Heidelberg is the oldest university city in Germany. It escaped World War II unscathed, and, surrounded by forests and rows of vineyards, it’s one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. Discover where to stay and book your accommodation with Culture Trip.
Heidelberg is large enough to feel lively but sufficiently compact for a city break. Get your head around the local geography by hopping on the funicular up to a sprawling ruined castle. Across the River Neckar, the Philosophers’ Way leads hikers through verdant vineyards. Snake down the hill, and cross the Alte Brücke to Heidelberg’s quaint Old Town. When you’re ready to bed down for the night, head back to one of the best hotels in the city – here are our favourites.
Family-owned Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg is a five-star property and one of the grandest in Germany. Caroline von Kretschmann continues a tradition of hospitality begun by her great-grandparents in 1865. All 118 rooms are individually furnished to the highest standards; they have in common a refined elegance. Dine at the wood-panelled restaurant Die Kurfürstenstube, where you can select a bottle from the 300-strong wine list to accompany your artfully presented steak tartare.
Hotel Holländer Hof faces the Alte Brücke, the oldest bridge in Heidelberg. Though there has been an inn on this site since the 16th century, the present name dates from 1836 in reference to the many Dutch travellers who stayed here at that time. Traditional rooms range from snug singles to family-sized apartments; make sure to request one with a view of the River Neckar and beyond. Heidelberger Marktplatz is a three-minute walk from here.
Sustainability and energy-efficient living are core values at the Midori. This guesthouse encourages a rethink of traditional hotel practices; geothermal energy is used for heating, and almost half of the electricity comes from solar panels. On check-in, you’ll notice the high-quality materials used in each room – such as natural-wood flooring – and rain showers come as standard. If you don’t mind staying on the outskirts of Heidelberg, in Dossenheim, then this is a great choice.
Right in the centre of Heidelberg, you’ll find the uber-contemporary Qube Hotel Bahnstadt. The architects designed it as a passive house – an ultra-energy-efficient building. Hypoallergenic materials have been used throughout, including solvent-free paint and oak parquet flooring in the bedrooms. You’re almost guaranteed a good night’s sleep on a Qube mattress, which utilises a special type of foam that adapts to your body shape. The main train station is just a 12-minute walk away.
The family-run Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg combines a hotel, brewery and pub. Rooms vary in size; some feature exposed beams and statement art prints. Don’t pass up the chance to drink at its 17th-century tavern Zum Seppl. Graffiti by former university students on the wooden tables and the inn’s collection of historical photographs provide numerous talking points. Dine on crispy pork knuckle in dark beer sauce or seasonal favourites such as wild boar and roe deer served with spätzle or creamy mash.
Why Book With Culture Trip?
In these uncertain times, cancel or change for free on select properties.
Find a better price on your booking and we’ll match it. Simple.
Unbiased & trustworthy
Book from recommendations handpicked by travel experts.
The Hotel zur Alten Brücke was built in 1707. As the name suggests, it occupies one of the best locations in Heidelberg, beside the 18th-century bridge. Before the hotel catered for tourists, it housed many generations of university students. Its former use is evident in the desks and bookshelves you’ll find in the rooms, as well as in the rooms’ classification names: Prädikat (predicate), Klausur (exam), Exkursion (field trip) and – the finest suites of all – Summa Cum Laude.
“Sleep and smile” is the mantra of this skilfully converted former mansion, now a boutique hotel. It’s the work of brother-and-sister team Peter Hütter and Christine Hütter-Bönan. He championed the chic sophistication that brings a little Parisian flair to Heidelberg, while she created the hotel’s lavish interiors. Pamper yourself with a massage, or unwind in the invigorating jacuzzi in the hotel’s private garden. Leafy surrounds overlooking the River Neckar make this an enviable spot.
Perched at the top station of the Heidelberg mountain railway, the Berggasthof Königstuhl looks down over the ruined castle and the city below. The first guesthouse on this site was constructed in 1864, and the present-day building reflects its style and traditions. Take advantage of the hotel’s position: hike mountain trails right from the door, admire the view from the sauna terrace, or taste local wines in the hotel’s cellar.
The Villa Marstall occupies a prime site on the banks of the River Neckar in the heart of Heidelberg’s Old Town. Its 18 rooms are spread over four floors. All are light and airy, and attic rooms feature sloping ceilings. Some are especially charming, with four-poster beds. The breakfast here is a real treat. Feast on local cheese and cooked meats in the historic vaulted cellar with exposed brick walls.
Boutique Suites Heidelberg occupies what was once a tobacco factory, built around 1900 by Johann Mathias Pfeiffer. High ceilings, steel girders and exposed brick walls are a reminder of the hotel’s original function. Today, the emphasis is on design and comfort. However, the real highlight here is the space – choose from a snug studio right up to a two-bedroom apartment sleeping four, all with fully equipped kitchens, making it ideal for extended stays.
These recommendations were updated on August 18, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Julia Hammond