One of the best maintained German cities after World War II, Heidelberg offers a wealth of cultural activities for visitors. Read Culture Trip’s guide to some of Heidelberg’s most interesting and engaging things to see and do.
Constructed before 1214 at an altitude of 80 meters, the impressive Castle of Heidelberg is a famous landmark of the city. You can reach it by climbing up steps that run through the middle of a lush landscape, or by taking the mountainous railway (Bergbahn). The castle offers an amazing view of the city, as well as the opportunity to see the world’s largest wine barrel.
Opposite the Heidelberg Castle is a cliff with Thingstätte at the very top. In order to reach it from the castle you have to walk for about an hour, crossing the Alte Brucke (where you will take many pictures) and the forest after the narrow Philosophenweg. The destination matters as much as the small trip to reach it, with the Thingstätte considered a cultural hot-spot, hosting many plays and presentations.
The central pedestrian street of Heidelberg, starting from the central square and ending up in the river with a number of shops, beer spots and cafeterias. You will spend many hours in this crowded, mile-long main street, which, though a touristy area, is also a favorite amongst locals and students. The multinational and multicultural character of Hauptstrasse is obvious in its incredible variety of restaurants and shops, guaranteed to satisfy all tastes and preferences.
A bridge known all over the world, through countless paintings and poems, joins the two sides of the city of Heidelberg over the Neckar river. Also known as the Old Bridge, it was created in 1788 and still fascinates visitors thanks to breathtaking views of the river and the city, as well as with its lovely sculptures.
Easily accessible by bus, as it is located just 12 kilometers away from the city of Heidelberg, Schwetzingen is famous for its amazing palace that has dominated in the area since the 18th century. It was once created as the summer residence of the Electors of the Palatinate and nowadays hosts numerous summer cultural events. This amazing place constitutes a mixture of cultures and includes a number of classical buildings of French and English style, a theater and a mosque.
One of the most interesting parts of Heidelberg, the zoo is especially attractive to younger visitors. The Heidelberg Zoo is a registered member of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) and home to more than 1000 animals that belong to 250 different species. Established in 1593, it is one of the oldest and largest gardens in Germany and is definitely worth a visit.
Located on the grounds of the Heidelberg Castle, the German Pharmacy Museum hosts more than 20,000 objects which represent the rich history of the medical sciences. It actually covers the history of apothecaries during the 18th and the 19th century, with old instruments, manuscripts and Baroque-style furnishings from pharmacies.