A Weekend in Heidelberg
Late last month, my bud and I went to Heidelberg, Germany to meet my mom who traveled there on business. Heidelberg is about 5 hours from Maastricht, including a bus ride from Maastricht to Aachen, a train from Aachen to Cologne and another one to Heidelberg. These trains can be booked in advance via DB Bahn.
With the exception of the train malfunction on the way to Cologne which required us to re-book (the ticket office in Cologne were particularly helpful and efficient), we arrived relatively unscathed and in fact, earlier than expected! I have to say that among the high speed European trains I have tried so far, Germany’s ICE ranks among the best, especially in terms of carriage.
We stayed at Marriott Heidelberg, just next to the Neckar River.
Even though it was in the middle of winter, the sun was quite cooperative and granted us blue skies once in a while.
The stunning facade of the university library:
We visited the Heidelberger Schloss, the ruins of a Gothic and Renaissance-style castle located on a hill overlooking the picturesque old downtown.
To get there, you must proceed to the end of the Haupstrasse (which by the way, is worthy to be explored in itself) you can choose to either take the tram or take a hike up via the stairs or the steep, paved road. We opted for the latter!
Further up the hill, two tram stops away from the castle-ruins is Heidelberg’s highest point. When taking the tram, be sure to sit on the first carriage or the last one to get the best views!
At the peak’s tram station, overlooking the entire city.
There’s also a hotel and a cozy restaurant on top of the hill, offering sweeping views of the city and good, moderately-priced food. After pigging out on steak, salad and fries, I ended it with an Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel).
Another famous area in Heidelberg is the Hauptstrasse, or Main Street. It is a mile-long stretch of pedestrian-only street where you can find department stores, outdoor cafes, restaurants and specialty shops. Needless to say, this is the most crowded part of Heidelberg but don’t let the crowd and commercialism put you off. There are lots of interesting architecture and little stores that deserve a visit!
See more photos in my Heidelberg set on Flickr!