[ source: Flickr ]

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Previously asked Heidelberg questions and answers:

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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?

"Where in Heidelberg can I buy fresh rolls in the morning or get a nice breakfast with coffee?" (posted 05/31/2014)

In our neighborhood in Heidelberg, we recommend the bakery/café Frisch. Open daily, great bread rolls, bread, cakes and torte. Workdays (Monday to Saturday), open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (on Saturdays, only to 1 p.m.); Sundays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The menu offers different kinds of breakfast. Both the café and its outdoors area are very popular among Heidelberg’s inhabitants. For breakfast, there are many bistros of various kinds in all of Heidelberg, some of them still offering breakfast at 5 p.m. Bistro/café Extrablatt offers a breakfast buffet for 10 euro. Quicker and cheaper breakfasts can be found in bakeries such as Bäckerei Riegler or Bäckerei Mantei, which also have a seating area. These two bakeries are also open daily, but only until 12:30 on Sundays.
Answer provided by Beate Berger on 05/31/2014
This answer is helpful 1
A very good choice is to go to the coffee house "Schafheutle" in the Hauptstraße 94, Old town of Heidelberg.
Answer provided by Alexandra Kilian-Milcovic on 05/31/2014
This answer is helpful
Like all larger cities, Heidelberg has a net of bakeries and bakery branches with fresh baked goods. In general, they are also open on Sundays. The chain stores usually have some tables to stand at, for those who are really in a hurry. For having breakfast without hurry and with a larger selection, go to a ‘day café’ (Tagescafé). These are closer to the city center – including one right at our door here in the Weststadt.
Answer provided by Rudolf Berger on 05/31/2014
This answer is helpful

Are there any cultural highlights, museums?

"Are there any particular museums that would be interesting for someone wanting to learn more about the history and culture of the Heidelberg area?" (posted 09/02/2014)

In Heidlberg and Umgbung There are a number of historical sites and museums to visit. Heidelberg itself has a castle, a historic mountain railway, a featured Altatadt with historic buildings and churches. Unwweit of Heidelberg Schwetzingen palace and a beautiful castle park. Speyer with its cathedral and historic Jewish sites can also be reached by car in 30 minutes, but also by public transport. From Heidelberg we can also the Neckar Valley with many historical communities, visit old castles. The whole recommended special from May to Septmber by ship. The ships start on day trips from Heidelberg. Heidelberg and the surrounding area offers plenty of variety, beauty and history.
Answer provided by Karin Seßler on 09/02/2014
This answer is helpful

Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?

"Can you recommend 2-3 ideas for day trips with interesting targets near Heidelberg? As we do not want to travel more than 2 hours (one way) we are looking for nearby attractions or points of interests that are worthwhile to visit. What is the best way to get there (car, bus, train?)" (posted 06/04/2014)

Day trips by car If proposal 1 Heidelberg and Schwetzingen are explored, it may perhaps sometimes be a bigger day tour. Start by car in Heidelberg Neckargemünd / Eberbach and go through the Neckar valley to Eberbach. From here, across the Odenwald Erbach im Odenwald. This is our goal. It is a driving distance of about 55 km from Heidelberg ketch about 75 km. So expect a good hour's drive. The whole is very scenic, be it the Neckar Valley or the Odenwald hills with its small villages. Note that Mondays are usually closed please museums. Inform after opening times on the homepage of Erbach, or ask your host to do this before the trip for you. In Erbach arrived, you have now spoiled for choice. Here are the options: German Ivory Museum Erbach Otto Glenz-Straße 1 64711 Erbach im Odenwald Tel: 06062-919990 Fax: 06062-9199921 E-mail: elfenbeinmuseum@erbach.de Internet: You can www.elfenbeinmuseum.de Figures can act on small stage worlds up. You get the creative process of an ivory figure of the sketch to the finished work of art explains. Suitable is the museum for all ages. Particularly vivid are the Schnitzvorführungen. and / or visit the Count's castle collections of Erbacher. Here there is the Hall of Knights with armor, weapons collection and much more. The deer gallery or create salon with the ancient Porzelansammlung. For more information, see www.schloss-erbach.de. and / or visit one of the many arts and crafts workshop. Everywhere you can see at work on the shoulder. This is where artful things of the following materials: ceramics, jewelry, wood, glass, stone, paper, in the tourist office in Erbach Erbach or the website of the municipality or from your landlord, you can check in advance and decide whom to consult. In Erbach You will also find enough bars and restaurants where you can rest and enjoy typical dishes Odenwald. Also during Advent Erbach is worth a visit, just at this time, many special events in the Kunswerkstätten.
Answer provided by Karin Seßler on 06/08/2014
This answer is helpful

Good restaurants for dinner?

"Can you recommend me 2-3 good local restaurants in Heidelberg where I can get a nice and tasty dinner?" (posted 06/02/2014)

There are "countless" good eats! In watchable location (Old Town) could include "Simplicissimus", "Golden Star" (Lauer alley), "Nepomuk" (Old Bridge) "hack devil" (near Old Bridge), "Knight" (historisch!) Main Street, "Weisser Bock" Old Town.
Answer provided by Rudolf Berger on 06/04/2014
This answer is helpful

Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.

Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?

How to get around and find best means of local transportation?

Where to find good quality groceries?

Are there any special local events?

Are there any local food specialties one should try out?

What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?

"Why should someone do a vacation in Heidelberg? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Heidelberg, which everyone visiting Heidelberg should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Heidelberg that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 05/31/2014)

Heidelberg offers a lot of history, old buildings, museums, the historic shopping street, the old cog-wheel train – all mentioned in the usual guidebooks. Even the student’s pubs are mentioned in the guidebooks. Four times a year, there’s the ‘Schloss in Flammen’ (“Castle in Flames”) event, re-enacting an impression of the medieval fire in the castle with modern fireworks, viewed from ships on the Neckar river. In the summer months, there are the castle festivals with theater productions, musicals, and more. Many times, there are pieces in English, too. In my opinion, however, what is truly special about Heidelberg is its location, central and in beautiful landscape, and its diversity. Given that diversity, one should take time to explore and enjoy. Everyone will have different interests, but there will be something for everyone. Get on historic paths, enjoy views, pass through the beautiful landscape of the Neckar valley on a relaxed boat cruise or on foot, hike through the Odenwald forest. The Philosopher’s Path is great; it is right across from Heidelberg and offers great views of the valley and the castle. There is the Badian wine, so there are vineyards right by, and open for visitors. For fans of technology, there are technical museums close by. Gourmets can choose between many a great restaurant or good traditional German (Badian) cuisine. In a 20-30 km circle around Heidelberg, there are many further places worth visiting: Weinheim, Ladenburg, Schwetzingen, Mannheim. In Mannheim, one encounters the Rhine; the Neckar joins with it here, coming from Heidelberg. It is all easy to reach by public transport; if you want to be even quicker, take a car. Heidelberg is part Baden, part, Hessia, part Palatinate. All three states border here; all three have left their mark on the dialect and the kitchen. And so, one can make easy car trips into the Palatinate vineyards, go to a “Pfälz Hütte” for sauerkraut, liver dumplings and pork belly. Or go into the French Alsace for some Flammkuchen. With kids, go to animal parks, amusement parks or pools. In the spring, the almonds bloom at the Bergstrasse (mountain road); in Advent before Christmas, there are many Christmas markets in and around Heidelberg. Heidelberg is worth a trip, any time of the year. If you rent your room privately, the owner is sure to give you some suggestions; just say what you’d love to see.
Answer provided by Karin Seßler on 05/31/2014
This answer is helpful
"Are there any lakes in the Heidelberg area (e.g., up to a 1 hour drive) that aren't too crowded? The ones we know all have facilities and are as crowded as swimming pools in the summer time. Thanks!" (posted 07/29/2016)

The lakes around Heidelberg are almost all small lakes and almost all used for swimming. The crowd is of course dependent on the weather. In warm weather, many families are there then for swimming. Unfortunately I can not give better information here, as I myself am not a supporter of these lakes. I know from my sons that the lake in St. Leon-Rot is really nice. Here one can well inquire about Lakes: http://www.seen.de/heidelberg/umgebung/ Many greetings Beate Berger
Answer provided by Beate Berger on 07/31/2016
This answer is helpful

Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?

"Is there a good local deli or restaurant in Heidelberg where they serve a good lunch?" (posted 06/01/2014)

In answering the question, I assume that the question is not aimed at a gourmet restaurant. Bzgl. the butcher, the question arises for a snack or for buying meat for self preparation? In my proposals, I'm also assuming that you are in Heidelberg's Old Town or adjacent (South City, West City). Otherwise you would have to know where you are located outside, because the border communities offer of course a lot and you do not go necessarily because food back inside to Heidelberg then. Generally you have in the old town, the so-called main street, at the various places and in the side streets a wealth of dishes on offer. This goes from fast food to restaurant chains with standard dishes, Italian, Chinenisch, Turkish. Prior to the main road at Bismarkplatz and around itself continues this. Opposite the Bismark square is the so-called Square, a mall with shops and also small restaurants with lunch. In the whole area of ​​the old town core is therefore a dense network of variety and quick menu's of all flavors. Man "comes over here" when you're on the go. But also some very concrete proposals: The Butcher Zeiss GMBH, in the main road number 28 offers sandwiches, hot dishes, cold meats on. Here is a butcher chain that is spread all over Germany. This butcher shop is to be found in all pedestrian areas, shopping centers etc.. The product is good, not cheap. If you do not like right house-made sausage or cook a steak for yourself or take lunch to, then I recommend the butcher Unger in the Old Town, at the fish market or 4 in the western city, Roemerstr. 3 or in New Home, Brückenstr. 16 This is a for generations Heidelberg-based butcher, a real family, with only 3 branches. Very good quality. But now some concrete Local: "Goldener Hecht" Historic restaurant with beer garden in the Old Town, overlooking the old historic bridge. Open daily 12 to 24 clock. Here is something for the small and large appetites. It was only open from 17 clock, but always well-attended, it is recommended reservation if one is not equal to 17 or 18 clock present, is the "Schnitzel Bank," in the old town, Bauamtsgasse 7 There are regional cuisine in a rustic environment. In the western city (cross right on Old Town) Kleinschmidtstr. 12 there is the "crocodile". Also open until the evening from 17 clock. Very cozy. Then "Wine and Dine" in the Rohrbacherstr. 47 open Monday to Friday 11 noon to 1 clock clock night. Saturday, Sunday and holidays only from 17 clock. Daily lunch dishes, large and small menu, good wine. A so-called "in local". To be recommended. With the plethora of local it is difficult to remove only a few out. In the said I had until now no bad experience.
Answer provided by Karin Seßler on 06/03/2014
This answer is helpful
Butchers can be found in Heidelberg in each district and they actually all have a high quality standard. To name them would be "Schlemmermeyer" in the main street and "Friedl" in the Dossenheimer road, but also the "Edeka" on Römerkreis / Bahnhofsraße.
Answer provided by Rudolf Berger on 06/04/2014
This answer is helpful

Are there any points of interest or local attractions?

What are good places to go for shopping?

Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?

"Any sporting activites and recommendations in Heidelberg to stay active?" (posted 06/07/2014)

Very geherte ladies and gentlemen, there is with us Fitnes center near, and because we are right on the Neckar, you can get really good jogging on Neckarüfer along. Sincerely Berger family
Answer provided by Beate Berger on 06/08/2014
This answer is helpful
"Hi. Are there any safe, natural areas to go swimming near Heidelberg? For example, an area along the river, or a lake???" (posted 06/16/2014)

Ladies and gentlemen, there are safe, natural areas for swimming in Heidelberg. For example, you can swim in the Neckar, and there are several lakes around Heidelberg where you can swim. Sincerely, Fauzi Berger
Answer provided by Beate Berger on 06/17/2014
This answer is helpful

Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...

"Could you please provide me with a brief description of the weather in Heidelberg? How cold are the winters? Are the summers usually cool?" (posted 09/12/2014)

Simply check at wetter.com
Answer provided by Erika Engelke-Lohkamp on 09/12/2014
This answer is helpful 1

Popular Points of Interest in and near Heidelberg

  • Heidelberg University
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Heidelberg University

    The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Heidelberg University, Ruperto Carola) is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution since 1899. Today the university consists of twelve faculties and offers degree programmes at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 100 disciplines. It is a German Excellence University, as well as a founding member of the League of European Research Universities and the Coimbra Group. The language of instruction is usually German.

  • Heidelberg Castle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Heidelberg Castle

    The Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located 260 ft. up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. It is served by an intermediate station on the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway that runs from Heidelberg's Kornmarkt to the summit of the Königstuhl.

    The earliest castle structure was built before AD 1214 and later expanded into 2 castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt destroyed some rebuilt sections. The architecture contains elements of the Gothic and Renaissance periods. The castle gardens, the Great Vat (the world's largest wine barrel) and the remarkable Pharmacy Museum are also worth a visit.

    Hours: Courtyard 8am - 6pm, Big Vat 8am - 6pm, Pharmacy Museum 10am - 5:30pm.

    Admission: Combined entry for Castle yard, Great Vat and German Pharmacy Museum: Adults 3 €, Concessions 1.50 €.

  • Heidelberg Mountain Railway (Heidelberger Bergbahn)
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Heidelberg Mountain Railway (Heidelberger Bergbahn)

    The Heidelberger Bergbahn, or Heidelberg Mountain Railway, is a two section funicular railway. The first section runs from a lower station at Kornmakt in Heidelberg's Old City, via an intermediate station at Heidelberg Castle, to an upper station at Molkenkur. Here passengers may change to the second section, which runs to the Königstuhl, a nearby mountain with good views over the city and the River Neckar.

    The upper and lower sections of the funicular have different histories and are sometimes referred to separately by the names Königstuhlbahn and Molkenkurbahn respectively. These two sections present quite different appearances, with the upper section using wooden bodied cars of historic appearance, whilst the lower section uses modern style cars. Similarly the upper stations at Molkenkur and Königstuhl are to the original design, whilst those further down the hill at Kornmakt and Heidelberg Castle present a more modern image.

    The Heidelberger Bergbahn runs every 10 minutes throughout the day, while the connecting upper section runs every 20 minutes throughout the day. The services start and end at times that vary from summer to winter.

  • Holy Ghost Church (Heiliggeistkirche)
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Holy Ghost Church (Heiliggeistkirche)

    The Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Ghost Church) was built from 1344 to 1441, its tower completed in 1544 and is the largest regional Gothic church. The chancel contained the tombs of the Prince Electors of the Palatinate. Most of the commemorial tablets were destroyed in 1693. Of the originally 54 epitaphs, the only one to remain was the one of Prince Elector Ruprecht II (1352 - 1410). While once shared between Catholics and Protestants, the church now serves only a Protestant congregation.

  • The Palatinate Museum

    Built in 1712 by J.A. Breunig, the Palais Morass is one of Heidelberg's finest baroque residences. It is now home to the extensive collections of the Palatinate Museum. Exhibits include paintings, prints, sculptures, arts and crafts and ancient artifacts. The museum also covers the history of the town and region, giving visitors a fascinating insight into the Palatinate and its capital Heidelberg. Though the main focus is the Roman Age, the archaeological collection displays finds from the Ice Age to the early modern period. The gallery of paintings and sculptures contains works from the late 15th to the 20th century, mostly by regional artists. A highlight is Tilman Riemenschneider's altarpiece of the Twelve Apostles from 1509, one of the key works of the late Middle Ages. Also, the outstanding works in the print gallery are among the best in southwest Germany.

    Hours: 10am - 6pm daily, closed on Mondays.

    Admission: Adults 3 €, Concessions 1.80 €.

  • University Botanical Garden( Botanischer Garden der Universität )
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    University Botanical Garden( Botanischer Garden der Universität )

    Founded in 1593 as a medicinal herb garden, the botanical gardens are the oldest of their kind in Germany. The greenhouses contain unique collections. Outdoors, visitors will discover a broad range of interesting vegetation types such as bog, moorland, alpine garden, fern ravine, inland dune, natural vineyard and carefully maintained areas. Portions of the garden are open to the public daily except Saturday without charge.

  • Philosophenweg (Philosophers' Walk)

    The former Linsenbühlerweg, a simple path through the vineyards in the 17th and 18th centuries, became the Philosophers’ Way in the late Romantic period. This change of name can be traced to the fact that Heidelberg’s university professors and philosophers found this path a congenial place where they could talk seriously and contemplate while enjoying the charming view of the Neckar.

    This view of the town inspired also the poets Eichendorff and Hölderlin on their walks to write their poems. Among the attractions of this now world-famous walk are the Eichendorff Stone, a sandstone stele with a bronze relief of the poet, and the Merian-Kanzel, a sandstone platform from where in 1620 Matthäus Merian immortalized Heidelberg in an engraving. The Hölderlin-Anlage, an area at the Eastern end of the Philosophers’ Way dedicated to the poet Hölderlin, pays tribute to his ode to Heidelberg Lang lieb ich dich schon... (Long have I loved you…)

    Even today, this world-famous path offers new sights and insights. Enjoy a beautiful view of Heidelberg and a climate that reminds you of the Italian Toscana. Many sub-tropical plants flourish in the Philosophengärtchen. The temperate climate is perfect for Japanese cherries, cypresses, lemons, bamboos, rhododendrons, gingko and yucca trees, and several other plants from the mediterranean, North Africa and Asia. Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857) is one of the German poets who fell in love with Heidelberg and dedicated poems to the old town. A commemorative stone refers to the German Romantic who studied here 1807-08.

  • Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg

    The Botanischer Garten der Universität Heidelberg (2 hectares), also known as the Botanischer Garten Heidelberg, is a botanical garden maintained by the University of Heidelberg. It is located at Im Neuenheimer Feld 340, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; portions are open to the public daily except Saturday without charge.

    The garden was established in 1593 as a hortus medicus for the University of Heidelberg. As such, it is the third oldest botanical garden in Germany, but has moved seven times since its establishment. The present site was created in 1915 by Georg Albrecht Klebs and head gardner Erich Behnick. It was severely damaged in World War II but has subsequently been rebuilt.

  • Kurpfälzisches Museum
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Kurpfälzisches Museum

    The Kurpfälzisches Museum (Palatinate Museum) is a museum of art and archaeology in Heidelberg, Germany. It is located in the Palais Morass. It was founded in the late 1870s, when the city of Heidelberg purchased the private collection of the artist and art historian Charles de Graimberg.


    Findings from the Lower Neckar Valley, including a facsimile of the lower jaw of Homo heidelbergensis discovered in Mauer; Roman artefacts; a life-sized reconstruction of the mithraeum of Heidelberg; and items dating from Heidelberg's period as the Electoral Palatinate residence.


    Works from the 15th to the 20th century, including portraits of historic Heidelberg figures (Frederick V, Elizabeth Charlotte, Perkeo); religious works by Rogier van der Weyden and Lucas Cranach the Elder; 17th century Dutch still lifes; 18th century rococo pictures; 19th century works by Carl Rottmann, Anselm Feuerbach and Wilhelm Trübner; and 20th century works by Alexander Kanoldt, Alexei Jawlensky and Max Beckmann.

  • Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma

    The Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma was established in Heidelberg, Germany in the early 1990s. The institution is the beneficiary of special funds from the German Federal Government and the land of Baden-Württemberg. After years of conversion and extension work, the building complex was ceremonially opened to the public on 16 March 1997. It is now home to the world's first permanent exhibition on the genocide perpetrated upon the Sinti and Roma by the Nazis.

What is your insider travel tip for Heidelberg?

Podcast: A Germany Vacation in Heidelberg with Live Like a German

Listen to our special Live Like a German podcast (in German). This podcast is titled "A Germany Vacation in Heidelberg with Live Like a German." Episode 4: Today we have Rudolf Berger with us. Rudolf lives in Hockenheim (20 km), in the Heidelberg area. He grew up there, and is now renting out a nice vacation apartment in Heidelberg for about a year. Recently, his apartment is now available on Live Like a German and can be booked directly online. Today we have compiled a few questions about holidays in Heidelberg. The interview comprises interesting travel insider tips that you won't find in a regular Heidelberg travel guide. Maybe we'll start simply by asking why anyone should evervisit Heidelberg and what's special about Heidelberg …

Rudolf Berger

Rudolf BergerIn this podcast we're interviewing our Live Like a German property owner Rudolf Berger:
69 years old, retired attorney, grew up in Heidelberg's Westadt. Passionate about traditional american music (e.g., Jazz, Blues, and Bluegrass)

LLAG: Hello, this is Reiner Kraft of Live Like a German. Holidays in Germany, the Live Like a German way. Today, our episode #4, all about Heidelberg. Today’s guest is Rudolf Berger. Rudolf lives in Hockenheim (~20 km from Heidelberg); many will certainly know the Hockenheim-Ring – Formula 1 racing and all that. Rudolf grew up in the area of Heidelberg, so he knows his way around, of course. For about a year, he’s been offering a great vacation apartment in Heidelberg for rent. It is now also available for booking via Live Like a German, online, in all convenience. We have put together a few questions about Heidelberg. They are all about travel insider tips: things to do in Heidelberg, what one should see, and of course what the resident may know, but not necessarily the tourist – and of course, those are the things which interest us in particular. Let’s start here: Why should people go visit Heidelberg for their vacation?

Rudolf Berger: Well, hello Mr. Kraft. Thank you for the invitation to tell you a bit about Heidelberg. Reason to make a vacation in Heidelberg – or rather, reasons – are manifold. It’s well-known a city, particularly nice because of the beauty of its landscape. It is located at the end of the Neckar river valley. At Heidelberg, the Neckar leaves the Odenwald forest and moves into the flats of the Rhine, becoming a part of the Rhine a few kilometers further on. Heidelberg is a city of history and present. History, as the interested visitor will probably know, thanks to the world famous castle ruins above Heidelberg. It alone already points to the destruction of the Thirty Years war; at the hands of the French, it was both destroyed and reborn as a tourist sight, for it was the French who destroyed it, but also a French who came to Heidelberg and liked the castle ruins so much, he single-handedly made it famous.

LLAG: Yes, the castle ruins – very well known, found on all the tourist photos.

RB: On the picture of Heidelberg, right.

LLAG: Right. That’s all well, but back to the vacation apartment. Where in Heidelberg is it located, how is it as a starting point on a vacation?

RB: People who live here are in the Weststadt, a part of the city bordering directly on the town center, which is reached in 5 to 7 minutes of walking. The old town (Altstadt) can be reached taking the S-Bahn, which has a stop right in front of the house, getting to Altstadt and castle in 2-3 minutes.

LLAG: Super. So, pretty cheap, centrally located and great conditions for taking public transport.

RB: Right.

LLAG: Okay. Now, how about breakfast, going out to buy fresh bread rolls… Is there a supermarket close by, or what are your recommendations?

RB: Well. The apartment is basically at the center of the Weststadt district, a pretty lively part of Heidelberg. Leave the apartment towards the front of the building (it itself is in the back part of it), and there’s a baker’s, butcher’s, natural foods store, supermarket, barber’s… all can be reached on foot in three minutes. Just go left or right along the road, there’s everything.

LLAG: Great. So, everything’s close by. How about local specialties that the visitor should try out?

RB: Again, something for the whole area… In the house, in front, there’s a Greek. Go right for some fifty meters and right again into the small side street there, and you have a Spanish place. Something we asked our guests to do – or actually, that first developed on its own – is that they bring back business cards of the places they went and liked. Those are in the apartment, so other guests find a range of suggestions to try themselves. Here in the Weststadt, there are – I don’t know – somewhere around 20, 25 or even more restaurants. All in walking distance.

LLAG: Super. That’s interesting, how the guests basically collected their own recommendations and provided them to others. Gives the traveler a good range of opportunities.

RB: Yes, spares a lot of “work.” … About local specialties…

LLAG: Please, go ahead…

RB: I thought about your question a bit, and I have to say that I couldn’t think of anything that Heidelberg itself is famous for. However, there’s Schwetzingen. Also world-famous, basically on the doorstep of Heidelberg – just 10 km away – and home of the Schwetzinger Spargel: asparagus. There’s a local specialty, and it’s almost as famous as Heidelberg castle.

LLAG: Ah, yes, asparagus from Schwetzingen. I’ve heard of that. And 10 km isn’t far away, either.

RB: And then, there’s also the Asparagus Road, leading from Schwetzingen through Baden. Schwetzingen’s well-known for its asparagus, after all.

LLAG: Okay, so, that is… I’m looking at a map as we speak… it’s pretty close by.

RB: Real close.

LLAG: No problem driving there. Okay.

RB: I guess we’ll get back to sights around Heidelberg later…

LLAG: Yes, sure. So, Schwetzingen… Well, yes, I guess that’s my next question already. A culinary tour to Schwetzingen, and maybe something else to see as well? What are other places rather close by, to go and see?

RB: Schwetzingen doesn’t just have the asparagus, there’s also the renowned castle garden. Castle and garden. It’s a must-see. Whoever goes on a visit to Heidelberg really has to also come and see the castle garden of Schwetzingen. It’s a gigantic garden, maybe one better talk of a park, which is being maintained very well and should be visited. Do a guided tour of the castle, as well, and of the garden, getting explanations about all the sculptures in it…

LLAG: Okay.

RB: It really is a must-see. Then, having gone to Schwetzingen, it’s just a few more kilometers to the Rhine, the Rhine bridge, and Speyer. I’d say Speyer’s probably as well-known as Heidelberg, with the cathedral and the unrivalled historic old town. Guided tours are also offered, and there’s history without end. Whoever’s interested that way can’t really get around a trip to Speyer.

LLAG: Okay. So, we went to Schwetzingen, on to Speyer… then there’s Hockenheim with…

RB: Hockenheim, yes, still on our side. Going to Speyer, though, one can also go on; in the immediate vicinity, there are wine grower’s villages, one after another. This is already the Rhineland-Palatinate, another state and one famous for its wine. It’s really unique; you can drive from one village to the next, and they’ll all fascinate. There’s a saying that Italy begins in Speyer or in the Rhineland-Palatinate. It is somewhat like that.

LLAG: So, for example, there’s… there are so many villages there, do you also provide your guests with something like a list of the top three villages you’d recommend for them to visit?

RB: Yes. We also have a website for our apartment, and it features those suggestions. What I’m telling you now can also be found there.

LLAG: Super.

RB: And there’s a lot more…

LLAG: Okay.

RB: The Neckar valley is also important. It’s well-known. From Heidelberg by boat upstream, just a few kilometers on, there’s the Four Castle’s Corner. Romantic like anything – really impressive.

LLAG: Ah, a boat tour. From Heidelberg, where the ships leave, up the Neckar towards… Ladenburg, right?

RB: No, that’s the other direction. Upstream towards Neckargemünd, Neckarsteinach.

LLAG: Ah yes, in the other direction. And there, there are several castles. So, they are visible from the river?

RB: Yes, they can be seen from the river. They are on the left and right banks of the Neckar. They were real robber baron’s castles – the knights came down from there to extract toll from the passing ships.

LLAG: [Laughs.] Super. Okay, and right in Heidelberg? What can you recommend, what should one go and see – whether setting out from the apartment on foot or taking the tram?

RB: The old town, of course. The old bridge. The Philosopher’s Path (Philosophenweg) on the side opposite the castle, which is also well-known. Whoever comes to Heidelberg will just stumble upon these things.

LLAG: Okay.

RB:The Philosopher’s Path… it’s a great view, from the opposite bank onto castle, Neckar and Neckar valley.

LLAG: Okay.

RB: And go on a guided tour through the old town. They are given in various languages, so it’s no problem if you don’t speak German.

LLAG: Those are to be booked at…? Is there a tourist office or…?

RB: Yes, and then they lead through the old town and into the so-called student’s dungeon/jail, where the students who caused trouble used to end up. These are some classic Heidelberg haunts. The Universitätsplatz (university square), of course. As I mentioned at the beginning, Heidelberg is both a city of history and of modernity: Only a few days ago, Heidelberg was once again picked as elite university. Only 11 institutions in Germany receive that distinction. In the Neuheimer Feld, where the medical faculty has been moved – it’s an extensive grounds. I suggest going there just to see the life and the work. It’s a young university town, and shaped by it. A great movement of bikes and people… it’s fascinating.

LLAG: Okay. Yes, I can imagine. With a university, a lot of life is injected into a town. Another question to ask: How about the active sportsperson, people who like to play tennis or golf, or want to go to a spa or swimming pool. How about the possibilities for that?

RB: There’s everything. Heidelberg itself has indoors swimming, but the locals rather prefer the quarry ponds. There’s a number of those flooded gravel pits. They were excavated as the autobahns were being built, and they are now *the* places where locals would go.

LLAG: Those lakes, those quarry ponds – where are they located? Towards the Rhine or …?

RB: Again towards… the Old Rhine is also a body of water one can use for swimming, but those are in the direction of Karlsruhe. From Heidelberg, drive towards Karlsruhe, on B36… there are several lakes, one after the other, and all beautiful. Crystal-clear deep water, and just something other than a pool. Something to really relax…

LLAG: Yeah. I’m just having a look at the map… Is it here, a bit towards the South?

RB: Yes, right, south. At St. Leon, for example – there’s the first lake. Altlußheim and Neulußheim … there’s the so-called Blausee (Blue Lake), and a few kilometers further lies Erlichsee lake.

LLAG: Is there also a spa for the autumn and winter, or something else for when it’s too cold to go to a lake?

RB: Well, there’s an indoor pool in Heidelberg. A spa… well, the thermal bath. In Schwetzingen and Hockenheim there are… well, those can’t be called pools, they are true water landscapes. That’s somewhere to go that’s really nice, with several areas… sauna, wellness, what-not.

LLAG: That’s of course interesting, especially then, in winter, as it gets colder outside, it’s great.

RB: Right, great places to be warm and safe.

LLAG: So, back again to that: Throughout the year, there are probably various festivities. Wine festivals, or local fairs, or other things that are of cultural interest. What could you recommend as interesting, and what’s the best time for such things?

RB: Right. The season for such activities, such events, is the fall. In summer… well, there are the castle illuminations, 2-3 times a year, when the castle is lit up by fireworks. Check the Heidelberg city website for that. Those smaller street festivals, those are in the fall, though. One well-known such festival is the Heidelberger Herbst (Heidelberg Autumn) – it’s even called that way. Then, main street is full of stands and snack bars and others, top to bottom, left and right. Similar with street festivals in fall in the Palatinate, which we’d talked about before. Speyer and its environs. Bad Dürkheim. Then, one wine festival after the other takes place in those smaller towns.

LLAG: So, fall’s the time for all the street festivals, wine festivals.

RB: Right.

LLAG: What about Christmas time? Are there also nice Christmas markets or…?

RB: Yes, those can also be found in Heidelberg. There’s a famous one; they are similar, also along Main Street. They go for a longer period of time, though, don’t they? They are in session for 3-4 weeks, with all their small stands for mulled wine and little delicacies like Vienna sausages and all that. Yes, Heidelberg’s also a part of that. There are Christmas markets also in other cities, though…

LLAG: Right, of course… and that’s just why I wanted to ask which festivals are more interesting, which are more peculiar to Heidelberg and not something that can be found anywhere. Of course, those are of more interest. Okay. Back to the vacation apartment. As I said at the beginning, it’s now about a year that you are offering this apartment. Could you tell us a bit about it, about things that make it special, what the vacationer can expect – for example, you had already told us of the business cards which guests leave…

RB: There is something special to the apartment already in that it’s centrally located, relatively high up in the building, so that there’s a great view out back towards the Geisberg mountain, and – of particular importance to guests who arrive by car, especially in the Weststadt – there is an underground parking garage with an elevator leading right up to the apartment. Whoever has been to Heidelberg before will know just how bad the search for a parking spot can get. So, this is a very welcome amenity offered.

LLAG: Okay, yes, of course that’s really important. So, if the traveler has some questions, can they reach you, ask questions?

RB: We always greet our new arrivals in person, are on location when they come, hand them the key, explain how to get into the parking garage, and all that. We also show the apartment’s equipment. It is fully furnished, with all amenities, so that the guest will be right at home.

LLAG: Is internet access also provided?

RB: Yes, it’s all there.

LLAG: All there, great. With that service, telling the visitor where they should consider going, giving advice… Okay. Did you want to add anything more? I think we talked about the main points.

RB: Yes, I think those were the essentials. Well, in the apartment itself, to mention that as well, a whole range of guides on Heidelberg and its environs are provided. So, the guest can learn anything they want, in German, English and French. It’s all provided.

LLAG: All provided, great.

RB: And even in several languages.

In several languages, yes, that’s important. Okay, great. Mr. Berger, thank you for your time and the great advice, and I hope there’ll be many visitors finding their way to Heidelberg soon. Okay?

RB: Exactly, thank you.

LLAG: Tschüss.

Rudolf Berger: Tschüss.

If you liked this Live Like a German podcast, leave us your feedback on iTunes and recommend us to your friends. You can find more Germany travel insider tips on our Live Like a German website, together with a wide range of selected, beautiful vacation apartments in Germany. See you soon and Tschüss!

Travel Insider Tips for Heidelberg

Heidelberg Overview

Situated on a peaceful stretch of the Neckar river and overlooked by one of the most famous ruined castles in the world, Heidelberg is one of Germany's most popular and picturesque travel destinations.

Heidelberg is located on the Neckar river between the Odenwald valley and Rhine valley and is part of a densely populated area known as the Rhein-Neckar-Triangle. The city is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg and is home to 140,000 people. It is considered to be one of the most popular travel destinations within Germany.

Heidelberg is also famous for one of Germany's oldest universities (established in 1386) and has a 800 year old history. The number of annual visitors is estimated at more than 3 million each year with a majority from USA, Japan as well as European countries.

The town itself is relatively small and most visitors spend time in the old part of the town and the Bismarckplatz, where most trams and buses depart and arrive from. Its world famous castle with its ruins is also a big tourist attraction.

Live Like a German - Heidelberg Travel Tips

To help you start planning your visit to Heidelberg, here are some of the highlights, which will make your trip all the more memorable:

Our Top Picks:

  1. Heidelberg’s castle is world famous and comprises a mix of styles. Construction of the castle first began in the late 14th century. A castle festival is held in summer and the program is filled with theatre plays, concerts and opera. Plan to spend a day at the castle and enjoy a stroll through the landscaped gardens (see http://www.schloss-heidelberg.de/en/)
  2. Heidelberg is well-known for having the oldest university in Germany, giving the city a youthful vibe. This has led to a vibrant cafe and bar culture, with little eateries dotted around the town along little cobblestone streets. Check out “Untere Strasse” to find boutique shops and quirky bars.
  3. Visit the Altstadt (Old Town) below the castle for some ‘retail therapy’ and end your day at one of the many restaurants serving traditional regional dishes. There are also plenty of churches and historic sites to satisfy your cultural cravings (see http://ww2.heidelberg.de/Altstadt-Information/english/index.htm)
  4. Take the tram to the Königsstuhl for magnificent views of Heidelberg and across the region. At the top you can sit back and enjoy the scenery or explore nature on the Walderlebnispfad (the forest experience walk). This is always a hit with children as they get to experience their surroundings with all their senses (see http://www.heidelberg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1181370_l2/index.html)

Our special Heidelberg insider tips:

  1. Go on a romantic river cruise to the Four Castle’s Corner in the Neckar valley. From the water you will be able to see the castles on the left and right sides of the river. They were actual robber baron’s castles where knights would obtain extra tolls from passing ships (see http://www.neckarsteig.de/de/faszination-neckarsteig/burgen/vierburgenstadt-neckarsteinach)
  2. Go for a swim in one of the many quarry ponds around Heidelberg. These former gravel pits were used for road works and then flooded to provide swimming holes.
  3. Visit Heidelberg for the “Heidelberger Herbst” festival during autumn to find streets lined with little stalls selling food and local crafts and enjoy the fairground atmosphere.

There are plenty of things to see and do in and around Heidelberg and we hope that you have found some interesting information to plan your next trip. As you know, we have a number of fantastic vacation apartments, which will give you an opportunity to Live Like a German in Heidelberg.

Ever wanted to get married in a castle?

Here's your chance for a romantic and unforgettable wedding. Starting 2009 the castle will open its doors to those who want to get married within its old historic walls. We're planning on putting together a vacation package for this. Stay tuned for more information….

Historical Sites and Local Attractions

Please make sure to visit the following historical sites and attractions when visiting Heidelberg:

  • Heidelberg's old town
  • Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberg Castle is a famous landmark and ruin in Heidelberg)
  • Heiliggeistkirche (first mentioned in 1239, this church has a rich history)
  • Rathaus (Here you can view the famous paintings of Wilhelm Lindenschmit and the work of Karl Hoffacker on the glass windows)
  • Philosophers' Walk
  • University of Heidelberg (The University of Heidelberg is the oldest university in Germany)
  • Heidelberger Bergbahn (the Heidelberger Bergbahn/Funicular is the longest in Germany with a stretch of 1.5 km)

One of the most famous sights of Heidelberg is the famous old town, it is divided into two different sections "below and above". The lower part begins at the Bismarck area and ends at the University Square. At the lower street you can find many bars, cafes, restaurants and the famous university, which was founded in 1386. The past of the city but you can also experience at a museum visit was: Fri present example, the Palatinate Museum, the Friedrich Ebert Memorial Museum and the University of impressive presentations.

On a walk, the castle itself and the castle garden can be explored. Likewise, it can give you fare on the other side of the Neckar: on the philosophers, one of the most beautiful promenades in Europe.

A ride on the cable car Heidelberger, every season an experience, because the entire route up to Heidelberg's local mountain, the king chair (568m), are beautiful views of the city freely. The mountain railway is considered one of the most modern cable cars Germany. The base station is located on the grain market.

The main street of Heidelberg is one of the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It is 1.6 km long and extends from Bismarck Square to the Town Hall, is simply called the main road and it is. The shopping mall comes up with department stores and pretzel stands, Baroque and Renaissance facades, beautiful boutiques and cafes. But even in the streets you will find it, and at the same time there are in courtyards or on house gables many beautiful and interesting things to discover. Take time to stroll - and remember to wear comfortable shoes, because most roads in the old town are secured with cobblestones.

Due to its exposed location, the Café Rossi is in the heart of Heidelberg, directly at Bismarck space, yet an insider tip. At the liveliest square in the city's Cafe Rossi offers an oasis of joy in classic coffee house tradition and an ambience that they may be reminiscent of Paris, Milan or New York. From breakfast to dinner extended, from espresso to fine red wine - they will not miss anything. Review: The Heidelbergers very popular.

A tip if you prefer the Indian cuisine in Heidelberg the Moghul Tandoori Restaurant. This gives you a total of 85 seats inside and in summer you can relax on the veranda with a magnificent view of the Neckar, comfortable and pamper yourself with culinary delights. Just because little known among tourists in the Sahara Cafe Heidelberg is also considered insider Location. It offers specialties from the Lebanese cuisine. The small but beautiful restaurant is centrally located in the old town.

Over 2000 years of history await you in Speyer. The magnificent cathedral with the crypt where emperors, kings and bishops are settled. A very nice old town with nice shops, one of the oldest Judenbadanlagen Germany, the Pörtel - a piece of old fortifications of Speyer, the Memorial Church and a monument to Martin Luther. Speyer You can visit as part of an afternoon or in combination with Schwetzingen, or wine road as full-day excursion.

The German Wine Route is one of our oldest tourist routes. You can visit as this half-day trip or as a full day trip, also in combination with Speyer and Schwetzingen. In most cases, we opt for a city: Bad Durkheim or Neustadt to visit / Leisure and lunch, with a drive through a part of the wine route. This trip should be connected to a wine tasting, no doubt, is the special attraction of this region: Enjoy world-class wines of this region and do not let this opportunity from. We can reserve a wine tasting at a winery, where your guests can also purchase the "droplets" and take home as souvenirs.

One of our classic attractions is the Odenwald. There are several variants. With all the heart of the Odenwald is, the city Michel city with the most half-timbered buildings around. Starting at the mountain road or on Heidelberg district, go over the Neckar valley, the town of Hirschhorn. There lay first a pause to look at the beautiful Neckar valley closer. After the stay, continue upwards in the Neckar Odenwald in after Michel city. There you can enjoy the well-known delicious regional food for lunch. To drink coffee, we continue to Erbach. Then drive along the Siegfried road back to the mountain road to Heidelberg.

More about the History of Heidelberg

Approximately 1,000,000 years ago, the Heidelberg Man, whose jaw-bone was discovered in 1907, the earliest evidence of human life in Europe, died at nearby Mauer.

In the 5th century BC there was a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of worship on the Heiligenberg, or Mountain of Saints. Both places can still be identified.

In 40 a fort was built and occupied by the 24th Roman cohort and the 2nd Cyrenaican cohort (CCG XXIIII and CCH II CYR). The Romans built and maintained castra (permanent camps) and a signaling tower on the bank of the Neckar, and built a wooden bridge across the Neckar. The first civilian settlements would develop under the protection of the camp. The Romans remained until 260, when the camp was conquered by German tribes.

Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the 5th century when the village Bergheim (Mountain Home) is first mentioned in documents dated to 769. Bergheim now lies in the middle of modern Heidelberg.

In 863 the monastery of St. Michael was founded on the Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic fortress, and around 1130 the Neuberg Monastery was founded in the Neckar valley. At the same time the bishopric of Worms extended its influence into the valley, founding Schönau Abbey in 1142. Modern Heidelberg can trace its roots to this monastery.

In 1155, Heidelberg castle and its neighboring settlement are taken over by the house of Hohenstaufen, and Conrad of Hohenstaufen becomes "Count Palatine of the Rhine" (German: Pfalzgraf bei Rhein).

In 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf through marriage.

The first reference to Heidelberg can be found in a document in Schönau Abbey dated to 1196. This is considered the founding date for Heidelberg. View of castle from town square.

In 1225, Louis I, Duke of Bavaria obtained the Palatinate, and thus also the castle, which is mentioned in a document.

In 1303, two castles are mentioned; the one located further up the mountain was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1537. The palace of today was then built at the site of the lower castle. In 1356, the Counts Palatine were granted far-reaching rights in the Golden Bull in addition to becoming Electors.

In 1386, the University of Heidelberg was founded by Rupert I, Elector Palatine. The University played a leading part in the era of humanism and reformation and the conflict between Lutheranism and Calvinism in the 15th and 16th centuries. Heidelberg's library, founded in 1421, is the oldest public library in Germany still intact. A few months after the proclamation of the 95 theses, in April 1518, Martin Luther was received in Heidelberg, to defend them.

In 1620, the royal crown of Bohemia was offered to the Elector, Frederick V (married to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James VI of Scotland). He became known as the "winter king", as he only reigned for one winter until the Imperial house of Habsburg regained the crown by force. This marked the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.

In 1622, after a siege of two months, the armies of the Catholic League, commanded by Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, captured Heidelberg. He gave the famous Bibliotheca Palatina from the Church of the Holy Ghost to the Pope as a present. The Catholic, Bavarian branch of the house of Wittelsbach gained control over the Palatinate and the title of Prince-Elector. In 1648, at the end of the war, Frederick V's son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, was able to recover his titles and lands.

In order to strengthen his dynastic power, he married his daughter Liselotte to Philip I, Duke of Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV, king of France. In 1685, after the death of Charles Louis' son Elector Charles II, Louis XIV laid claim to his sister in law's inheritance. The claim was rejected, and war ensued. In 1689, city and castle were both taken by French troops, who brought about an almost total destruction in 1693.

In 1720, religious conflicts with the citizens of Heidelberg caused the Prince-Elector Charles III Philip to transfer his residence to nearby Mannheim, where it remained until the Elector Charles Theodore became Elector of Bavaria in 1777 and established his court in Munich.

In 1742, Elector Karl Theodor began rebuilding the Palace. In 1764, a lightning bolt destroyed other palace buildings during reconstruction, causing the work to be discontinued. Heidelberg fell to the Grand Duchy of Baden in the year 1803. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden re-founded the University, named "Ruperto-Carola" after its two founders. Notable scholars soon earned it a reputation as a "royal residence of the intellect".

In 1810, the French revolution-emigrant Count Charles Graimberg began with the preservation of the palace ruins and the establishment of a historical collection.

In the 18th century, the city was rebuilt in Baroque style on the old Gothic layout.

In 1815, the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia formed the "Holy Alliance" in Heidelberg.

In 1848, it was decided to have a German National Assembly in Heidelberg. In 1849, during the Palatinate-Baden rebellion, Heidelberg was the headquarters of a revolutionary army which was defeated by a Prussian army near Waghaeusel. Until 1850, the city was occupied by Prussian troops.

Between 1920 and 1933, the University of Heidelberg's reputation was enhanced by a number of notable physicians (Czerny, Erb, Krehl) and humanists (Rohde, Weber, Gundolf).

Nazi era

During the Nazi regime (1933-1945), Heidelberg was a stronghold of the NSDAP, which was the strongest party in the elections before 1933. Non-Aryan university staff were discriminated against, and by 1939 the University had "lost" one third of its staff due to racial and political reasons. During the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, Nazis burned down synagogues at two locations in the city. The next day systematic deportation of Jews started, and 150 Jews were sent to the Dachau concentration camp. On October 22, 1940 during the "Wagner Buerckel event", 6000 local Jews, including 280 from Heidelberg, were deported to a concentration camp in France, Camp Gurs. Between 1934 to 1935, the Nazi regime built a huge amphitheatre on the Heiligenberg north of the old part of Heidelberg for the SS events. The theatre is called Thingstätte and is still used for occasional concerts and events.

On March 30, 1945, US forces liberated Heidelberg from the Nazi regime. German troops left the day before, after destroying the old bridge, Heidelberg's treasured river crossing and at that time the only crossing of the river Neckar for larger vehicles.

It has been theorized that Heidelberg escaped bombing in the Second World War because the US Army wanted to use the city as a garrison after the war. In fact, as Heidelberg was neither an industrial center nor a transport hub, there was nothing worth bombing in Heidelberg and Allied air raids focused on the nearby industrial cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. In 1945, the University re-opened at the initiative of surgeon Karl Heinrich Bauer and philosopher Karl Jaspers.

[ source: Wikipedia ]

Situated on the Neckar River and home to approximately 150,000 people, Heidelberg is one of Germany's most popular and picturesque travel destinations. Heidelberg provides both a glimpse at history with its world famous castle, and a look to the future as a forward-thinking municipality, coupled with advanced research coming from the oldest university in Germany, established in 1386. The town itself is relatively small, and most visitors spend time in the old part of the town and the Bismarckplatz. In addition to the castle and university, other highlights of Heidelberg include the oldest botanical gardens in Germany (Botanischer Garden der Universität), the beautiful and inspiring Philosopher’s Walk (Philosophenweg), and the largest regional Gothic church (Heiliggeistkirche). The Palatinate Museum, one of Heidelberg's finest baroque residences, houses extensive collections of art and artifacts, in addition to covering the history of the town and region. These are among the reasons that more than 3 million people visit Heidelberg each year.

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