Sights of Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany

According to, Heidelberg is often mentioned in top 10 lists of nicest cities in Germany. The number of Dutch people who travel to Heidelberg especially for a city trip is quite small. Quite remarkable when you consider that this medium-sized university city is about a four to five hour drive from the Netherlands. Most Dutch tourists who visit Heidelberg do so during a stopover or when they are on holiday in the area. Heidelberg is therefore especially popular as a day destination. If you want to discover the real Heidelberg, you should also take the evening hours. This is when the bustling side of this student city shows itself best.

It is striking that the historic center of Heidelberg is elongated and extends over the southern bank of the Neckar. Building on the north bank of this river is limited. Since the end of the nineteenth century, Heidelberg has expanded considerably with new districts such as Neuenheim and Weststadt. Bahnstadt is Heidelberg’s youngest district. Young couples and families in particular settle here, who feel compelled to move to new places that meet their needs due to rising real estate prices in the center.

Founded in 1386, Ruprecht-Karls-University is the oldest university in present-day Germany. For centuries Medicine, Theology, Law and Philosophy were the faculties that made up the University of Heidelberg. This has now been expanded to twelve faculties and about thirty thousand students study at the university whose motto is ‘Semper apertus’ (always open). The university and the accompanying students leave a positive mark on Heidelberg’s identity.

Top 10 Things to Do in B eggs

#1. Heidelberg Castle

Schloss Heidelberg can be considered the symbol of Heidelberg. This famous castle is the absolute number one landmark of Heidelberg. The castle, built in red fur sandstone, is largely in ruins. After it was badly damaged in 1689 as a result of attacks by soldiers of Louis XIV, it was only partially restored a few years later. In the more than four centuries before that, Heidelberg Castle was the residence of the Elector Palatine. You can visit a part of the castle.

In the cellar of the castle you can admire the Great Heidelberger Vat. This huge wooden wine barrel has a capacity of approximately 219,000 liters. The ‘Großes Fass’ is no longer used as a wine barrel. Due to its gigantic size, it is now mainly a tourist attraction.

#2. Hauptmarkt

The Hauptmarkt is the heart of the historic center of Heidelberg. On this historic market square you will find the Gothic Heilige Geestkerk, an 18th-century fountain and a number of cozy cafes and restaurants. During the warmer summer and spring days, the Hauptmarkt is the most popular place to enjoy a cool drink on the terrace.

The Heiliggeistkirche is the heart of the Hauptmarkt. This baroque church is the largest and most important church in the city. Numerous small shops have been built against the outside of this late medieval church. The offer in these shops is mainly aimed at tourists.

#3. The Old Bridge

The Alte Brücke is one of the most beloved spots in Heidelberg. Dating back to 1786, this old bridge has been the main link from the city center to the other side of the Neckar ever since. On the center side, you will arrive from the bridge at an impressive city gate. Next to this city gate is the Brückenaffe. This is a bronze sculpture of a monkey holding a mirror with its left front leg. If you touch the monkey’s paw, you can count on financial prosperity.

#4. Philosopher’s Way

The Philosofenweg is the place to be if you want to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy a beautiful view of Heidelberg. The name Philosofenweg is based on the fact that students of the philosophy faculty come here through the ages to think and talk about various philosophical questions. The tranquility and view of the Philosofenweg would contribute positively to this. You can reach the Philosofenweg on foot. From the Alte Brücke you turn into the Slangenweg. The path to the top can be called a calf-biter. Fortunately, along the way you pass two beautiful viewpoints with benches where you can rest for a while, if you feel like it.

The Philosofenweg has a total length of approximately two kilometers. You don’t have to walk the entire two kilometers to enjoy the amazing view. At the end of the day you can take the most beautiful pictures in sunny weather. At that moment, the city of Heidelberg and the castle are illuminated by the sunlight.

#5. student carzer

Were you unruly as a student? Then you could end up in college jail. The Heidelberger Studentenkarzer was used as a student prison until 1914. Students were imprisoned for offenses such as nighttime drinking or other public order violations. The university enjoyed autonomous jurisdiction over students for the first five hundred years. However, from 1886 this right to convict students was curtailed. Since then, the university’s jurisdiction has been limited to internal disciplinary matters. Today, it is one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

#6. Heidelberger Bergbahnen

The Heidelberger Bergbahn is a two-part funicular in the city of Heidelberg. The first section runs from a lower station on Kornmarkt in the Altstadt of Heidelberg, via an intermediate station at Heidelberg Castle, to a higher station in Molkenkur. Here passengers can transfer to the second section, which ascends the Königstuhl, a nearby mountain with fine views over the city and the Neckar River. The difference in height Kornmarkt-Molkenkur is 173 meters, the route length is 454.6 meters and the pure driving time is five minutes at a driving speed of five meters per second. On the Molkenkur-Königstuhl route the difference in height is 260.5 meters, the length of the route 974.5 meters and the travel time is nine minutes at a speed of two meters per second.

#7. German Pharmacy Museum

Heidelberg Castle houses the German Pharmacy Museum. As a paying visitor to the castle, the entrance to this museum is included. The German Pharmacy Museum offers fascinating insights into the history of pharmacy from antiquity to the 21st century. A tour of the exhibition in the basement of the Ottheinrichsbau shows how the healing powers of nature were used especially in the Middle Ages and in the early modern period. Of the approximately 1,000 medicines, in addition to herbal substances, a number of curiosities can still be discovered. For example, in the 16th century, mummy powder was valued as a remedy for coughs, sore throats, dizziness, heartache, tremors and headaches.

Special highlights of the museum are the fully preserved interiors of historic pharmacies from the 17th to 19th centuries.

#8. Great Hall of the Ruprecht-Karls University

The Ruprecht-Karls-University has its own museum. You can visit this in combination with the aforementioned Studentenkarzer. If you are lucky enough that the Great Hall is not in use, you can take a look there as well. This old meeting room consists largely of wood carvings and is beautifully decorated. Murals show the different faculties of this oldest university in Germany.

#9. Thingstätte

The Heidelberg Thingstätte on the Heiligenberg is an example of National Socialist architecture and an open-air stage built on the model of ancient Greek theatres. The Thingstätte was built from 1934 to 1935 by the Reichslabourdienst and students from Heidelberg. The stage would mainly be used for propaganda events.

The National Socialists soon lost interest in the facility. During the Second World War, the Thingstätte was largely unused. Today, the Thingstätte is a cultural monument that is freely accessible to tourists, hikers and forest walkers. It has no structures and is not fenced or lit.

#10. Karlsplatz

HDe Karlsplatz is one of Heidelberg’s prettiest squares. It is located right on Heidelberg’s main street and is named after the Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden. The square was not built until 1805 on the site of the demolished Franciscan monastery. In the center of the square is the Sebastian Münster Fountain, which was created by Michael Schoenholtz in 1978 when Karlsplatz was redesigned as part of the construction of an underground car park.

Karlsplatz is home to two of Heidelberg’s oldest and best-known student bars, the historic Mittermaierhaus, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and the Palais Boisseré. From Karlsplatz you have a nice view of Heidelberg Castle.

Heidelberg, Germany