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Heidelberg is a charming and delightful city situated on the Neckar River in south-west Germany. Although relatively small in size, Heidelberg is bustling with tourists and university students throughout the year. Heidelberg, also known as the City of Romance, is a popular destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberg Schloss) and the baroque style Altstadt, or Old Town. The main street (Hauptstraße), is a mile-long pedestrian street, running the length of the old town and is filled with shops, bars, restaurants and cute little cafés. Pop into one and grab a beer, or a gelato for the stroll around Altstadt. The old stone bridge, or Alte Brücke, was built during the years of 1786–1788. A medieval bridge gate on the side of the Old Town, was originally part of the town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788. Take a walk along the bridge to be instantly transported back in time. The song, “I lost my heart in Heidelberg” rings true to me, as it was definitely my favourite city I visited during my travels through Germany.
Even if you’re only in this amazing city for a day, I’ve listed some must-see attractions and things to do while visiting Heidelberg.
Stroll Up And Down The Hauptstrasse (Hauptstraße)
This mile-long pedestrian street is the longest pedestrian walkway in Europe and runs the length of Old Town. It is jam packed with all kinds of shops, bakeries, bars and restaurants to keep you busy all afternoon.
Enjoy The Views Along The Alte Brücke
The old stone bridge, or Alte Brücke, is a great way to get sweeping views of the Old Town from a further perspective. The medieval bridge gate on the one side of the Old Town, stands tall and cannot be missed. Baroque tower helmets were added as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788, which make the gate’s presence even more prominent.
Visit The Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberg Schloss)
This gorgeous sandstone castle dates back to the 13th century. After years of fires and war, it has been left in the ruins that you see today. Even though it has been ravaged by war, the castle is still stunning and makes for an amazing backdrop to the Old Town below. Take the funicular up to the top to get an amazing view of the city from above.
Eat A Traditional German Meal
After all that walking and exploring, you’re probably pretty hungry. You are in Germany, so having a traditional style meal accompanied by a German beer is a MUST. Within the Altstadt, there are so many options for dining. During the afternoon, I stopped at the Hotel Goldener Hecht for a late lunch, which is located to the right as soon as you exit off the bridge under the gate. That lunch was definitely on my list of best meals I’ve ever eaten abroad. Later on in the evening, I had dinner at the Löwenbräu restaurant, located right on Hauptstraße. This restaurant also has a cool money wall, where visitors from all over the world have left a little message on a bill and stuck it to the wall. Löwenbräu (“lion’s brew” in German) beer is served ice cold here and is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian beer purity act of 1516.
Read more: Germany’s Bavarian Beer Purity Law Explained
Walk Aimlessly Around The Altstadt And Marktplatz
Getting lost within the cobblestone lined streets and alleys of Altstadt and Marktplatz will take your breath away. Around every corner, you’ll find cute houses with adorable curb appeal, to picturesque streets lined with colourful shops and buildings. Some of my favourite moments while visiting Heidelberg were spent walking around without an agenda. Photo ops are literally everywhere!
Visit During Autumn
Want to know two of the main reasons why I love travelling to Europe during Autumn? It’s considered off season for tourism and of course, the amazing fall colours. Visiting Heidelberg during the Autumn definitely didn’t disappoint! The bright orange leaves lining the Neckar River were absolutely beautiful and made for some awesome photographs!
Read more: How to Create the Perfect Itinerary
Have you guys ever been to Heidelberg? What was your favourite part? Let me know in the comments below! xo
I travelled from Munich to Heidelberg via DB Rail
Read more: How to spend 48 hours in Munich