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Exploring the Top Luxury Hotels in Frankfurt: A Traveler’s Dream
Frankfurt, the vibrant financial hub of Germany, is a city that never fails to impress its visitors. From its picturesque skyline to its rich cultural heritage, Frankfurt has something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to this bustling city, it’s essential to find a comfortable and luxurious accommodation that will make your stay truly unforgettable. In this article, we will explore some of the top luxury hotels in Frankfurt that promise an exceptional experience for every traveler.
The Ritz-Carlton Frankfurt: A Haven of Elegance and Sophistication
Nestled in the heart of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Frankfurt offers a truly luxurious experience for its guests. With its elegant architecture and impeccable service, this hotel has become synonymous with luxury in Frankfurt. From spacious rooms with breathtaking views of the city to world-class dining options and state-of-the-art wellness facilities, The Ritz-Carlton Frankfurt leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing an unforgettable experience.
Villa Kennedy: Old-World Charm meets Modern Luxury
If you’re looking for a hotel that seamlessly combines old-world charm with modern luxury, look no further than Villa Kennedy. Located in a beautifully restored villa in the leafy district of Sachsenhausen, this hotel offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city center. With its spacious rooms adorned with stylish furnishings and plush amenities, Villa Kennedy provides an oasis of relaxation for weary travelers.
Jumeirah Frankfurt: Contemporary Opulence at Its Finest
For those seeking contemporary opulence at its finest, Jumeirah Frankfurt is the perfect choice. Located on the famous Thurn-und-Taxis-Platz square, this hotel boasts sleek design elements combined with warm hospitality. The spacious rooms exude sophistication and offer panoramic views of the city skyline. Guests can indulge in the hotel’s luxurious spa, dine at the award-winning restaurants, or simply unwind at the rooftop terrace and enjoy breathtaking views of Frankfurt.
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof: A Historic Gem in the Heart of the City
Steeped in history and tradition, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is one of Frankfurt’s most iconic luxury hotels. Situated in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, this hotel offers a blend of classic elegance and modern amenities. The spacious rooms feature high ceilings, luxurious furnishings, and state-of-the-art technology. Guests can savor Michelin-starred cuisine at the hotel’s renowned restaurant or relax at the rooftop spa with panoramic views of Frankfurt’s skyline.
In conclusion, when it comes to luxury hotels in Frankfurt, these establishments truly stand out from the rest. Whether you prefer a contemporary setting with panoramic city views or an elegant retreat steeped in history, Frankfurt has a luxury hotel to cater to your every need. So why settle for anything less when you can experience the best? Book your stay at one of these top luxury hotels and make your visit to Frankfurt an unforgettable journey filled with comfort and indulgence.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Heidelberg: Germany's romantic side
Heidelberg is a city worth falling in love with: the dreamy, romantic setting around the Old Bridge and the castle, an unparalleled choice of culture and entertainment wherever you go and hearty yet heavenly cuisine. All of which is nestled between the Neckar River and the foothills of the Odenwald forest.
It's easy to see why visitors flock straight for the castle, sat upon its throne on the hill some 70 metres above the Neckar River, when they come to Heidelberg. Together with the Old Bridge, it is among the most impressive sights to be found in Germany. It is worth joining a guided tour of the town, if only to appreciate the history of this mighty fortress, which has seen a thing or two over the past 700 years. Did you know that the largest barrel in the world is stored in the castle's wine cellar? Made from 130 oak trees, it has a capacity of precisely 221,726 litres. Heidelberg Castle Festival is also one of the summer's main events at the castle.
In the centre of the Old Town is the Marktplatz square, which boasts one of Heidelberg's many beautiful fountains, grand period houses, cafés and even more pretty little shops. Not to mention the famous Church of the Holy Spirit. From here it's just a stone's throw to the Kornmarkt, which many see as the city's most beautiful square. Alongside the Electors, it is the scholars who have shaped the intellectual and cultural ideas in Heidelberg over the course of the centuries. The university is the oldest on German soil and has attracted the best academic thinkers to the city in the past. You can still see what makes the city so unique in the many cosy old student bars: Heidelberg has genuine joie de vivre in spades.
Castles & Palaces
Pillnitz Palace and Park – a gem in the heart of Dresden
Bergpark wilhelmshöhe – a work of art starring hercules, all news about destination germany, weimar palace and park on the ilm – a nod to goethe, hambach castle – a turning point in german history, zwinger palace, dresden – baroque architectural perfection, herrenchiemsee palace – a refuge for the fairytale king, europa-rosarium, sangerhausen – a rose by any other name, eltz castle, royal gardens of herrenhausen – the pride of hanover, egapark erfurt – a treat for all the senses, schwerin castle and gardens – a bright and shining gem, glienicke palace and park – mediterranean flair on the banks of the havel river, explore the surroundings.
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Heidelberg. Its beauty and timelessness inspired the German Romantic Movement, and it continues to inspire people today. Known for its university and castle, Heidelberg celebrates both the old and the new, making it the perfect place for everyone. And tourism-heidelberg.com is the perfect place for you to explore this diverse city before your arrival. It is an all-inclusive guide not only for sight-seeing, but for every other aspect of traveling abroad. Discover the city, learn about the German culture, and make your trip to Heidelberg easy, enjoyable and stress-free.
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Things to see in Heidelberg – One of the most romantic cities in Germany
Home » Blog » Viajar a Europa » Viajar a Alemania » Things to see in Heidelberg – One of the most romantic cities in Germany
Heidelberg , situated on the banks of the Neckar River is known to be one of the most romantic towns in Germany . While you walk around the essential places to visit in Heidelberg, you constantly bump into sights that seem to have come out of a fairy tale. We had the chance to spend a weekend there, and although it’s possible to go through essential things to do in Heidelberg in 1 day , it’s more advisable to dedicate at least a couple of these days to this wonderful town.
Heidelberg has a unique ambiance ; it’s not surprising that so many famous intellectuals, philosophers and scientists found inspiration in this place. According to Wikipedia 56 Nobel Laureates have had some connection with the University of Heidelberg , and 9 of them received the Nobel Prize while they were working there. Even nowadays you can feel this classical intellectual atmosphere in town , where on each corner you found something picturesque, but where romantic nostalgia gets mixed with the cheer of those students who keep coming to study in Heidelberg in search of inspiration, just as did those intellectuals who were reflecting on life’s big questions while looking down on the town from the Philosophers Walk on the hillside. We take you on a romantic stroll and show the Top 10 things to see and do in Heidelberg in 1 day or on a weekend.
Índice del post
What to do in Heidelberg – 10 Plans for a weekend
1. climb up to heidelberg castle.
2. The Old Bridge of Heidelberg
3. Marktplatz and its colorful houses
4. Hauptstrasse, the main artery of Old Town
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5. Haus zum Ritter and its precious façade
6. Have a drink enjoying the tranquillity of Karlsplatz
7. Be amazed by the view of Heidelberg Castle from Kornmarkt
8. Philosophers Walk
No one could summarize better the essence of Heidelberg than Goethe. The German writer wrote: “Heidelberg has got something ideal”. Many other writers like Mark Twain, composers like Schumann, philosophers like Hegel and other individuals of significant historical importance like Martin Luther found inspiration walking around this city.
9. Ruins of the St. Michael Monastery and the best views of Heidelberg
10. Finish your day with a night walk on the riverside
Map with Heidelberg Highlights
How to get to Heidelberg
Frankfurt Aiport is the largest in Europe and has low-cost flight connections with many places in Europe. From Frankfurt, you can get on a train, and in 45-60 minutes you get to Heidelberg. From the main train station in Frankfurt, there are direct trains . The latter is the option if you want to spend some time in Frankfurt, too. You can also opt for visting Heidelberg on a day trip from Frankfurt .
From Frankfurt Airport (main airport)
From Frankfurt Airport you can get on a train that will take you to Mannheim and there you can change to another one that takes you to Heidelberg. The total travel time doesn’t exceed 1 hour.
From Frankfurt Hahn Airport
It’s not the ideal airport to visit Heidelberg since from Frankfurt Hahn it will take you 2-2.5 hours to get to Heidelberg. Moreover, you will need to take the bus operated by Flixbus , and depending on the traffic, the trip can be even longer than that.
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7 best things to do in Heidelberg, Germany
by Tamara Elliott · February 28, 2023
The enchanting ruins of a castle fit for a fairytale sit in the hills high above Heidelberg, nestled among lush greenery overlooking towering church spires, a sea of orange roofs and the cobblestone streets that wind through the Old Town.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Heidelberg, Germany and its charm and beauty is undeniable, which has made it one of the country’s top places to visit and a memorable stop along the 780 kilometre Castle Road route.
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A baroque sandstone bridge spans the width of the tranquil Neckar river, and plazas bustle with activity in this university town where students make up a quarter of the population, bringing an air of youth and fun to the centuries-old city.
Its location near the eastern border of France also makes it easy to combine a trip with visits to France’s romantic Alsace region , especially during the holidays when the streets are transformed into a winter wonderland by the famous Christmas Markets.
From scenic walks to funicular rides, here’s what to do in Heidelberg, Germany.
Table of Contents
Admire the ruins of Heidelberg Castle
The first thing most people do when they visit Heidelberg is hightail it straight for the castle, a Renaissance masterpiece dating back to at least the 1200s.
Considered one of the grandest palaces of that period, Schloss Heidelberg is perched 80 metres up on Königstuhl hill overlooking the river and old town, and once served as the residence of prince electors.
However, it was continuously attacked during the 17th century and ultimately destroyed, turning it into the red sandstone ruins seen today.
Aside from wandering around the exterior grounds, there are 11 rooms inside the castle where the Deutsches Apotheken-Museum documents the history of pharmacies and medical science in Germany.
Wine lovers won’t want to miss the cellar, where there’s an absolutely enormous wine barrel. The Heidelberg Tun held an astounding 221-thousand litres of wine when it was built in 1751, and while its capacity has shrunk a bit as the wood has aged it’s still quite impressive.
Book a tour of Heidelberg Castle:
Heidelberg Castle at night
Ride the funicular up to Königstuhl
While it’s possible to walk up to Heidelberg Castle, more than two million passengers each year opt to take the fun funicular ride up Königstuhl hill instead.
There are two routes which make for quite a juxtaposition, since the lower route is one of the most modern funiculars in Germany while the upper section that was extended in 1907 is one of the country’s oldest cable railways.
Departures are every 10 to 20 minutes, and the three options are:
- Castle ticket: Lower funicular from Kornmarkt (town centre) to the castle to the Molkenkur transfer station, and includes entry to the castle grounds, wine cellar and Germany Pharmacy Museum for 9 euro per adult (return).
- Königstuhl ticket: Upper funicular from Molkenkur to the top of Königstuhl for 9 euros per adult (return)
- Panorama ticket: Both funiculars and entry to the castle grounds, wine cellar and Germany Pharmacy Museum for 14 euro per adult (return).
Molkenkur is the original site of the Heidelberg fortress, and a serene walk through the natural area passes by an 800-year-old moat and ruins. There’s also a guesthouse where the terrace has fantastic city views.
The funicular heads up past the castle
The Königstuhl sits at 550 metres high, giving a birds-eye vantage point of Heidelberg, the river and the Neckar Valley spread out below. On a clear day, it’s even possible to see as far as the Alsace region.
While most come for the photo-ops, there’s also an exhibition centre, falconry and woodland paths for an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Globe Guide tip: Purchase a HeidelbergCARD which includes admission to the castle, the funicular railway, public transportation and discounts for city tours, museums and restaurants. Click here to book
The view from the castle stop
Shop and sightsee in the Old Town (Altstadt)
Alstadt is the heart of Heidelberg, where historic landmarks, pretty plazas and ornate fountains provide eye candy at every corner. Flowers drip out of window boxes, while tall church spires and the castle loom overhead.
The hub of activity is along Hauptstraße, a shopping street with a claim to fame as one of the longest pedestrian zones in all of Europe. Pastel facades line the strip, which has a mix of clothing stores, boutiques, bistros and restaurants.
Heidelberg attractions in the Old Town include:
- The arched Old Bridge that spans 200 metres across the Neckar, framed by the bridge gate and two white towers from the Middle Ages. Keep an eye out for the bronze Bridge Monkey sculpture, Brückenaffe.
- The centuries-old Church of the Holy Spirit, including a climb up to the tower for great views
- Haus zum Ritter (House of the Knight), Heidelberg’s oldest residential building which was built in 1592, once served as town hall and is now a hotel
- Marketplatz, where City Hall is
- Kornmarkt, a charming square near Marketplatz with a fountain and castle views
Haus zum Ritter
Book a guided tour through Heidelberg
Do the scenic Philosopher’s Walk from the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)
One of the most popular places to visit in Heidelberg is across the river, where the Philosopher’s Walk winds along the other side of the bank.
Philosophenweg was named after the university’s professors and philosopher’s who often wandered these pathways, as the tranquility of the trails affords the perfect opportunity for contemplation.
Paved pathways and stone staircases were built into the hillside, and at the top of the short, somewhat steep walk there are incredible viewpoints looking across at the castle, town centre and river.
The view from the Philosopher’s Walk
A few lookouts allow spots to stop and catch your breath, and there’s also the Philosopher’s Garden which is a beautifully-landscaped respite bursting with flowers.
The Philosopher’s Garden
Romance your sweetie with Heidelberg chocolate
Love and chocolates go hand in hand, and the perfect way to show your affection for your sweetheart in Heidelberg is by buying a Student Kiss.
A Student Kiss chocolate
In 1863, the head chocolatier and master confectioner at Heidelberger Studentenkuß in the old town came up with a rather amorous plan, after observing the lovestruck glances between students who were restricted from speaking to each other by their strict teachers.
He created a red box with a single chocolate, and a blank piece of paper tucked inside for writing love notes. The idea was that the young men could discreetly give a box to the object of their affection, and whether or not she accepted it was an indication of her interest. The fun tradition continues today, and is Heidelberg’s most famous souvenir.
Take a boat ride along the Neckar River
A unique vantage point to see Heidelberg is from the water. Hop on a ferry, the world’s largest solar-powered catamaran, a peddle boat or a riverboat along the Neckar.
The Neckar river
This two hour kayaking excursion includes paddling instruction and a guide who shares history about the city, as the small group paddles under the Old Bridge and past the old town. Click here to book
Sightsee along the Castle Road in Germany
While Heidelberg Palace is ranked as one of the best castles in Germany, there are more than a dozen more to discover along the Castle Road.
Mannheim Baroque Palace
Stretching all the way to Prague, the castle drive can also be biked and hiked which is a unique way to explore landmarks like the Mannheim Baroque Palace which is one of the best things to do in Mannheim , and the summer residence Schwetzingen which is known for its landscaped gardens rivaling Versailles.
Other must-dos on this German castles tour are the beautiful half-timbered homes in Bad Wimpfen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber , Hirschhorn which features a 12th century castle on the banks of the river, and Guttenberg Castle which is still inhabited by a family and has falconry shows.
Heidelberg is also well-connected to cities like Frankfurt and Mannheim by train, and booking a day trip to Heidelberg from Frankfurt is a fantastic way to spend a long layover. Click here to book
Where to stay in Heidelberg
Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg is an absolute dream from the moment you pull up to the entrance and lay eyes on the stately columns, fountains and topiaries in its tucked-away courtyard.
Boasting a fabulous location a short walk from the Altstadt, this five-star hotel was built in 1865 and has been privately owned and run by four generations of the von Kretschmann family since 1906.
Elegant, tasteful decor is found throughout, from the rich wood and leather used in the bar to dazzling chandeliers to grand staircases. Expect elevated dining experiences at the outdoor summer restaurant, as well as the Kurfürstenstube restaurant where towering breakfast platters await every morning.
A real highlight is the luxurious rooms, with 100 single or doubles to choose from along with 14 junior suites, serviced apartments and a penthouse suite.
The opulent Executive Suites overlook the courtyard and have huge windows, a separate seating area with office, two bathrooms including one with a soaker tub, a large closet and king size bed with fine linens.
On-site amenities at Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg include a gym, rooftop terrace and spa with a large pool and sauna, a spot so serene it makes it hard to tear yourself away from the hotel and explore the best things to do in Heidelberg. Click here to book
Globe Guide explored Heidelberg as a guest of the Heidelberg tourism board and Hotel Europäischer Hof. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.
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15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Heidelberg
Written by Bryan Dearsley and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated May 2, 2023
Heidelberg is one of the most romantic cities in Germany, thanks to its picturesque riverside location, its beautiful old buildings and bridges, and the castle ruins that overlook the town center. Attracting nearly four million visitors each year, this city is chock-full of historic sites and attractions for tourists, as well as excellent dining and entertainment experiences.
The old capital of the Palatinate and an ancient university town celebrated in song and poetry, Heidelberg lies at the point where the Neckar river emerges from the hills of the Odenwald into the Rhine plain. It's also one of the warmest places to visit in Germany , as evidenced by sightings of the occasional almond, fig, and olive tree, as well as its wild African parakeets.
The city also offers plenty of free things to do: stroll through the charming old town and across the bridge to take in the views from Philosophers' Way and the charming Heiligenberg. Find out more with our list of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Heidelberg.
1. Heidelberg Castle
2. hauptstrasse and the altstadt (old town), 3. church of the holy spirit, 4. heidelberg university, 5. cross the karl theodor bridge, 6. follow the philosophers' way, 7. schloss schwetzingen, 8. ride the railway to königstuhl (the king's seat), 9. day trip to bad wimpfen, 10. heidelberg zoo and germany's oldest botanic garden, 11. the palatinate museum (kurpfälzisches museum), 12. climb to the heiligenberg, 13. dilsberg fortress (burgfeste dilsberg), 14. cruise along the neckar, 15. the german pharmacy museum.
Mark Twain said of Heidelberg Castle that "A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed." Built of red Neckar sandstone on the terraced hillside nearly 200 meters directly above Heidelberg's Old Town, this 16th-century castle is one of the best examples of German Renaissance architecture.
After its destruction by the French, who devastated the Palatinate in the 17th century, it has remained the largest and most picturesque such ruin, and one of the best castles in Germany .
The castle is the site of many festivals, most held in its evocative courtyard, where there are also frequent theater performances, concerts, and fireworks displays. One of the most popular events is the Heidelberg Castle Festival from June to August, which features an eclectic mix of theater, choral music, chamber orchestras, jazz, folk, and opera.
Heidelberg Castle can be reached by the Bergbahn, a funicular railway running from the Kornmarkt, or via a 15-minute walk from the Old Town.
Address: Schlosshof 1, Heidelberg
Heidelberg's Hauptstrasse is the place to start exploring this beautiful city. From this narrow main street, you'll find countless even narrower side streets and alleyways just begging to be explored, each bursting with things to see: unspoiled medieval architecture, splendid old churches, boutique shops, galleries, cafés, and restaurants.
Highlights include the early 15th-century Heiliggeistkirche , the Church of the Holy Spirit, and Haus zum Ritter , a Renaissance building dating from 1592. Other highlights include the Neckarstaden where you'll find Marstall , the old court stables and home of Heidelberg University's art collection, as well as the Stadthalle adjoining the landing stages for the many boats that take tourists for cruises along the castle-lined Neckar.
In December, the outstanding Heidelberg Christmas Market is so large it fills five city squares; one becomes a public skating rink, while the Kornmarkt is transformed into a fairy-tale scene with the lighted castle towering above.
Read More: Top-Rated Christmas Markets in Germany
Its Baroque spire a landmark of the old town, the Church of the Holy Spirit is in the center of Heidelberg's market square. The foundations were laid in 1398, but it wasn't until 1544 that the tower was completed. The tower you see today, however, was built in 1709 after the church had been set on fire by the French in the War of the Palatine Succession.
The church is an example of early ecumenism, or at least of peaceful co-existence between Catholics and Protestants, each of whom used it, and often at the same time. In 1706, a partition was built so each could hold services simultaneously; the wall was removed in 1936 and the church is now Protestant.
For a view of the town , river, and castle, climb the 200 steps to the tower.
On the south side of the Hauptstrasse lies Universitätsplatz , with the Old University dating back to 1711. On its east side, in Augustinergasse, is the Pedellenhaus with the former Student Prison, Karzer, which for many is the most memorable part of a visit to Heidelberg University.
Here, students found guilty of misdeeds (such as dueling or disturbing the peace by singing at night) were incarcerated for 24 hours. While there, they decorated the walls with graffiti that remains today.
The New University was built in 1928-31, behind which rises the Hexenturm, or Witches' Tower, once part of the town's fortifications. Nearby, in Grabengasse, you'll find the richly stocked University Library whose principal treasure is the 14th-century Manessische Handschrift , an illuminated manuscript of medieval songs.
Take time to see the Seminargebäude, the Mensa students' refectory, and the 15th-century Peterskirche, a tiny chapel now used mainly as the university church.
Address: Grabengasse 1, Heidelberg
Also known as the Old Bridge, Heidelberg's spectacular Karl Theodor Bridge has been immortalized in numerous poems and paintings, a testament to the romanticism that surrounds the structure.
Spanning the Neckar and joining the two sides of historic Heidelberg, the famous bridge with its lovely sculptures is named after the man responsible for designing and building its nine red sandstone arches in 1788 as a replacement for the numerous wooden bridges that came before. The bridge is well worth strolling along for its views of Heidelberg and its sister bridge, the twin-towered Brückentor.
Among the most romantic things to do in Heidelberg is a stroll along the well-marked Philosophenweg, or Philosophers' Way.
On the north side of the Neckar, this wonderful pathway runs along the side of Heiligenberg, or Saints' Mountain, and is where the university's philosophers would walk and carry on discussions as they admired the scenery.
It's not hard to see the attraction: the views across the Neckar to the old town are beautiful, and the riverside creates a microclimate where plants from more southern climates flourish, among them Japanese cherries, cypresses, and even lemons. This was a favorite walk of Mark Twain when he was visiting Heidelberg.
About 12 kilometers west of Heidelberg, in the Rhine plain, is Schwetzingen, famous for its spectacular 18th-century palace. Schloss Schwetzingen was built as the summer residence of the Electors of the Palatinate, and today is as well known for its superb program of summer concerts as it is for its lovely gardens.
Covering more than 180 acres, Schlossgarten was laid out in a mix of French and English styles and contains a number of 18th-century buildings, including a Rococo theater, built between 1746-52, and a mosque.
Excellent guided tours are available and are well worth the small additional cost. If possible, plan your visit to coincide with the Schwetzingen Festival , an annual event held from late April through mid-June that includes opera, symphonic, choral, and chamber concerts, as well as recitals and dance performances. Events take place both inside the Schwetzingen Palace - appropriate, given the fact Mozart performed here as a seven-year-old - and outdoors in the Palace Park.
Address: Schloss Mittelbau, Schwetzingen
Just seven kilometers east of Heidelberg, the Königstuhl — or King's Seat — is a hill rising 567 meters (1860 feet) with spectacular views as far as the Rhine Valley . Access to the summit, part of the Odenwald Mountains, is via the Heidelberg Mountain Railway , the same funicular railway that takes visitors to Heidelberg Castle.
It's an excellent place to explore the beautiful countryside surrounding Heidelberg, especially as the difficult part — getting there and back — is taken care of via the railway. To get there, ride one stop beyond the castle to Molkenkur, where you change to the historic 1907 wooden car to reach the summit.
Less than an hour's drive from Heidelberg is the old spa town of Bad Wimpfen, with its beautifully preserved medieval center. Almost untouched by both World Wars, the town's winding narrow streets are lined with half-timbered buildings.
Highlights are the Kaiserpfalz (the Staufen Imperial Palace) and the Blauer Turm (Blue Tower), built about 1200 and used as a watchtower through the mid-19th century. You can climb to the top for views over the town and its fascinating pattern of steep-pitched rooftops.
Inside the palace, the arcades in the Great Hall are decorated with intricate stone carvings and are among the finest examples of German Romanesque architecture. For the ambitious, a hiking trail, the Neckarsteig, connects Bad Wimpfen to Heidelberg.
The Heidelberg Zoo is certainly worth a visit, particularly if traveling with youngsters. On the north bank of the Neckar, this zoological park has more than 1,100 animals encompassing some 250 species.
A registered member of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), as well as West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), the zoo has a special focus on conservation and breeding programs for endangered species.
A short walk away, the Botanischer Garten is adjacent to the university. Established in 1593, it's one of the oldest — and largest — botanical gardens in Germany .
Another great place for a garden stroll is Skulpturenpark Heidelberg , a sculpture park, which is also next to the university.
Address: Tiergartenstrasse 3, Heidelberg
Halfway along the Hauptstrasse in Heidelberg, in the Baroque Palais Morass, is the excellent Palatinate Museum . Founded in the late 1870s, the museum is home to a collection that includes a cast of the lower jaw of the 500,000-year-old Heidelberg Man, discovered near here in 1908.
The museum's Applied Arts collection has many fine examples of area porcelain, as well as medallions, coins, and glassware. Also of interest are the sculptures from the 12th to 20th centuries, including old gravestones and early Baroque sculptures.
Address: Hauptstrasse 97, Heidelberg
The Heiligenberg is a hill that rises more than 400 meters (over 1,300 feet) on the opposite side of the Neckar from the Altstadt. You can explore it from the Schlangenweg, a winding path that begins just above the Old Bridge and climbs through vineyards and into the forest, crossing the Philosophers' Way and opening to occasional views of the city and Neckar Valley.
At the top sits the ruins of Michaelskloster , the Monastery of St. Michael, built in the 11 th century and abandoned in the 16 th century. The adjoining Thingstätte is a Nazi-era amphitheater, and at the top is also the Heiligenberg Aussichtsturm, an old observation tower.
The 12 th -century castle fortress of Dilsberg crowns a hilltop above the Neckar river about a 30-minute drive from Heidelberg, outside the town of Neckargemünd. Dilsburg was long considered impregnable and could withstand long sieges but was finally conquered during the Thirty Years War.
It was not destroyed, however, and continued in use until the 19 th century, when it was abandoned and some of its stones used for other buildings. By the 20 th century, however, its historic value was recognized and with that came interest in stabilizing and protecting it.
One of the reasons it was able to withstand sieges was its 46-meter-deep well. Above the waterline in the well is a tunnel that travels under the castle's courtyard, the 80-meter-long Brunnenstollen, believed to have been a ventilation shaft. You can explore this somewhat spooky tunnel and climb the hexagonal tower to reach the high outer walls for sweeping panoramas.
One of the loveliest ways to explore a riverside city and its surrounds is by boat, and Heidelberg's position on the Neckar River means that there are plenty of chances to get this unique perspective.
The Weiss Flotte line offers several cruises on the Neckar. If you are short on time, their 50-minute sightseeing cruise is a great introduction to the area that includes views of Heidelberg Castle from the water.
If you have more time, a three-hour castle tour floats past Neckarsteinach's four castles, as well as past Neuburg Abbey and through the Neckartal-Odenwald Nature Park. This cruise also has hop-on-hop-off options, so you can do some exploring while you're at it. The line also offers a river ferry service with five stops, as well as private and special events.
For something a little different, you can also opt to take a Neckar River sightseeing cruise on the Neckarsonne , which claims to be the world's largest solar-powered catamaran. This boat offers both open-deck and indoor seating with glass-paneled walls, and it is wheelchair-accessible.
On the grounds of Heidelberg Castle, the German Pharmacy Museum covers the history of apothecaries during the 18th and 19th centuries. Displays include fascinating old instruments and equipment for grinding, blending, distilling, and otherwise preparing the remedies. Others show examples of the various elements that went into these preparations, including plants, minerals, and animal-based materials.
A few of the exhibits are interactive, and although the labeling is in German, a very good audio guide is available. The containers, many of them in porcelain and labeled in perfect script, are displayed in Baroque cabinets, and the museum includes the original interiors of 18 th - and 19 th -century pharmacies.
Address: Schloss Heidelberg, Heidelberg
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Places to Visit near Heidelberg: Any direction you travel from Heidelberg will bring you to at least one of the highlights of Germany. To the south are the lively city of Stuttgart and the beautiful Black Forest region of Baden-Württemberg. To the north is Frankfurt , and our page on Day Trips from Frankfurt is filled with ideas on where to go from there.
Exploring More of Germany: Heidelberg is not the only German city with an Old Town filled with beautiful historic buildings. Nuremberg has been almost completely restored, and on the way here, you can stop in the almost entirely original medieval town of Rothenburg-ob der-Tauber , one of the top tourist attractions in Germany .
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How to spend 1 day in Heidelberg Germany
I’ve been obsessing over pictures of Heidelberg on my Instagram feed for over a year now. I had never thought to visit here before and then all these gorgeous pictures of fairytale castles and meandering streets started showing up on my feed and I knew that I just had to go somehow. On this blog post I want to introduce you to the fairytale city of Heidelberg and show you the best way to spend 1 day in Heidelberg Germany .
Did you know that Mark Twain was once lucky enough to call this charming city home and Heidelberg city inspired his book “A tramp abroad”. Now I love to write but I am no Mark Twain so I’m going to leave it to him to set the scene.
“The town lay stretched along the river, it’s intricate cobweb of streets jeweled with twinkling lights. Behind the castle swells a dome shaped hill, forest-clad, and beyond that a nobler and loftier one. The castle looks down upon the compact brown-roofed town; and from the town two picturesque old bridges span the river. I have never enjoyed a view which had such a satisfying charm about it as this one gives”
Is Heidelberg worth visiting?
Those of you that know me, know I love all things twinkling lights, cobblestone streets and glorious castles all ready for exploration, so you didn’t have to convince me twice to put the fairytale city of Heidelberg pretty high up on my bucket list. It is totally worth visiting Heidelberg. If you haven’t already you need to add this hidden gem to your bucket list immediately. Can you even be considered a serious traveller if you haven’t been?
Is one day enough to visit Heidelberg?
There is no denying that Heidelberg will make you fall in love. Heidelberg is one of the prettiest, most fairytale cities that you have never been to. It is a hidden gem that you just have to add to your own travel list. Just one hour south of Frankfurt airport, Heidelberg is home to a 13th-century castle, the oldest university in Germany, and the longest pedestrian street in Europe. This city offers plenty to see and do. But Heidelberg doesn’t seem to be on the top of most travelers wish list. I am here to convince you otherwise and encourage you to spend at least 1 day in Heidelberg.
This city is romantic and historic and very easy to get around on foot so it is easy to explore Heidelberg in 24 hours. It was mostly left intact after World War II resulting in beautiful homes in a fascinating mix of different styles, some dating back to the 17th century. It is very easy to explore this fairytale German city in a day.
How to get to Heidelberg
From Frankfurt it is only a short train ride to Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof. From Mannheim Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) to Heidelberg Central Station it is a 14-16 minute ride on the s-line. The other nearby airport or train station in Stuttgart is only a short train ride away.
If you are following my story you will know that for the last few years I’ve been suffering the severely debhilitaing disease that is Lyme disease . I wasn’t the person traveling the world that I am now. I was completely bedbound for a period of five years, which is why I would distract myself from the hellish pain and isolation by looking through Instagram for places to find for my travel bucket list for if and when I got better. Through research I had found a Lyme treatment with an 85% success rate in Frankfurt so while I was there I just knew I couldn’t get so close and not tick Heidelberg off my list.
The first weekend was a no go as I was too weak but by some miracle on the Saturday after I finished up my treatment I felt the best I had in the 17 years of being sick and I knew that it was now or never. So we grabbed the S-Bahn to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and quickly bought our train tickets. A return trip 2nd class cost us €96 for two tickets and I’m sure had we researched we probably could have found a better deal but like I said we were grabbing the bull by the horns.
The train ride doesn’t feel long and there are so many charming villages along the way to keep you entertained. One very charming, winding, twinkling light street almost had me hitting the emergency brake button and I still need to find out where this was so that I can return to visit (Yes I know! One place ticked off the bucket list and another added but that’s how I roll).
Heidelberg itinerary – things to do in Heidelberg in 1 day
Once we arrived at Heidelberg I immediately wanted to see the famous Heidelberg Castle and being careful not to overdo it we got a taxi straight to the top. But if, unlike me, you have the energy, the cobbled walk up to the castle looks so beautiful and it will really give you the opportunity to take in just how delicious this city is. There is also the option to walk to a certain point and get the funicular railway to the top.
1 day in Heidelberg itinerary
Visit heidelberg castle.
Heidelberg Castle did not dissappoint. As Mark Twain aptly described it, it has a sandstone facade and is beautifully set against the lush rolling green of the mountains. It was October when we arived so the autumnal hue of the trees really added to the fairytale feeling of Heidelberg castle.
After spending what seemed like hours soaking up the views of the city beneath we went inside. You are greeted by the most amazing courtyard that makes you feel like you are stepping back in time and I couldn’t help but stand still for a minute and wonder about all of those that have stood here before me. It is literally breathtaking!
Inside the castle is the largest wine barrel I have ever seen and a very cool Apotheken Pharmacy museum with all sorts of weird concoctions. The ruins of Heidelberg Castle sit high up on a hill overlooking the entire city. The first Schloss Heidelberg structure was built in 1214 and expanded to two castles in 1294. Over time it was damaged by war, fires and lightning and rebuilt.
Explore Heidelberg old town
One of the best things to do in Heidelberg in 1 day is to explore Heidelberg old town. We walked back down to the old town along the cobbled path from the castle. Going down certainly looked easier than going up with some spectacular views along the way and again my mind was drawn to those that walked this path before me. The history is almost tangible if that makes sense.
It is quite a short walk actually considering how high up the castle is and I managed it without difficulty. We landed in Kornmarkt a gorgeous little square which is one of the best places to just sit and take in the views of the castle. In the corner of this square is where you will find the path up to the castle.
Following through from this square is the larger Marktplatz or market square. Sit here and drink a coffee and listen to the chiming bells of the stunning Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit). If you are lucky you may even catch a wedding at the town hall or Rathaus. In fact we came across three weddings the day we were there, which, probably gives you an indication of how romantic this city is.
It was here that Mister Lavin spotted the Lindt shop with chocolate bonbons of any flavour. He truly got sucked in and manged to spend a whopping €18 on pic’n’mix but it was his birthday and he didn’t get cake and I dropped his birthday dinner all over the floor (that’s another story) so he was entitled!
See Heidelberg from the Neckar River
Discover Heidelberg from a unique perspective with a cruise on the Neckar River. Relax as your sail along, with views of the Old Bridge, Heidelberg Castle, Neuemheimer Villas, and Town Hall. Admire Heidelberg Castle, nestled within a hill and looking over the old city. Afterward, the ship will steer alongside the Neuenheimer riverbank, with its majestic villas and the famous Philosophenweg. It is a beautiful and relaxing way to see the city and one of my favourite things to do in Heidelberg.
Go shopping in Heidelberg
The old town area of Heidelberg could almost be French and it reminds me a little of Montmartre in Paris. From the Altstadt or Old Town you will find the main street or Hauptstraße which is like the artery of the city. It is the longest pedestrian walkway in Europe and expands over a mile east to west alongside the Neckar River.
This is a shoppers dream with most of the high street shops that can be found in the UK such as Mango, H&M, Fossil and Lush (you could smell it from a mile away!). This is what I loved about this city. It combines the old and the modern to perfection. Such pretty facades with all the comforts of modern living.
Heidelberg is also declared a UNESCO city of literature. You will find bookshops and libraries around every corner. Because of the university, Heidelberg is alive with students, cool bars, and there’s always something to see and do there.
Käthe Wohlfahrt Heidelberg
If Mister Lavin could have his chocolate then I could have Christmas. We stumbled across Käthe Wohlfahrt which is a shop filled with Christmas perfection all year round! Now in July it might have seemed overkill but at a time filled with a chill in the air and spiced pumpkin lattes, visting a Christmas shop felt almost compulsory.
Entering the many levels of this shop felt like we were peeling the layers of the onion that is Christmas and man was it good. This shop is filled to the brim with Christmas tree ornaments, nutcrackers, schwibbogen, incense smokers and pyramids as well as gifts for all occasions. I left full of Christmas cheer much to the delight of my husband who at this stage couldn’t take any more sugary sweetness.
In fact the Germans really know how to do Christmas. One of my favourite memories ever was exploring the Hamburg Christmas Markets with Mister Lavin.
The side streets of the Haupstraße shouldn’t be overlooked. Here you will find quaint cafes, restaurants and wonderful architecture. These side streets are less packed with tourists and are more authentic. What a great excuse to purposely get lost exploring.
Visit the Alte Brücke
Down one of these side streets you will find the Alte Brücke which was under repair at the time of our visit. The old bridge isn’t really that old. Technically it is only 70 years old. It was rebuilt as an exact replica of the old bridge after it was bombed by German troops at the end of WWII to stop Allied forces from entering Heidelberg city.
Built with Neckar Valley stone by Prince Karl Theodore, the bridge opened in 1788. Part of the old city wall now stands as the bridge gate. Before approaching the bridge gate you will come across the Heidelberg Bridge Monkey, a symbol dating back to the 15th century.
The current bronze version has been in place since 1979. The Heidelberg Bridge Monkey is said to symbolize that neither those living in the city or those living outside of it are better than the other. It does this by holding a mirror to remind people to look over their shoulder as they cross the bridge to remind themselves from where they’ve come. This serene spot gives a great view of the city, castle, and echoes old world charm as you walk the pathway.
Take a walk along Philosophenweg
Heidelberg is all about gorgeous views and the Philosophenweg is no exception. The Philosophenweg, Philosophers’ Walk, is located across the Neckar River in the hillside. This path has sweeping views of the Neckar River below and Heidelberg Castle on the hill across the river.
Depending on which side you come from, you will either have to take a set of stairs or a winding ramp up to the Philosophenweg so bear this in mind if, like me, you are travelling with chronic illness . Once you are at the top, there is a flat pathway to follow so the terrain is must easier to manage. While this walk may seem daunting, don’t skip this on your Heidelberg itinerary.
And so our day trip to Heidelberg came to an end as I needed to get back to Frankfurt and I had to be very careful not to overdo things. On a side note, trains between the two cities run pretty regularly so you don’t need to factor in a strict timetable on your trip.
Heidelberg is steeped in rich history yet is still modern in its way of life, which is why I think I love it so much. Not many cities marry the old and the new quite like Heidelberg does. You can find historical sites alongside brand new eateries and cafes. There is still plenty to do in Heidelberg and we both fell in love with what this city had to offer so for sure we will be planning a return journey.
Check out my Frankfurt City Guide and don’t miss the fairytale villages of Erbach and Michelstadt Odenwald .
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Until next time you crazy kids!
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I love the architecture here and love all your edits so warm!
Oh thank you. This is one of my first blog posts so I feel it needs some work so I appreciate your comment.
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Wow this place looks amazing. This is deffo on my bucketlist now!x
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This is amazing. I think this will be on my bucket list.
I love Heidelberg as well and always feel inspired after visiting it! 🙂 It’s almost like entering a different world every time you go there 🙂 xo Laura
So excited! We’re heading to Heidelberg tomorrow and can’t wait to go up the funicular to visit the castle.
Oh my gosh I am so excited for you. You are going to love it there.
Wow such a beautiful place! I really want to take my children to these lovely places when they’re older 🙂
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Heidelberg travel guide
Heidelberg tourism | heidelberg guide, you're going to love heidelberg.
Beloved of painters and poets, beautiful Heidelberg occupies a very special place in German culture. Clinging to the River Neckar amidst a fairy-tale forest and overlooked by a famous ruined castle, this charming university city could have stepped straight out of the 18th century.
Over the centuries, the intellectual and picturesque attractions of Heidelberg have drawn literary giants like Goethe and Mark Twain, as well as romantic artists like Joseph Turner. The setting, the atmosphere and the tranquility of the city have always been inspirational, and their powers haven't faded one bit.
Climb to the castle and declaim romantic verse, take photos of Turner's landscapes, party in the Altstadt with the students in between lectures - whatever you do, Heidelberg will work its way into your affections.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Heidelberg
1. the enchanting old town.
Heidelberg is centered around the Altstadt (Old Town), at the foot of castle hill. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town escaped destruction in World War II and retains plenty of buildings from the 18th century. Market Square (Marktplatz) is also the place to go for fine dining and upscale shopping.
2. A World-Famous Literary and Artistic Heritage
Heidelberg is a famous retreat for intellectuals (and still educates 30,000 of Germany's brightest students). Follow in the footsteps of writers like Goethe and painters like Turner, and discover why the city exerted such a pull on brilliant minds.
3. Romantic River Tours
The River Neckar may not be the Rhine, but cruises on this winding, forest-lined river are a wonderful experience nonetheless. Companies like Weisse Flotte offer daily sightseeing cruises that provide superb views of the Old City and the castle.
4. The Grandeur and Beauty of Schloss Heidelberg
No visitor to Heidelberg can ignore the Schloss (castle), which towers over the city. Built from gorgeous pink stone, the castle was partially destroyed by a fire in the 18th century, but was restored so as to retain the wild, romantic feel of the ruins. Nowadays, gardens, fountains, and numerous museums dot the site, which affords incredible vistas over the city.
5. Fantastic Museums on a Wide Range of Themes
Heidelberg's museums are another major highlight. Up behind the castle, the Carl Bosch Museum celebrates the world-changing discoveries of chemist Carl Bosch. The German Pharmacy Museum looks at the history of medicine.
What to do in Heidelberg
1. schloss heidelberg: hilltop romanticism.
Bordering the scenic Rhine Rift Valley, the picturesque, compact city of Heidelberg Germany has inspired the world's great poets and philosophers, and will surely evoke similar romantic reactions in you. From Schloss Heidelberg, the imposing Renaissance castle overlooking the Old Town, you can wander through the gardens just as Goethe and the German Romantics did. See the spectacular views -- that Mark Twain once described as "the perfection of the beautiful" -- which extend well beyond the Neckar River, the town's colorful rooftops and the dramatic, baroque architecture of structures like Germany's oldest university. As if to confirm that Old Heidelberg is indeed a college town, a quick trip down to the castle cellar reveals quite another source of inspiration for princes, poets and paupers alike: the world's largest (60,000 gallons) wine vat.
2. Old Bridge: The Old Bridge
Connecting Old Town to the river's right bank, Heidelberg's 600-foot Old Bridge offers a charming, leisurely stroll over a quaint sandstone overpass that was once part of the city's medieval fortifications. Framed by two towers, one of which contained dungeons, Old Bridge is also known for its sculptures and statues, including a curious bronze monkey holding a mirror. Legend has it that city dwellers and country folk alike would look over their shoulder as they crossed to remind themselves that no one group was superior to the other.
3. Philosophenweg: A Footpath for Philosophizing
For sheer enchantment on two good legs, nothing much rivals Philosophenweg, the Philosopher's Walk. This winding 1.5-mile footpath starts just above the Old Bridge at the opposite end of Old Town, offering a continuous stream of captivating views as you climb. Named for the deep thinking and wisdom of the professors who pondered there, the path cuts steeply through terraced vineyards, ancient ruins, monuments, exquisite sub-tropical plant life, a beer garden and an enormous, hidden amphitheater built by Hitler's chief architect, Albert Speer.
4. Heiliggeistkirche: No Ordinary Church
Begun in 1398, Heiliggeistkirche, the Church of the Holy Spirit, took more than 150 years to complete, and anyone climbing its tower's 200+ steps are richly rewarded with a breathtaking panorama for their effort. A survivor of Europe's many religious wars, this dominant Heidelberg landmark once contained the famous German Renaissance library before Maximilian The Great absconded with it to Rome as a sign of loyalty during the Thirty Years' War. In many ways a peace broker, Heiliggeistkirche was used by Catholics and Protestants alike from 1706 through the 1930s with a partition separating the two faiths. Hippies, drawn to the peace-loving inscriptions on its stained glass, made its back steps a hangout in the late 60s and early 70s.
5. Königstuhl: Platform to the Stars
The last stop on the historic funicular railway puts you at the top of Königstuhl, where you may need a jacket depending on the season. This majestic perch in the Odenwald mountains rises 1,700 over the town, offering splendid views along with hot coffee or a cold beer if needed. A children's theme park and the historic State Observatory, where 400 asteroids were discovered, are all near the summit. Expect views that only a falcon would find commonplace if not otherwise distracted by Königstuhl's Falcon Breeding Station.
Activities & attractions in Heidelberg
Where to Eat in Heidelberg
For a small town, Heidelberg's gastronomic scene packs a hefty punch. Gourmet food fans will almost certainly find something to adore in the Alstadt, where highlights include Simplicissimus, Schnitzelbank, and traditional hotel eateries like Hackteufel. Alter Mönchhof offers al fresco dining across the Neckar, while Le Coq offers a French alternative to German cuisine. Expect a good three course meal to come to around EUR30.
When to visit Heidelberg
Heidelberg attracts over 10 million visitors every year, quite a lot for a city of its size (150,000). This means that high summer can be pretty crowded, making off-season breaks much more appealing. Try a vacation in April or May, when the German spring is in full bloom, or the fall months of September and October.
How to Get to Heidelberg
Flying to Heidelberg is the easiest way to reach the city, as Frankfurt airport is just a short train, bus, or drive away. When you arrive, the best route to the city is via the Inter City Express (ICE) train, which costs EUR24.50. Lufthansa also provide shuttle buses for EUR23, and you can expect a taxi to cost around EUR150 or more.
Heidelberg is on the high-speed ICE train line from Frankfurt to Stuttgart, putting it within reach of Cologne, Basel, Munich, Paris, and Berlin. The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is in Weststadt, a mile or two from the Altstadt. To get into town quickly, you can catch the S-Bahn or take the light rail from outside the main station.
If you choose to rent a car at Frankfurt Airport, driving to Heidelberg should be fairly painless. As you leave the airport, take the A3 for a couple of miles towards the east, then switch to the A5 southbound and follow it to Heidelberg. If you fly into Stuttgart, take the A8 to Karlsruhe, then the A5 northbound to Heidelberg.
Intercity buses run into Heidelberg from all over Germany, with Eurolines and Deinbus the major operators. Buses stop at the Hauptbahnhof, a short light rail ride from the Altstadt.
Airports near Heidelberg
Airlines serving heidelberg, where to stay in heidelberg.
The Altstadt - Heidelberg's picture-perfect Old Town is a magical place to wander around. Climb to the Schloss for breathtaking views, enjoy a coffee on stately Marktplatz, and visit lovely churches like Peterskirche, before ducking into traditional eating spots like Kulturbrauerei or Schnitzelbank.
Popular Neighborhoods in Heidelberg
Handschuhsheim - located across the River Neckar from the Altstadt, Handschuhsheim is home to the city's university as well as some of Heidelberg's oldest buildings. Highlights include the ancient St. Vituskirche and the Neckarwiese - which becomes a vibrant BBQ picnic spot on warm summer evenings.
Ziegelhausen - tucked away behind the Schloss, you'll find little Ziegelhausen, one of Heidelberg's most attractive satellite villages. Local attractions include an engaging Max Berk Textile Museum and the tiny town center, and it's easy to catch the bus or S-Bahn into the Altstadt from just across the Neckar.
Where to stay in popular areas of Heidelberg
Most booked hotels in heidelberg, how to get around heidelberg, public transportation.
You can get around Heidelberg easily thanks to the city's trams, buses, and S-Bahn network. Most services run into Bismarkplatz in the Altstadt, making the system easy to navigate, and single fares are just EUR2.30 with day passes costing EUR6.
Taxis are convenient, but they aren't the most affordable way to get around Heidelberg. The basic rate includes a meter drop of EUR3, EUR5.40 for the first 1.2 miles, and then EUR1.80 for every 0.62 meters after that.
Heidelberg is the ideal place to rent a car. You will be able to drive to airports easily, see the Neckar and Rhine valleys, visit rural inns and get around the city with ease. You'll find branches of Enterprise and Budget in the city center, and rates can fall to EUR15 or less at times.
The Cost of Living in Heidelberg
Heidelberg's Altstadt is packed with small, artisan boutiques, chocolatiers, perfumers and more. The pedestrian precinct between Bismarckplatz and Marktplatz is the center of the local shopping scene, playing host to fragrance stores like Parfümerie Frosch and an array fashion boutiques. Plöck is another wonderful shopping street, while Marktplatz is surrounded by retailers. The Lindt Boutique, with its huge range of artisan chocolates, is particularly hard to ignore.
Groceries and Other
If you need to shop for groceries during your stay, great options include Netto, REWE, and Kaufland. Prices should be fairly moderate, with a gallon of milk costing around EUR2.40.