A glorious and charming old university town. The striking, red roofed landscape of Heidelberg, with its picture postcard bridges and fabulous green backdrop (on the edge of the legendary Black Forest) attracts a huge number of tourists - stretching into the millions each year.
Heidelberg resides, rather elegantly, in the Neckar Valley, right by the Neckar River and is overlooked by its epically beautiful medieval castle. Having suffered so heavily in countless wars, it's amazing this particular corner of Germany has survived so intact; its history is evident everywhere you look, making it an essential stop-off on any trip into this part of the South (the Baden Württemburg region).
Walking through the Altstadt (old town), across the flimsy, red brick Neckar River Bridge and up the steep steps to the Castle of Heidelberg gives a stunning overview of the town, and will have new arrivals drooling over the sense of unaltered history.
Head on up through the trees to the forested peak overlooking the castle and you’ll come to the Thingstätte, an old Nazi propaganda open-air theatre where you can take in some truly stunning views across the red rooftops, enjoying architectural styles that were largely destroyed by allied bombing in larger German cities. There’s even a deep well with an unknown past, a city engraving and dozens of stunning old churches to discover.
Many visitors draw comparisons with British cities like Cambridge (Heidelberg’s twin); and Heidelberg doesn’t sit too far behind, academically, as well as in its alluring looks. Home to the Max Planck Institute, and a university with over 30,000 students, as well as an eclectic, international population; Heidelberg’s lively nightlife and flamboyant outlook is in stark contrast to its traditional image, but a lot of fun to get drawn into.
The small things in Heidelberg are difficult to ignore. The fantastic record stores, cathedral souvenir stalls and lively markets might draw you in just as much as all the enticing history - and snacking on pretzels whilst exploring the hidden corners is an essential touristy pastime.
It can feel like you’re living in a folk tale, and while Heidelberg’s imagery is difficult to ignore, the modern pubs and manic nightlife quickly whisk you into the 21st century. It makes for a great combination: live it up at night, than in the morning, brush aside your hangover with a stroll back in time around the striking city streets. Perfect.
Mannheim is a city in Baden- Württemberg, Germany. It has approximately 328,000 inhabitants, which makes it the second largest city of this Bundesland.
Mannheim is located at the confluen…