"Germany's most romantic city: HEIDELBERG" Top 5 Page for this destination Heidelberg by JessH

Heidelberg Travel Guide: 1,079 reviews and 2,970 photos

... the guide by a homesick German...

The train rolls to a slow, squeaking halt. The teenagers reluctantly press the *pause* button on their hand-held gaming devices and slouch towards the exit. A businessman folds down his laptop, glances at his watch for the 37th time and hurries towards the door. Two elderly ladies that have especially worn their best dresses and their expensive cream-coloured support stockings today, slowly get up, put on their hats and continue their conversation about looking forward to a day of coffee-sipping and window-shopping "in the big city".
I step out of the train, walk past an eccentric, hippy-like street musician and a group of nattering Japanese tourists. In the station's main lobby a couple is kissing; the boy is wearing a large rucksack; the girl is crying. A history teacher is yelling at the top of her voice, trying to control her school class. A familiar, longed-for smell grabs my nostrils' attention: the doors to the bakery are open & lure me inside. I exit with a bag of warm goodness, and hand one of the Brezeln to the homeless man by the bicycle stands outside the train station.
I wait and within a few minutes, I hear the nostalgic clattering & creaking of the approaching old tram. The man next to me is wearing John-Lennon-glasses and carries an old-looking leather briefcase. He helps the smiling Turkish mother to lift her baby stroller up the steps.
A few minutes later, I disembark the tram at the Bismarktplatz. A student with blue hair runs past me, shoving a flyer into my hand saying "our voice counts! Together we can save the world!" Before I can ask what she's campaigning for this week, she's gone. Suddenly 4 orange-robe-clad Hare Krishna sing & prance past me, and hand me a flower.
I briefly stand still, look up towards the green hills rising behind the red sand-stone buildings. I inhale deeply: a mix of perfumes wafts out of the shopping mall's open doors; car fumes; another bakery tempts those who pass-by; the sweet smell of fresh flowers being sold nearby. I open my eyes and the group of Japanese tourists loudly pushes past me. Just as I'm about to feel slightly aggravated, the 2 elderly ladies walk past me, they've hooked arms & support each other. One says: "You know, Gertrude, I really love our trips into the city. Every single time feels special."
The cobbles under my feet feel so authentic (& slightly uncomfortable).
The red sandstone buildings frame the city much like a painting on canvas.
Of course, it's crowded. Much here is overpriced. There are many tourists, and the few hippies that still sit around the fountain aren't as "cool" as they were in the 70s. But that doesn't matter:
I exhale slowly, smile to myself and enter the pedestrian precinct.
I step into a landscape painting that seems to have come alive.
I'm home.


This is John and I sitting near the old bridge down by the Neckar river on a gorgeous July day in 2004...

A reason, or two, to visit this city

(Commemorative stamp of Heidelberg)

Don't forget to take a peek into my Hotel & Accomodations Page... insider ***HOTEL TIP*** for the centre of the Old Town! ;-)

I actually come from a small village near Heidelberg (Muehlhausen), but I was born in Heidelberg & spent a lot of time there as it is the next nearest city, and a bit more "buzzing" than our quiet village life...

Heidelberg is mostly known for its University & castle, of course, but it has much more to offer. The surrounding areas around the river Neckar are beautiful in any season, and a walk along the vineyards or a train-ride along the river is a must.
(there are a lot of young people here because they're *students*.. but Heidelberg is still a city for all ages ;-) Have a look at my "Things to do" to find out about the famous & delicious *Student's Kiss*...



"Walking in a winter wonderland..." dum-deedle-dum

I believe that not only Heidelberg - but the whole of Germany - is beautiful during any season and any weather.

I would never advise anyone not to travel in autumn, or to only visit during summer. Any time of the year has its own beautiful face.

And if you're lucky enough to get snow & a white Christmas whilst your sipping a cup of mulled wine (Gluehwein) & browsing through the Xmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) on the "Universitaetsplatz"... yiipiiih!

Have a look at the travelogue below, to see the guided tour of the old town during VT's EuroMeet 2008!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So much history, so much life, so much beauty (and I'm still trying to be unbiased!)
  • Cons:So much beauty comes with a price: hoards of tourists!!!
  • In a nutshell:A great place with easy connections to the surrounding areas
  • Last visit to Heidelberg: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Apr 26, 2012
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