Germany · Uncategorized

What to Know Before You Visit Heidelberg

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It’s Travel Tip Tuesday! This week I’m getting you in the know about what to expect before you visit Heidelberg, Germany. Or just Germany; a lot of this can transfer! Let’s get to it.

Terminology

  • Train station: Bahnhof
  • Airport: Flughafen
  • Bus: Bus
  • Thank you: Danke
  • Please and you’re welcome: Bitte
  • Yes: Ja
  • No: Nein
  • Old Town: Altstadt
  • Castle: Schloss
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You’ll want to know that last one!

General Information

Cash only!
Believe it or not, most establishments in Heidelberg, particularly in Old Town, required payment in cash, not with a credit or debit card. Grocery stores and restaurants generally accepted cards, but had a minimum spend requirement. But there are plenty of ATMs, so don’t worry!

You can visit the Heidelberg Castle’s gardens and courtyard for free.
And you can get some incredible pictures! If you are pressed for time or need to save a little cash, you can get a great view of the castle, Old Town, the Neckar River, and more, from the courtyard and gardens:

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Castle Facade
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Dramatic View of the Castle
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Views of Old Town and the Neckar River!

Admission to the castle is 4 Euro.
That admission price gets you into the castle, the Apothecary Museum (which I highly recommend!), the castle restaurants, and the room that houses the largest wine barrel in the world!

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The wine barrel
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Apothecary Museum

Where is the “first floor”?
That would be one floor up. In America, we walk into the first floor. In much of Europe, you’ll walk into “floor zero.” Don’t get confused!

The current exchange rate.
For my trip, $1 was equal to 0.85 Euro cents. It’s important to know the most current exchange rate, which you can find using the XE app. Want more helpful apps for travel? Check out Apps for Savvy Travel!

Those cobblestones are no joke.
Leave your heels at home! Cobblestones are charming, but they are also broken, uneven, and made more difficult when going up and down hills.

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Uphill… on cobblestones!
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Bring your walking shoes!

There is a cobblestone path up to the Philosophers’ Way. 

I Googled, I looked at maps, and I searched for directions on my phone, but somehow I missed the very short (but steep!) path up the hill on the north side of the Neckar River, just across the Alte Brücke, or Old Bridge.

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The long way (which I took).
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The sign I wish I’d seen leading me to the path up!
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The climb to the Philosophenweg!

How to Get There

Read all about it! I had a little trouble getting there myself, so please learn from my mistakes! It’s not all that difficult, but there are some things you’ll want to look for–like the right train stations and which bus to take.

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I even had time for breakfast while I waited for my train to the airport!

Where to Stay 

I highly recommend staying in Old Town Heidelberg. It’s a short, three-mile bus ride from the train station, and once there, you can walk to anything and everything you want to do in the historic district! I stayed at the Hotel Goldener-Falke, which is one block from a major bus stop and the funicular station, right on Market Square (Maktplatz), a 10 minute walk to the Philosphers’ Way, 5 minutes from Heidelberg University, and more! Breakfast was included each day, and they have free wi-fi. Many hotels in Old Town will be similar, and most of them will be in historic buildings!

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Hotel Goldener-Falke

And if you’re in Heidelberg at Christmastime, there are at least 6 Christmas Markets in Old Town!

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Festive Christmas Market Stalls

I hope you feel prepared for your own trip to Heidelberg, Germany! Have you been? Is it on your list? I went solo, and I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a safe, friendly place to visit on your own. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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