Kansas

Kansas, the granary of America, welcomes you with a seemingly endless horizon of fields and prairies, but also interesting cities and cultural highlights. Come with us and discover the beautiful Sunflower State!

Kansas facts

Capital: Topeka
Area: 213,000 km²
Population: about 3 million
Lage: Midwest of the USA
Nickname: The Sunflower State
State animal: American bison
Time zone: UTC −6 (Central)

Kansas: location & population

Kansas is one of the midwestern states located right in the center of the USA: the distance to the Pacific Ocean is as far as that to the Atlantic Ocean. Four states border Kansas: Nebraska to the north, Missouri to the east, Oklahoma to the south, and Colorado to the west.

With a population of just under 3 million in an area of about 213,000 km², Kansas is one of the ten US states with the lowest population density. Around 27% of the inhabitants of Kansas have German ancestors – by far the strongest population group in the state.

The largest cities in Kansas

Kansas may not be one of the most populous US states, but the Sunflower State has many charming cities to offer, most notably creative Wichita. Based on population, the largest cities in Kansas are:

City Population
Wichita 382,000
Overland Park 173,000
Kansas City 146,000
Topeka 127,000
Olathe 126,000

 

Attention, danger of confusion: The industrial town of Kansas City, located on the Missouri River, is the third-largest city in Kansas. When people talk about Kansas City, however, they usually refer to its sister city of the same name on the other side of the river, which (despite its name) belongs to the state of Missouri and has a population of 480,000.

Nature and climate

About two-thirds of Kansas is occupied by the vast Central Plains. The prairie region in the western part of the state, where large herds of buffalo once grazed, is now dominated by large-scale wheat farming and cattle ranching. The eastern third of Kansas is more hilly and partly forested.

Located in the middle of the North American continent, Kansas has a continental climate with hot summers, cold winters, little rainfall, but sometimes high humidity during the warmer months. Kansas lies in the middle of the so-called Tornado Alley of the USA, where tornadoes and blizzards often occur.

Best time to travel to Kansas

The temperature differences between summer and winter are high in Kansas, but both seasons have their benefits.

Kansas in summer

Many exciting events take place in Kansas during the summer months. For example, you can see America's most famous country musicians on stage for three days at the Heartland Stampede Music Festival in Topeka at the end of June. For an authentic Wild West experience, check out the Dodge City Days, an annual ten-day celebration of the city's historical heritage in August.

Kansas in winter

From November through March, you can expect temperatures around or below the freezing point in Kansas. But wanderlust doesn't hibernate in the Sunflower State! The cooler months are perfect for touring the state's museums and historic sites. It's also a good time to enjoy a hearty, well-seasoned BBQ.

Traveling to Kansas

If you're traveling to Kansas by plane, you'll likely land at the airport near the largest city of Wichita. In total, Kansas has three major airports:

  • Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
  • Dodge City Regional Airport
  • Colonel James Jabara Airport

From Frankfurt, for example, British Airways, Canadian Air, or Delta will take you to Wichita Airport. On your journey, you usually have to stop one or two times (e.g., in Atlanta, Dallas, or Chicago). From Asia, for example Tokyo, in Japan, you can reach Wichita in Kansas with American Airlines with a stop in Dallas.

If you book a few weeks in advance, you should budget around €700 to €850 for your flights between Frankfurt and Wichita. Connections between Tokyo and Wichita are significantly more expensive, at around €1,600 to €1,700..

Travel authorization Kansas

If you are a citizen of one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (e.g., Japan, Australia, the DACH region, and most other European countries), you most likely do not need a US visa. You have the option to apply for an ESTA travel authorization, which will allow you to enter America quite easily. Your ESTA will then enable you to stay in Kansas visa-free for up to 90 days.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Transfer from Wichita Airport

Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is located about eight kilometers southwest of Wichita's city center. Once you land at the airport, you have the following transfer options:

Taxi from Wichita Airport

There are several cab companies waiting outside the gates of Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport to take you and your luggage to your accommodation.

Shuttles from Wichita Airport

In Wichita, you can book an airport shuttle to take you from the terminal to your accommodation. If you are staying at a hotel, it is best to find out in advance if there is a free shuttle service from Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.

Public transport in Wichita

Public transportation in Wichita is not very well established. Wichita Transit buses take you from A to B on a total of 17 routes within the city.

Nature highlights in Kansas

The seemingly endless prairies of Kansas hold many a natural wonder that will amaze you. Here are three favorites you won't want to miss on your Kansas holiday:

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

In the heart of Kansas, near the town of Stafford, you will find the fascinating Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The area around the two shallow lakes Big Salt Marsh and Little Salt Marsh, is located directly on the Central Flyway, one of the most important flight routes of migratory birds on the North American continent. That's why you can see more than 340 species of birds here, interrupting their journey on the vast marsh.

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

The second major Kansas marsh is called Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and is located not far from Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Great Bend. Here, too, you'll find great biodiversity. More than 300 species of birds – including cranes, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, least terns, and about 25 species of ducks and geese – can be seen from several viewing platforms.

Monument Rocks

Where today the chalk formations of the Monument Rocks rise, there was a sea about 80 million years ago. Evidence of this can be seen, if you look closely, in the form of fossils in the chalk structures, some of which reach heights of up to 21 m. Always have your camera handy because the formations emerging in the middle of the flat prairie make an excellent photo opportunity!

Top 10 sightseeing highlights Kansas

You want to experience the very best of Kansas? The following ten attractions are especially popular with visitors and residents:

  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site
  • Sedgwick County Zoo
  • Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
  • Wichita Art Museum
  • Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art
  • S. P. Dinsmoor's Garden of Eden
  • Exploration Place
  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
  • Monument Rocks Natural Landmark

City highlights in Kansas

When traveling to the city highlights of Kansas, you will experience an exciting mix of modern metropolises and small towns that still radiate the atmosphere of the Wild West.

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City highlights Wichita

Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, has long outgrown its nickname of "Cowtown." But the city's rich ranching heritage from the days when cowboys moved their herds of cattle along the Chisholm Trail is still preserved in fascinating history museums.

In recent decades, Wichita, home to well-known aircraft manufacturers such as Cessna, established itself as a center of the American aviation industry and became a cosmopolitan city where you will also find many cultural highlights and creative restaurants.

These are must-see highlights in Wichita:

  • Wichita Art Museum
  • Exploration Place
  • Old Cowtown Museum
  • Museum of World Treasures
  • Sedgwick County Zoo

City highlights Topeka

Topeka, the capital of Kansas, is an ideal destination for history enthusiasts as well as for culture lovers. On a guided tour of the Kansas State Capitol, for example, you can admire the murals of artist John Steuart Curry. Afterwards, you can visit the Kansas Museum of History to see locomotives from the 1880s and test your suitability as a pilot on the flight simulator at the Combat Air Museum. Many other cultural highlights await you throughout the city.

These city highlights are waiting for you in Topeka:

  • Kansas State Capitol Visitor Center
  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
  • Kansas Museum of History
  • Evel Knievel Museum
  • Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center

City highlights Leavenworth

Leavenworth was the first settlement founded in Kansas in 1854 and is therefore also called "The First City of Kansas."

In addition to a charming historic city, the small town on the Missouri River offers exciting sights such as the Victorian Carroll Mansion, the Centennial Bridge over the Missouri River, and Fort Leavenworth, the oldest active fort west of the Mississippi.

These city highlights belong on your bucket list in Leavenworth:

  • C. W. Parker Carousel Museum
  • Weston Bend State Park
  • Frontier Army Museum
  • Buffalo Soldier Monument
  • Richard Allen Cultural Center & Museum

City highlights Dodge City

Kansas travelers interested in history should not miss Dodge City, which is located on the Santa Fe Trail. In its early days during the late 19th century, it was known as "The Wickedest Little City in America," where cowboys, gamblers, and prostitutes roamed.

Today, you can see a variety of exhibits from that era at facilities like the Boot Hill Museum. A tour of historic downtown Dodge City also brings the American Wild West atmosphere to life.

These city highlights should be on your travel list in Dodge City:

  • Boot Hill Museum
  • Boot Hill
  • Home of Stone
  • Long Branch Lagoon
  • Wright Park Zoo

Road trip in Kansas

Our road trip through Kansas will take you to interesting cultural highlights and fascinating art treasures that you might not have expected to find amidst the vast prairies of the Sunflower State.

Lucas

The small town of Lucas is bubbling over with creativity, which is why it calls itself the "Capital of Grassroots Art." Be sure to take plenty of time to stroll around and take in the many unusual sculptures and glass artworks that adorn the streets and buildings of Lucas.

Lindsborg

No, you haven't suddenly landed in Scandinavia – even if you get that impression when you visit the town of Lindsborg in Kansas. Founded by Swedish immigrants, the town is a piece of Scandinavia in the middle of the prairie. Here you can sample Swedish pastries, browse souvenir stores, or visit the Swedish Pavilion and many interesting art galleries.

Strataca Underground Salt Museum

A visit to the abandoned Strataca Underground Salt Museum just outside Hutchinson takes you far underground. Here, you can ride the Salt Mine Express through the shafts and learn all about salt mining, which was an important industry in Kansas from the end of the 19th century. In October, the mine shafts host the “Strataca Adventure Run 10K”. However, due to the unusual environment, you should be an experienced runner to participate.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum

The 34th US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, grew up in Kansas. At the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum in Abilene, you can visit Eisenhower's childhood home as well as his final resting place and learn more about the former president's life and work in the permanent exhibit. The museum also features regular cultural events organized by the Eisenhower Foundation.

Instagram hotspots Kansas

Looking to share that Kansas feeling with your friends and followers? Our top Instagram hotspots in Kansas let you capture the typical but also the surprising sides of the Sunflower State:

  • Monument Rocks
  • „El Sueño Original” in Wichita
  • Dodge City
  • Lindsborg
  • Lucas

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Cuisine in Kansas

Kansas is known to be a top producer of beef. So it's no wonder that many meat dishes like BBQ, ribs, and chili make their way to the plate. In addition to beef specialties, fried chicken is also very popular in the Sunflower State.

When in Kansas, also try:

  • Bierocks (hearty beef and cabbage pastries)
  • Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce
  • Kansas baked beans (sweet and spicy beans with chili powder and cayenne pepper)

Kansas fun facts

You probably didn't know these interesting facts about the state of Kansas:

  • The name Topeka comes from the Kansa-Osage language and means "a good place for growing potatoes.”
  • The first commercially built airplane in the United States took off from the city of Wichita on its maiden flight.
  • Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic on a nonstop flight, grew up in Atchison, Kansas.
  • In the fantasy film "The Wizard of Oz," Dorothy Gale is carried away by a tornado on her aunt and uncle's farm in Kansas and transported to the magical land of Oz.
  • Truman Capote's bestseller "In Cold Blood" is about the 1959 murder of the Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. Capote visited Kansas for his research and was also present in the courtroom for the sentencing of the two culprits.
  • The grain elevator in north Wichita has been adorned by a giant painting by artist Armando Minjarez since 2018. The work, titled "El Sueño Original," is the largest acrylic mural in the world created by only one artist.

Immigrate to Kansas

Don't you want to leave the endless prairies of the Sunflower State? The following tips will give you a few ideas on how to make your dream of immigrating to Kansas come true.

Working in Kansas

Huge farms stretch across the entire state of Kansas. It is the largest wheat producer and the second-largest beef producer in the USA. Corn, sugar beets, and oats also ripen on the sun-drenched land of America's breadbasket.

Alongside agriculture, aircraft construction is also very important in Kansas. The Sunflower State is the home of the famous Learjets, for example. You'll have good job opportunities in aircraft manufacturing in Wichita, for example, where more than half of all American aircraft are manufactured.

Living in Kansas

When you decide to move to Kansas, you can enjoy a Cost of Living Index that is about 17% lower than the US average. Especially when it comes to housing, you can save a great deal in Kansas compared to other US states. Costs here are around 40% lower than the American average.

You can also expect costs similar to the rest of Kansas in lively Wichita, the capital of Topeka, or the Wild West metropolis of Dodge City.

 

 

 

Moving to Kansas with a Green Card

To stay in the United States forever, you need a Green Card. With this card, you can live and work anywhere in the USA without any restrictions.

We recommend that you try your luck in the Green Card Lottery. The annual draw of 55,000 Permanent Resident Cards by the US government is a very easy and fast way to get into the United States.

 

 

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