During college, George studied abroad in a smaller town in Germany called Heidelberg. He loved his time there and when I came to visit him, I really liked it too. So when a friend from George’s time at Heidelberg University said he was coming to Germany, we decided to meet up with him.
Because George spent an entire semester in Heidelberg, he really got to know the city well. And when I visited him, it was so nice having him show me around. This time around, I felt like the city was even more beautiful than I remember.
It was great knowing all the best things to see and do, so we could make the most of our time there. For that reason, we made this little guide of all the things we love about Heidelberg for any one who may want to visit.
One of the best times to visit Heidelberg is when the city reenacts the burning of the castle. The French king, Louis XIV, torched the castle on two different occasions, leaving the castle in its current state. The illumination of the castle is also followed by a firework show. The city of Heidelberg does this four times a year!
However, Heidelberg is beautiful any time of year and I’m glad to have seen it in the spring. I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. A weekend is all you need to explore this picturesque German town.
WHERE TO EAT
Vetter serves traditional German food and they brew their own beer. We highly recommend the Jaeger Schnitzel and their Weizen. Vetter also brews the world’s strongest beer at 33% alcohol. It is our favorite place to eat in Heidelberg.
WHERE TO STAY
While we haven’t personally stayed in any of the hotels in Heidelberg’s old town, we know there are lots of good options to choose from. The only recommendation we can make is to stay in the old town. Just make sure to book as early as possible because all the non-chain hotels book up quickly.
WHAT TO DO
Take the Bergbahn (mountain train) first up to the castle for an amazing view of the city. If you don’t feel like paying to go inside the courtyard, there is still a ton to see around the castle grounds. In our opinion, the best views are actually not from the courtyard, but just beyond the castle. Then continue up the mountain to the Königstuhl (King’s chair) for another great view.
The Philosopher’s Walk is a bit more of a workout, but is also really beautiful and offers views of the city from the other side of the Neckar River. Its name stems from the fact that university professors and philosophers walked there, gathering inspiration from the incredible scenery.
Walk the length of the Hauptstrasse: Europe’s largest pedestrian zone. We love shopping here!
WHAT TO SEE
One thing not to miss is the Alte Brücke or Old Bridge. Wake up a little earlier to see it without tons of tourists. Any time before 9 am should be early enough. Alternatively, you can wait until it’s dark in order to see both the bridge and the castle lit up.
Both the Church of the Holy Spirit in the town center and the Jesuit Church are worth seeing if you have the time.
WHAT TO DRINK
One of our favorite types of beer ever is from a local brewery in Heidelberg called Klosterhof. You can find their beer in most of the small grocery stores in the old town. We like the Weizen best, but all of their beer is good. Buy a couple bottles and go up to the castle at sunset.