Many of us know the big cities in Germany that tourists flock to when visiting the country; Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, just to name a few. Though these cities are all special in their own ways, there are so many other smaller cities in Germany that get overlooked. One of said cities is Heidelberg, known for its 14th century university (the oldest university in contemporary Germany), it’s picturesque cityscape by the River Neckar, which includes the Old Town and Heidelberg Castle; a not to be missed sight that offers visitors spectacular views of the town and beautiful ruins.
Heidelberg Castle, located 260 ft above the city, is a landmark of Heidelberg with much of its ruins left untouched after its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries, making the castle a very important Renaissance structure.
Making your way up to the castle is relatively easy, as you can see it from the nearby streets of the Old Town and can follow the roads that lead up to the castle where you’ll begin your ascent. Once you’re about half way up, you’ll come to a fork in the path; the left will give you access to the free garden and the right will take you up to the castle where you must pay €6,00 to enter (however, this does not let you go inside any part of the castle) and an additional fee if you would like a guided tour. Since I was only really interested in the views from the castle and not so much the history, I was thankful that the lady told me that the garden entrance, which is completely free, offers the exact same views of Heidelberg as the paid area. So, I saved €6,00 (later to be spent on copious amounts of gelato) and headed to the garden.
Once you make it up, the garden offers a great vantage point to take in the incredible views of Heidelberg. Besides the lovely views of Heidelberg from 260 ft up, including the River Neckar and the Old Bridge, you can walk around its spacious garden and take a little nap in the shade of a big tree, admire the old ruins of the castle scattered throughout the grounds, or even sneakily join one of the many tour groups you’re likely to run into.
You can easily spend a few hours in the garden of Heidelberg Castle, or longer if you go in through the paid entrance, wandering around and taking in all of the history surrounding you. If you’re looking to spend some more time up at the castle, you should bring a little picnic along and enjoy it in the garden area where there is ample grass to sit on and relax.