The Heidelberg Rundown
Heidelberg, bordering the beautiful Odenwald Mountains in southern Germany, is an ancient city with a deep-rooted academic culture. The city lies amidst the winding banks of the Neckar River, and is as interesting in its antiquity as in natural beauty. The University of Heidelberg, established in 1386, is the subject of much historic activity. Heidelberg Castle dominates the city, and stands as the sentinel to a host of elevated castle ruins, all with their own story to tell. Museums and art galleries abound in Heidelberg, and one can lose several days exploring them all, though there are more active pursuits available for those seeking adventure.
Just minutes away, the Neckar Valley is the starting point for a wide variety of nature walks, and many boast spectacular views of the river and surrounding areas. Take the time to view it all from the river’s perspective on a slow boat cruise along the Neckar River, or if the mood takes you, spend the day on the famous Wine Route which combines beautiful scenery and fine wine tasting. Heidelberg is also a haven for shoppers, with trendy boutiques and gift shops along the Hauptstrasse and quaint period shops in the Old Quarter.
When To Go
The average temperature in Heidelberg during the summer months is around 20°C (68°F) though it gets to highs of 25°C (77°F) in the midsummer month of July. Winter averages a chilly 2°C (36°F), so dress warm if you’re heading to Heidelberg for Christmas. Precipitation remains constant most of the year, averaging about 52 mm (2 inches) most of the year, excluding May through to July where it increases to an average of around 72 mm (2.8 inches).
Heidelberg is most temperate over summer, though the famous Christmas Market attracts many tourists each December, and the winters, though cool, are relatively mild, and can be a very pleasant escape from the everyday.
- Summer and winter averages are 20°C (68°F) and 2°C (36°F), respectively.
- It rains steadily in Heidelberg throughout the year, with an average of 52 mm (2 inches), and increases in summer to around 72 mm (2.8 inches).
- Winters are quite mild, but heavy rainstorms can occur in summer.
Heidelberg is accessible via either Stuttgart or Frankfurt International airports, and is around an hour and 20 minutes away by train, shuttle bus or car. Bookings on the Lufthansa airport bus service directly to Heidelberg are recommended, as spaces are limited. Heidelberg is relatively small geographically, so if you’re staying in town it’s possible to see much by foot, but if you need to travel to outlying areas, the rail and bus networks include many routes and are a reasonably priced alternative to travel by car. By road, Heidelberg is easily found via the A5 and A6 Autobahns. Take the A656 exit directly to the town centre.
- Stuttgart and Frankfurt International Airports service Heidelberg.
- Rail and bus networks connect the city and outlying areas.
- Taxis are plentiful, but if you’re driving, parking is metered in Heidelberg so check if you can park at the hotel.
Heidelberg is a an exquisite little city in Germany's vast state of Baden-Württemberg. Home to Stuttgart and Mannheim, visitors flock to Heidelberg for postcard scenery, old town architecture and genuine hamlet charm. With close to 4 million visitors every year, Heidelberg has a lot to offer. The massive Gothic and Renaissance Heidelberg Castle is a marvel that dates back to the early 13th century. Accessible by funicular railway, the castle fell into a period of decay in the 18th century before restoration efforts were undertaken to revive the prodigious monument.
With roots in the late 14th century, the University of Heidelberg is one of the senior public research and academic institutions in Europe and consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. The Old Town Campus is worth a visit. For peerless photo ops of Heidelberg's old town and castle, in addition to Celtic ruins, take a stroll on Philosophers' Walk.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
Heidelberg has a continental climate, with four distinct seasons.
- Winter (December to February) -3-3°C
- Spring (March to May) 0-19°C
- Summer (June to September) 11-24°C
- Fall (October to November) 2-14°C
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