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The List | Heidelberg: A Romantic Gem on the Neckar River

Heidelberg is one of Germany's most charming and picturesque cities, attracting millions of visitors yearly with its historic old town, majestic castle, and scenic river views.


Photo by Maria Lopez Jorge

Here are ten things that you should see and do when you visit Heidelberg:


Visit the Old Bridge

The Old Bridge is a stone bridge that crosses the Neckar River and connects the old town with the new town. It was built in the 18th century and has a stunning view of the Heidelberg Castle and the city skyline. You can walk across the bridge, admire the sculptures and the medieval gate, and take fantastic photos.


Explore the Heidelberg Castle

The Heidelberg Castle is a majestic ruin on a hill overlooking the city. It was once the residence of the Electors of the Palatinate. It was destroyed by wars and fires over the centuries. You can visit the castle and see the impressive architecture, the historical museum, the wine cellar, and the famous Heidelberg Tun, a giant wine barrel holding 220,000 litres of wine.


Photo by Lisa Fecker


Stroll through the Old Town

The Old Town of Heidelberg is charming, with many historic buildings, narrow streets, and cosy cafes. You can wander around and see sights like the Church of the Holy Spirit, the University of Heidelberg, the Market Square, and the Old University Library.


Photo by Denise Schuld


Visit the Kurpfälzisches Museum

The Kurpfälzisches Museum is a museum that showcases the art and culture of the Palatinate region. It has paintings, sculptures, ceramics, coins, and more collections. You can see works by famous artists such as Anselm Feuerbach, Max Slevogt, and Auguste Renoir.


Enjoy the Philosopher's Walk

The Philosopher's Walk is a scenic path along the hillside on the opposite bank of the Neckar River. It was named after the philosophers and scholars who used to walk there and enjoy the views and the nature. You can follow the path and see some beautiful gardens, monuments, and panoramic views of Heidelberg.


Photo by Christian Lue and Lisa Fecker


See the Student Prison

The Student Prison is a unique attraction that shows how students at the University of Heidelberg were punished for minor offences in the past. The prison was used from 1778 to 1914, and it has cells decorated with graffiti, drawings, and poems by the inmates. You can see how the students lived, worked, and studied in confinement.


Watch a show at the Theater Heidelberg

The Theater Heidelberg is a modern theatre that offers a variety of performances, such as opera, ballet, musicals, drama, and comedy. You can watch some high-quality shows that feature talented actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. You can also enjoy the elegant architecture and design of the theatre building.


Ride the funicular railway

The funicular railway is a convenient and fun way to get to Heidelberg Castle and beyond. It consists of two sections: one that goes from the Kornmarkt station to the castle station and another that goes from there to the Königstuhl station. The second section has modern cars with glass roofs that allow you to see the sky and the scenery as you ascend.


Visit the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a green oasis from the University of Heidelberg. It has more than 10,000 species of plants from different regions and climates. You can see exotic flowers, tropical trees, cacti, orchids, and more. You can also join guided tours or workshops that teach you about botany and gardening.


Have a beer at Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus

Vetter's Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus is a traditional brewery and pub serving some of Heidelberg's best beer. It is famous for its Vetter 33, a strong beer with an alcohol content of 10.5%. You can also try other beers, such as wheat, dark, or seasonal. You can also enjoy hearty food such as sausages, schnitzel, or pretzels.


Photo by Daniel Gregoire

 

How to get here


Train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg is the most convenient option. The train journey takes about one hour. You can find more information about the train schedules and fares on the Deutsche Bahn website.


 

Useful information


Emergency numbers

You can dial 112 for the fire brigade and ambulance or 110 for the police. These numbers are free of charge and can be reached from any phone, including mobile phones. You can also dial 116 117 for medical on-call service.


Voltage

The standard voltage in Germany is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Germany if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 V and 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa).


Currency

The official currency in Germany is the Euro (EUR). One euro is divided into 100 cents.


Language

The official language in Germany is German. German has many regional dialects, such as Bavarian, Swabian, Franconian or Low German. The dialect spoken in Heidelberg is called Kurpfälzisch, a Rhine Franconian variant. Most people in Heidelberg can also speak English, especially in tourist areas.


Climate

The climate in Heidelberg is temperate, with four distinct seasons. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature of 19.6 °C, and the coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 1.6 °C. The wettest month is June, with an average rainfall of 80 mm, and the driest month is February, with an average rainfall of 46 mm.


Get around Heidelberg

Public transportation

Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (RNV) operates the public transport system, offering various tickets and passes for different zones and durations. You can buy tickets from vending machines, ticket offices or online.


By bike

You can rent a bike from various bike shops or stations in Heidelberg. Biking is a great way to explore the city and enjoy the scenery along the Neckar River. Heidelberg has many bike paths and lanes.




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