Heidelberg is easily one of the most charming cities in Germany. Recalling my last visit takes me back to memories of red roofs and fresh, warm summer air during walks along the Neckar River. I see that it’s been mentioned on Europe a la Carte previously as one of Amanda’s favourite German destinations. My trips to Heidelberg have never been packed with busy itineraries, but have been opportunities for a relaxing visit in a beautiful city. Here are my Heidelberg sightseeing tips.
Enjoy a walk through main street – evidently the street is one of the longest pedestrian zones in Europe. The long street is filled with street vendors, artists, cafes, shops and many beautiful Baroque and Renaissance facades. Grab yourself a pretzel from one of the many vendors on your walk. You’ll be amazed at how many people walk the street at all hours of the day. The city is also home to a well-known university that houses nearly 30,000 students year-round. Because of the many students attending university, Heidelberg has a youthful energy that many other old towns lack. You’ll find university students playing games along the Neckar River and you’ll notice an energetic nightlife after dark. Take an opportunity to check out the old university and be sure to admire the Baroque architecture of the structure.
One thing that I think tourists often overlook is the opportunity to bike ride around the town. You’ll notice that many of the university students get around by bike. Follow their lead and rent a bike during your stay in Heidelberg. There are multiple venues to rent a bike for the day. Take a ride along the Neckar River or through the old town. You’ll be able to see more of the old city than on foot and you’ll be traveling in style.
Heidelberg is most famous for the beautiful castle that overlooks the city. Marcus has already illustrated some of the great views from Heidelberg Castle. The castle is rich with history and certainly worth a visit. Notice the various areas in the castle and how they differ aesthetically from one another. Over the years the castle had many repairs and add-ons to the original structure. You’ll notice that each of the add-ons are created in the style of their time. You’ll see Baroque and Renaissance architecture, as well as other eras of beautiful design. Entrance to the castle is a minimal fee and the gardens are always free to visitors. My advice? Visit the castle twice – once during the day and once during the night. The garden is open at night and the view of the old town is gorgeous from up high.
If you’re looking for a charming city to visit in Germany, Heidelberg might be the option for you. The city is rich with history and luckily undamaged from past wars. Since the structures still stand throughout the city, you’ll notice many different styles of architecture. Dump the touristy activities for a few days to have a relaxing time walking and biking around one of the most beautiful cities in Germany.