Brimming with curiosities and all things ancient, the small, southwestern town of Heidelberg is quaint in its truest form. The university town is vastly inhabited by students, much like other German cities like Darmstadt and Stuttgart. The town has become a must-see destination on the German travel map, owing to its stunning landscapes, rich history, and welcoming vibe.
The small town running by the river Neckar is best visited for a day or two, as all attractions can be covered within a short span of time. I would suggest making a day trip to the town from any of the larger cities in Germany.
Read on to know all about the red-roofed town!
How to get there
Heidelberg is close to the Frankfurt and Stuttgart airports, from which you can get to the town by bus or by train.
There are buses traveling every hour from Frankfurt to Heidelberg from 7:00am to 10:30pm, and you can take them from Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1. I recommend booking seats in advance, at least 4 days prior to the departure date to avoid hassle. The ride should cost about 25 euros.
If traveling by train, you can take one directly from the airport, and chain trains at the main Frankfurt or Mannheim station. A one-way journey ticket will cost about 25 euros for a one hour journey.
I recommend taking the Flixbus from inside Frankfurt to Heidelberg.
What to see and do
Plan your visit to the town as a single-day trip, as there are limited things to see and do.
Also called the ‘Studentenkrazer’, the now- museum was a former jail for students who were punished for bad conduct. They could still go to class during the week, but had to do their time in the jail otherwise. It features unique graffiti on the walls, which makes the infamous place a must-visit attraction. You’ll see it as soon as you near Augustinergasse.
Visit the insides of the lecture halls, and various other beautiful areas of this old, research-university. A lot of the population of the city is made up by university students themselves.
Church of the Holy Spirit
Made out of the signature Heidelberg red, the church is situated right in the middle of the marketplace, with a steeple dominating the town skyline.
The most prominent feature of the church is that is offers a spectacular view of the entire city from the top. You might have to tire yourself a bit by climbing the stairs, but the view of the red roofs huddled together is totally worth it.
Owing to its good location, you can find lots of places to eat right outside the church. Take a break from the sightseeing, here!
Not far from the church and Studentenkrazer is the grand, Heidelberg castle. Situated on top of a hill, it can pretty much be seen from anywhere afar, and is even more breathtaking from up close.
The splendid gothic architecture of the castle is now in ruins, but some of the buildings have been reconstructed later on. If you wish to, you can also take a walking tour of the castle to know more about its history and stories!
Famous for being Mark Twain’s favorite place in Heidelberg, the The Karl Theodor Bridge overlooks the Neckar river, where you’ll constantly find tourists taking pictures. It is one of my favourite sites in the city.
Museum of Art
The Kurpfälzisches Museum is a museum of art and architecture, and features collections from various prominent painters.
The museum is located in Palais Morass, a baroque palace building. You can enjoy collections of coins, sculptures, purses, etc inside. The museum itself won’t take a long time to see thoroughly, so even if you’re not an art enthusiast, go there for the history!
Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg
A picturesque building with the loveliest doors I’ve ever seen! The building has function rooms and conference halls for various events. You cannot, however, go inside unless attending an event. So, it is worth visiting only on the outside.
The Heidelberg Marketplatz is a historic square, with the Church of the Holy Spirit dominating the centre, and various cafes surrounding the area. It also has a beautiful fountain. This is the ideal place to sit and relax after touring the city, and also grabbing a bite to eat whilst enjoying the views of the city!
All- year round Christmas shop: Käthe Wohlfahrt
Being in Europe and avoiding christmas cheer is kind of impossible. So is Kathe Wohlfahrt, selling christmas decorations year-round! Even if you’re not looking to buy, just stroll around the pretty shop for some christmas feels!
If you’re in the marketplace and are looking for a quick fix, go to La Fee Bar Cafe located right in the square. You can also just go for the good old Doner Kebab, a staple German food item, available everywhere in the city.
I stopped at the Kurpfalziches Museum for a quick energizing tea.
Or, check out Kulturbrauerei, for an awesome beer tap!
- Avoid staying in Heidelberg, as owing to its small size, the accomodation available can be pretty expensive.
- Don’t miss the beautiful views of the city you get from top of the attractions.
- WALK! Walk as much as you can around the city.
That is if for now! Let me know what you think in the comments.