While there are many big cities in Germany that are worth your time, some of the small cities are just as worthy of a spot on your travel list. A great example would be the town of Heidelberg. Heidelberg is located on the southeastern side of Germany, just south of Frankfurt. The main draws to this town is the old charm and romantic feel it gives off to anyone who visits.
Heidelberg is a very scenic town. From afar, the rolling hills surrounding the town and the river winding through the middle of the town make the perfect scenery for pictures. Up close, the town has a lot of greenery and Old Town boasts a very fairytale-like architectural style, as it is built in baroque style. As you wander through the streets of Old Town, the many beautiful buildings let you soak in the romantic feel of the city while also experiencing the history of the city.
Heidelberg is also well known for its university of the same name. The university is one of Germany’s oldest, having been founded in 1386. As this is the case, much of Heidelberg is a college town, with a significant portion of their residents being college students. This is greatly seen from the existence of what is known as “bar street” in Old Town. This street, also called untere strasse, translating to “lower street,” is lined with bars and is aptly known as a place for night life in Heidelberg.
Another big attraction in Heidelberg is Heidelberg Castle. This giant castle is an amazing sight, even from afar. If you stay close to the castle as the sun starts to set and keep your eyes on the castle, you can see it being lit up for the evening time. Tours are available of the castle ruins and getting up close to the castle will allow a beautiful overlook of the downtown area of the whole city.
One of the best ways to see Heidelberg and learn about its history is by doing a free walking tour (this a great way to see almost any city, too!). Heidelberg offers free walking tours that start at the Old Bridge Gate, just outside of Old Town. These tours weave you in and out of Old Town and shed light on a lot of Heidelberg’s interesting history. Plus, free walking tours allow you to name your own price by picking how much to tip your tour guide at the end, a perfect option for travelers on a budget.
One last way to get a delicious taste of Heidelberg’s history is by stopping by the Heidelberger Studentenkuß chocolate shop. This shop’s name and signature chocolate offering translates to “Heidelberg Student’s Kiss.” A long time ago, a chocolatier realized his chocolates were popular among male students at the university when they wanted to impress a woman. This chocolatier decided to create the “student’s kiss” chocolate as a way for students to show their affection to one another. The shop is still open and run by the same family, using the same recipe from 1863. The chocolates are a delicious way to experience a unique aspect of Heidelberg.