationally recognized for its economic and social excellence. The university is recognized as one of the best schools in Germany by employers both inside and outside Germany.
The “Quadrate” area in the city center is interestingly famous for its nameless streets. The name comes from the square-shaped plan of this part of the city. The street names are numbered from A3 to S7. This sometimes leads to confusion. Even courier caterers have problems with delivery.
It is easy to find the campus of the University of Mannheim, which uses the old castle and palace right across the A1 and L1 streets.
Mannheim is a city with a large Turkish population. In total, 14% of the city’s population is of Turkish origin. In this respect, despite the prestige of its university, the city does not have a good perception in Germany. Generally, German students have a bad experience of this city. Although the situation may be different for foreign students, I can say that there is a general state of dissatisfaction.
The city center is famous for its squares. There are many large squares and parks. The 60m historical water tower near the train station on the eastern border of the city center has become the symbol of the city.
Although Mannheim has its own small airport, connections are very limited. For this reason, people living here usually use Frankfurt airport, 80km away, for international connections. It takes 1 hour by car, 2 hours by train with a transfer via Mainz and you can’t use the semester ticket because you are changing states. On the other hand, a more reasonable option for students is Stuttgart Airport, which takes 1 hour and 35 minutes by train. Since you are in the same state, you can travel for free with a semester ticket.
Student Accommodation Options in Mannheim
Mannheim has some beautiful historic buildings, some post-war buildings, and if you venture a little further out you will find more modern residential buildings. Depending on the neighborhood, you can stay in the countryside, by the Rhine or in the heart of the city. Students generally prefer to be close to the center. The relatively cheap rents have made it popular to look for housing in the center.
Due to its proximity to the city of Heidelberg, which has very high housing prices, the city, which is also preferred by students studying there, brings multiculturalism. You see students from almost every country in the world on the roads.
The west side of the “Marktplatz” square in the middle of the Quadrate is called “Little Istanbul” by the locals because of the dense Turkish settlement and shops. You can surrender yourself to Turkish hospitality with the cafes, restaurants and shopping venues in this area.
Even if you don’t live in the center, well-designed public transport links can get you to the center of shopping and entertainment in no time. It makes sense to decide according to your budget, but rents will increase the closer you get to the center. However, rents in the “Quadrate” area will remain cheap compared to other cities. “OstStadt” and “Niederfeld” are areas with luxury housing and can be a bit expensive for students. By the way, as in all German cities, it is more economical to look for a room in a shared apartment instead of looking for a rental on your own. For more information on how to do this, please read my article on finding accommodation for students in Germany.
Studierendenwerk Mannheim provides dormitory accommodation for around 2800 students. As in all cities, the dormitories of the Studierendenwerk Mannheim remain the most economical option. However, as everywhere else, the waiting times are long due to the high number of students and the limited number of beds.
What are the rental prices in Mannheim?
I have already written that rents in Mannheim are relatively reasonable. In the center you can find a 1 bedroom apartment for around 450 euros (cold rent – you have to add roughly 100 euros per month for heating) and in a relatively better neighborhood like Lindenhof you can find a 1 bedroom apartment for around 500 euros.
In the map below you can see the areas in Mannheim where rents are higher. You should know that the darker the colors, the more luxurious the neighborhoods and therefore the higher the rents. In the south of the city “Niederfeld” and “Oststadt” stand out as the higher priced neighborhoods, while Lindenhof is an area I would recommend for its reasonable rents and calmness.
The biggest problem you will face when you go to Germany is housing. If possible, take care of this before you go. Most of the private dormitories accept credit cards for the first registration, but they will ask for a SEPA form for subsequent rents. (SEPA form is similar to our direct debit mandate) You will also be asked for a SEPA form for WG or private apartments you will find outside the private dormitory. However, you must have a bank account for the SEPA form. In other words, you must open a bank account. You must also have a residential address for the bank account. For a residential address, you need to get a “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” from your landlord. So it is a vicious circle.
You need a bank account to rent a house, you need a house for your bank account. So you might need a place where you can stay temporarily until you find a permanent place, but where you can get a “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”. Or you can open a Belgium-based SEPA account using Wise. I explained the process of “opening a Wise SEPA account” in a previous article.
Fortunately, some apartment hotels in Germany will provide you with a “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” for stays of 30 days or more. Below is a booking.com link to independent apartments in Mannheim where you can stay for a longer period of time and cancel free of charge. Once you have clear dates (try to make them as early as possible, or if not, plan for 1 week before the opening date of your school), book one of these options. Immediately afterwards, make an appointment with the Karlsruhe Citizenship office to apply for residency a day or two after your arrival date (if you don’t act early, it can be very busy at the beginning of the semester and appointments can be pushed back by up to 20 days). Once you have the residence certificate, you have no obstacles to open a bank account. I felt the need to remind you because I have readers who have had a lot of trouble with this.
Which neighborhoods are safe in Mannheim?
I have already mentioned Mannheim’s perception of security within Germany above. The “Neckarstadt-West” in the north of the city was declared a “dangerous area” in the past years due to increasing drug and street crime. It was removed from this scope last year due to a drop in crime rates, but police officials attribute this decline to the effects of the pandemic.
The city center and Jungbusch are also high crime areas. But not as exaggerated. In summary, consider the center and Jungbusch as a second priority. But I don’t recommend the area north of the Neckar river. Especially if you want to be close to the center, feel safe and cheap, you can consider “Lindenhof”.
By the way, I should write something about security and crime statistics for Germany in general. Germany is a rule-oriented and conservative country. People are so accustomed to calmness that any action that would disrupt it would draw a reaction. Due to cultural differences and lifestyle, especially cosmopolitan cities with a lot of immigrants are considered unsafe by Germans.
In fact, when you look at the rest of the world, Germany is a very safe country. Crime attempts of the kind you see in American movies are very rare. In short, no matter what the statistics say, the city in Germany is no more dangerous than any other big city in your country (especially in the eastern countries).
Are there any private dormitories in Mannheim?
In Mannheim, there are not many private dormitories except the dormitories run by Studentenwerk. I think this is because rents are not high in the city. Some of these private dormitories are sponsored by religious or political organizations, while others are commercial enterprises. Rents are cheaper in sponsored dormitories, but finding a place will be a problem. Here are some of the private dormitories in Mannheim:
The Mannheim public transportation map is useful when looking for accommodation and neighborhoods. On the map, the red lines are buses, the green and blue lines are trams and subways, and the orange lines are commuter rail lines.
Is it expensive to live in Mannheim?
Mannheim is about average in terms of cost of living when you look at Germany as a whole. As everywhere else, rent is the biggest item in students’ living costs, followed by food and entertainment expenses. However, students are privileged to have access to good quality and cheap food. In the student union Mensa, a good quality and filling meal is available for roughly 4 to 5 Euros. Other than that, meals will usually be taken at cheap fastfood restaurants or pizza delivery will be requested.
How Students Spend Their Time in Mannheim?
Jungbusch is the old harbor area and the new popular area for students, although it is not well known because of the brothels that used to be there. It is not recommended to live there, but it has become the new meeting point for young people when it comes to entertainment. Jungbusch is a multicultural (mostly Turkish) area and is the new trend for the art and music scene. Renovated and equipped with modern buildings, there are many exhibitions, theater performances and open-air concerts.
Heidelberg is very close to the city, so some students may prefer to hang out there. It is true that Heidelberg is an expensive city for students, but everyone agrees that the charm of the city is worth it.
Is it difficult to find a part-time job as a student living in Mannheim?
The jobs you can find as a student in Germany increase in direct proportion to the level of your knowledge of German. You will find many options for finding part-time jobs in almost every city. In cities such as Mannheim, such jobs are mostly concentrated in areas such as clerk, shop assistant in supermarkets, assistant in office work. Hourly wages are roughly around 13-15 Euros (gross).
Mannheim in numbers
|Number of Students
|Number of beds provided by Studierendenwerk
|Rents for accommodation provided by Studierendenwerk
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