Heidelberg Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Heidelberg
Famously touristy (for good reason!), the university city of Heidelberg is small but has a lot to offer visitors. It has a vibrant student influence, with lots of social events, cheap and varied food and cool museums to explore, it shouldn’t be missed! Start here with my basic Heidelberg travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Heidelberg travel blogs.
When to Visit
Like most of Germany, Heidelberg has four very distinct seasons. Summer is hot and humid and is when the town gets its most visitors, but I think autumn is also a great time to visit, as everything looks prettier under the golden hue of the leaves. In winter, there are Christmas markets and it will often snow and get very cold, but as long as you dress appropriately you’ll be fine. Spring can also be nice, but it will be chilly and you may not be able to enjoy the outdoors as much as other times of year.
Top Things To Do
Explore Heidelberg Castle – Looking down over Heidelberg, the castle is in a gorgeous setting surrounded by trees and gives you great views of the city. Either walk up through the forest following the clearly marked path, or take the Bergbahn up. As well as exploring the castle itself, you can see the world’s largest wine barrel and visit the fascinating German Pharmacy Museum.
Walk over Karl Theodor Bridge – The symbol of Heidelberg, this 18th century bridge over the river Neckar that runs through the city, is lauded in many classical paintings and poems. It offers some great views down the river and of the city, and is adorned with many weird and wacky sculptures that are worth paying attention to!
Although it’s a relatively small city, taking a tour around Heidelberg will save you time and get you in to some areas of the city you might otherwise overlook, so it’s definitely worth you time to consider one. Take a look at this selection of Heidelberg tours.
LGBT – Gay Heidelberg Travel Guide
Though Heidelberg is a relatively small city, because of its large student population, there is definitely a noticeable queer scene to be found. For more (and more mainstream) options, you can always head to the much larger city of Mannheim less than 20 minutes away by train, but here are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Heidelberg.
Lady_fest – Heidelberg’s own version of the Lady_fest, a multi-day event, takes place irregularly (usually in summer), but is worth checking out if you’re looking for spaces specifically for queer women.
Queer Festival – Going strong since 2009, this queer space puts on live music events, parties and acts as an important support space for the LGBT community in Heidelberg. Check out what’s going on when you’re in town!
More gay travel resources here.
Heidelberg Hotel Deals
Heidelberg has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They’ll likely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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