Have you ever heard of Heidelberg, Germany? Allow me to put it on the map for you. You deserve to know about it because it’s a beautiful city. Honestly, I’d never heard of it either. Heidelberg didn’t even cross my mind until we announced we were moving to Germany and a sweet friend from work announced: “Hey, I was born in Heidelberg.” We carried on a conversation about how long her family was there. She mentioned she would like to visit one day. When we arrived in Germany, and I started my “must visit” spreadsheet (that’s an accountant for you), I mapped out a couple of trips. I quickly realized Heidelberg was not a far drive or train ride from where we were staying. It was only natural to put it at the top of the list. Heidelberg was our very first road trip, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
Upon our arrival, we were blown away by the charm of the city. Rich in history, and luscious views, Heidelberg is nothing short of dreamy! Oh, and the best part, it has a castle! What!? Although it is a ruin, it’s also a landmark and one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It dated back to 1214 and was the home of many kings. Along with the castle, Heidelberg University is historical and dates back to 1386. It is the oldest and one of Europe’s most reputable universities. If you’re into history, this place will keep you busy for hours. If you’re not don’t worry, there is plenty to see and do.
Stay: Personally, I’ve never stayed overnight in Heidelberg, but it’s in future weekend trip plans. Based on my walking throughout the town I can attest to the beautiful views these hotels offer.
- Heidelberg Suites: This chic boutique hotel is luxurious, cozy, and homey. The outside is incredibly charming and looks like a little shop you would go to on a regular basis because they have the cutest clothes and knick-knacks. The extended attribute of this hotel is the stunning views of the Heidelberg castle, the Neckar River, and the Old Bridge. Located across the Neckar River from the Aldstadt but within walking distance to all the main attractions like the Old Town and the Old Bridge.
- Hotel Villa Marstall: Beautiful 19th-century hotel in the heart of Heidelberg. It is classy and gives a vintage comfy vibe. It overlooks the Neckar River, so the views are lovely.
- Hotel Hollaender Hof: Located perfectly in the heart of Old town, and right by the Old Bridge. Walking to sights around town from this hotel is easy and still, provides some views of the Neckar River.
- Heidelberg Castle: Built in 1214 and partially rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a spectacular view in person. Once home to one of the electors of the Roman Emperor and the Palatinate. How amazing is that? When I read the castle’s history in my guide booklet, I couldn’t believe it. The Bergbahn (cog railway) is the primary transportation to reach the top. If you’re feeling brake hiking is another option. We chose to hike up that way we got to see the surrounding areas. Either way, the majestic views of the upper part of the castle will blow you away! Historic structures like the Heidelberg Castle have changed my perspective on how I see life and its importance. It is a huge yet tiny world, and so many people live in it. It is not just our generation but all those that lived before us and those that will live after us. It is a beautiful thing to have history to remind us of where we’ve been.
- Aldstadt (Old Town): A stroll through the Old Town showcases the charm of Heidelberg and it is a must. Shops and restaurants overflow the charming cobblestone streets.
Carl Theodor Old Bridge: Constructed in 1788 by Elector Charles Theodore it is a beautiful and impressive bridge that is centuries old. The magnificent architecture can be seen from miles away as it spreads across the Neckar River to connect the Old City with the eastern part of the Neuenheim district. A stroll on the bridge will reward you with spectacular photos. (*Tip: Look for the carvings on it)
- Market Square: There are over 1000 years of history in this city and market. The Market comes alive with it’s annual Christmas market. Vendors from all over Europe flood the market square, offering a galore of shopping options.
- Konigstuhl Funicular: A railway system that takes you up to get the best views of Heidelberg. It’s neat. Although it wasn’t open when we visited because it was so cold, we plan on making it to the top Station of Konigstuhl on our next visit.
River Cafe: My favorite in Heidelberg. Their food is fresh with heavenly flavors. (Not that I know what heaven tastes like, but that’s how I imagine it if it had a flavor). They also have many dessert options along with wine, coffee, and tea. And if you go during warmer weather, you can sit outside and enjoy your food/coffee.
La Fee Bar Cafe: If you’re in the mood for something light and a morning/afternoon pick-me-up, this is your place. Cute little cafe with delicious coffee, tea, and pastries. Yum!
Schnitzelbank: A hidden gem which offers mainly German and European options. The schnitzel is a must have at this place.
Seppl: Another great restaurant offering German, European and Vegetarian options. This restaurant is close to the castle and has a homemade beer and friendly atmosphere. A must try.
Heidelberg is truly a hidden gem, and if you ever get the chance to visit, do so, you won’t regret it!
A picture speaks a thousand words, so here are a few photos. (Pam D. these are for you friend)
Enjoy and Cheers!!!