Heidelberg – Small but big!
Honestly, I didn’t think that we would be able to reach Heidelberg during our 10 day trip. Especially that we have made up for several hundred extra kilometers to see it. Of course, we don’t regret the extra hours spent on the ride. Heidelberg is one of the most popular cities in Germany. In addition, there is the oldest German university, which was founded in 1386. A beautifully situated city on the Neckar River, surrounded by green hills, attracts crowds of tourists every year. In the end, it’s not without reason that Heidelberg is on the 7th place on the list of Germany’s 100 greatest attractions! This is an extremely romantic place we also liked. How to spend a good day here and what to see, you will learn from this post! 🙂
How to get to Heidelberg?
Heidelberg is ideally located between Baden-Baden and Frankfurt am Main, to which you can fly with Ryanair. Then you have to change to Flixbus or Deutsche Bahn Train. Here you can read how works Regio-Ticket at Deutsche’s Bahn. We came from Baden-Baden by Deutsche-Bahn Train.
We spent 2 nights in Heidelberg. We had a great spot, because almost in the city center. The room was large and quite pleasant. Unfortunately, we lived with the owner, but you know – such apartments are cheaper. 😛 Unfortunately, the apartment was a bit dirty – (in fact, it was very dirty, and I won’t mention the dust). Generally for two days it was ok. We can recommend it if someone is not allergic to dust mites! 😀
How much time for sightseeing?
Heidelberg has only 140,000 residents. Therefore, it is not one of the biggest German cities. Believe me, that after arriving at the main station, we had completely different feelings! Crowds of people, platforms more than in my family city (several times bigger) which has 800 000 resdents. Similar situation was in the old town! For a moment, we had the impression that we are in a completely different (much bigger) place! On the other hand, the amount of time devoted to bypassing all the attractions confirms that it is not a big city. That’s why I say that one day is enough to see Heidelberg.
It was only 20 minutes walk from our apartment. We start the tour with a walk on the Hauptstrasse, which is 1.8 km long and connects Bismarck Square with the Charles Gate. It runs through the entire length of Altstadt. As in Germany on the main streets, there are a lot of various shops here, bars and restaurants.
At the end of the 17th century, as a result of wars with France, the city was destroyed by fire. Due this fact, all buildings have a uniform, baroque character. Even so, there are not many buildings that captured our attention.
After a few-minute walk, we found ourselves on the Market Square. It doesn’t occupy a large area and is rather modest by German standards. We have already seen nicer central squares in much smaller German towns.
The Church of St. Spirit is the most impressive building on the Marktplatz. If you you want to enter the church you have to pay a fee – so we decided to skip it. Unfortunately, the dense buildings of the square make it impossible to take a good photo of the temple. 🙁
In front of the church is located the Town Hall. An elegant building that, like the rest of the city, was built at the beginning of the 18th century.
A monument covered with scaffolding? Always when we come in! I don’t know if the Germans are preparing for a great party or something, but last year the same nightmare caught up with us! We were in Neuschwanstein and what? Half of the castle covered with scaffolding … We were in Regensburg and what? Half of a stone bridge in scaffolding. We’re in Heidelberg and what? Again the bridge in scaffolding. Whatever …
Despite the name, the bridge is not all that old. He is a little over 200 years old, but he is the 9th bridge built in this place! Predecessors, in the years 1200-1700, flowed together with the cows on the river after the thaw. 😀 The current bridge has survived thanks to the total stone structure.
The bridge is also a great place to admire the castle in full splendor. Opposite the castle are densely overgrown hills. During our stay, we have repeatedly paid attention to the fact that the city is beautifully situated.
It is also worth going to the other side of the river, which we unfortunately didn’t do! 🙁 Especially if you’re hunting for beautiful shots. From the other side of the river you can capture the city, bridge and castle (dream photo from Heidelberg)! 🙂
Our next point of exploration was the beautiful castle, which is situated above the city. 😉 Interestingly, these are just ruins of the castle, which were only partly reconstructed. Still, it’s hard to pass by them indifferently. In the end, they were the inspiration of German romantics.
The castle was built in the 13th century, but at the turn of the 15th and 16th century became a residential character. Interestingly, in the eighteenth century the castle was partially burned by a lightning strike.
Currently, the castle can be reached by funicular, which I recommend you! The entrance to the castle includes a ticket for the funicular, so won’t save money if you choose to climb the hill on your own. 😛
A trip to the castle can be combined with a trip to the highest hill in the city – Königsstuhl. You can admire the city panorama there. The combined ticket costs about 12 euros (as of 2018). You can check the types of tickets and opening times here.
Being in the castle, be sure to check out the Old Pharmacy. A ticket to the castle authorizes you to enter it. Check also the the biggest wine barrel which can be found in the castle! 😀
If you go to Heidelberg Castle, do it either at the beginning of the day or after right after lunch. You have to count 2-3 hours to see this romantic space! 🙂 We, we went perfectly at lunch time, so you can only imagine how our stomachs started to suffer after a while … Sure, there are plenty of restaurants or bars around the castle (prices a little higher than in the center), but we absolutely wanted to enter the place which you will find at Hauptstrasse – My Currywurst. This is a highly rated bar on Trip Advisors, which, as the name suggests, specializes in sausages. 😀 I know that not every one of you likes this type of delicacies, but if you don’t have a problem with it, and your budget is limited, it is a great place that meet your needs! A wide range of sausages and prices are between 6-9 euros per portion with fries. 🙂 By the way is also quite tasty and you can eat! We highly recommend it.
Heidelberg and its colorful streets
After our dinner (and more precisely, dinner-supper), we decided to squeeze out of this city as much as possible. The day was slowly coming to the end, so we had the last moments to see last spots of Heidelberg. If you also enter into the smaller streets of the old town, you will surely see colorful and low-rise buildings typical of German towns. It is also worth paying attention to the Jesuit Church. It is the second (next to the Church of the Holy Spirit) a powerful sacral building in the city center.
University of Heidelberg
As mentioned above, Heidelberg prides itself as the oldest academic center in Germany. Interestingly, it is not older than my home Jagiellonian University, because it was founded in 1386 (so 20 years later).
In any case, we were not able to reach Campus, which is on the other side of the Neckar River. I don’t know if this is a remarkable place, but if you look at the map, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that the size of the campus is impressive. They are not official information, but for about 147 thousand there are almost 31 thousand people studying at the university!
We only saw the library from the university buildings. Apparently, the local attraction is also Karzer student, to whom were sent the students for bad deeds. 😀 Somehow, this place didn’t encourage us to visit, but in some guides it was presented as a super-hipster place. Most of the walls are covered with the artistic work of graffiti artists, which is quite fashionable in Germany (especially in Leipzig and Berlin).
It’s time for a cheat part of the entry, because we weren’t really here, but we wanted to visit it. The morning indigestion delayed us… On the other side of the Neckar River is located a beautiful terrace park, called the Philosophenweg. In addition to the peace and quiet in this place, the park offers great views of Heidelberg.
That’s all what I’ve prepared for you. Heidelberg is a really beautiful city and I am glad that I had the opportunity to see it. In fact, it has a touch of romance and despite the fact that there are not too many monuments, it is worth devoting a little attention to it. We also agreed that this is the perfect place for Erasmus. Not too big, but also not such a small city.
Have you already been here? Let us know! 🙂
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