City Guide: Exploring Heidelberg, Germany

On a long weekend in October, Chris and I decide to spend a day in Heidelberg. Of course, we combined this trip with a visit to my grandparents, who live very close by. Nevertheless, I have never visited the city and am very excited, because Heidelberg is supposed to be really pretty. Heidelberg is a beautiful city with about 150,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Baden-Württemberg. The resident Ruprecht Karls University is the oldest university in Germany and definitely worth a visit!

 

breakfast in heidelberg

We are sleeping in on this Sunday morning and have a late breakfast. Later we stumble upon the pretty Café Mildner's, which would be a great breakfast alternative.

CAFÉ MILDNER'S: BERGHEIMER STRAßE 81, HEIDELBERG

 

OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAYS 8AM - 8PM / SATURDAY & SUNDAY 10AM - 8PM / HOLIDAYS 10AM - 6PM

 

Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants City Guide Exploring Heidelberg Pinterest

sightseeing in heidelberg

From there it is only a short walk into the city and to the shopping street of Heidelberg, the main street. The Heidelberger Herbst is just happening in Heidelberg, an autumn festival with lots of music and even more visitors. The shops are open on this festive Sunday and so we stroll through the city.

 

Our first sightseeing stop is the Old University and the famous student prison, called Karzer in German. Chris and I find this student prison particularly funny: the university was allowed to exercise legal jurisdiction over its students. If the students violated the law, they were taken to the university prison, which was housed in the building you can visit between 1712 and 1914. The Karzer was probably  a lot more fun than one would think: The students brought their own bed linens, drank beer, played cards and were allowed to order their favorite food. They even had access to the university building and their lectures. Over time, the residence in the student prison became somehow a fun activity, which every student wanted to experience at least once. Today you can still find many wall decorations and poems written on the walls. Those mostly describe funny actions students did to get into the Karzer… From the Karzer we continued to the old university. Especially the old auditorium is worth a view, and I was amazed at how magnificent it is.

 

OLD UNIVERSITY & STUDENT PRISON: AUGUSTINERGASSE 2, HEIDELBERG

OPEN: APRIL TILL OCTOBER DAILY 10AM - 6PM / NOVEMBER TILL MARCH MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10AM - 4PM

PRICE: ADULTS 3€ / STUDENTS 2,50€

  

Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants Karzer student prison university
Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants Old Auditorium university

 

In the old distillery back on the main street Chris and I drank an autumn bowl with chestnut liqueur. This is something sweet but very tasty. If you are looking for a souvenir from the city, you will certainly find it here.

 

Continuing walking along the main street, we come to the market square. There are loads and loads of people here. We visit the church of the Holy Spirit and look at the hotel to the knight (Hotel zum Ritter). This building from 1592 is a great Renaissance building, which has never been damaged. The town hall is also on the market square.

 

Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants Hotel Ritter knight market square

 

From the market square we walk up the steep path to the Heidelberg Castle. The entrance fee also includes the cable car ride up to the castle, but since there were so many visitors that Sunday, we decide to walk. The Heidelberg Castle is a great fortress with many architectural details. Included in the price is the pharmacy museum, the wine cellar and the courtyard. So you do not really get into the buildings. Nevertheless, the building was very impressive. From up there you have a great view over the old town and the vineyards opposite the city.

 

HEIDELBERG CASTLE: SCHLOSSHOF 1, HEIDELBERG

OPEN DAILY 10AM - 6PM

PRICE: AULTS 7€ / STUDENTS 4€

 

Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants castle schloss exterior
Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants view above city

 

After we made our way back down the steep path, our next stop is the Old Bridge of Heidelberg, which is also full of visitors and tourists. We cross the river Neckar and want to go up to the mountain to enjoy the view over Heidelbergs old town and the castle. Across the bridge we find the snake trail, which we climb up. The path winds very steeply up to the vineyard and you have a great view of the other side of the river. We make a break in between, as I was so exhaused and then reach the philosopher's path at some point. The view is still wonderful. We walk back towards the old town. During our walk we pass beautiful villas and impressive houses.

 

Heidelberg Germany ofpenguinsandelephants of penguins & elephants view above city

lunch & dinner in heidelberg

Back in town, we take a break at the River Café. The menu is relatively small, the food however very delicious. Despite its name, one has no view of the Neckar.

After a good and early dinner, we take the bus back to the car, which we have parked on the outside due to the masses of tourists and continued to Frankfurt for the night.

RIVER CAFÉ: BERGSTRAßE 2, HEIDELBERG

OPEN DAILY 9AM - 1AM 

 

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What about you?

Have you ever visited the beautiful city of Heidelberg or have you planned to go there some time soon? Let me know how you like Heidelberg and if there is anything else I missed out on. I am curious to hear about your experience!!