Cities & Culture

Heidelberg: Germany's romantic side

Heidelberg: Old Bridge and Heidelberg Castle ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

Heidelberg is a city worth falling in love with: the dreamy, romantic setting around the Old Bridge and the castle, an unparalleled choice of culture and entertainment wherever you go and hearty yet heavenly cuisine. All of which is nestled between the Neckar River and the foothills of the Odenwald forest.

It's easy to see why visitors flock straight for the castle, sat upon its throne on the hill some 70 metres above the Neckar River, when they come to Heidelberg. Together with the Old Bridge, it is among the most impressive sights to be found in Germany. It is worth joining a guided tour of the town, if only to appreciate the history of this mighty fortress, which has seen a thing or two over the past 700 years. Did you know that the largest barrel in the world is stored in the castle's wine cellar? Made from 130 oak trees, it has a capacity of precisely 221,726 litres. Heidelberg Castle Festival is also one of the summer's main events at the castle.

In the centre of the Old Town is the Marktplatz square, which boasts one of Heidelberg's many beautiful fountains, grand period houses, cafés and even more pretty little shops. Not to mention the famous Church of the Holy Spirit. From here it's just a stone's throw to the Kornmarkt, which many see as the city's most beautiful square. Alongside the Electors, it is the scholars who have shaped the intellectual and cultural ideas in Heidelberg over the course of the centuries. The university is the oldest on German soil and has attracted the best academic thinkers to the city in the past. You can still see what makes the city so unique in the many cosy old student bars: Heidelberg has genuine joie de vivre in spades.

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