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Germany> Baden-Württemberg> Heidelberg

Germany - Baden-Württemberg

Heidelberg

A Karen Brown Recommendation
Heidelberg receives an overrated review in most guidebooks—there are just too many tourists. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the crowds make this a particularly dynamic city (there are lots of young people). Surprisingly, it was the romantic operetta, The Student Prince, that put Heidelberg on the tourist map. Unlike so many less fortunate German cities, Heidelberg has been spared the ravages of recent wars. The streets of its old town are a maze of cozy restaurants and lively student taverns—we enjoyed our visits to Schnookeloch (Haspelgasse 8) and Roter Ochsen (Hauptstrasse 215). Above the town looms the ruin of its picture-postcard, pink-sandstone castle: you can walk up to the castle, but it is easier and more fun to take the Bergbahn (mountain railway) from the Kornmarkt. The Heidelberg Schloss (castle) is now mostly a ruin, but still great fun to explore, and offers spectacular views of the town and the river from the terrace. The Ottheinrichsbau (1559) with its decorative façade is a particularly lovely building. Beneath the Ottheinrichsbau lies the Deutsches Apotheken Museum (Apothecary Museum), tracing the history of pharmacy and displaying balances and herbal boxes. (10 am–5 pm, daily.) The best views of the castle and the town are from the Philosophenweg (Philosophers’ Walk) on the northern bank of the Neckar river. Cross the Alte Brucke or Old Bridge spanning the Neckar—the Philosophers’ Walk is clearly indicated by signs (lit at night). City life centers on the pedestrian Hauptstrasse, where you find the town’s most impressive building, the 16th-century Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg.
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