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Type of sights

Old town


Name and address


DE-69117 Heidelberg


Geodetic coordinates

49.411598 8.705596


122 m


Heidelberg, Alte Brücke mit Brückentor und Heidelberger Schloss
Heidelberg, Alte Brücke mit Brückentor und Heidelberger Schloss
Heidelberg, Hauptstraße
Heidelberg, Hauptstraße
Heidelberger Rathaus und Herkulesbrunnen am Marktplatz
Heidelberger Rathaus und Herkulesbrunnen am Marktplatz
Heidelberg, Kornmarkt
Heidelberg, Kornmarkt

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


It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg is located in the Neckar river valley right where the legend-rich Odenwald (Forest of Odes or Odin) 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, the Latin equivalent of its name) 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 establishment of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max Planck Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, among others. Generally speaking, Heidelberg is an academic city with a long and rich history and is similar in many ways to cities such as Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, England are twinned).

During WWII, the city was almost completely spared allied bombings which destroyed many 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 ruins). After World War II, the US Army built large barracks at the southern end of the city. Heidelberg's 149,600 inhabitants thus include not only 28,000 students at the university but also nearly 20,000 US citizens, almost all of them soldiers and their families. With hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to the city annually, Heidelberg is truly a culturally diverse and international destination, despite its small size.

Over the years, Heidelberg has attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe and has sometimes been referred to as Germany's unofficial intellectual capital. People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul and Goethe, scientists such as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers such as the founder of the "Illuminati" order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt, architect Albert Speer, 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.

Get around

The city runs a small but rather effective system of trams and buses. The two most important nodal points are the main station and Bismarckplatz. Bus #32 and #33 connect the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) with the old city area; detailed maps, schedules and routes can be found online. A mountain railway runs between four stations (including the castle), linking the old city on the level of the river with the summit of the Königstuhl Mountain, about 400 m (1312 feet) above the city.

The "HeidelbergCARD", a tourist pass that includes public transportation, many museums, and the lower section of the mountain railway (a separate fare is required for the upper section), can be bought at the tourist information center located just outside the main station.


  • Altstadt and Hauptstrasse (historical city center and main street). The Hauptstrasse leads from Bismarckplatz across the old town. Approximately one mile in length, it is reputedly the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany. 
  • Castle. An audio guide tour of the castle and its grounds is available for a fee near the entrance. It is available in several languages, including English. There is also a statue to the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the castle gardens. The castle hosts an outdoor Christmas market during December, which can get extremely busy. 
  • Philosophenweg. 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 you can find the site of the famous Merian Stich (engraving) which is a popular illustration of Heidelberg. 
  • Heiligenberg. The Heiligenberg mountain which boasts a wonderful view over the old town. 
  • Thingstätte. The Thingstätte on top of Heiligenberg (an open-air theatre built by the Nazi regime in 1934 to host propaganda events) 
  • Heiligenberg. 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. 
  • Kurpfälzisches Museum. The Kurpfälzisches Museum on the Hauptstrasse contains interesting exhibits of items from Heidelberg's pre-history to modern times. 
  • Universitätsplatz. The old university on Universitätsplatz in the old city and the adjacent old armory which is now a student cafeteria (but also open to the public). 
  • Jesuitenkirche. It has 1712 Baroque construction with modern touches inside. 
  • Heiliggeistkirche. 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 Bibliotheca Palatina, Germany's oldest library. The Bibliotheca 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). 


Inside the range of 4 km:

  •   Hotel zur alten Brücke, Obere Neckarstraße 2, Heidelberg
  •   Hotel am Kornmarkt, Kornmarkt 7, Heidelberg, PC VI - VIII

    abschließbarer Innenhof

  •   Hotel Anlage, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 32, Heidelberg, PC VI - VIII
  •   Hotel Bayrischer Hof, Rohrbacher Straße 2, Heidelberg, PC VIII

    "... we can offer you our luggage room to store your bicycles. This room is constantly monitored and when the reception closes in the evening, it is locked."

  •   Hotel Regina, Luisenstraße 6, Heidelberg, PC VI - IX

    "... You are welcome to park your bikes in our inner courtyard. It is only accessible to hotel guests and is locked. The courtyard can be reached via 5 steps up and then 4 steps down again."

  •   Garni Hotel Diana, Rohrbacher Straße 152, Heidelberg, PC V

    Leider konnte das Fahhrrad nur auf einem öffentlich zugänglichen Platz, jedoch abseits der Straße abgestellt werden.

    Grundsätzlich: das Hotel/Garni gehört zum Bethanien Krankenhaus - dort kann man auch das Fahrrad abstellen und nimmt auch das Frühstück ein, wenn man das möchte.

  •   Jugendherberge Heidelberg International, Tiergartenstraße 5, Heidelberg


Inside the range of 4 km:

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Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Heidelberg', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 15 September 2016, 19:07 UTC, <> [accessed 21 September 2016]

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21 Sep 2016 - 21 Sep 2018

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