Heidelberg Castle is built on Heidelberg, on top of a medieval fortress. For five centuries Heidelberg was the residence of the Electors of the Palatinate Wittelsbach and it was family owned. Between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries the castle was not only built, but it was also expanded, which, in the 16th century, made it one of the most beautiful Renaissance homes in Germany. After the Thirty Years War and the War of 1689 against France, the castle was practically reduced to rubble, losing all of its glory in the process. Today, the ruins are the symbol of German Romantic Era. A visit to the castle is certainly an impressive must-see. I would highlight the [I] Pulveturm [/ I], XIV century tower that was part of the defenses and showing obvious signs of war and lived [I] Englischer Bau [/ I], remains of the building that was built by Federico V for his wife Elizabeth Stuart in the 17th century. The castle is open year round from 8am to 5:30 p.m. Groups and students can get in at a reduced rate. The entrance to the inner part of the castle costs about 6 euros.
This impressive nine arch bridge stands over the Neckar river. It was built between 1786 and 1788 by order of the Elector Karl Theodor. The bridge's gateway deserves special attention. You'll always find tourists taking photos as they enter and leave the long bridge. The best views of the whole thing are from atop the castle or along the Philosopher's Walk, which is accessed from one end of the Old Bridge. Of course you can't leave Heidelberg without having seen this worth-the-visit bridge.
In the center of Heidelberg, you'll find the beautiful plaza where city hall is. The square has a fountain depicting Hercules, which is the place where the people formerly chased down and burned witches and heretics. Obviously the site today has nothing to do with all of that nonsense. In the summer there are plenty of terraces you can sit on. It's the ideal place to relax and dine in a special place the less. The food is somewhat more expensive than other places, but worth it. We had a salad and a toast to share with a couple of drinks and paid 20 euros. Despite the higher prices the site is overcrowded and there are always people waiting for one of the empty tables to sit.
Supposedly this street is one of the most beautiful pedestrian zones in Europe. I don't think that I've visited enough pedestrian areas around Europe to say for sure, but certainly this street has something special. Maybe I'm not accustomed to the streets of big cities, but I always get the feeling of being in a scene of a movie. Walking along Hauptstrasse, there is lots of shopping in the many shops, used bookstores, tinker stores, and boutiques. Discover idyllic streets full of charm. Also there are terraces for dining, or drinking coffee. The street, considered a reference point, passes through much of the old town. Throughout the year, tourists visit the city, though the largest influx takes place in the warmer months.
This garden that surrounds Heidelberg Castle was created by renowned landscape architect Salomon de Caus with the intention of meshing well with the city's harmony, as well as the river and the mountains. The geometric "Hortus Palatinus" terraces used to be considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. The gardens, which are surrounded by a wall, offers beautiful views of the park and the city. The Neckar river is photographed each year by the huge number of tourists that visit Heidelberg, Germany. It also offers the possibility to take a leisurely stroll along its entire length. The site is a blast. Do not know anyone who does not have wonder. Access is free.
The Philosopher's Path, or Philosophenweg, is a path created in 1817 on the slopes of Heidelberg, 200 metres in altitude. This narrow path is the natural home to numerous exotic plants thanks to its warm micro-climate that favours an earlier flowering. Although it's a tourist attraction and appears in almost all guide books, I found the site on my third visit to Heidelberg. I would totally recommended it. It offers, without a doubt, the best views of the city, the castle and the Neckar river. It's the perfect place for a quiet stroll, while enjoying nature and the amazing scenery.
The celebration of the Christmas season can be found all around Europe and especially in Germany. Heidelberg has 4 different Christmas Markets set up around the city including the grounds of the castle.