Right now Karlsruhe is a city defined by the many construction sites, and most of them won’t disappear for some years to come. The reason for this is the plan to turn the tram system into an underground system – at least for the pedestrian area in the city. To get from point A to point B quickly, here are some forms of transportation:
On foot:
At first, everything will seem to be manageable on foot. As long as you don’t live very far from campus, the walks between your apartment, the auditoriums, the canteen and downtown might even be refreshing. But as soon as some longer distances are to be covered (e.g. picking up a package at the post office at the central train station because it arrived, while you weren’t at home), walking might not be the best option..
By bike:
The option most students at KIT prefer is the bike. In the long-run it is also the cheapest. Karlsruhe is a very bike-friendly city, meaning that you are able to cover most distances in a reasonable span of time (Karlsruhe even calls itself the bike capital of the south).
The only disadvantage of the bike: Karlsruhe is one of the cities in Germany with the most bike thefts. Therefore a good lock is recommended!
By public transportation:
If it happens to rain or you are simply too lazy to get the bike from the basement, you can still go back to bus or tram transportation. The public transportation has a fairly well developed network of busses and trams. Both busses and trams are operated by the KVV. For more information on this visit the KVV section on the Getting Started page.
If you take the train from time to time, maybe you should look into buying a BahnCard. This is a card allowing you to save 25% (with the BahnCard25) or 50%(with the BahnCard50) off each purchase of a train ticket everywhere inside Germany’s borders. For students the BahnCard costs 39€ (BC25) or 122€ (BC50). You can also save some money by booking train tickets between 3 months and 3 days before the trip.
By car:
The last option is the car. There is a catch though: Cars were developed to be in motion, not to be parked. Karlsruhe’s downtown and campus area don’t have a lot of parking options. And the ones available are often only allowed if you have a resident’s parking permit (which is not as cheap as you might think). And even then you have to hope to find a parking spot that isn’t occupied. Also the driving is complicated by the construction sites that seem to shift every few weeks. Conclusion: Tram and bike are faster, cheaper and a lot more stress-free.