Heidelberg City Breaks
Heidelberg city breaks are the perfect way to explore this crowning jewel among German cities. This tranquil city is located along the Neckar river valley amidst the backdrop of the Odenwald (Forest of Odes). Heidelberg is a picturesque city famous for its romantic castle that overlooks the pretty Old Town. Steeped in tradition and home to Germany's oldest university, Heidelberg is a cultural treasure chest.
Those on Frankfurt City Breaks often descend on Heidelberg which is popular with day trippers and visitors looking for a weekend getaway. The cobbled Old Town, overlooked by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, is full of shops, restaurants and cafés, selling local pastries and cuisine, giving the traveller a taste for true German life.
Stroll along the famous Philosopher's Path for great views over the city. As a diverse and fascinating destination set amidst picturesque scenery, you may 'lose your heart in Heidelberg' as a famous German saying goes. The Heidelberg Christmas Market is a popular visitor attraction during the winter months, containing six different areas with beautifully decorated stalls.
Heidelberg castle stands tall above the city, acting as a protector to this glorious destination. Its Gothic design has a romanticism around it that would not look out of place in a fairytale story and is an important monument to visit when on a Heidelberg city break. After much more turbulent times, when the castle was plundered by the French army in 1689, the fortress has flourished as a tourist attraction.
Did you know?
The largest wine barrel in the world can be found within Heidelberg Castle.
- Flight time from London: 1 hour 35 min
- Frankfurt Airport: 80km from the city centre; transfer time about 53 min
- Nearest railway station: Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
- Currency: Euro
Heidelberg's shopping streets are lined with carefully restored buildings in which charming period shops and many cafés and restaurants are located.
The traffic-free Hauptstrasse is Heidelberg's most popular shopping area and one of Europe's prettiest pedestrian streets. It is lined with bistros, cafés and restaurants and hosts all the major international designers.
The narrow side streets of the old town or in the area around Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Ghost) offer a variety of shops where old and new are juxtaposed to create a vibrant shopping scene. Antiques and avant-garde fashion, Art Nouveau jewellery and old porcelain can all be purchased in the many shops in this area.
East Empress Restaurant
Serves fine Chinese cuisine in a sophisticated ambience. There is a great variety of dishes originating from different regions of Asia. They also have an award-winning wine list.
A large restaurant offering casual café dining which also has a nice outdoor dining area. The menu suits all tastes and serves dishes from gourmet pizza, snacks and salads to main courses.
At Yokohama Teppanyaki, each meal is prepared in front of you by a master Teppanyaki chef, making it an exciting and unique dining experience. There is also a sushi bar and an a-la-carte menu.
Mocha Jo's is a modern yet relaxed and casual restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes & great café style food. This is a very popular local restaurant.
Fedele's Ristorante Italiano
This restaurant combines authentic Italian cuisine and great service with a modern twist. Fedele's has a large and varied menu and a warm and vibrant ambience.
Hackteufel serves traditional German cuisine and is, therefore, popular with tourists looking for the German eating experience. It boasts a great location, situated centrally near to the old bridge and is just a brief walk from the castle.
This is an exclusive and expensive restaurant serving very good international cuisine. The atmosphere is formal and the service is second to none.
Thai Restaurant Siam
Serves a wide selection of Thai foods including some spicy curries. It offers a reasonably priced menu for both lunch and dinner.
Has an excellently prepared and served menu. The restaurant has an old German feel with lots of dark wood creating an intimate atmosphere. The menu is fairly international but also includes some German specialities.
From its elevated position, the ruins of Heidelberg Castle look over the maze of streets and roofs that make up the old town. The architecture of the castle itself represents the Gothic and Renaissance periods. The castle gardens, the Great Vat (the world's largest wine barrel) and the Pharmacy Museum are also all worth a visit. See the old town and castle lit up at night for an extra special view.
The Old Town and the Old Bridge
Hauptstrasse is one of Europe's prettiest pedestrian areas with narrow streets which house charming shops. One section of the town wall, the medieval bridge gate, has been preserved. In 1786-1788, elector Karl Theodor ordered the current stone bridge to be built.
The University of Heidelberg is the oldest university in Germany founded on the 24th June 1712. The "Lion Fountain" on the square in front of it is a popular meeting place for students. Behind the university are the cells where, between 1778 and 1914, the university administration jailed students for minor offences.
The Philosopher's Walk takes a scenic route which allows you to walk in the footsteps of the many philosophers and poets which resided in Heidelberg. Along the way, enjoy the sights and smells of the exotic plants like Japanese cherries, cypresses, bamboo and lemon trees.
The "Neckarwiese" (banks of the River Neckar) are the perfect location to relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings. There is an unparalleled view of the Heidelberg Castle and there is also the opportunity to rent a rowing boat.
The energy and vibrancy of the student population dominate the nightlife of Heidelberg. Evenings usually begin in the bars along Hauptstrasse and then continue in the clubs around Marktplatz.
The Performing Arts
Theater der Stadt is the main performance stage, where nightly entertainment includes plays, operas, and dance productions.
Historic Student Drinking Clubs
Zum Roten Ochsen (Red Ox Inn) is Heidelberg's most famous student tavern, opened in 1703. The walls are lined with the initials of former students who wanted to leave their mark long after they had left the university.
Zum Sepp'l is next door. Open since 1634, it is the second-most famous drinking club in Heidelberg. It's also filled with photographs and carved initials of former students, along with memorabilia. This drinking club also plays live piano music.
Max Bar, is a beer drinker's bar, but it also offers some snack food. There is indoor and patio seating.
Sonder Bar is for those who prefer drinking spirits. It stocks more than 150 brands of whisky and 10 kinds of vodka. Also, more traditionally, it stocks 11 different types of beer.
Havana Cocktailbar-Restaurant adds some Latino spice and energy to Heidelberg's nightlife. It serves tapas and mojitos, along with 100 other cocktails. There is also the entertainment of live piano music as well as salsa dancing.
Print Media Lounge is a more trendy bar for a more upscale crowd. It serves full meals and it's mainly known for its music and exotic cocktails.