Overview of touristy Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Germany
Heidelberg is a pretty city that actually reminded us of Salzburg: about the same size and population, a large castle with great views overlooking a river spanned by several bridges, lots of pretty churches. It really seemed a bit of a déjà vu, with the exception that buildings in Salzburg were mostly white with black roofs versus the ones in Heidelberg which have reddish roofs.

Below: views around town

square in Heidelberg, Germany

historic building in Heidelberg, Germany

Our highlight was the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s way), a path on the hills on the northern side of the city. The path is lush with greenery and gardens and has great views over the Old Town and the castle. We walked it on our first day and thought Heidelberg was one of the prettiest places we’ve ever seen.

Heidelberg views from the Philosophenweg
Below: views across the river at the Old Town and castle

boat on the Neckar river, Heidelberg, Germany

Below: Another of the city’s highlights is the old bridge, Carl Theodor Bridge, which spans the Neckar river.

Carl Theodor Bridge, which spans the Neckar river, Heidelberg, Germany


The next day we walked the old city and visited the castle (Schloss Heidelberg). Everything is fairy-tale pretty in Heidelberg. But you know what? On closer inspection the city didn’t enthrall us. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Below: Photos of Heidelberg castle

Schloss Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany (1)

beautiful Schloss Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany (3)

Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany (4)

Below: views of Heidelberg from the castle

views over Heidelberg, Germany

We’ve fallen in love with Germany, it might be our favorite European country. The problem with Heidelberg is that its beauty has brought with it a plague of tourists; the city is crawling with tourists and is just busting at the seams with tourist shops and tourist restaurants. For us, it lacks the “Germaness” that attracted us so much to places like Bacharach or Regensberg. A Frenchman I once worked with had once told me that he loved Heidelberg, that it was “much better than anywhere else in Germany”. I had found that strange because he didn’t like German food, didn’t drink beer, and he wasn’t interested in German culture. But now I can understand it. You could almost be anywhere in Europe in Heidelberg; it has everything to cater to anyone, including a Frenchman who loves his Perrier, wine, and non-German cuisine. Which is great I guess. But for me it was just a watered-down version of some of the equally-attractive German cities and towns that we’d previously visited.

Below: a few more photos from around town

Heidelberg, Germany

town of Heidelberg, Germany

Summary: A visually lovely city that is worth a visit. But prepare yourself for a lot of tourists.


Note: The primary reason we finished our trip in Heidelberg was logistics. Lufthansa has a shuttle service from the Crown Plaza in Heidelberg directly to Frankfurt airport starting at 5:30 am. It got us to the airport in an hour and a half. From there we flew direct to Montreal on Air Canada.

Have you been to Heidelberg? What did you think of it? 




  1. I only saw around the train station in Heidelberg while changing trains on my way to see friends in Schwäbisch Hall. But looking around from the station platforms, it seemed like a pretty city, so I’m not surprised you said that. It had a very different look than where I was living in Germany and kinda wanted to explore a bit.
    Meg recently posted…Photo Essay – A Little German VillageMy Profile

  2. Can easily see why you’ve fallen in love with Germany. Wow!
    Maria Falvey recently posted…Waiting for the Number 8My Profile

  3. Towns like that always take me back to my nerdier rpg playing days, haha.
    Devlin recently posted…Life on the Road: The Business of Travel Blogging – A PreviewMy Profile

  4. heidelberg was easily one of my favourite places in germany 🙂 of course, it didn’t hurt that i have a good friend living there
    Steve recently posted…Searching for the Big FiveMy Profile

    • Thanks Steve! I checked out your post and glad to see you agree that it is very touristy. Always helps when you have a friend there, sure you got to check out some of the cool university bars! Happy to hear you enjoyed Heidelberg.

  5. I was in Heidelberg several years ago and a special cuckoo clock in a shop on Hauptstrasse conquered my heart (but it was 12.000 euro so…) 😀
    Lori recently posted…What I dislike the most at hotel guestsMy Profile

  6. We’ve been to Heidelberg on a day trip while staying elsewhere nearby. It’s a very pretty city, but visiting as a day trip was enough for me. We also got lucky to visit during the week and not have too many tourists while we were there.
    Jennifer recently posted…Spotting Africa’s Big FiveMy Profile

  7. I am German but have never actually been to Heidelberg. The pictures are great. I guess I should go sometime soon.

  8. I’ve never been to Heidelberg but from what I see is a nice place. Worth a visit. 🙂

  9. Been there last year. Such a very nice city.Regretful I could not extend my leave longer, feel like to come again.

  10. Hi Frank, first, thanks for sharing your travel tips and I found this one is very useful for me to book my trip to Heidelberg for this coming September. I wonder if you recommend to visit Marktplatz and the church of the Holy Spirit which mentioned in this itinerary, If they are good, I will add them in my must-go places. Thanks.

  11. Heidelberg is truly an amazing German city with lots of interesting and historical landmarks. You may also want to visit the Black Forest and visit the German Clock Museum and the Black Forest Open Air Museum.

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated!


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