Germany's most creative cities

Where is Germany's creative potential flourishing? Where are the best museums, universities and funding? We present six top cities.

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Culture and creativity are important economic factors that generate employment, turnover and income. The European Commission's Joint Research Centre has therefore made a comparison of the creative and cultural potential of European cities European cities for the second time since 2017.

190 cities in 30 countries were divided into groups according to their total population and analysed in terms of cultural dynamics, creative industries and creative environments. How attractive and diverse are the offerings of museums, concert halls and theatres in these cities? Where do creative people find the most and the most innovative jobs, and young people find the best training? To what extent do cities support and promote their cultural and creative sector? Is the infrastructure optimally developed? A total of 29 indicators were used for measuring.

Six German cities landed in the top 5 categories.


The Bavarian capital of Munich ranks second among the top creative cities with more than one million inhabitants. The Isar metropolis boasts a high quality of life not only because of its location near the Alps. In addition to the popular Olympic Park and the Bavarian State Opera, magnificent churches such as the Frauenkirche and the Church of St Peter (affectionately known as the “Old Peter”), Munich sparkles with numerous cultural sites. The Deutsches Museum, with its approximately 50 different thematic areas, is one of the most important scientific and technical museums in the world.


Three slots behind Munich, in fifth place in the category of cities with more than a million inhabitants, comes the federal capital of Berlin. Berlin has a fascinating history that can be explored in countless places. Where was the border that used to run between east and west? To find out, every year millions of visitors from all over the world to search for the traces and see the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery, the longest preserved section of the Berlin Wall, painted by numerous artists. Lively and colourful Berlin is a real magnet for creative free spirits, attracting droves of young people who come to study at its universities.

Berlin - the Brandenburg Gate is probably the most famous landmark of reunified Germany.
Berlin - the Brandenburg Gate is probably the most famous landmark of reunified Germany.
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Among the 40 cities with up to one million inhabitants, Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, is number one in Germany and number 5 in international comparison. Stuttgart owes this top position to its huge cultural offering. The Stuttgart State Theatre, Europe's largest multifunctional theatre, combines opera, theatre and ballet. The last enjoys the highest international recognition. The Stuttgart State Gallery boasts, in addition to works by Rembrandt and Rubens, one of the most extensive Picasso collections in Germany. Regular media events, such as Europe's largest Indian film festival and a very lively music scene, make the city attractive for residents and visitors alike. Car fans will get their money's worth at the company museums of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.


Karlsruhe, the second largest city in Baden-Württemberg, takes second place in the category of cities with up to 500,000 inhabitants. The Baden metropolis is located in the immediate vicinity of France, the Black Forest and the Palatinate, and is called the "fan city" because of the shape of its layout. In the centre is the Karlsruhe Palace, where the Baden State Museum is housed. In summer it turns into an oversized screen for Cinema at the Palace. In winter, the historic Palace Square becomes a dreamlike winter backdrop to a huge ice rink. Skaters young and old then make their turns around the monument to Grand Duke Karl Friedrich. The Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe is the largest institution for media art in the world.

Karlsruhe - the palace, built in 1715.
Karlsruhe - the palace, built in 1715.
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The  student city of Heidelberg on the river Neckar is located in the southwest of Germany and ranks second among cities with up to 250,000 inhabitants. Heidelberg's heart beats for literature, and the city's author, translator and theatre scene is accordingly large. The renowned University of Heidelberg, the oldest university in Germany, is located in the middle of the old town. The university museum is housed in the baroque building of the Old University. The city’s romantic landmark, Heidelberg Castle, towers majestically over the roofs of the old town and is definitely worth a visit.

Heidelberg - the “Old Bridge” leads over the Neckar to the Heiliggeistkirche.
Heidelberg - the “Old Bridge” leads over the Neckar to the Heiliggeistkirche.
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The small city of Weimar, centrally located in Thuringia, has the top position among cities with up to 100,000 inhabitants. Weimar is historically and culturally one of the most important places in Germany and has always attracted poets, artists and creative people. Goethe, Schiller, Bach and Liszt lived here. In 1919 Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus State Art School. They all left their traces in Weimar and so, besides the Goethe and Schiller Museums, visitors can also admire the Weimar Bauhaus University and the Franz Liszt University of Music.