In the beginning of November we visited Heidelberg here in Germany, about 78km from Frankfurt as a way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The city has about 160 thousand people and is the 5th largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Germany’s oldest university is in Heidelberg, and students represent at least 25% of the city’s population.
We did not have a whole lot of time to explore the city. Since we arrived late on Friday night, we went straight to the hotel. We stayed at Meininger Hotel Heidelberg, about 10 minutes from city center. The hotel was really clean, with a shared kitchen if you want to cook, 7 euro breakfast per adult (kids ate free) and pet friendly. Overall it was good value for the money, although there’s nothing to do that’s walking distance.
Our “tourist” day
On Saturday we spent most of the day exploring the city center. We actually decided to travel last minute, so we did not have a plan on what to do. Our initial thought was to go up the Funicular to the Heidelberg Castle the next morning, but since the sun was out and we were close to it, we ended up going.
The castle is on top of a mountain, and you can either walk up, or take the Funicular. With the kids, we ended up paying for the ride, which was 8 EUR. It’s free to visit just the open areas around the castle, including the part with the best views to the city, where the old majestic gardens once were.
The castle itself is in ruins because of wars and being struck twice by lightning bolts that caused massive fires, the latest being in 1764. But you can still see some of the old quarters. And you can also see the largest wine barrel in the world – it’s so big they build a dance floor on top of it for 100 people.
Although the children are not on a good day, I believe that we were able to enjoy the tour, which was completed with a toast (from the adults) at the castle bar (attached to the giant barrel – half underground) and a guided tour of the interior / ruins of the castle ( only way to see the castle “from the inside”.
For the rest of the day, I just walked back to the parking lot where our car was and found the little street Hauptstraße full of shops and restaurants, a super cool atmosphere (I even told Diego I want to go back and enjoy that area more calmly).
For next time…
I am already here thinking about the day that we will return to Heidelberg for another visit. The way there was super smooth and you can definitely do a day trip.
Our plan was to explore the city the next day, Sunday, visiting the university in Heidelberg, which is the oldest in Germany, as I mentioned before, founded in 1386. In addition to strolling through the alleys, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, walking along the Neckar River and cross the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), but all day plans were canceled, one because it was dawn with a dense fog and it was difficult to see a few meters ahead and the children were beside themselves, for some reason , and it didn’t look like it was worth the effort (whoever is a parent knows how it is).
See you next time!