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Getting to know – and love – Heidelberg!

Everything’s new in the first semester. A new campus, new tasks and expectations and, for some, even a new town. Lara Schneider-Fresenius, who studies Media and Communication Management, takes you on a tour of your university town today!

A new town needs to be explored first before you can gradually get to know it. Of course this is best done together with your new fellow students. After all, new friendships often develop and grow through shared experiences. Which is why in this article you’ll find the best, funniest and prettiest attractions and events that Heidelberg has to offer.

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle is the landmark of the city. You should definitely check it out. You can’t miss it because the old palace ruins tower over the city and are visible from many parts of Heidelberg. A short hike takes you to the palace; alternatively, you can take the old Bergbahn (funicular railway) to get there.

It’s definitely worth walking up the Burgweg – the views get more and more stunning as you approach the palace. Once at the top, you’ll not only be rewarded with spectacular views – you’ll also feel as though you’ve stumbled into a scene from “Harry Potter”.

The view over the city is particularly beautiful in the evening or at night, when the Old Town and the Old Bridge are lit by lanterns and lights.

The Kornmarkt

For a change in perspective, it’s worth visiting the small Kornmarkt (corn market) or the adjacent large Markplatz (market square). These squares are home to numerous cafés and restaurants where you can simply watch the world go by. Looking out at the hilltop palace and surrounding houses, this is the ideal place to sit back, relax and people-watch.

This is also the venue for Heidelberg’s Christmas market in winter, and an ice rink at the Kornmarkt invites visitors to try out their ice skating skills.

The Königstuhl

There is no doubt that Heidelberg is the city with the most breathtaking views. One of the most stunning views can be enjoyed from the Königstuhl. The best photo spot is not far from the “Berggasthof Königstuhl”. A large clearing is located below the hotel – perhaps the ideal place for a picnic? On a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view of Heidelberg.

For those disinclined to carry a picnic basket up the hill, there are certainly other ways of stilling your hunger or thirst – above the clearing is a restaurant attached to the hotel as well as a separate kiosk.

You can either drive to the Königstuhl or take the funicular railway, which also stops at the palace.

Old Bridge and Neckarwiese

The “Old Bridge” is another Heidelberg landmark. The bridge spans the Neckar River from the Old Town, making it another beautiful photo spot in Heidelberg. An absolute must for all amateur photographers among you.

If you keep to the left after crossing the bridge, you’ll find the Neckarwiese. This riverside park is a great place for meeting friends. In summer, you can use it for barbecues and parties, or simply to sunbathe and chat. On a mild autumn or winter day, the Neckarwiese is perfect for a pleasant walk, where you can enjoy a bit of nature and simultaneously admire the beautiful houses and the palace.

Taking a stroll through the city centre

Those in need of a bit more hustle and bustle should take a stroll down the Hauptstraße. Besides the usual retail chains and stores, you’ll also find small boutiques and cafés.

One thing is for sure – you’ll always discover something new because Heidelberg’s pedestrian zone, measuring 1.6 kilometres, is thought to be Europe’s longest.

The best food spots

Heidelberg also has a lot to offer in the way of culinary delights. The best ice cream in town can be found at the “Schmelzpunkt” ice cream parlour on the Hauptstraße.

Those who prefer French desserts should definitely sample the vast assortment of macarons at the “Macaronnerie”.

You’ll find fresh, tasty sandwiches, pancakes and bowls at the “Café Deer” or the “Nomad”. This is the ideal place to breakfast or brunch with new friends. It’s also the place for you if you need plenty of activity around you to work and learn more productively.

Those after something more substantial should check out the small restaurant “Unter Freunden”. This is where you can create your own pizza from a variety of toppings.

The “Urban Kitchen”, not far from Heidelberg Public Library, also serves a wide variety of dishes. In this modern and casual setting, you’re bound to find something to suit your taste, with dishes ranging from juicy burgers and mouth-watering curries to fresh pizzas.

And for something more unusual, why not try out Lebanese specialties at the “Sahara” restaurant. Located on the Hauptstraße, this restaurant offers both vegetarian and meat dishes.

In other words, Heidelberg has a lot to offer and a great deal for you to discover. Have fun on your very own tour of discovery through Heidelberg!

You’ll also find more useful information on current events, bus and train departure schedules or free parking spaces in the “My Heidelberg App”.

Stay tuned: tomorrow we’ll take you on a pub crawl via Wir-Online! Be sure to drop by again.

Lara Schneider-Fresenius is studying Media and Communication Management at the SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg and writes for our blog.
The view of Heidelberg from the Königstuhl mountain