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18 Famous Tourist Places to Visit and Things to Do in Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a city in the Baden-Wurttemberg state of Germany. The city sits on the banks of the river Neckar. The city is known for its history, ancient architecture, archeological sites, and cultural heritage. The majority of the best places to visit in Heidelberg revolve around these aspects.

The Heidelberg Castle is the city’s top tourist attraction. The castle sits atop a hill standing vigil over the city. It has been the centre of power in the region and is now known for some of the top things to do in Heidelberg, Germany. Besides the castle itself, you can explore several museums and collections, ranging from art to wine.

Besides Heidelberg, the city is also surrounded by several other castles. Some of these have been well preserved, while some lie in ruins. Still, they are among the most popular things to see in Heidelberg.

The city is also home to numerous medieval structures including churches, public establishments, and government buildings. The majority of ancient Heidelberg tourist attractions exhibit baroque designs, red roofs, and colorful exteriors. This creates picturesque scenes and wonderful vibes for Heidelberg sightseeing.

This is especially true of the old town. The historical heart of the city is known for its winding narrow streets surrounded by historical sites. It is also known for fun stuff to do in Heidelberg including dining, shopping, and entertainment. The old town is home to some of the most popular markets, cafes, restaurants, and street-food joints.

Another one of the top places to see in Heidelberg is the University. This is the oldest university in the country and one of the oldest in the world. Consequently, several greats have hailed from this institution.

The University is also among the must-see places in Heidelberg to see how the education system has evolved over the centuries. You will also get to learn about a time when students used to be imprisoned. The student prison represents an archaic practice and has become one of the top Heidelberg attractions. Just outside the University is the Philosopher’s Path, where you can tread the road walked by great minds. Maybe an inspiration strikes you when you visit Heidelberg.

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Top 18 Tourist Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany

1. Palatinate Museum (Kurpfälzisches Museum)

This art and archeology museum houses an incredible collection. The archeological collection focuses on the artifacts excavated from Lower Neckar Valley.

It is one of the best places to visit in Heidelberg, Germany to explore ancient history. The museum houses artifacts dating back to the Roman rule over the region.

The collection of the art museum, on the other hand, is an interesting blend. You will see classic paintings alongside graphic and applied artworks. The museum ranks among the best things to do in Heidelberg, Germany for art admirers.

The collection includes works by renowned creators like Rogier van der Weyden, Carl Rottmann, Alexander Kanolt, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and several others. The museum also has more than 13,000 printed artworks as well as coins, furnitures, decoratives, glassware, medallions, and so on. You will need about 2 hours to explore this museum when you visit Heidelberg.

2. Old Bridge / Karl Theodor Bridge (Alte Brücke / Karl-Theodor-Brücke)

This bridge dates back to 1788 and is one of the oldest structures in the city. It was built on the site of an ancient Roman bridge that was built during the 1st century AD.

The red sandstone bridge is one of the top spots for Heidelberg sightseeing. You get amazing views of either side of the city. You can also see the towers that once stood vigil on the edge of the bridge. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this bridge.

3. Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche)

This church was built in several stages during the 1400s. It was built on the site of a former church that dated back to 1239. It is one of the top things to see in Heidelberg, Germany owing to its history, architecture, and interior artworks.

The church features a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It reflects the structure that stood here earlier. It has been home to the Palatine Library and Tombs of the Palatine Electors. You will need about an hour from Heidelberg travel to explore this church.

4. Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss)

This castle is the primary attraction in Heidelberg. It stands majestic on the hill, overlooking the city. The castle dates back to 1214, while the current structure was built during the 1600s. The huge castle is home to some of the top things to do in Heidelberg, Germany.

Over the years, the castle has housed numerous royals, withstood battles, and held magnanimous events. The walls, interiors, and museums tell all these stories and then some. You will need 2 to 3 hours to tour the castle and the various attractions within it.

I suggest you should book a Guided Tour of Heidelberg Castle in advance.

5. Königstuhl (Odenwald)

This hill stands 1,863 feet tall among the Odenwald Mountains and is popular for outdoor activities to do in Heidelberg. You can explore the hiking trails to get to the top of the hill for breathtaking views.

If you are not an explorer, you can also get there by Mountain Railway ride. It is a picturesque tour with amazing sights to reach one of the must-see places in Heidelberg. You need about 2 to 3 hours for this tour.

6. Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg (Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg)

These gardens are home to more than 50,000 species of plants that are beautifully arranged to create a lush and vibrant place. It is one of the best places to go in Heidelberg for leisurely strolls.

The gardens feature a variety of garden artworks and recreated environments. You can easily spend 30 to 45 minutes casually exploring the gardens.

7. Old Town (Altstadt)

The winding streets of the old town carry stories from several centuries. The area is home to some of the most popular Heidelberg tourist attractions. You will see medieval buildings, classic food joints, old markets, public art, parks and so on.

There is a lot of stuff to do in Heidelberg’s old town besides sightseeing as well. It is also the cultural heart of the city full of art, music, and performances. The area also hosts some of the most fantastic events in the city. You can easily spend 2 to 3 hours strolling and exploring the old town.

I suggest you should go for a Guided Tour of Heidelberg Old Town.

8. Neckar River Cruise

The river cruise is one of the finest options for Heidelberg sightseeing. The tour takes you along river Neckar while a guide narrates the story of the city and Heidelberg attractions. It is a pleasant experience with some of the top photographic moments.

You can take an hour-long tour of the city or a three-hour tour for things to do near Heidelberg as well. The longer tour takes you to four castles along the banks of the river. You will also visit the Neckartal Odenwald Nature during this tour.

I suggest you should book a Sightseeing Cruise on the Neckar River in advance.

9. Heidelberg University Student Prison (Studentenkarzer)

This is the oldest university in Germany, dating back to 1386. The university is among the oldest tourist places in Heidelberg, being one of the oldest still-running universities in the world.

However, the former student prison has popularity of its own. This was a place to punish misbehaving students. The prison was operational from the 1700s all the way to the 1900s. It is fascinating to see such facades of education. You will need about an hour to tour this university.

10. Schwetzingen Palace (Schloss Schwetzingen)

This 18th-century palace is one of the best places to visit near Heidelberg. It used to serve as the summer palace for the Electors. The palace is known for its aesthetics. It is a blend of a lot of styles in architecture and landscaping.

It is a blend of French and English styles. A Rococo theatre was added to the 180-acre area in the 18th century. The palace complex also had a mosque added to it during the 1700s. You will need about 2 hours to explore the place.

I suggest you should book a Half-Day Trip to Schwetzingen Palace from Heidelberg in advance.

11. Heidelberg Zoo

The zoo has more than a thousand animals hailing from 250 species. You can see lions, tigers, sea lions, goats, flamingos, zebra, camels, kangaroos, gorillas, bears, and more.

It is one of the best places to see in Heidelberg for families. Children can also get interactive sessions with some of the animals. You need about an hour to explore the zoo.

12. Dilsberg Castle (Bergfeste Dilsberg)

If you want to see a ruined fortress and enjoy a short hike trail, this is one of the top things to do near Heidelberg. This 12th-century fortress sits atop a hill on the shores of the Neckar River.

Although in ruins now, this castle was once considered impregnable. However, it was conquered during the Thirty Years War. Its current state is not due to conquest, but because it was out of use since the 19th century. You will need about 2 hours from Heidelberg travel to make a trip to explore this castle.

13. German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apothekenmuseum)

This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of pharmacology artifacts. You will get to see the evolution of medical science over centuries. The museum covers everything from home remedies and folklore cures to modern chemistry.

It is one of the most interesting places to visit in Heidelberg medicines have become such a vital part of modern lifestyle. You will get to see how it happened. It takes about an hour to tour this museum.

14. Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche)

This church was built during the 18th century and is known for its red sandstone structure. The structure is carved in baroque style and is one of the most beautiful things to see in Heidelberg. The church is also home to several religious artworks and artifacts. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this church when you visit Heidelberg’s old town.

15. Philosopher’s Way

This blissful path can get you thinking and inspired as it has done for several thinkers over the centuries. This path has been trodden by several greats including Mark Twain and has become quite popular among Heidelberg attractions. It is a great place for leisurely strolls for a few minutes.

16. Thingstätte Heidelberg

This amphitheater was built in 1935 as a part of the Nazi Propaganda movement started by Goebbels. It is now a part of a public park and is often used for public performances and events. You only need a few minutes to explore this site.

17. Heidelberg Ruins

These ruins belong to St. Michael’s Monastery which dates back to 1023. The monastery’s remains are most well preserved. The place was in use up till the 1500s after which it deteriorated.

This is one of the most interesting places to see in Heidelberg for history lovers. The site is also home to ruins of Celtic and Roman structures. The oldest among these dates back to the 4th century BCE. You need at least an hour to explore this site.

18. Bad Wimpfen Day Trip

This small resort town is among the top places to visit near Heidelberg if you are looking for a day trip. The half-timber buildings and traditional structures give this place a quaint vibe.

It is a place for light sightseeing, leisure, entertainment, and local cuisines. Besides nice things to do near Heidelberg, the town is also popular for its historical attractions and nearby hiking trails.

If you are looking for more stuff to do in Heidelberg or around it check out the sections below. We have compiled an entire list of the attractions and activities that you can enjoy in and around the city.

Things to do in Heidelberg, Germany

Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Heidelberg Palace
  2. Church of the Holy Spirit
  3. Schwetzingen Palace
  4. Kurpfälzisches Museum
  5. Pharmacy Museum
  6. Thingstatte Theatre
  7. Heidelberg Tun
  8. Student Prison
  9. Body World Museum
  10. Kunstverein Art Museum
  11. Dr. Carl Benz Automuseum
  12. Sammlung Prinzhorn
  13. Dilsberg Castle
  14. Carl Bosch Museum
  15. Jesuitenkirche
  16. Heidelberg Castle Garden
  17. Handschuhsheim
  18. Michaelkloster Ruins
  19. Documentation and Cultural Center of Germany
  20. Swallow Nest Castle
  21. Cajest House Museum
  22. Mittelburg
  23. Neuburg Abbey
  24. Vorderburg Castle
  25. Deutsches Verpackungs Museum
  26. Mosque in the Palace Garden
  27. Textilsammlung Max Berk Museum
  28. Lobdengau Museum
  29. Hinterburg Castle Ruins
  30. Elizabeth Gate
  31. Schwetzinger Spargelfrau
  32. Volkerkunde Museum
  33. Burg Schauenburg
  34. Heiligenbergturm
  35. Theo Kerg Museum
  36. Carl Benz Haus
  37. Ruprechtsbau
  38. Blau Museum
  39. Königsstuhl State Observatory
  40. Thick Tower
  41. Wiesloch Feldbahn and Industrial Museum
  42. Heidenloch Tower

Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Konigstuhl
  2. Heidelberg Hill
  3. Weisser Stein
  4. Blaue Adria
  5. Kollerinsel Peninsula
  6. Spatschlucht
  7. Tinnunculus Falknerei
  8. Ketscher Rheininsel
  9. Hirschacker und Dossenwald
  10. Reisenstein
  11. Olberg
  12. Eichelberg Peak
  13. Camino Incluso
  14. Jagerweiher Lake
  15. Marxweiher Lake
  16. Schwetzinger Hardt

Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Heidelberg Zoo
  2. Berge du Neckar
  3. Bismarckplatz Park
  4. Marchenparadies
  5. Heidelberg Botanical Gardens
  6. Schwimmbad Aquadom Hockenheim
  7. Bellamar Water Park
  8. Walldorf Zoo
  9. Bonsai Zentrum Heidelberg
  10. Kinderparadies Amusement Park
  11. Skulpturenpark Heidelberg Museum
  12. Hockenheimer Maislabyrinth
  13. Gartenschau Park
  14. Weingut Clauer
  15. Spielplatz Schwetzingen
  16. Plankstadt Bird Park
  17. Bergbahnstation Konigstuhl
  18. Jose Rizal Park
  19. Gerbersruhpark

Shopping in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Kornmarkt
  2. Heidelberg Marktplatz
  3. Hauptstrasse
  4. Darmstädter Hof Centrum
  5. Untere Strasse
  6. Galeria Kaufhof
  7. Plock Street
  8. Sofienstrasse
  9. Marktplatz

Beaches & Islands in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Kollerinsel Peninsula Beach

Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Hiking
  2. Mountain Climbing
  3. Cable Car
  4. River Cruise
  5. Cycling

Sightseeing in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Old Bridge
  2. Philosopher’s Walk
  3. Haupstrasse
  4. Bruckenaffe
  5. Karlstor Triumph Arch
  6. Karlsplatz
  7. Theodor Heuss Bridge
  8. Teltschikturm
  9. Scheffelterrasse
  10. Bismarck Saule
  11. President Freidrich Ebert Memorial
  12. Europaplatz
  13. Pierre d’amour
  14. Weisser Stein Turm

Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Heidelberg, Germany

  1. Zum Roten Ochsen
  2. Oben
  3. Scharff Schlossweinstube
  4. Die Kurfurstenstube
  5. Weinstubbe Schnitzelbank
  6. Ai Portici
  7. Plabrau Gasse
  8. Chambao
  9. Le Gourmet
  10. Ritterstube
  11. Schwarzer Peter
  12. Qube Heidelberg
  13. Wirtshaus Zum Spreisel
  14. Backmulde
  15. Zur Herrenmühle
  16. Joe Molese 117
  17. Wirtshaus zum Nepomuk
  18. 959 Stadgarten

Where to Stay in Heidelberg?

Here we have listed Top Rated Luxurious, Mid-Range, and Budget Hotels in Heidelberg. You can check below listed hotels for your perfect stay in Heidelberg.

Luxurious Hotels

  1. Hotel Panorama
  2. Bergheim 41 Hotel im Alten Hallenbad
  3. ArtHotel Heidelberg
  4. Hotel Hollaender Hof
  5. Hotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg
  6. Hotel Zur Alten Brucke
  7. Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg
  8. Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites – Small Luxury Hotels
  9. Hotel Goldener Falke
  10. ArtHotel Heidelberg

Mid-Range Hotels

  1. Staycity Aparthotels Heidelberg
  2. Qube Hotel Bahnstadt
  3. Qube Hotel Bergheim
  4. Parkhotel Atlantic
  5. Premier Inn Heidelberg City Zentrum hotel
  6. ISG Hotel Heidelberg
  7. Acor Boutique Hotel
  8. Heidelberg Marriott Hotel
  9. Bayrischer Hof
  10. Exzellenz Hotel

Budget Hotels

  1. MEININGER Hotel Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
  2. Steffi’s Hostel Heidelberg
  3. Boardinghotel Heidelberg
  4. Zum Lowen Heidelberg
  5. Wohlfuhl-Hotel Neu Heidelberg
  6. Ibis Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
  7. Hotel B54 Heidelberg
  8. BoardingWorld Heidelberg
  9. Premier Inn Heidelberg City Bahnstadt hotel
  10. B&B Hotel Heidelberg

Custom Tours Package in Heidelberg

How to Reach Heidelberg, Germany?

By Air

There are two airports that you can use to reach Heidelberg is the Frankfurt airport. The airport receives both domestic and international flights. It sits about an hour from Heidelberg and you can get cabs and buses for transport. The other option is the Stuttgart airport.

By Road

You can use the Rheinau station to visit Heidelberg by train. The station is only a few minutes away from the city. You can get buses and hired cars for Heidelberg travel from the station. You can also get buses from several cities and towns in Germany to get to the city.

If you are planning to reach Heidelberg by road, you should head for route A5 or A656.

By Water

There are no direct water routes to visit Heidelberg.

Image Reference
  • Palatinate Museum (Kurpfälzisches Museum) – 4028mdk09 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Old Bridge / Karl Theodor Bridge (Alte Brücke / Karl-Theodor-Brücke) – Larry Koester / Flickr
  • Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche) – Le Monde1 / Flickr
  • Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss) – Christel / PixaBay
  • Königstuhl (Odenwald) – stanze / Flickr
  • Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg (Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg) – Daderot / Wikimedia Commons
  • Old Town (Altstadt) – Jorge Franganillo / Flickr
  • Neckar River Cruise – Thomas Milburn / Flickr
  • Heidelberg University Student Prison (Studentenkarzer) – LH Wong / Flickr
  • Schwetzingen Palace (Schloss Schwetzingen) – lapping / PixaBay
  • Heidelberg Zoo – Anrita / PixaBay
  • Dilsberg Castle (Bergfeste Dilsberg) – Tilman2007 / Wikimedia Commons
  • German Pharmacy Museum (Deutsches Apothekenmuseum) – Steve Knight / Flickr
  • Jesuit Church – LH Wong / Flickr
  • Philosopher’s Way – Gagan Mishra / Flickr
  • Thingstatte – Dage – Looking For Europe / Flickr
  • Heidelberg Ruins – Marisa04 / PixaBay
  • Bad Wimpfen Day Trip – Calips / Wikimedia Commons

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18 Famous Tourist Places to Visit and Things to Do in Heidelberg, Germany


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