Heidelberg is one of the most romantic cities in Germany. The picturesque castle ruins, the Old Town and the Old Bridge fascinate millions of visitors from all over the world. Also well known for Germany’s oldest University established in 1386, the city attracts thousands of students every year.
After enjoying a couple of days in the country’s financial center, Frankfurt, I wanted to visit a nearby town and I followed a friend’s advice to spend some time in Heidelberg which I never regretted. Its baroque Oldtown (Alstadt) enchanted me and the view to the castle dominating the skyline made me eager to discover more beauties. The historical old quarter is the most touristic part, full of Renaissance buildings, pretty shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and very easy to explore by foot. This is where you will also find the imposing Church of the Holy Spirit.
Right before the final turn to the uphill road taking you to the castle, I was amazed to come across to another well-known part of Heidelberg, Karl Theodor Bridge, also known as the Old Bridge, joining the two sides of the city over the Neckar river. Cross the gate, enter the Old Bridge and enjoy a spectacular view to the castle.
If you would ask me what’s one thing you should not miss in Heidelberg I would definitely say the castle. You can easily get the funicular railway to the castle (Schloss) but I will highly recommend you choosing the hard way and take the steep steps to it. Once reaching the castle grounds don’t forget to look back at the city and the bridge, the view from this point is totally worth it. Then buy an entrance ticket and explore the romantic castle ruins in order to discover some highlights of different periods of the German architecture.
If you are looking for a traditional German meal you will remember, Heidelberg won’t let you down. Like in most of the southern German cities you can enjoy sausages, potato soup, potato fritters (Kartofelpuffer) , cabbage salad, pretzels and of course beer in traditional breweries. A very cosy restaurant with delicious dishes I would recommend is The Golden Sheep (Zum Güldener Schaf). For those who want to try a sweet that would be a Snowball cake (Schneeball). Schneeball is a ball made of pieces of dough, deep fried and it comes with different toppings.
I just spend a day in Heidelberg but I would recommend spending at least two days there to discover all its beauties and secrets.
Heidelberg does not have an airport but it is located between two big German cities, Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart and it is only one hour trip by train or car from any of those two cities. Its small size makes it an ideal place to explore on foot while you can always take a bus or train to get around or even a romantic boat trip across Neckar river.
Have you had the chance to visit this pretty town? Then feel free to share your impressions in the comments!