Mannheim, the second biggest city in Baden-Württemberg, is relatively young: founded in 1606 in its current chess-board structure - rather unusual in the 'Old World' - its city centre is known as the 'City of Squares'. The squares are numbered like a chessboard. A typical address is for instance ‘G7,26’, G being the horizontal row of squares, 7 the vertical row of squares, and G7 the specific square. 26 is the entrance; the house entrances are counted around the square.
The neighbouring towns are Ludwigshafen, which is only separated from Mannheim by the Rhine and connected by bridges, and Heidelberg, a 20-minute drive from Mannheim. Heidelberg with its romantic old castle and its renowned university, one of the oldest and most important in Europe, attracts tourists from all over the world.
University life creates a distinct atmosphere both in Mannheim and its surroundings, which reflects in the local student pubs, student hostels, job offers for students and free-time activities that are available.