The south-west German city of Heidelberg is easily one of my favourite places, and its setting on the Neckar River just adds to its attractiveness. While most of the action is on the south side of the river, I definitely recommend crossing the Neckar – preferably over the historic Alte-Bruecke (Old Bridge), and heading up the hillside to find the Philosopher’s Walk.
Known in German as the Philosophenweg, this trail runs along the side of the hill above the Neckar and gives you fantastic views over Heidelberg – you see the river and the shore, the Heidelberg Castle, and the historic old town including many of the university buildings. The path gets its name from Heidelberg’s academic roots – the fame of its university meant that apparently, many philosophers (and miscellaneous academics) used to walk along this track while they were thinking. I’ve always hoped that walking the path myself would help me solve difficult problems but I’ve always been too distracted by the view to get much deep thinking done!
As well as regular spots where you can take great photos from, the Philospher’s Walk also has a few benches and resting places. It also heads through vineyards and gardens and if you have a decent map you could then go hiking through some of the hills nearby. Or just sit and have a good think.