Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, Heidelberg has lots to offer a city explorer.
We visited during early March 2017.
Heidelberg is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. The picturesque ensemble of the castle, the Old Town, and the river Neckar surrounded by hills, which inspired the poets and artists of romanticism, still fascinates millions of visitors from all over the world today. | Heidelberg.de
Located on the Neckar river against a forest backdrop, there’s no denying Heidelberg is a beautiful place to visit. This historic town boasts Germany’s oldest University, founded in 1386, and a fascinating past. Managing to avoid the destruction of World War II, Heidelberg and its castle instead tell the story of a war with France during the 17th century.
Cobbled streets run through the town centre, which manages to feel simultaneously vibrant, contemporary and historic. The town reminded us of York, England – another tourist heavy, historic University city on a river. Though where York has medieval walls and gates, Heidelberg has it’s romantic ruined castle.
Sat on a hill 300 feet above Heidelberg, the imposing ruin is a lovely spot to visit during the day. It offers some amazing views and at night the castle is beautifully illuminated with yellow lights. Whatever your interest in Heidelberg, one way or another, the castle is impossible to miss.
Need something to eat? Of course you do! There’s a mixture of cuisines on offer in Heidelberg, from traditional German restaurants to Thai, Italian and modern Burger places. It’s not too surprising when you consider this is a University town with plenty of tourists! You’ll probably spot few souvenir shops too, a testament to its popularity with foreign and domestic visitors alike.
We could have spent far more time exploring Heidelberg than our afternoon and evening allowed. With just a handful of hours, we spent our time at the castle, visiting the German Pharmacy Museum and wandering through lots of cobbled streets. Check back here next week to explore these in more detail! Take a look at the list below for more ideas!
- Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) | Built during the late 18th century, this sandstone bridge is a key aspect of Heidelberg’s visual identity. Enter from the city side via the medieval Bridge Gate (collage, top right) and touch the Bridge Monkey (collage, top middle) for good luck. | Heidelberg-Marketing.de
- Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg | This special building, built in 1592, managed to survive… well, pretty much everything! Take a look at this late Renaissance period building facing the Heiliggeistkirche (collage, bottom right). | Hotel Ritter
- Philosophenweg (Philosophers’ Walk) | Though we didn’t have time for this on our visit, it’s possible to cross the Old Bridge and enjoy a leisurely stroll up the hill to take in the beautiful views of Heidelberg and the castle. This is where to come to get that photograph of the river, town and castle all in one. | Heidelberg-Marketing.de
- Zoo Heidelberg | If you’re here a little longer or have children to entertain, the Zoo might be something to keep in mind. It’s open every day and easily accessed via public transport. | Heidelberg Zoo
Always check with the attraction website to confirm any details important to you before you travel!