Heidelberg is one of the oldest towns in Germany. Famous for its university and castle, it was a place we were very excited to visit!
We arrived in the evening by train but had to get a taxi to our hotel because the station is a long way from the old town. After checking in to the Hotel Zum Pfalzgrafen, we changed and went out for dinner. We opted for Papi, a small Italian restaurant in the Marktplatz (the town’s main square), where we enjoyed a lovely meal sat out in the evening sun. The atmosphere was beautiful – the restaurant had gorgeous flowers and candles and the sun was setting over the Church of the Holy Spirit, which turned the stone of the Town Hall a luminous deep pink.
The next morning, after breakfast in the hotel, we headed out to explore the town and visited the famous Heidelberg Monkey and the Karl Theodor Bridge or Old Bridge. At one time, it was the gate into the town from the other bank of the river and the two magnificent turrets there still bear witness to that today.
We then decided to have a 1-hour cruise down the River Neckar. It was fun to sit out on the open deck and listen to all the facts about Heidelberg. The commentary was in both German and English. The boat had fantastic views of the town and castle.
After we’d got back on dry land, we headed to the palace via the Heidelberg Cable Car, where we had a brilliant guided tour around the interior of the castle. Our guide was very engaging and informative and really gave us an insight into the history of the castle and the region. We would really recommend a tour as it means you can access parts of the castle which are normally closed to the public. A highlight of the visit to the castle was seeing the (very) big barrel in the wine cellar – it has to be seen to be believed!
After lunch we wandered around the palace gardens, which have magnificent views of the valley and plateau and then made our way to the upper railway, which terminates at the top of the Königstuhl mountain – again, the views over the Neckar and the surrounding area are incredible! If we ever make it back there, we’ll definitely pack our walking boots and head off across the mountains to take in more of the spectacular nature there.
On our way back down to town, we stopped off for some wine tasting of wines from the Günter Windisch Winery. After a short break back at the hotel, we headed to dinner at the Franziskaner, where we chose a couple of (enormous) traditional regional dishes, including some Spätzle!
The next day was our last and we only had the morning to explore the rest of the town before our train. After an early breakfast, we visited the Catholic Church, which has a peaceful garden to the north side, and the Universätplatz and Marstall (the former royal stables), which now belong to the university. After a coffee at Moro, a cute little coffee house on the main street, we headed to the train station to continue our tour of Germany.
We loved our short stay in Heidelberg – the town is absolutely beautiful and the locals are really friendly! It’s definitely worth paying a visit!
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