It’s almost guaranteed that Heidelberg, Germany, will wow you with all the cool things to do there. Here is our hand-picked list of the top activities and attractions in Heidelberg, Germany, so you can make the most of your time there. Scroll down for the best things to do in Heidelberg, Germany, and the best places to visit in Heidelberg, Germany. Wondrous Drifter is an ambitious Web 3.0 travel startup with the potential to revolutionize the market.
Table of Contents
- Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)
- Church of the Holy Spirit
- Deutsches Apotheken-Museum
- Heidelberg Castle
- Kurpfälzisches Museum
- Heidelberg University
- Heidelberg Tun
- Bad Wimpfen
- Haus Zum Ritter (House of the Knight)
- Dilsberg Fortress (Burgfeste Dilsberg)
- Heidelberg Thingstätte
- Heidelberg Zoo
- Leipzig Botanical Garden
Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)
Heidelberg’s Karl Theodor Bridge, also known as the Old Bridge, has been the subject of several poetry and paintings, a monument to the romanticism that surrounds the construction.
To honor the man responsible for planning and to erect the bridge’s nine red sandstone arches in 1788 to replace previous wooden ones, the iconic bridge spans the Neckar and connects medieval Heidelberg is named after him. Enjoy the views of Heidelberg and its sister bridge, the Brückentor, while strolling over the bridge’s wide sidewalk.
At the eastern end of the Neuenheim district, it links the old town with the Neckar River. Today’s Old Bridge was built on a series of wooden abutments. Elector Karl Theodor had a stone bridge erected over the river since wars and floods had been continually destroyed (1786-1788). Once a component of the city wall, the medieval bridge gate has been maintained on the city side.
It was just the first stone-made bridge that could withstand the ice floes of spring that destroyed all the others erected between the 1200s and the 1700s.
As a tribute to Charles Theodore and Minerva, the bridge features two sculptural panels. Originals were taken to a museum in Germany for safekeeping, and these are copies. A couple of medieval fortification towers may be seen on the bank of Heidelberg’s Altstadt.
Even though it is barely half a square kilometer in size, it is dubbed “the longest bar globally.” While Düsseldorf’s Old Town is famed for its Altbier and infamous “Raubeinigen Köbesse,” the waiters, there are many other aspects of the city’s rich history that should not be overlooked.
Schloss Heidelberg looms over Heidelberg’s historic old town.
Streets with cobblestones and a list of historic sites are only some of the features of the Altstadt that make it a popular tourist destination.
Examples of this kind of architecture include places of worship and monuments like the image of Mary on Kornmarkt, which serves as a representation of Heidelberg’s complex relationship with Catholicism.
A series of fires started by an assault by the French during the Ninth Year’s War in 1693 contributed to the Altstadt’s uniformly baroque appearance today.
Heinrich Charrasky was a Hungarian artist who designed the electoral crest that continues to decorate the Town Hall, which was finished in 1701.
Church of the Holy Spirit
The town hall and the Church of the Holy Spirit enclose Market Square, one of the city’s oldest squares.
With its imposing Hercules Fountain in the center, the square is a constant reminder of the enormous efforts made in 1706-1709 in the city’s struggle to rebuild the city after its near-total devastation in 1689-1693 during the War of Palatinate Succession.
Ruprecht, I built the Church of the Holy Spirit in 1400 as both a collegiate church and the last resting place for his students. When the Bibliotheca Palatina was taken and sent to the Vatican during the Thirty Years’ War, the church’s loft galleries were safe libraries.
The Holy Spirit Church serves as the city’s most prominent Protestant church, and its performances and services draw many tourists.
An internal wall was constructed between the two churches in 1706 to perform services simultaneously. That wall was dismantled in 1936, and the church is now Protestant. The 200 stairs to the top of the tower offer a stunning view over the town, river, and castle.
Address: Marktpl., 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
In the castle, visitors may learn about the history of pharmaceuticals at the Deutsches Apotheken-Museum.
From the early days of the Victorian pharmacy system in the seventeenth century up to the present day, this exhibit depicts a pharmacist’s training and the original pharmacy equipment. Deutsches Apothekenmuseum also has an extensive collection of medicinal plants and medications from the 17th and 18th centuries and data concerning their technical or pharmacological products.
Alchemist labs to analytical chemistry laboratories are displayed at the Apothecaries Tower laboratory.
Going back to the Renaissance, a highlight of this museum is a collection of seven full-scale pharmacy sets.
The museum boasts the greatest assortment of eighteenth-century pottery and essential faience, majolica, and technical glassware and apparatus from the 16th century through the 18th century.
A 1640 silver pharmacy kit in Augsburg is one of the most remarkable examples of household or portable pharmaceutical kits. The weird substances put in these pots, such as mandrake root, bezoar stones, and mummia, may also be learned about there.
Address: Schloss Heidelberg, Schlosshof, 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
In Heidelberg’s old town, Heidelberg’s Hauptstraße is perhaps the most important location for tourists to visit. The Old Town of Heidelberg is inaccessible without it if you wish to take a stroll.
It connects every corner of the Old Town. It is one of the longest, busiest, and most historic walking areas in Europe, around 1.8 kilometers.
Those who wish to spend the day wandering the streets of Heidelberg will likely receive their money’s worth. Possibly at the price of your bank account as well. Because the Hauptstraße has a wide variety of goods, from clothing and accessories to sweets and other knickknacks, there are bit branching lanes where you could stumble upon some exciting finds.
There aren’t nearly as many independently owned stores in the Hauptstraße as previously. There are little tea businesses, several beautifully organized flower stores, some chocolate shops, a unique sugar shop on the side of the Hauptstraße, and an ancient bookstore, all within walking distance from one another. Moreover, if you’re already wandering down the street, it’s good to stop by the Kurpfälzisches Museum.
The world-famous ruins of the Heidelberg Palace are a very romantic destination.
About a million people from all over the world visit Heidelberg Palace each year. Romanticism has been linked to these impressive ruins since the early 1800s.
Mark Twain said the following about Heidelberg Castle: “For a ruin to work, it needs to be in the right place. This one couldn’t have been put any better.” This castle from the 16th century is one of the finest examples of German Renaissance architecture. It is made of red Neckar sandstone and is built on a terraced hillside about 200 meters above Heidelberg’s Old Town.
After the French destroyed the Palatinate in the 17th century, they destroyed the castle. Since then, it has been the largest and most beautiful ruin in Germany.
There are many festivals at the castle. Most of them take place in its beautiful courtyard, where there are often plays, concerts, and fireworks shows. The Heidelberg Castle Festival, which runs from June to August, is one of the most popular events. It has a wide range of theater, choral music, chamber orchestras, jazz, folk, and opera.
You can get to Heidelberg Castle by taking the Bergbahn, which starts at the Kornmarkt or walking 15 minutes from the Old Town.
Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg’s Kurpfälzisches Museum is one of the city’s most important cultural institutions.
Welcoming visitors with its lovely inner courtyard and garden is this historic inn located in the center of Heidelberg.
The Palais Morass, the museum’s main building, features an elaborate archway through which visitors can enter a time machine that takes them from the museum’s prehistoric and early historical finds in archeology to the Palais’ period rooms and the picture gallery’s collection of works by famous artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Art and cultural history may be studied in depth thanks to the museum’s diverse collections of paintings and sculptures and its extensive holdings in handicrafts, archeology, and municipal history.
An 18th-century palace, Heidelberg’s Palate Museum displays Neckar Valley and Heidelberg’s art and also archaeological artifacts.
There are various notable exhibits to watch out for, from Renaissance sculptures by Tilman Riemenschneider to artworks by Max Beckmann, Anselm Feuerbach, and Lucas Cranach, the Elder.
If you are interested in the art and culture of Heidelburg, visit this museum.
Address: Hauptstraße 97, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
This renowned institution was founded in 1368, making it one of Germany’s oldest and most respected.
University Museum and Studentenkarzer are located in the Old University, a Baroque structure built in the early 18th century (student prison).
There is a former student prison on the east side of Heidelberg University’s Pedellenhaus on Augustinergasse, which many visitors find the most memorable highlight of a trip to Heidelberg. Misdemeanors like dueling or singing loudly at night were punished by a 24-hour detention period here in this institution. During their time there, they left behind a trail of graffiti.
The Old University building’s back door served as the first student jail entrance. To go to jail, tourists should first visit the University Museum.
The library’s Great Hall is on the second floor (or the first floor in the European system). There are busts and pictures of university founders, donors, and luminaries throughout this spectacular neo-Renaissance hall. The historic university’s four colleges — theology, law, medicine, and philosophy – are depicted in murals on the ceiling.
Address: Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
A world wonder may be found in the castle’s cellar, and it merits its exclusive entry.
This is the world’s largest wine barrel. The time it was constructed in 1751, it had a capacity of 221,726 liters.
The massive wooden barrel is the only one of its kind still standing in the area. Although it may be a curiosity, the tun had a more practical purpose.
Taxes were paid in products at the age when it was first established; in a wine-producing region, that meant a lot of government vino.
Giant barrels were built to store all the donated liquor, and the tributes were gathered into one nasty slurry.
However, there is a noticeable decrease in the quantity of wood over time.
In fact, a barrel of this size requires 130 oak trees’ worth of wood! Meanwhile, the original 16th-century barrel was destroyed during the 30 Years’ War.
This is the palace’s seventh outsize wine barrel to replace it.
In the course of its existence, the barrel was used to store wine just a handful of times and was only filled three times.
If you want to check out unique things in Heidelburg, visit this place now!
Address: 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
The Philosophers’ Walk is often regarded as being among the most picturesque promenades to be found anywhere in Europe. The renowned route that winds all along the sunny part of the Heiligenberg has become a source of motivation for a great number of thinkers and writers over the centuries.
It now provides visitors with an unobstructed vista of the manor and city and multiple benches to lurk and take in the breathtaking view.
If you go to Heidelberg during summertime, one will observe an intriguing aspect of the Philosopher’s Walk: the weather there is far more moderate, nearly Countryside-like than it does in the valley.
Lemon trees, cypress trees, pomegranate trees, and palm trees are just a few examples of plants that can flourish in this climate despite the fact that the climate farther north tends to be cooler than wetter.
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One of the places in the city that travelers simply cannot miss, Heiligenberg is a paradise for those who enjoy hiking and trekking.
The Heiligenberg is a worthwhile side trip from the Philosophenweg.
This 440-meter-tall sandstone hill represents Heidelberg’s earliest evidence of human occupancy.
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany’s Heiligenberg, is a forested hill with sweeping views of the city. An ancient Celtic hilltop fortress, Roman holy precinct, Medieval monasteries, contemporary lookout towers, and Nazi-built Thingstätte are all located on its 440-meter NHN elevation.
The Celtic defense wall, which dates around the fourth century BC, is the oldest.
As you near the peak, you’ll come upon the abandoned remnants of the Monastery of St. Michael, which dates back to the eleventh century.
There are two observation turrets for a better perspective: According to legend, sandstone stones salvaged from the destroyed 11th-century St. Stephen’s Monastery were used to build the Heiligenbergturm.
In honor of Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s first chancellor, a tower was constructed in 1903.
The historic environment and friendly residents draw visitors from all walks of life, including hikers, bikers, bus and river cruise tour groups, and those looking for a romantic setting.
With its wonderfully preserved medieval core, the historic spa town of Bad Wimpfen is just under an hour’s drive from Heidelberg. Historic half-timbered buildings fill the town’s winding, narrow lanes unaffected by the two World Wars.
As a watchtower erected around 1200, the Blauer Turm (Blue Tower, also known as the Kaiserpfalz or Staufen Imperial Palace) is a major draw. Climb to the peak for sweeping views of the city and its unique pattern of steep-pitched roofs. There’s a lot to see.
The arcades of the Great Hall of the palace are ornamented with elaborate stone carvings and are among the best examples of German Romanesque architecture in existence today. An ambitious hiker’s dream, the Neckarsteig connects Bad Wimpfen and Heidelberg through Bad Wimpfen.
Haus Zum Ritter (House of the Knight)
The House of the Knight is Heidelberg’s oldest surviving structure and one of the city’s most stunning Renaissance-style structures.
Because of its central location, it is ideal for both business travelers and vacationers. The Renaissance building’s beauty and grace make it Heidelberg’s finest and most aesthetically valued town residence.
Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg is located in Heidelberg’s Old Town, directly across the street from the magnificent Town Hall. Indisputable proof that it is a part of the city’s history. You’ll find a plethora of attractions at the foot of Heidelberg Castle.
For a taste of Paris’s past, you may stay in one of these rooms, decorated in a style that reflects the city’s history. The Old Town can be seen from most of the rooms.
Ritterstube is a traditional and seasonal cuisine restaurant. The Chateaubriand will be sliced in front of you by the server, and your Irish Coffee will be made at your table. You’ll also learn a lot about the hotel’s history while you’re there.
Dilsberg Fortress (Burgfeste Dilsberg)
The Dilsberg Castle is on a hill overlooking the Neckar River in Neckargemünd, a hamlet about 30 minutes from Heidelberg. While Dilsburg had long been deemed impenetrable, it was ultimately overrun by the French during the Thirty Years War despite their best efforts.
Although it was abandoned in the 19th century, it was not completely demolished, and some of its stones were reused in other structures. However, by the turn of the twentieth century, its historical significance had been recognized, sparking a surge in efforts to preserve and maintain it.
Its 46-meter-deep well was one of the reasons it was able to resist sieges. Well above the water line is an 80-meter long Brunnenstollen that is thought to have been a ventilation shaft beneath the courtyard of the castle. It is possible to explore this scary tunnel and ascend the hexagonal tower to get a bird’s-eye view of this sprawling landscape.
This is the ideal location for you to take some time for yourself, unwind, and take in the most breathtaking vistas if you desire. Lovely setting for a picnic or simply to relax. The Neckarwiese is a sizable park that runs beside the Neckar river and is particularly well-liked by individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Youngsters, families with small children, and senior citizens may all be seen out here basking in the sun and taking in the picturesque view of the fortress. A grilling space, a playground, multiple volleyball courts, and a small store selling ice cream, coffee, and other beverages are some of the attractions that are offered at this location. Toilets are also accessible.
The summer months find a large number of Heidelberg folks gathering at this location. During the scorching months of summer, this is a fantastic location, thanks to the refreshing air.
Address: Uferstraße 17, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Located a little off the usual path, this free attraction boasts an incredibly breathtaking interior. The ornamentation and decoration are really stunning; it is difficult to do the artisan justice with words. To say that it was incredible would be an understatement.
The interior of this church in Heidelberg has a minimalistic design with a predominant use of white. Gardens may be found on each side of the wall that surrounds the tranquil courtyard, which is located close to the seminary.
A magnificent organ may be found on the second floor next to the entrance, and there is another organ farther in front and to the right. Recommendable for certain contemplation and pondering due to its stylish design and ability to swing freely in the breeze.
There has been a number of renovations to the church’s interior, and the central altar picture is the only thing that has remained unchanged since it was first painted.
Address: Merianstraße 2, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
The Königstuhl is the highest mountain in the Lower Odenwald forest, at 567.8 m above sea level. As soon as you exit the funicular station on top, you’ll be able to see for miles across the Rhine valley as well as into Alsace on a clear day.
In the hills above the university town, various routes lead to a place of quiet and tranquility. In addition to the “Via naturae” walking path, there is also the Forest Adventure Trail, which is ideal for families with young children.
As an added bonus, the Fairytale Paradise and a museum dedicated to Heidelberger Straßen- und Bergbahnen’s rich history may also be found here (HSB). Additionally, there is a kiosk directly next to the funicular station that hawks a wide variety of regional delicacies.
Take Klingenteichstraße to Königstuhl and park for free if you want to begin your adventure from Königstuhl and take the funicular down into the valley.
Address: Kornmarkt, 69115 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
In terms of landmarks on Heiligenberg, Thingstätte is a definite standout. It was planned by Heidelberg native Albert Speer and erected by the Nazi party as an open-air amphitheater in 1935.
During World War II, the Nazis utilized it for rallies and solstice celebrations. There are many festivals and cultural activities held there every year even though it has been designated a historical monument.
As far back as the amphitheater goes, you can still hear people conversing normally from the stage, even if you’re over 200 meters from the rear.
At the top of Heidelberg, there is also a remnant from Nazi-era that may be seen.
The performances were essentially propaganda plays, usually steeped in romanticized German mythology.
There are just a handful of these massive venues still standing, and their dimensions are mind-boggling.
The Thingstätte in Heidelberg can accommodate up to 15,000 standing audiences and 8,000 seated guests.
Every year, during Walpurgis Night, people gather to kindle traditional bonfires in the arena.
If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss out on a trip to the Heidelberg Zoo.
Located on the Neckar River, Heidelberg Zoo houses approximately 1100 animals from over 250 different species. As part of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) and the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), the zoo engages in breeding projects for endangered species and raises awareness about conservation efforts.
Currently, it is one of the most cutting-edge zoos in Germany and is separated into five distinct sections. The human-animal bond is always at the center of the story. Lions, tigers, bears, meercats, turtles, and gorillas, and chimpanzees are just a few of the diverse species that populate our world. When the sea lions are not being fed, visitors may see the trained animals perform a variety of stunts.
All year round, local families may make use of one of the nicest playgrounds around. The carousel and trampoline are located in the heart of a play area for little children, including play equipment and landscape features in steppe and jungle-themed themes.
Parents may enjoy themselves while keeping an eye on their children in the food tent and the huge picnic area. Shade from the trees is accompanied by awnings throughout the zoo.
Address: Tiergartenstraße 3, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Leipzig Botanical Garden
About 3 hectares of exotic plants and a wonderful butterfly house may be found in Leipzig’s Botanical Garden.
The University of Leipzig’s Botanical Garden is home to around 3 hectares of exotic plants from various vegetation zones. Tropical flora may be discovered on long strolls around the botanical garden, which features greenhouses, a scent garden, a touch garden, and plenty of open space.
In the Butterfly House, visitors may get up close and personal with more than a hundred different types of butterflies. One of Germany’s rare Victoria Holds, which houses a large tropical water lily, may be seen at the Botanical Garden as well.
Visits to one of Germany’s oldest botanical gardens are enhanced by the presence of educational paths, butterfly tours, workshops, and exhibitions.
People visit the Botanical Gardens of Leipzig University to relax, learn about new species, or as part of their studies – the gardens are part of the university’s botanical collection. Free admission and a butterfly house make this a worthwhile stop, even if the grounds aren’t particularly large.
Need more reasons to visit Heidelberg, Germany? Visit reasons to visit Heidelberg, Germany, at least once in your lifetime here.
Address: Linnéstraße 1, 04103 Leipzig, Germany