..... visitors will have when walking along Philosophenweg, philosophers’ path :-)
If you are in Heidelberg during any season and want to take one of these famous photos which you see all over the place on postcards, beer and coffee mugs or in books and magazines: walk Philosophenweg (philosophers' path) in early evening when the sun shines on the castle. I suggest early evening because the path is on the northern bank of Neckar River, the castle on the southern bank. The low sun and sunset times enhance the colours: the old town's roofs and the castle have a fantastic reddish colour.
Philosophers’ path received its name from the inspiration philosophers claim to have had when walking here many years ago. It is still an inspiration today, especially because the gardens nearby are well kept and the old houses and villas add to the whole experience.
Walk here after you have visited the castle; it will be late afternoon anyhow by then. Cross the old bridge, the one with the big white towers, and enter into Schlangenweg approx. 10 m left (west) after you have crossed the bridge on Ziegelhausener Strasse. This path is partly covered by tree leaves and high walls but this is even better because it is cool and fresh in there. You will pass some little viewing platforms along the path for photo opportunities and some rest. After 10-15 min, you will get reach the philosophers’ path. Turn left here to get back to the river or turn right and continue the walk up to Heiligenberg.
The philosophers’ path is also the best place to watch the castle illumination, which takes place on the 1st Saturday in June and September and 2nd Saturday in July.
Location of the „entrance“ at Schlangenweg
© Ingrid D., 2006; update Sept. 2013: wording only.
Do you wonder where all of those gorgeous postcard photos of Heidelberg's old town were taken? Where was the photographer standing? This is your answer: the Philosophenweg.
This view over Heidelberg is considered one of the best panoramas north of the Alps, and one of the most stunning walking trails in the whole of Europe.
This is where poets, scholars (Heidegger, Goethe and Jaspers) and Heidelberg University teachers used to stroll, taking in the beauty of the surrounding lush greenery & the historic city below. The path leads up along the hill on the north of the Neckar River and is easy to find via the various signs posted by both the old town bridge (Carl-Theodor-Bruecke) or the Theodor-Heuss-Bridge. If you're looking for your own personal "muse" or for that perfect view of Heidelberg from above, the Philosophenweg is the way to go! (excuse the pun :-)
The so-called "snake path" (Schlangenweg) winds up the hill, at once you can peek through the massive & ancient trees and vegetation you'll see Heidelberg on the opposite river shores in all its picture-perfect glory.
NOTE: This walk isn't recommended for elderly people or those with walking difficulties. Wear proper shoes (not high heels or sandals).
This street is also renown for its beautiful luxury villas or some of the city's wealthier residents (some scenes for the German movie "Anatomie" were also filmed here)
It is said that “Philosopher’s Walk” derived it’s name from the fact that the philosophers and teachers from the university of Heidelberg once walked along the route that is now lined with memorials of famous poets and philosophers. From here you have some breathtaking views of Heidelberg Castle.
You can also enjoy a panoramic view of Philosophenweg from Heidelberg Castle as well, were I took these wonderful pics.
Across the River from the Alstadt, climb the hill and walk the "Philosopher's Walk" or "Philosophenwig". In the summer the walk is lined with flowers and bushes and the view is superb! You can quickly see why one might think great thoughts in such an environment!
The Philosopher's Path is situated on the other side of River Neckar and provides you with one of the most beautiful views on Heidelberg. It is a little bit exhausting to get up there. The so-called "snake path" (Schlangenweg) winds up the hill, almost completely overgrown by bushes and grass. As soon as you enter daylight again, you'll see Heidelberg on the opposite side of the river in all its beauty!
The Philosophenweg is a scenic hiking path that begins on the Neckar shore opposite the Old Town. Coming from the Old Town, cross the "Alte Brücke", then the street that runs parallel to the Neckar river, turn left, and a few metres later a narrow entrance gives way to a path that is quite steep, but not very long. From the top, you have excellent views and panoramas of the Old Town of Heidelberg.
The Philosophenweg (i. e. philosophers' path) is a path situated in a green area that lies on a hill overlooking the Neckar river and the old core of Heidelberg. Here you can have a stroll, rest a bit or have a pic nic.
In this area there are plants from the Mediterranean countries, from North Africa and from Asia.
We walked across the river and found a stair walkway with a sign indicating the Philosopher's Walk up, which turned out to be quite up. A very good hike to the walk, we spent several hours enjoying the old vineyards and walls as well as an interesting tower. A double reward is the great view of Heidelberg.
High up along the hills of the opposite banks of the river Neckar runs the road knowns as the Philosophers' Road. If you want to see how to get up here, have a look at my transport tips as it is quite a challenge. Worth every minute of it though as the views from here across to the Old Town and Castle are magnificent and you realise why the big brains of Heidelberg loved to walk here and think about life. Apart from the great views, there are also lots of plants here which you normally do not see in Germany but then the Neckar Valley has its own microclimate.
We decided to walk the Philosophonweg and also up the Heiligenberg to see the klosters and the Thingstaette (see other tips).
Be warned, on a warm sunny day the initial rise will make you sweat. But the views on this walk are absolutely worth the effort. There are also many places to rest along the way.
Beautiful gardens are found along the way: Eichendorff, Liselotte, Hoelderlin
We veered towards the upper walkway and went to the top before coming back down to the lower walkway and then finally down towards Hirschgasse.
Whether the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Path) really inspired the likes of Nietsche, Kant or Hegel is a matter of debate. But anyone who takes this path will certainly see Heidelberg from another angle. A steep ascent takes you up to Philosopher's Garden, an idyllic oasis with fantastic views of the old town. The route is lined with memorials of famous poets and philosophers;a perfect place for night owls to take a stroll and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city lights crowned by the illuminated castle.
If you walk the philosophers way you will see many intresting sights like the one shown above.
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On the north side of the Neckar, you can take the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's way), a path that goes up to a belvedere where you have a great view of the castle and the Old Town. If you feel like walking up a little more, you can continue up to the "Heiligenturm", a small tower where you can get a really great view.
This is a great way to get the postcard type pictures of the castle and town. It is a long walk up the hill and not an easy one, especially with a 4 year old on your shoulders, but the walk is worth it. If you walk across the Altebrucke and turn left, you should see a sign pointing the way to the 'philosophenweg'. Make sure to go here first, as you don't want to make this climb after a day of wandering around the town.
The hill on the north bank of the Neckar overlooking the river and the old city center is home to Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Way), a scenic walking path lined with Japanese cherries, cypresses, lemons, bamboos, rhododendrons, gingko and yucca trees, and several other plants from the Mediterranean, North Africa and Asia. There is also a relaxing garden (Philosophengärtchen) filled with beautiful flora, from which you can sit and take in the breathtaking view of the city and its famous castle.
Philosophenweg, or Philosophers' Walk in English, is a promenade on northern side of the river Neckar. If you are into photography or just fine views, the walk offers some of the best views of the old town and castle.
The promenade is named so because according to local stories the city's philosophers and university teachers are said to have once walked there debating among themselves.