Sightseeing Heidelberg: 7 tips + 10 facts for a short trip to the romantic city

Far from it… I've been traveling so much in Germany for over four decades now, and yet I keep discovering great corners, places and spots I never knew about before let alone visited.

Heidelberg sights were also one of those undiscovered corners until a few years ago…

Heidelberg sights

Heidelberg Attractions& Places of interest – more than a student city

One of our last summer road trips was on part of the Castle Road. On the program were many cities that I had not yet visited in Germany… although they are relatively well known.

These cities are not special metropolises, but rather old German cities with a lot of culture, history and formerly famous inhabitants.

So I landed at the beginning of the trip also for the first time in Heidelberg. For international visitors to the city, Heidelberg is probably the epitome of romance. Somewhat ironically, Heidelberg could be described as a template for Disney movies.

Sights Heidelberg

Sights Heidelberg: An old city full of highlights

But Heidelberg is much more in Germany! In any case already once an excellent Unistandtort. Around 30.000 students are in the city at the same time. Especially for medical students the city is very interesting.

Altogether live about 150.000 inhabitants in the city in the state of Baden Wurttemberg.

For us, it's exactly this colorful mix that has a very special charm. The students keep the "old" city young. Colorful stores and restaurants – from German cuisine to Korean gastronomy – can be found in the city. In the restaurants, bistros and kitchens there are really people "felt" from all over the world to visit.

Bridge Monkey Heidelberg

Heidelberg in 24 hours

Just as diverse and colorful as the gastronomy or even the sights in Heidelberg are the students and tourists in the city. They seem to come from all over to experience romantic Heidelberg.

Let's not kid ourselves… such small cities like Heidelberg are not the first on the city trip list… and if they are, the cities are often visited only for one day and with a lot of luck maybe even for a 3-day-short vacation. For which, by the way, such small towns also have enough experiences and impressions to offer.

But just assuming you want to go to Heidelberg for a short trip, then I have a few tips for you, what you should definitely do and see to already get a first impression of the city.

Short vacation Heidelberg

Heidelberg attractions& Landmark: The Heidelberg Castle

The castle of Heidelberg is considered an unmistakable sign of romance. So much history is in the castle – it towers over the city and literally watches over Heidelberg. By the way, it is not only one of the top sights in Heidelberg, it is even one of the most popular sights at all in Germany.

The first tip must be to visit the castle in Heidelberg. You can also sit up there and enjoy the sunset and look out over the city.

Why not pack a picnic basket or backpack with wine, bread, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes and other goodies and let the romance run wild up there…

Because let's not kid ourselves, even more beautiful than the daytime view of the romantic city, is the night view of Heidelberg and its lights from above.

Heidelberg sights

Walk through the gardens and woods at Heidelberg Castle

If you are already up at the castle, you should and must also stroll a little around the castle.

Because around the Heidelberg Castle are quite beautiful gardens, a few small pubs and also very nice hiking trails and walking paths.

Theoretically, you could easily spend a day alone at the top of the castle and simply enjoy the view and nature.

Heidelberg Attractions

Decelerated Accelerated: A ride on the Heidelberg Bergbahn

Heidelberg is not only visited by more than one million tourists, but also by about one million people per year who use the famous old rack railroad of Heidelberg. This makes it easily one of the most popular sights in Heidelberg.

The ride on the rack railroad (Bergbahn Heidelberg) can be combined very well with the visit of the castle complex.

There are two cogwheel railroads to get to the top of the mountain. The lower cable car, is one of the most modern cable cars in Germany. The entrance is at the Kornmarkt in the old town of Heidelberg. It goes, in two stages, to the station Molkenkur (first station: castle).

From the Molkenkur station, guests can change to one of the oldest electrically operated mountain railroads to travel up to the Konigsstuhl, as a contrast to the modern railroad.

The Konigsstuhl is also the highest point of Heidelberg (over 550 meters high).

A ticket for the complete round trip, all the way to the top of the Konigsstuhl – currently costs 14 euros per person.

Heidelberg Cogwheel Railway

Stroll through Heidelberg: a walk through the history..

A city, especially an old and beautiful city like Heidelberg, wants to be walked and hiked. We did this at different times during our 24 hours in Heidelberg.

Already early in the morning I walked all alone over the old bridge, on the other side of the Neckar along and have enjoyed the view of Heidelberg. At the next bridge we crossed again into the old town of Heidelberg and crosswise back to our accommodation.

Even with the onset of dusk, a walk through the small streets is really interesting.

Heidelberg is a student city and that is exactly what the visitor experiences here. The city is filled with life, with small restaurants and breweries. The colorful hustle and bustle radiates a certain coziness and a special atmosphere.

The old beautiful buildings and monuments are of course worth a walk through the city: Karlstor, Madonna on the Kornmarkt, City Hall, Hercules Fountain, Bridge Monkey, Hotel zum Ritter or the House to the Giant – just to name a few of the impressive structures.

Personally, I can't get enough of these things and I always discover new things that I didn't notice the first time I saw them.

early in the morning in Heidelberg

Heidelberg excursion destinations: Philosophengarten& Thing site

If you like to walk, then you should definitely take a walk up to the Philosophengarten in Heidelberg, to the Thingstatte and the monastery ruin. All three places can be combined by a circular walk and all three places are absolutely special and definitely worth a visit.

Across the Alte Brucke and the Schlangenweg to the Philosophengarten Heidelberg

To get up to the Philosophengartchen, the way leads over the Alte Brucke out of the Heidelberg Old Town. Arrived on the other side, you turn into the enchanting Schlangenweg. It goes steep and curvy over cobblestones up to the Heiligenberg. This takes your breath away, but in between you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Heidelberg.

Once you have reached the top, walk along the Philosophenweg until you reach the idyllic Philosophengartchen. The garden but also the path invites to very relaxed moments. The city as an ensemble of the old town, the Neckar and the Konigstuhl lies at your feet and radiates a very special tranquility.

Philosopher's Garden Heidelberg

Over the Bismarck tower and woody hiking trails

From the Philosophengarten the path leads further uphill. After a short time you turn off onto a path through another park-like landscape – until you stand in front of the Bismarck Tower. The tower invites you to climb the steps to enjoy the view.

The tower, which is a listed building today, was built or. the Bismarck Column 1903. In 1985 the impressive building was renovated.

From the Bismarck tower it goes on partly also very steeply up the mountain. For North German plants like us this is sometimes exhausting, although we are not the most unathletic family.

We follow the blue hiking signs and enjoy in between again and again beautiful views of the surrounding area and Heidelberg.

Thing site Heidelberg, Michaelskloster& St. Stephen's Monastery

Shortly before the Thingstatte we reach a restaurant and strengthen ourselves with cold drinks, although we have of course always water and small snacks in the backpack with us. Nevertheless, we like to enjoy such places and small breaks – because our motto is always "to be relaxed and conscious on the way".

From the restaurant it is then also only a few steps over a narrow forest path to the Thingstatte. The Thingstatte was built after Greek-antique model in form of an amphitheater.

The 1934 built plant is considered today as protected cultural monument. Almost a little mystically it lies there in the middle of the forest above on the Heiligenberg. No wonder that it was used for a very long time (similar to the Externsteine) for not quite legal celebrations of Walpurgis Night.

We climb the steps of the amphitheater and after that we walk up the hill a bit. Arrived at the top, the ruins of a former monastery spread out in front of us. In fact there are even two monastery buildings in front of us.

The foundation walls of St. Michael's Monastery and the later St. Stephen's Monastery, built around 1094, share this special place on the Heiligenberg. For the tour along the former walls we take our time. We enjoy the silence and look for a cozy place for a picnic to polish off our backpack pastries.

Thingstaette Heidelberg Heidelberg Monastery on the Heiligenberg

Over idyllic forest and walking paths we went down again. The last stage led us back to the old town of Heidelberg via the "Schlangenweg" and the "Alte Brucke". We have recorded the whole hike with komoot and linked it to you here.

To a Heidelberg beer – Well then cheers!

In Heidelberg there are several breweries and basically in Baden Wurttemberg is quite happy to hiss a beer (as we say in the north).

And you can have a beer in Heidelberg in one of the beautiful beer gardens, breweries or in one of the small, cozy inns, which in the summer have set up tables, chairs and beer sets in the alleys. Just take a seat, order a beer and enjoy the atmosphere.

10 facts about the student city

Heidelberg is the epitome of romance and Heidelberg is a student city. The top sights in Heidelberg we have already presented to you a bit here. But there are also some interesting information and things you might not know about Heidelberg yet.

Heidelberg Sights

Even more info& Sights Heidelberg and surroundings

We find, exactly such information makes one however often nevertheless particularly curious about a city. Therefore we would like to share these facts with you:

Oldest university in Germany

The oldest university of Germany is actually located in Heidelberg. It was founded as early as 1386 by Elector Ruprecht I.

Film set Heidelberg

Heidelberg has also often been a film set. One of the most famous films is probably "Anatomy" from the year 2000 with Benno Fuhrmann, Franka Potente and Anna Lohs.

Heidelberg sights

Living in Heidelberg

Heidelberg certainly offers a high quality of life, but it is not a cheap place to live. A rent of more than 800 Euro for just 40 square meters in a central location is quickly reached.

Interestingly enough, there are actually many student residences in top locations in the city. For example, directly on the Neckar and the old town is within walking distance.

City of poets and thinkers

Great poets and thinkers have always visited Heidelberg – such as Holderlin, Eichendorff and Scheffel. The city itself but also especially the special view of Heidelberg inspired her to philosophical outpourings.

This is the origin of the Philosophenweg in Heidelberg, which can and should be hiked, if you have more time than 24 hours in your luggage.

Climate and weather in Heidelberg

Interestingly, Heidelberg is geographically located so well in Germany that it has rather a mild climate. Even in the winter months, the average temperature is around 2.5° degrees.

Roadtrip Burgenstrasse

Heidelberg Map

Heidelberg also offers a tourist card: The Heidelberg Card. If you want to see a bit more of the city and also find my 5 top tips and sights in Heidelberg good and want to relive them, we recommend the Heidelberg-Card.

For one day the Heidelberg-Card costs from 19 Euro. Included is already the trip with the public transport, the trip with the Heidelberg mountain railroad, admission to the castle and discounts for city tours, gastro u.v.m.

Heidelberg is not only a city

Heidelberg is so famous that even airplanes and ICE trains are named after the city.

Experience Heidelberg differently

Personally, I always like to walk through a city and have a good look at it. But just as interesting I find a change of perspective. In Heidelberg the wundebar succeeds with a canoe tour on the Neckar river.

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