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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Table of Contents
- Top 18 Tourist Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany
- Things to do in Heidelberg, Germany
- Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany
- Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany
- Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany
- Shopping in Heidelberg, Germany
- Beaches & Islands in Heidelberg, Germany
- Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Heidelberg, Germany
- Sightseeing in Heidelberg, Germany
- Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Heidelberg, Germany
- Where to Stay in Heidelberg?
- Custom Tours Package in Heidelberg
- How to Reach Heidelberg, Germany?
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
- Heidelberg Palace
- Church of the Holy Spirit
- Schwetzingen Palace
- Kurpfälzisches Museum
- Pharmacy Museum
- Thingstatte Theatre
- Heidelberg Tun
- Student Prison
- Body World Museum
- Kunstverein Art Museum
- Dr. Carl Benz Automuseum
- Sammlung Prinzhorn
- Dilsberg Castle
- Carl Bosch Museum
- Heidelberg Castle Garden
- Michaelkloster Ruins
- Documentation and Cultural Center of Germany
- Swallow Nest Castle
- Cajest House Museum
- Neuburg Abbey
- Vorderburg Castle
- Deutsches Verpackungs Museum
- Mosque in the Palace Garden
- Textilsammlung Max Berk Museum
- Lobdengau Museum
- Hinterburg Castle Ruins
- Elizabeth Gate
- Schwetzinger Spargelfrau
- Volkerkunde Museum
- Burg Schauenburg
- Theo Kerg Museum
- Carl Benz Haus
- Blau Museum
- Königsstuhl State Observatory
- Thick Tower
- Wiesloch Feldbahn and Industrial Museum
- Heidenloch Tower
Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany
- Heidelberg Hill
- Weisser Stein
- Blaue Adria
- Kollerinsel Peninsula
- Tinnunculus Falknerei
- Ketscher Rheininsel
- Hirschacker und Dossenwald
- Eichelberg Peak
- Camino Incluso
- Jagerweiher Lake
- Marxweiher Lake
- Schwetzinger Hardt
Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Heidelberg, Germany
- Heidelberg Zoo
- Berge du Neckar
- Bismarckplatz Park
- Heidelberg Botanical Gardens
- Schwimmbad Aquadom Hockenheim
- Bellamar Water Park
- Walldorf Zoo
- Bonsai Zentrum Heidelberg
- Kinderparadies Amusement Park
- Skulpturenpark Heidelberg Museum
- Hockenheimer Maislabyrinth
- Gartenschau Park
- Weingut Clauer
- Spielplatz Schwetzingen
- Plankstadt Bird Park
- Bergbahnstation Konigstuhl
- Jose Rizal Park
Shopping in Heidelberg, Germany
- Heidelberg Marktplatz
- Darmstädter Hof Centrum
- Untere Strasse
- Galeria Kaufhof
- Plock Street
Beaches & Islands in Heidelberg, Germany
- Kollerinsel Peninsula Beach
Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Heidelberg, Germany
- Mountain Climbing
- Cable Car
- River Cruise
Sightseeing in Heidelberg, Germany
- Old Bridge
- Philosopher’s Walk
- Karlstor Triumph Arch
- Theodor Heuss Bridge
- Bismarck Saule
- President Freidrich Ebert Memorial
- Pierre d’amour
- Weisser Stein Turm
Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Heidelberg, Germany
- Zum Roten Ochsen
- Scharff Schlossweinstube
- Die Kurfurstenstube
- Weinstubbe Schnitzelbank
- Ai Portici
- Plabrau Gasse
- Le Gourmet
- Schwarzer Peter
- Qube Heidelberg
- Wirtshaus Zum Spreisel
- Zur Herrenmühle
- Joe Molese 117
- Wirtshaus zum Nepomuk
- 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.
- Hotel Panorama
- Bergheim 41 Hotel im Alten Hallenbad
- ArtHotel Heidelberg
- Hotel Hollaender Hof
- Hotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg
- Hotel Zur Alten Brucke
- Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg
- Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites – Small Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Goldener Falke
- ArtHotel Heidelberg
- Staycity Aparthotels Heidelberg
- Qube Hotel Bahnstadt
- Qube Hotel Bergheim
- Parkhotel Atlantic
- Premier Inn Heidelberg City Zentrum hotel
- ISG Hotel Heidelberg
- Acor Boutique Hotel
- Heidelberg Marriott Hotel
- Bayrischer Hof
- Exzellenz Hotel
- MEININGER Hotel Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
- Steffi’s Hostel Heidelberg
- Boardinghotel Heidelberg
- Zum Lowen Heidelberg
- Wohlfuhl-Hotel Neu Heidelberg
- Ibis Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof
- Hotel B54 Heidelberg
- BoardingWorld Heidelberg
- Premier Inn Heidelberg City Bahnstadt hotel
- B&B Hotel Heidelberg
Custom Tours Package in Heidelberg
How to Reach Heidelberg, Germany?
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.
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.
There are no direct water routes to visit Heidelberg.