Heidelberg has been on my to-visit list for the last couple of years. It was just a matter of fitting it in with my trip calendar, which is planned 12 months ahead. So when a change of plan took my partner and I from Basel to Frankfurt last week (June 2019), Heidelberg was on the top of our itinerary!
Day trip from Frankfurt to Heidelberg
As public transport in Germany is so efficient and reasonable in price (especially with group tickets) I originally planned to go to Heidelberg by train from our base in Frankfurt.
We chose to go with a guided tour instead because the train station is some 3 km from Altstadt (Old Town) where all the sights are. And I did not relish the hassles of get connecting transport, or to walk?!! 🤭
Joining a tour turned out to be the right decision as it turned out to be a hot day (up to 33C). It would have been enervating walking 300 steps up to the castle from the Old Town – instead of being taken by an air-conditioned bus!
Heidelberg is home to the oldest German university. Amazingly the city emerged from World War II almost unscathed. I had my camera ready as soon as the river was in sight. To my delight our tour began at the Old Town by the Old Stone Bridge over looking the river!.
Our guide was very informative, but I am afraid I was too distracted by the glorious views in front of me to take much in!
Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) & Brückentor gate
Old Bridge stands proudly on the Neckar River. With two towers on either side of the gate, it is an iconic landmark of Heidelberg
Statues on Old Bridge
I was drawn by 2 interesting statues on the Bridge. One is that of Prince Elector Carl Theodor who had the bridge built. The other is the bronze Heidelberg Bridge Monkey at the gate holding a mirror.
If I remember correctly, rubbing the mirror is said to bring money, the feet means a return to Heidelberg and the mice (which I didn’t see) for fertility! No prize for guessing what I rubbed!!!😆
View from the other side of the bridge
Views from the bank of the Neckar River
Marktplatz in Altstadt (Old Town)
In a way the Old Town Square is very much like many others in Germany. However, surrounded by beautiful period buildings, eateries and the imposing Church of the Holy Spirit in the heart of it, it’s very photogenic!
Kornmarktplatz – The Corn Market
Just a little way from Marktplatz, the tour broke up for lunch. We had all been given a round of sandwiches and a bottle of water, which was rather handy. With only an hour’s stop for lunch, there would not have been time to find a restaurant for a sit-down meal.
We found ourselves one of those benches in the shade at Kornmarktplatz, with a Madonna statue in the middle. It’s next to the city hall, with the castle in sight, a great place for people-watching!
As it was such a hot day, people who usually spend ages posing the same post for 50 photos, just took 5 and disappeared in the shade!!😂
Finally, the highlight of the day for me – Heidelberg Castle!!
Not wonder this castle ruin is a landmark of Heidelberg! The silhouette of the castle from Old Bridge and Old Town was bewitching. But the view of the bridge, the river and the city from the Great Terrace is no less spectacular!
Inside the castle grounds – the façade of the buildings is awesome!!
I would have loved to stay at least a couple of hours more in Heidelberg to explore it more. Nevertheless it was a memorable day trip!
Finally, the important fridge magnet & my usual pose