Heidelberg is a city that I really enjoyed in Germany. I fully enjoyed the 2 full days that I was there, it was charming and worthy of my time. While it is not the most famed places in Germany, the rustic feels and charms definitely hit my spots. It is not too crowded and typical like Paris, London or Munich but definitely a reliable place to hit too. The city also is of a good size and have a vibrant atmosphere, history, charms, branding, Heidelberg has it all. In fact, on Germany, I have been to Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich twice but my favourite is Heidelberg. It is surely a solid place to visit and let me show you why!
My hotel, the NH Heidelberg was just a little out of the main city centre of Heidelberg and the place where you can find most attractions. The walk isn’t far though, a fussless 10 mins walk will bring you to the main centre where you can find the main bus area and also I guess the start of the tourist centre.
Follow the main street in, which is also a pedestrian area and you will reach the centre with the Heiliggeistkirche in sight. The main street is also lined up with numerous shops and restaurants. It is a pretty happening shopping district. This 1239 church is an iconic representation of the town and pretty impressive. It is of baroque style and the facade also shows its age. Heidelberg is a town famed for the usage of red sandstone kind of buildings and it has the old school charms. The surrounding area around the church is also known as the main market square, Marktplatz! People pack this tiny little city when the sun is out. You can frequently see the locals and also the students with their shades on and enjoying the sun.
Just a short distance away you can find the Neckar River and also the Alte Brucke. This old bridge is the main focus of your trip in Heidelberg. It is extremely gorgeous and fully made out of stones. It link both sides of the river and is a very popular tourist site! The 250 years old bridge is fully made out of sandstone. It is a lovely place to walk across and taking many pictures on it. On the bridge you can have a little view over the city and also a great photo with the Heidelberg Castle behind. Along the river banks is also a great place for some strolling. You get a view of the water and also the bridge, frequently you can also find people riding their bicycles here, after all Heidelberg is a famous student city!
The market square, especially the area under the church has many quirky small shops that I love. It is really nice to have such great weather after the gusting winds that I have experienced in the past few days. It is lovely to bask under the sun in this weather. Grab the famed Currywurst in hand while strolling. In this part of Germany, especially around Frankfurt area there is a very famous fast food chain that is Currywurst, it sells their famous sausages where it is typically slattered with ketchup and mustard. Usually I like to have it on a bun and taste the original flavour of the sausage. The sausage game is one that the Germans always win!
Day 2 as a perfect day for me. It was cold, yet the sun was shining out bright and sunny. Today was also a holiday in the region. I kickstart the day with an awesome buffet breakfast at a cafe in town. The brunch at Cafe Extrablatt was a popular choice in town. It is one of the best in Heidelberg. With the holidays going on it is especially packed. There are amazing offerings and so much better than paying for the overpriced buffet at your hotel. Priced only at 11.05 euros it was a steal. In fact it is one of the best buffet that I ever had in Europe. There was fresh pastries and the croissant was so buttery and flaky! Yum! Then you find a whole huge plate of smoked salmon, herring, an extensive salad bar with olives, sun dried tomatoes and other stuff. Everything was so fresh and nice. Then they had all sorts of cold cuts and cheese that you can imagine of. It seems to be a holiday option since it was so packed. Gorgeous ladies having a little brunch over gossip to a family affair.
There is even pancakes and waffles. I was so full that I didn’t even touch the donuts and sweets. On the hot offerings, they had bacon, sausage, baked beans. The scrambled eggs were good and there were even three different types. Orange juice was also accompanied. Overall I think it is a good choice and for the price, you will easily bust it having breakfast somewhere else.
With a great satisfying meal and a stuffed tummy the plan to ascend the Konigstuhl and check out the 16th century ruined Heidelberg castle was a go! The Königstuhl is a hill in Heidelberg with the castle built halfway on it as well. The funicular station is located near the market square and from there you can buy a ticket to head up the hill. It is a climb. There are three main stations in total. The first one would be in the market square, the the next would be the castle station while the last one would be Station Konigstuhl which also requires a transfer on to the 100 years old historical railway.
There was a crowd at the station when I reached, probably aided by the bulk of tourist groups that had just arrived. Thankfully the ticket machine stayed fairly empty and the kind personnel help me with it. I got the student ticket which cost 10Euros. It allows you to ride on all the funicular all the way to the top of the hill. I will first share about the castle. Upon exiting the station, the ruined castle comes into sight. Despite being partially destroyed, the charm was there and it was gorgeous. Nearby the grounds are many very beautiful spots and great outlooks over the city. It is especially nice to have a birdseye view of the city with the sight of the Alte Brucke. It looks especially cute when looking from above. With the usual “Hi, I am sorry, could you help me take a picture” ever used phrase of mine, here are the pictures that I took.
It was kind of funny that there was this lady who love is very helpful and love taking photos for me, she is also kind of scared when I climb here and there just for the GRAM! The people that I met up here were all pretty nice. The grounds are lush and huge, which is perfect for walking! You are welcomed to hike up to the castle from the old town or up Konigstuhl although it is kind of tough!
To enter the castle and also embark on a guided tour where only some parts of the castle can you enter with a guided tour, you will have to head to the ticket centre nearby and book a tour. When you already hold a cable car ticket. You only need to pay an extra 2.50 Euros which is kind of worth it. The interior rooms and buildings are really worth of a look. The castle was partially destroyed by a mixture of explosion, fires…. Parts of it are rebuilt and use for occasion. There is also a church on site and people do sometimes book for weddings. It is kind of romantic to get married in a castle.
The tour guide was very patients and knowledgeable. Furthermore some parts of the tour you are not allowed to take photos, which make it even more precious to take part in it. One of the main highlight was this gigantic wine barrel that contains more than enough wine to drown up.
People in the past love drinking, I guess that is probably a love for all of us. It was said that in the past there wasn’t clean water source and the water might have toxic, which results in the drinking of wine, since it is safe and said to have healing properties. I guess it made sense like the usage of alcohol to sterilize things. And I guess the weather was cold too, somehow the wine must have help with it. There was this pump that connected to this gigantic barrel and you could pump the wine straight to the main banquet hall.
The hall is now still being used as a venue, although the pump is now mainly used for decorative purposes. Check out the whole grounds and see the different angle and towers. It is lovely! You will also find different view point of the city.
Next up is the Konigstuhl. Where you have to take two different funicular to reach the top. The last funicular is over a 100 years old and it charming. It is really special seated in the wooden cabin and hearing the clink and clanks that was made when you are on the journey. It is also kind of slow and have a lower capacity. Be prepared to wait.
At the top, which is 1804ft above sea level, you can an amazing view down and the air is so good. It can be cold and windy as well. There isn’t much stuff on the top except for various rest point and views. There was this little patch of greens that you can head down and have a picnic at the 1800ft! It was kind of cool. Check out these pictures.
Do keep in mind of the various timings to prevent getting stuck on top. Hope you guys enjoy my little sharing on Heidelberg! It is really a lovely romantic small little city. With that being all, I ended of my day at the Alte Brucke checking out the sunset! Cya!