Walking in Heidelberg
Walking is the Best Thing To Do in this Rustic City of Heidelberg as the City is not large at all and the main sights around the Church of the Holy Spirit area and in the peripheries around it such as the Markplatz, Kommarkt, Karlsplatz, steingrasse, theneckar river boardwalk, the old bridge and old town tower are fairly walkable areas and quaint cobblestone streets (just be careful as the cobblestones are uneven and you might slip it the streets are wet). You only need a brisk walk going uphill if your are going to the Schloss Heidelberg (Castle). There are also big maps located as several areas to guide you on the different attractions around the city.
Again, be cafeful in walking though as the roads and pavements in the City center are uneven and irregular as they wanted to preserve the original roadwork of the historic area.
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Being one of the Favorite Tourist Areas of Western Germany, Heidelberg has it's share of tour bus companies that offers various City Tours and Day Trips outside of the city going to Mannheim or to the Rhine River Cruise or the Black Forest and even Frankfurt and cologne. Many tour buses are also from the multi country tours like us who have stops at famous cities such as Heidelberg.
the large and comfortable tour buses of which most of them have free wifi for the tour guests and most even have reclining seats . Most of the Buses are made by reputable companies like the native German Mercedes Benz and although they are fast and efficient, the ride is not bumpy as they here excellent tour bus drivers and most buses have a speed limiter of only 100 kilometers per hour hence they cannot over speed.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
like in any major cities and major tourist attractions around the world, the City of Heidelberg have taxi fleets as well the serves both locals and tourists who want to ride in comfort to different areas of the city. the taxis in Heidelberg are available 24 hours a day, and can be found at several of the main squares. The main taxi station is at the Hauptbahnhof, and the other locations are the Bismarktplatz, Neckarmünzplatz and University Square and even at the front areas of several hotels in Heidelberg and you can even call a taxi via the phone for an additional charge.
flag down rate is 3.50 euros and metering charge is 2.50 euros per kilometer so if your distance is 1.5 kilometers then you par 3,50 euros for the flag down rate and 5 euros for the 1.5 kilometers (the price per kilometer is rounded off you see).
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Neckar River Boat Cruise
Being a Famous University and Tourist Town in the Province of Baden-Württemberg, one of the popular Attractions to do in Heidelberg is to have a neckar river boat cruise of which the average boat tour last for 40 minutes around the city along the neckar river and there are even half day and whole day boat tours that go to nearby towns like Mannheim & Worms of which the boat and boat tour docks are located along the banks of the neckar river along Autobahn 42 and near the famous old bridge area. the cruise boats are open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday and prices cost 15 euros per person for a 40 minute or 50 minute cruise.
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Lockers in the train station
I was in Heidelberg train station today (December 2011) and measured the lockers.
There are small, medium and large lockers.
Fees are 2,4 or 6 Euro for 24 hours.
You can prepay a lockers for up to three days, then it will be opened.
The lockers are all 80 cm deep.
The small ones are about 80x32x43,
the medium ones about 80x32x60
and the large ones about 80x45x80.
I say "about" because it was difficult to measure
since the doors don't stay open, I had to hold them
open and at the same time try to measure with the yardstick.
There may be one or two cm more, not less. I tried to write down
the smallest possible width and length.
There are 20 of the large lockers, more of the small and medium
Heidelberg Main Station ("Hauptbahnhof")
The new main station was one of the first new train stations in the young German federal republic and therefore has large dimensions & the charming architectural characteristics of the 1950s. Nowadays, it is listed as a protected historical building.
Throughout the decades renovations & new shops have changed the building, but on the main wall with its large clock you can still see the original mosaic from 1955 (see photo)
The new main station ("Hauptbahnhof") celebrated its 50th birthday on May 5th 2005. The opening ceremony in 1955 was held by the federal president of Germany at the time, Mr Theodor Heuss, who had also lived here for a number of years.
Per day approx. 42,000 travellers pass through the station; quite impressive numbers for a city of this relatively moderate size.
Lockers for luggage (or shopping bags ;-) are available in two sizes and cost between 2 - 4 EUROS. They are located along the hallway where all stairs to the various tracks branch-off. Upon payment you receive a small receipt with a number code, which you will need to later unlock your compartment. Usage is possible for up to 72 hours.
In the train station you will find:
> Travel Agency of the Deutsche Bahn
> Bakery & Snack Bar
> Kiosk (cigarettes, drinks, magazines, int'l newspapers, etc.)
> An Italian Restaurant with smoking section
> "Ihr Platz" supermarket
> Public toilets (0.50 Euro cents per person)
> Public telephones (pay-card or coins)
Travel & Info Office: Opening Hours: Mon- Fri 09:00am-06:30pm.
Saturdays from 09:00am-01:00pm.
Willy-Brandt-Platz 5 / 69115 Heidelberg Hbf.
--> From Frankfurt airport take the ICE, change trains in Mannheim & into Heidelberg. Ticket per adult is 24.- EUROS (price in 2007).
Outside you will also find a Tourist Information Centre. (check my General tips)
From the main station you are excellently connected to the entire city by bus or tram.
NOTE:All tickets must be purchased BEFORE boarding the train, tram or bus.
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Baden-Württemberg-Ticket is a day pass for unlimited train transportation within the region/state of Baden-Württemberg. It costs 18 € for 1 person and 27 € for up to 5 persons! You are only allowed to use local trains or trams and the time frame is from 9 a.m. until 3 a.m. the next morning. Most public transportation is also included, but I usually ask to be 100% sure!
We used it to go from Eggenstein to Heidelberg and so the tram ride to the Karlsruhe trainstation was included, the train ride to Heidelberg and even public transportation within Heidelberg! This was a great bargain!!!
And had we started earlier and had not been invited for dinner back in Eggenstein that evening, we could have roamed the region so much more.... But there can always be a next time!!!
Heidelberg funicular railways
The ugly building in this photo was built in 2004/2005 and is the new lower station (Kornmarkt) of the Heidelberg funicular railways.
The building also includes a hotel and a huge parking garage for automobiles, so motorists can avoid getting even the slightest bit of exercise on their visit to Heidelberg. (The nearest hospital is several blocks away, however.)
From this station you can catch the lower funicular railway, which they say is "the most modern funicular railway in Germany." They forgot to mention that it is also the least interesting one, since it goes through a tunnel to get up to the castle.
Apparently it leaves the tunnel after that, but I have only taken it up to the castle, and the only reason I even took it was that I had an opera ticket for a performance in the castle courtyard, and a ride up on the funicular was included in the ticket price.
After the castle, the lower funicular goes on to a station called Molkenkur, where you can change to the upper funicular, which they say is the oldest funicular railway in Germany, having gone into operation in 1907.
- Castles and Palaces
Bicycles at the Central Station
Lots of people travel by bicycle in Heidelberg, as is obvious from this massive collection of bicycles parked in front of the Central Station in 2004.
For a long time Heidelberg did not have a bicycle parking garage at the station, but after years of lobbying by the Heidelberg chapter of the ADFC (the General German Bicycle Club) a new bicycle station was opened in July 2008 right next to track 1b, near the Ibis Hotel.
I haven't tried them yet, but they say they repair, wash and rent bicycles, as well as storing them.
Also there are now lots of new bicycle stands at the main station, so bicycle parking now (as of 2010) looks quite orderly compared to the chaos of 2004.
Take the tram
The walk from the central station to the old town is not terribly interesting, so after you have gone over and seen the S-Printing Horse you would be best off taking the tram to Bismarckplatz, which is where the main street begins.
For this short journey you only need a "City-Ticket", which used to cost only one Euro but has now gone up to 1.10 (still a bargain!) as of 2010.
The tram in the photo is going in the opposite direction, I must admit, but it was the only one that happened to be there when I wanted to take the picture. (The photo looks rather fuzzy in its reduced form, by the way. I don't know why that is, but if you click on it to enlarge it it's perfectly all right. Maybe someone can tell me why this occurs.)
How to go to the castle.
You can go to the castle by funicular railway. You have to take it at Kornmarkt (it is a square). The journey to the castle takes around two minutes.
Otherwise you can go to the castle area via a path called Burgweg; it begins from Kornmarkt; or you can climb 303 steps along the Schlossweg.
You can also go to the castle by bus.
I went to Heidelberg from Karlsruhe by train.
The journey took around 45 minutes.
Once in Heidelberg you have to take a tram or a bus to the city center. The train station is quite far from it. Take a tram that goes to Bismarckplatz. This square is located at the beginning of Hauptstrasse (see tip.)
Walk along the cobblestone streets
Old Heidelberg is an easy walkable town but can be a bit tricky because of its cobblestone streets. If you are adventurous, you can walk to the top of the castle via the steps or the path from Kornmarkt.
I love walking and for me there really isn't a better way to explore a town, especially one like Heidelberg than by walking. I enjoy being able to stop at my leisure along the way to any of the hidden little treasures that you can find when you just set out to explore by foot.
Pasquale and I walked up the steps to the top of the castle to get some magnificint views. We waked around the castle ruins and walked back down to the Christmas Market.
It was really nice walking along the Christmas stalls and checking out all the wonderful Christmas items.
Driving to Heidelberg
Traveling by car was quite easy. Pasquale lives in Konstanz and driving was our best option for the short amount of time we would be spending exploring the town.
The drive was about 2 hours and 45 minutes along well paved highways and some really nice scenary.
We were able to spend enough time exploring this town, castle and the market without worrying about train schedules.
The funicular railway transports you from the old town to the castle in just a few short minutes.
It was granted permission to be built in 1888 and was completed in 1890.
It was closed for reconstruction in 2003 and reopened with new cars in March 2005.
It is an easy option to avoid the walk up.
Ingrid and I did it the other way round of course. We walked up and took the funicular down.