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Old Town, Old Bridge and River Neckar, Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
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Heidelberg Travel Information
Heidelberg Travel Guide - Things to See
Heidelberg Featured Hotels

Heidelberg Travel Guide - Things to See

Heidelberg Featured Hotels

Heidelberg is located in the valley of the Neckar where the rivers mirror an entrancing succession of feudal castles, vineyards, cathedrals and palaces. To the east are the low hills of the Swabian Forests, and to the south is the entrance to the Black Forest. Heidelberg resembles a stage set, and is even more theatrical in the summer when the bridge and castle are illuminated along with fireworks. Its castle forms an incredible backdrop. Everyone wants to spend more time in Heidelberg.
The Castle is a ruin, but a flourishing ruin. There's so much left that it remains exceedingly imposing, and the architectural styles in which its various parts were constructed during the 700 years of it building, are still evident. See the famous Heidelberg Tun, the tremendous vat that is so large there's a stairway built up one side. Walk through the castle and its gardens. Try to get there before rush hour. One can reach the castle by foot, car, a 290-foot long escalator, or by cable railway. The railway will also take you even further to Konigsstuhl, 2000 feet high, with a superb view of the Valley.

Bismarck Monument: A complex of pathways, one of them called Philosopher's Way leads to the monument. Continue on another path Upper Philosopher's Way to the Observation Tower... past the remains of a celtic fort to the ruins of the 9th century St. Michael's Basilica and Monastery.

Ruins of Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany
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The University: Generally, this is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Heidelberg, because it was the setting for the operetta "The Student Prince". Founded in 1386, it is Germany's oldest. The very old buildings are notable and still in use. There's also a new building added in 1930. It's the old section that visitors find so picturesque. See the Student Prison... the Student Inns... and the narrow streets of Old Town.
The Old Bridge Over the River Neckar, with the Castle in the Distance, Heidelberg, Germany
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Kurpfalzisches Museum: Do see the famous Twelve Apostles Altar, an unexcelled example of the woodcarver's art and a top masterpiece of the Wurzburg woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider. It was completed in 1509.

Electoral Museum: Contains a relic of the world's earliest man... The Heidelberg Man... only the bones of the lower jaw.

Miscellaneous: Famous people were born here:.. the poet Scheffel, the first president of Germany, Friedrich Ebert, the astronomer Max Wolf. Everywhere you walk, look for numerous unexpected vistas in the streets of this Baroque city. The city looks old... and that's why tourists like it.

The Neckar Valley: East of Heidelberg is a gorge between high wooded hills on either side, providing some of the most romantic scenery in Germany. Neckarsteinach (4 castles), Hirschhorn (Town walls and castle-fortress), Neckarzimmern (Hornberg Castle).

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About the Author - Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.

Heidelberg is a city in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg is located in the Neckar river valley right where the dark Odenwald (Odin's Forest) opens up towards the plains of the Rhine valley. Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany (est. 1386). With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität (or Ruperto Carola, as the university is called in Latin) is one of Germany's larger academic institutions and boasts the full spectrum of an ancient academy, from Egyptian Studies to Computer Linguistics. The faculties for Medicine, Law and Natural Sciences are considered to be among the best in Germany. The university fostered the settlement of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max-Planck-Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics and others. In a nutshell, Heidelberg is an academic city with a rich history and shows many similarities to cities like Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, UK are twinned).
Heidelberg, Germany
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During WWII, the city was nearly completely spared by allied bombings which destroyed most of Germany's larger inner cities. As a result, Heidelberg has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and of course the world-famous Schloss (castle). After the war, the United States Armed Forces built large barracks on the southern end of the city. Therefore, Heidelberg's 130,000 inhabitants include not only the 28,000 students of the university, but also nearly 30,000 American citizens, almost all soldiers and their families. Together with the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, Heidelberg is truly an internationally and culturally diverse destination, despite its small size.

Over the years, Heidelberg has attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe and has sometimes been called a secret intellectual capital of Germany. 

People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul and Goethe, scientists as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers as the founder of the "Illuminati" order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt and many more. Mark Twain wrote in A Tramp Abroad:

    ...Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage ...rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers—the Lear of inanimate nature—deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful. 

Attractions and things to do:

  • The Altstadt (historical city center)and Hauptstrasse (main street)
  • The Castle
  • The Philosophenweg which can be found on the northern side of the city. It provides a wonderful view across the oldest part of the city. Here can also be found the Meridan Stich which is a popular illustration of Heidelberg
  • The Heiligenberg mountain which boasts a wonderful view over the old town
  • The Thingstätte on top of Heiligenberg (an open-air theatre built by the Nazi regime in 1934 to host propaganda events)
  • Also on the Heiligenberg the remnants of a wall ancient Celts built to keep Germanic tribes out, the Heidenloch, a deep well with unknown origins,and the ruins of a 10th century cloister.
  • The Kurpfälzisches Museum on the Hauptstrasse, contains interesting exhibits of items from Heidelberg's pre-history to modern times.
  • The old university on Universitätsplatz in the old city and the adjacent old armoury which is now a student cafeteria (but also open to the public).
  • Jesuitenkirche has 1712 Baroque construction with modern touches inside. 

  • The Heiliggeistkirche church is only one of many large and small churches, but definitely the one with the most interesting history. During the dark ages, it was the shelter of the Bibliotheka Palatina, Germany's oldest library. The Bibliotheka was stolen and brought to Rome but eventually returned in pieces. Today, parts of it can be visited in the University Library (also the oldest and probably the most valuable of its kind in Germany), which is situated close to the old university.
  • You can get a great view of the Heiliggeistkirche, Old Town, and the Neckar river bridge from the castle (Schloss Heidelberg).
The city boasts more than twelve cinemas, over eight theaters, including
  • Stadttheater the large state-run theater, and
  • Zimmertheater on Hauptstrasse, Germany's oldest private theater
There are also many progressive culture centers, including the famous Karlstorbahnhof in the east-end of the old city.

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Achat Hotel Heidelberg Schwetzingen near Heidelberg
Presenting elegant accommodation and friendly service, this property is a perfect venue for an unforgettable vacation in Schwetzingen.  Located only 15 kilometres away from the beautiful city of Heidelberg, the Achat Hotel is close to palace garden and the castle park Schwetzingen.  This property offers 67 spacious and extensively appointed accommodation units that come with modern conveniences to ensure you a memorable stay.  Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast served every morning and for a fine dining you can visit the on-site Hungarian Restaurant that serves a variety of international cuisine for you to enjoy. You can also relax at the cosy bar with a fine drink.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Heidelberg City Centre
The Crowne Plaza Hotel is situated right in the heart of the picturesque city of Heidelberg and is within easy access of all the major attractions, including Heidelberg Castle, the Old Town and the University of Heidelberg.  Each one of the hotel's 232 stylish guest rooms and suites offers the highest standards of comfort across a range of room choices. All the rooms are fully equipped with modern amenities to ensure you a pleasant stay.  At the Westcoast Restaurant, Californian and international cuisine can be enjoyed in a creative atmosphere. In the rustic beer and wine pub, the Crowne Plaza Heidelberg team offers you a wide range of regional dishes as well as beer on tap and wine from the barrel.
Holiday Inn Heidelberg
The Holiday Inn Heidelberg is only 3.5 kilometres from the Old Town and is best accessible from the highway A5. Nearby attractions include Heidelberg Castle, Old Bridge, Kurpfalzisches Museum and several others.  The hotel offers a choice of 168 comfortable guest rooms that are well furnished and equipped with all modern amenities to ensure you have a most enjoyable stay.  At the hotel's Erich Kraft Restaurant, you can enjoy dining as well as admire the paintings of Erich Kraft and let yourself be drawn into a world far away from the daily stress. In addition, you can start your evening with a glass of champagne in an informal atmosphere at the in-house bar.
Holiday Inn Hotel Heidelberg Walldorf
Situated at the motorway junction, Walldorf Wiesloch, Holiday Inn Hotel Heidelber is near the SAP AG and is easily reachable through the highway A5 and A6. The shopping, golf as well as tennis courts are nearby the property.  This hotel offers 161 comfortable bedrooms that are well-decorated and come with an array of modern amenities, ensuring a pleasant stay.  At the onsite Walldorf Restaurant, guests can relish both regional as well as international cuisine. After a tiring day, unwind at the cosy bar with an exotic drink.
Hotel Deutscher Kaiser Heidelberg
Set in the heart of Heidelberg, this hotel is close to Thingplatz and Heidelberg Castle. Another nearby attraction is University of Heidelberg. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Additional property amenities include a bar/lounge and coffee in the lobby. Wireless Internet access is available for a surcharge; guestrooms also offer direct-dial phones. Televisions have cable channels. Rooms also include coffee/tea makers, complimentary bottled water, 
Hotelrestaurant Auerstein Heidelberg
This Heidelberg boutique hotel is near University of Heidelberg and Heidelberg Castle. Another nearby attraction is Heidelberg Church of the Holy Spirit. Dining options at Hotelrestaurant Auerstein include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. This is a smoke-free property. There are 17 guestrooms at Hotelrestaurant Auerstein. Bathrooms feature showers and hair dryers. Televisions are available in guestrooms. Rooms also include minibars and clock radios. Guests may request irons/ironing boards. Guestrooms are all non-smoking. 
Marriott Heidelberg
Located in Heidelberg, Marriott Heidelberg is on a river and close to University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg Castle, and Heidelberg Church of the Holy Spirit. Regional points of interest also include Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg and SAP Arena. Dining options at Marriott Heidelberg include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a children's pool, a sauna, a fitness facility, and a steam room. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking is available for a surcharge. Additional property amenities include a concierge desk, gift shops/newsstands, and laundry facilities. 
Qube Heidelberg
Qube Heidelberg is located in central Heidelberg, close to University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg Castle, and Heidelberg Church of the Holy Spirit. Regional points of interest also include Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg and SAP Arena. Dining options at Qube Heidelberg include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. Wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas (surcharges apply). Concierge services and tour/ticket assistance are available. Additional property amenities include a coffee shop/café, multilingual staff, and express check-in. 
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