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Welcome to my mini travel guide to Heidelberg, Germany. Keep reading for my recommendations on things to do in Heidelberg, plus where to take photos, places to eat and where to stay.
Heidelberg in southern Germany isn’t a place with a lot of things to do and must-see attractions. This is actually what attracted me to the city in the first place, as I wanted somewhere to just chill for a few days. I spent my days wandering with my camera in hand, and my evenings writing blog posts like this one. This post is really just an excuse for me to share all the pretty photos I took in Heidelberg. Honestly, every time I look at them they make me happy – is that weird? Anyway, here are lots of photos and a little bit of useful information about visiting Heidelberg 😉.
Before I get into the good stuff, here are a couple of things to know before travelling to Heidelberg. Firstly, be prepared as cash is king around here. A couple of the cafes/restaurants I went to were cash only and another bakery would only take small change. This surprised me, as card is so popular in other parts of Europe. Secondly, I found most establishments also only had German menus. I just used Google Translate to work it out, but I found in most other cities I’ve visited on this trip that English menus or translations are pretty common.
How to get to (and around) Heidelberg
I arrived in Heidelberg with FlixBus (a.k.a basically the only transport I used in Europe). I travelled from Brussels, but the closest major city to Heidelberg is Frankfurt. So alternatively, you could fly into Frankfurt and get the bus or train to Heidelberg. There’s public transport available in Heidelberg, but it’s a small place so you really can walk between all the locations listed below.
Where to stay in Heidelberg
I stayed at Meininger Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof (that’s a mouthful). It’s not located in the Old Town, but it was easy to walk into the centre every day. It was also walking distance from the train and bus stop. I really liked this hostel – it was modern and clean, with all the amenities you could need and the softest bed (I slept extremely well). The only con for me was the fact I was in a female ‘dorm room’, which was really a family room with two twin beds next to each other and a set of bunks. Fortunately, I had two nights by myself and two with one other roommate, as it would have been very cosy otherwise! But there are single, twin and double rooms available too.
Things to do in Heidelberg (plus the best photo spots)
Like I said, there aren’t a lot of things to do in Heidelberg. But here’s a brief list, with lots of photo recommendations.
Hauptstraβe is Heidelberg’s main street. It’s a very long pedestrian-only street that takes you through the Aldstadt (Old Town). It’s lined with lots and lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and bakeries. Hauptstraβe is truly the heart of the city.
When you’re walking around, take the time to look up the streets coming off Hauptstraβe in both directions. That’s where you can capture something like this.
Heidelberger Marktplatz is the town’s historic market square. It’s where you will find this building.
Around the next corner you will find Kornmarkt, which is where you can take this amazing shot. I love the juxtaposition of the colourful buildings with the historic castle on the hill. Another place to take photos is Karlsplatz just up the road, but I definitely preferred Kornmarkt.
Head up to Heidelberg Castle
To be honest, I wanted to take photos of the castle, not from the castle, so I didn’t visit Heidelberg Castle. But it is naturally one of the top things to do in Heidelberg.
Walk across Old Bridge Heidelberg
This pedestrian bridge was built in 1788 and offers incredible scenic views of Heidelberg, as you can see below.
Although the photos from the Old Bridge are good, you also kind of need photos that include it as well, right? I captured the Old Bridge from both sides of the river (on different days). The autumnal mountainside just makes the photo so much better, don’t you think?
See the amazing view from Schlangenweg
I found this street on Google Maps, as it’s opposite the Old Bridge. It’s a steep climb to get to the main viewpoint, but there are multiple viewing platforms along the way. I definitely used them to take photos and catch my breath! It isn’t the longest climb though and the views were definitely worth it.
From Schlangenweg, you can keep walking up and connect to the Philosophers’ Way, another popular path for views.
Walk along the river at Neckarwiese
Neckarwiese is a park on the north side of the river. It’s a nice place to walk and I can imagine it’s even better in summer. From here, you can walk across Theodor Heuss Bridge and connect back to Hauptstraβe and the Old Town. That is the vantage point from which I took these photos.
Told you my list of things to do in Heidelberg was short 🤣.
Places to eat in Heidelberg
Okay, let’s talk briefly about the food in Heidelberg. As I mentioned above, make sure you have cash as many establishments don’t take card. Firstly, if you love bread as much as me, there are lots of bakeries and cafes along Hauptstraβe. I recommend Kamps, which are located across Germany. The pastries are always fresh, delicious and reasonably priced. I may have had a cinnamon wuppi on more than one occasion (it was kind of like a cinnamon scone – so good).
I did consume more than just bread, promise! My hostel was next to Mandy’s Railway Diner, which seemed like a popular date night spot. The food is what you’d expect to find in an American diner, including burgers, pancakes and milkshakes. I went with the steak and cheese sandwich, which wasn’t too bad.
Another place I checked out in Heidelberg was Emma Cafe/Bar along Hauptstraβe. The sign out the front said it had the best pizzas in town, which sold me. Inside, the staff were really nice and there was free WiFi, so it was pretty busy with local students. I went for the rocket and prosciutto pizza, which was wood fired (my favourite). It was delicious and I got the bigger size so I could have leftovers for dinner.
Other than that, I may have gone to Vapiano’s for lunch – I just love their fresh pasta!
I thought this was going to be all photos, but hopefully there is some informative content to help you plan your own Heidelberg holiday as well. Now that I’ve been, I think it’s the kind of place I’ll be telling everyone to visit in Germany!
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