Heidelberg has been called the Oxford of Germany. Its picturesque setting and renowned academic heritage give it an atmosphere unlike any in the country. In addition to seating an internationally respected community of research scientists and organizations, Heidelberg is home to Germany's oldest university, which was established in 1386. The surrounding city center speaks to the city's impressive intellectual history. Here writers and philosophers like Luther, Goethe and Jaspers have strolled and argued among their contemporaries. Here the British painter Turner found inspiration for many of his masterpieces, here composers Brahms and Schumann have heard and recorded the land's musical poetry. Of his first viewing of Heidelberg Castle, Mark Twain wrote, "I have never enjoyed a view which had such a serene and satisfying charm about it as this one gives."
Today that charm, satisfaction, and beauty await the active traveler who incorporates Heidelberg into her journeys. Central Heidelberg is small, bisected by the Neckar River, with many of its older outcroppings on the south bank. Whether you are wandering along that river, among the ancient walls of Heidelberg Castle, through the extensive pedestrian streets, or atop the panoramic viewpoints, you'll sense the energy that still infuses the area. And because of the city's location - approximately one hour from Frankfurt and the world's largest international airport - it is easy to incorporate a stopover in the city before you catch your airplane home.
Fortunately, it's also easy to incorporate a run into your stopover. BTG has mapped out two routes that will allow you to take in two of Heidelberg's favorite areas and enjoy the picturesque scenery as you go. Read on to find out where to go!
- Curbs: This is a city where you should either walk, or gawk at the views, but not do both at the same time. Our BTG researcher forgot this cardinal rule while she was exploring the town, and almost broke her ankle.
- Time: While BTG mentions you can check out this city as you swing towards Frankfurt and a flight home, don't mistake that to mean that you can visit Heidelberg quickly. This is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, and it is well worth your time to spend at least a full day here.
Want to rent a bike?
Check out Bike Rental Heidelberg at the Old Bridge. A variety of city, road, and touring bikes are available to rent, and discounts are available for those who take out bikes for several days.
Neckarstaden 52 / Lauerstr. 11 (off Theodore (the Old) Bridge)
06221.6544460 - http://fahrradverleih-heidelberg.de/englische_seiten/home_english.html
Already have a bike?
Go to Heidel-bike to tune up and gear up and get out on the road.
Rohrbacher Straße 13 - 15 - 06221.23170