Heidelberg, Germany is a gorgeous city surrounded by woodland overlooking the River Neckar. In the summer it can be quite touristy but still has a very old-world European feel. The massive castle that sits imposingly over the city and the historic university city of Heidelberg has been enchanting visitors for centuries.
The ruins of the castle are some of the most important Renaissance architecture remaining north of the Alps. The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. The area around the castle has beautiful fountains, churches, cobblestoned streets, and old but well-preserved houses.
In the heart of Heidelberg Old Town, The Marktplatz (Market Square) sits lined with restaurants and small shops. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the market days, the square buzzes with activity. Bordered by the Church of the Holy Spirit on one side and Town Hall on the other, the Marktplatz is the perfect place to take in the mood of the town before you start to explore it. Have a moment or two to take a seat at one of the terraces, have a drink and people watch.
Heidelberg Altstadt (Old Town) is the area that sits around the Market Square and stretches along the Neckar River. Boutiques and restaurants line the narrow cobblestone streets. You will find some interesting attractions here where you can learn more about what shapes the city. One such attraction is the Palatinate Museum. The German Palatines were early 18th-century emigrants from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Roman Empire. Another interesting find is the Studentenkarzer (the students’ jail). University prison with cells covered with graffiti, used for unruly students from 1778 to 1914.
The Karl Theodor Bridge is a 600-foot arched bridge built in sandstone in 1788. It crosses the Neckar River in the northern part of the Old Town. This picture-perfect pedestrianized bridge offers great views and photo opportunities of the Old Town. Bring a lock if you want to commemorate your love, as you can lock a love padlock on the railing and throw the key in the river before enjoying a romantic stroll in the evening.
Although not on the famous German Wine Route, you will discover that some excellent local wines are produced in Heidelberg. The 2 main wineries in the area Weingut Seeger and Weingut Clauer. They are located in Leimen, just 5 km south of Heidelberg. They produce wines from first-class grapes that include Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay
If you want some fantastic local cuisine you are going to love Schnitzelbank. Here is the place to sample traditional German cuisine and local dishes. You will find a small rustic restaurant sitting on a narrow lane off Hauptstraße, in the heart of the Old Town. Indulge in crispy roast pork knuckles, spätzle (soft egg noodle), sauerkraut (fermented finely cut cabbage), and, obviously, Schnitzel. Try washing down these hearty dishes with a glass of Tannenzäpfle beer or, even better, with one of the many local wines at hand in this quaint venue.
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