I’ve learned from my previous trip to Frankfurt that it’s not the most exciting of cities. Predominantly a financial hub, it comes to life when the Christmas market rocks into town, which wasn’t massively ideal for me considering I arrived a healthy three days before 2018 festivities kicked off. The point of my
Just a 40-minute drive from Frankfurt, Heidelberg sees scores of visitors descend upon it for it picturesque scenery, quaint streets and ancient buildings. It’s what the British would call a ‘chocolate-box’ town; a living representation of what the whole country used to be like. The sort of place that radiates tradition just through its aesthetic, because in real life, nowhere looks like that on the regular. Of course, Heidelberg has stepped into the 21st century, with its busy high street showcasing familiar brand names – it does, after all, have a population of almost 170k people and a whole heap of those are students.
But of course, we skipped the shops and made the most of our afternoon by using our Heidelberg Cards* to get the bus from where parked the car and started exploring. I could have easily spent an extra day taking in one of the local hiking routes or spending a bit more time in one of the many appealing looking wine bars, but we only had a few hours. If you’re just making Heidelberg a quick day trip, here’s where you should start:
Coffee and cake at Coffee Nerd
You know a place has a student population when the hipster coffee bars start opening up! Stumbling past Coffee Nerd was a total fluke, but after a 40-minute drive and only one coffee in my system, I bounded in almost feverish with delight at spotting a long menu of caffeine options through the window. We plonked ourselves next to a sink sprouting some dashing cacti and supped excellent chai lattes; I had a piece of cheesecake and my friend went for a chocolate orange slice.
Find it at: Coffee Nerd, Rohrbacher Str. 9, 69115 Heidelberg
Duck down the side streets
The easiest, most obvious thing to do in Heidelberg, but every single street seemed to radiate to Disneyesque magic to it. You’ll inevitably end up on the Hauptstrasse, the main street, at some point, and like any tourist destination and student city, there are the expected chain stores to ignore. But quietly waiting for you on every street away from the crowds is terraces of gorgeous houses, painted in subtle
Get the funicular up to Schloss Heidelberg
Lord knows I LOVE a funicular railway. From Lake Como to Budapest, if there’s one way to get me up a big
Relax with a beer tasting flight at Vetters
It’s no secret that I love beer, and during my trip to
Find it at: Vetters Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus, Steingasse 9, 69117 Heidelberg
Try the local sweet treat at Cafe Gundel
On the way back to the car, we made the excellent decision to pick up a sweet treat for the road. Although the sit-down portion of Cafe Gundel was full-to-bursting, it was easy to pop into the bakery section and grab a Heidelberger Kurfürstenkugel. Easier to eat than pronounce, it is essentially a sponge dough ball with a nougat cream core, then covered in marzipan and chocolate. I normally hate marzipan, but it was evened out by the other layers, and to be honest, I regret not buying two.
Find it at: Cafe Gundel, Hauptstraße 212, 69117 Heidelberg
Heidelberg is full of rich history and beautiful architecture as well as having the luxury of still staying relevant with cafes, shops and restaurants catering for its modern student population and increasing tourist appeal. An afternoon was wonderful, but absolutely not enough, and I’ll absolutely be returning in the future for a longer stint.