20 Best Things To Do in Heidelberg, Germany

by Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar Updated on 20 Oct 2018

Step in the city and you’ll be instantly transported to a world that froze in the 18th century. An array of activities that can entice the visitors, especially history lovers make Heidelberg one of the best places to be, when in Germany. The city has been lucky enough to sustain even during the WW II turmoil, keeping its ancient architecture and old charm pretty much intact, even today. There are many popular tourist attractions in Heidelberg like Heidelberg Castle, German Pharmacy Museum, Heidelberg Zoo, etc. Here we have covered you with a list of all attractions in Heidelberg.

Let's explore the best things to do in Heidelberg: 

1. Step back in time at Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg CastleImage Source: Pixabay

Ruins of Heidelberg Castle are one of the most popular points of interest in Germany. Locals also call it Schloss Heidelberg or Heidelberger Schloss. Originally built in the 12th or 13th century, this castle has been partially rebuilt before few decades. Tucked away in the hilly region, it greets visitors with stunning vistas. Today, the castle is one of the finest examples of ancient German architecture, art, and history. The ruins are magnificent and have been featured numerous times in the literature. Take a guided tour to know more about the quirky historic incidents.

  • Attraction Type: Castle
  • Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Opened: 1214
  • Contact: +496221658880
  • Owner: Baden-Württemberg
  • Architectural Styles: Gothic architecture, Renaissance architecture

2. Admire the vast collections at the German Pharmacy Museum

Located on top of the small hill inside the Heidelberg Castle, The German Pharmacy Museum is one of the unique places to visit in Heidelberg. Dedicated to the history of pharmacy and medicine, this museum houses over twenty-thousand objects. As it is considered to be finest as well as the largest collection of herbs, minerals, salts, and other natural remedies, one can easily understand why this museum is one of the top things to do in Heidelberg. Guided tours in English are also available as it attracts millions of visitors from around the globe every year.

  • Attraction Type: Museum, Family and Kids
  • Address: Schloss Heidelberg, Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Contact: +49622125880

3. Wander through the historic Kornmarkt square

Kornmarkt SquareImage Source: engelvoelkers

There are numerous things to do in Heidelberg and visiting Kornmarkt must be on top of that list. From the beginning of the 13th-century, this corn market has been a bustling square where trading of agricultural products used to take place. After a couple of decades, dairy and herb markets were also started here. The square is well-known as it is home to the popular Madonna statue erected in 1718. The statue carries religious as well as artistic value. With a backdrop of the Heidelberg Castle, this lively square of corn market looks spectacular

4. Experience the best of town from top of the Heiligenberg

HeiligenbergImage Source: Pixabay

When it comes to places to visit in Heidelberg, Heiligenberg takes the upper spot. This is a lovely hill known for having densely wooded lands. The hill is popular amongst nature-lovers and hikers. There are ruins of the Celtic hill fort, Monastery of St. Michael, Monastery of St. Stephen along with a Roman temple scattered across the hill. It attracts many history-buffs. Thingstätte, an open-air theatre, is also located on top of the hill. The hill offers breathtaking views of the Neckar River and the Rhine Valley, along with some parts of Heidelberg

  • Attraction Type: Hill, Family and Kids
  • Elevation: 440 m
  • Location: Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

5. Take a walk across the famous Carl Theodor Bridge

Old BridgeImage Source: Pixabay

The Karl Theodor Bridge built by Prince Karl Theodor in the 18th century is one of the popular tourist attractions in Heidelberg. Mostly known as the Old Bridge or Alte Brücke, this is one of the last remaining examples of classical stone bridge buildings. Constructed across the Neckar River, the bridge is also home to a couple of famous sculptures. It adds artistic and cultural value to this historic culture. Standing on the bridge, you can also see some of the popular landmarks in Heidelberg that adorn the skyline of this picturesque town.

  • Attraction Type: Bridge
  • Address: Am Hackteufel, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Total length: 200 m
  • Opened: 1788
  • Bridge Type: Arch bridge

6. Enjoy some time in Student Prison

The Studentenkarzer or popularly known as Students' Prison is one of the unusual places to visit in Heidelberg. Though it is hard to imagine today, things like excessive drinking, playing pranks, or dueling were punishable offenses for students during 1778 to 1914. The detained students have adorned the walls of the prison with creative paintings and graffitis. The prison cells are not in use today, but all the artwork has been well-preserved. Even the indoors are maintained as they were during the 18th and 19th century. Visiting this place will introduce you to the unique form of artistic expression.

7. Get awestruck by the magnificence of the Jesuiten Kirche

Jesuitenkirche, also known as Jesuit Church, is located near the popular Heiliggeistkirche in the old town. Officially known as the Parish Church of the Holy Spirit and St. Ignatius, the construction of this structure started in 1712 lasted till 1759. Though it was originally erected in Baroque style, during the renovations in after 1872, the interiors were completely modified. The central altar painting the only remaining part of the old structure. You can also visit the other tourist attractions in Heidelberg like Museum of Sacred Art and Liturgy with Treasury that is located on the premises of this church.

8. Spend some fun time with kids at Heidelberg Zoo

Heidelberg ZooImage Source: Pixabay

For those who are travelling with a family and looking for things to do with kids in Heidelberg, Heidelberg Zoo is the perfect place. Opened in 1934, this zoo is home to more than one thousand animals from 250 different species today. You will get a chance to see animals like elephants, tigers, bears, monkeys, sea lions, giant turtles, snakes along with local as well as exotic birds. Though the zoo was destroyed during the Second World War, it was opened again in the 1970s. There is a small shop on the premises where you can buy interesting souvenirs.

  • Attraction Type: Zoo, Family and Kids
  • Address: Tiergartenstraße 3, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Area: 10 ha
  • Contact: +49622164550
  • Notable Animals: Maike, Pepe, Susi, Bobo, Kelo, Conny, Heidi

9. Explore the collections of President Friedrich Ebert Memorial

President Friedrich Ebert Memorial is a well-known cultural center and one of the popular points of interest in Heidelberg. Established on the birthplace of President Friedrich Ebert, the memorial is working towards preserving the memories of the first president of the Weimar Republic. He was elected as the first German democratic head of state after the First World War in 1919. Thousands of people visit this place every year and explore the exhibits that tell us about the political life of Friedrich Ebert. Special exhibits are also arranged throughout the year.

  • Attraction Type: Memorial
  • Address: Pfaffengasse 18, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany 
  • Contact: +49622191070

10. Unwind with your loved ones at Märchenparadies Heidelberg

Another great way to spend a day with your loved ones is to visit the fairy-tale paradise of Heidelberg. This popular amusement park is known as Märchenparadies, this outdoor recreational area has something for every age group. The vast playground for kids has a climbing castle and a giant jumping pillow. You can take a ride the monorail train horses or witches track. Or you can simply explore fairy-tale areas where stories of Snow White, Zwergnase, or Rumpelstiltskin come alive. Do not wonder about what to do in Heidelberg and visit this park.

  • Attraction Type: Amusement Park
  • Address: Königstuhl 5/2, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Contact: +49622123416

11. Start a spiritual journey at Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit is the most important and famous church not only in Heidelberg but in entire Germany. This is also one of the oldest churches existing in Germany and it was mentioned first in a manuscript dating back to 1239. It is said that the construction of the church lasted for about hundred and fifty years. The church reflects the Gothic style of architecture as well as a Romanesque structure. The most significant feature of the Church of the Holy Spirit is its steeple rising above the roof which is one of the top attractions in Heidelberg.

  • Attraction Type: Church
  • Address: Marktpl., 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Contact: +49622121117
  • Architectural Style: Gothic Architecture

12. Learn about the art and archaeology at Kurpfälzisches Museum

Taking a tour of the art and culture is one of the best things to do in Heidelberg, and when you are intending to do so, begin it from the Kurpfälzisches Museum. Nestled in Palais Moras, this museum has a huge collection of German art providing an insight into the German culture and philosophy. The museum was founded in 1870 and houses archaeological findings, paintings dating back from 15th to 20th centuries, over 7000 graphic arts, sculptures, plenty of historical items, textile collection, and artefacts from Bali, Java, Peru, and India.

  • Attraction Type: Museum
  • Address: Hauptstraße 97, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Opened: 1878
  • Phone: +4962215834020

13. Explore the medicinal herbs at Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg

The Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg is one of the best places to visit in Heidelberg, Germany. Also known as Botanischer Garten Heidelberg, this botanical garden is home to more than 14,000 medicinal plants and 11 different species such as tropical Orchids, Cycads, Mediterranean Geophytes, and some carnivorous plants. The garden has a greenhouse spread over an area of 4 thousand square meters. The garden is maintained by the University of Heidelberg.

14. Get little romantic at Philosophenweg

Philosophenweg or the Philosopher’s Walk goes through a rough and rugged path of vineyards, but it is not as ordinary as it looks. The path has been a favorite to many university professors, romantic writers, and people who enjoy solitude. Situated on the northern banks of the Recher River, this park provides phenomenal views of the Recker River and the gardens surrounding it. While looking for some unusual things to do in Heidelberg, enjoy the picturesque Philosopher’s Walk.

15. Receive a good luck from Heidelberg Bridge Monkey

The Heidelberg Bridge Monkey is one of the popular attractions in Heidelberg. Although this monkey sculpture dates back from the 15th century, it has been reconstructed in 1979. The sculpture is made of bronze and designed by Professor Gernot Rumpf. This bronze monkey has one free hand while in another hand it is holding a mirror. Its head is hollow with eye holes and the entire structure looks unique. There is a local legend related to the monkey and it is said to be associated with “good luck”.

16. Feel royal at Königstuhl (King's Seat)

Boasting an incredible view of Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley to the Rhine Valley, Königstuhl (King's Seat) is one of the famous points of interest in Heidelberg, Germany. Not only the Königstuhl mountain looks majestic itself, but also it houses some wonderful attractions such as beautiful trails, Tinnunculus falconry, an observatory, and a theme park. Rising above 1700 feet, Königstuhl is a favorite hill-station to the locals.

  • Attraction Type: Hill
  • Elevation: 568 m
  • Prominence: 365 m
  • Mountain Range: Odenwald
  • Parent Range: Odenwald
  • Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany

17. Take a tour of Old University Heidelberg

One of the important places to visit, the Old University Heidelberg is more than just an educational institution. The university was built between 1712 and 1718 and is one of the oldest universities of Germany. The university has been associated with 56 Nobel Prize winners. The university houses a museum, a huge library, and a research center. Students from different corners of the world come to study and pursue their research at Old University Heidelberg.

18. Hang out with friends near Neuenheim River Bank

Located between Theodor-Heuss-Brücke and Ernst-Walz-Brücke, the beautiful riverbank of Neckar at Neuenheim is one of the best places to see in Heidelberg. Many university students and youngsters love this place to hang out with friends. There are some small shops, food stalls, and cafes in the surroundings that make Neuenheim River Bank even more happening.

19. Indulge in the culture of Heidelberg at Altstadt

Altstadt is the central as well the oldest part of Heidelberg. Being an amalgamation place of old and new cultural values, moving around Altstadt is one of the interesting things to do in Heidelberg. You will find this part of the city full of old narrow streets, markets laden with local produce, walls depicting the local art and history. The Church of the Holy Ghost, the Palatinate Museum, Synagogue Square are some of the attractions in Altstadt.

20. Admire the works of Psychiatry at Sammlung Prinzhorn

The unique collection of Psychiatry works at Sammlung Prinzhorn is indeed a great point of interest to the locals as well as tourists. The museum displays a collection of over 6000 historical works from various institutes of Psychiatry. These works are kept safe in the inventory in form of drawings and watercolors, oil paintings, textile works, notations and books, and notebooks. The museum also organizes exhibitions and offers a venue for research projects.

  • Attraction Type: Museum
  • Address: Voßstraße 2, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
  • Contact: +496221564492
  • Founded: 1890
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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Heidelberg, Germany

Must see places in Heidelberg ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Heidelberg tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 1840 times in trip plans
    Heidelberg Castle

    Tags: Landmark, Ancient Ruin, Castle, Historical Site

    Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    A prime landmark, the castle ruins are one of the most important Renaissance structures of Heidelberg. The initial structure was raised as early as 1214 AD and had been destroyed several times by ligh...Read more

  2. # 2 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 869 times in trip plans
    Carl Theodor Old Bridge

    Tags: River, Bridge, Walking Area, Ancient Ruin

    Address: Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The old bridge of Heidelberg is officially known as the Carl Theodor Bridge after Prince Elector Carl Theodor. After a major flood destroyed the last wooden bridge in the city the Prince was prompted ...Read more

  3. # 3 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 578 times in trip plans
    Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg

    Tags: Brewery

    Address: Leyergasse 6, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 11:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    Today a hotel in old Heidelberg town, it is best known for its brewery. A friendly staff and great experience is an add-on the Renaissance ambience of the place. Proudly presents: Brewry Beer Garden ...Read more

  4. # 4 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 127 times in trip plans
    Jesuiten Kirche

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Cathedral

    Address: Merianstraße 2, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 09:00 am - 12:00 pm Details

    Just next to the Church of the Holy Ghost is the ornamental Jesuit Church. Still the Catholic Mother Church, it is one of the largest and most important church in Heidelberg. The original construction...Read more

  5. # 5 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 310 times in trip plans
    Student Prison

    Address: Augustinergasse 2, 69117 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Currently not in use, the student prison was opened in 1778 to serve as a punishing place for students who had committed minor offences like indiscipline, rule breaking, rowdy behaviour etc. Interesti...Read more

  6. # 6 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 196 times in trip plans
    Old Heidelberg University

    Tags: Library, Educational Site, Historical Site, University

    Address: Grabeng. 1-3, 69117 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Old Heidelberg University (Alte Universitat) is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Founded in 1386, it has twelve faculties and offers degrees in the undergraduate, g...Read more

  7. # 7 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 130 times in trip plans
    King's Throne

    Tags: Mountain, View Point, Adventure, Valley

    Address: Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Literally meaning the ‘King’s Seat’, the mountain is a superb combination of spectacular views and hidden trails in the deep dark woods. 1700 ft. above Heidelberg, it is a popular hi...Read more

  8. # 8 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 96 times in trip plans

    Tags: Mountain, Tower, Monastery , Observation Deck

    Address: Auf dem Heiligenberg, 69121 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Bang opposite the Heidelberg Castle, across the Neckar River, lies the Heiligenberg Mountain. The mountain is interspersed with history from different ages. The hill also sometimes referred as the Hol...Read more

  9. # 9 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 97 times in trip plans
    Hotel Haus Zum Ritter St. Georg

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: Hauptstraße 178, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The oldest building to survive though all the war and other calamities, Haus zum Ritter St. Georg, stands tall and proud just opposite the Church of the Holy Spirit. Currently used as a hotel, it was ...Read more

  10. # 10 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 67 times in trip plans
    Museum Of The Palatinate

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum

    Address: Hauptstrasse 97, 69117 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This archaeological and art museum was founded in 1870 and houses the private collection of the art historian and artist Charles de Graimberg. The museum is divided into various sections: Art: Painti...Read more

  11. # 11 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 31 times in trip plans
    Botanischer Garten Der Universitat Heidelberg

    Tags: Garden, Botanical Garden

    Address: Im Neuenheimer Feld 340, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This fantastic Botanical Garden at Heidelberg was opened in 1593 and is currently maintained by the University of Heidelberg. A sanctuary for scientific research and conserving endangered species of p...Read more

  12. # 12 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 67 times in trip plans
    Church Of The Holy Ghost

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Cathedral

    Address: Marktplatz, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 11:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The church is so named after the descent of the Holy Ghost and the twelve Apostles. One of the most famous churches in Heidelberg, the Church of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost is built on the site of an a...Read more

  13. # 13 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 89 times in trip plans
    Friedrich Ebert Memorial

    Tags: Memorial

    Address: Pfaffeng. 18, 69117 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This memorial commemorates life and work of the German President Friedrich Ebert. President Friedrich Ebert born on 4 February 1871, belonged to a humble background and is best known for paving the wa...Read more

  14. # 14 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 14 times in trip plans
    Bent Bar

    Tags: Bar, Pubs, Entertainment

    Address: Leyergasse 2, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    Timings: 07:00 pm - 11:59 pm Details

    After an exciting and yet tiring day of sightseeing Heidelberg, this is the place to hit! Probably one of the best bars in town, their cocktails are to die for. Sit back, relax and let the efficient s...Read more

  15. # 15 of 506 Things To Do in Heidelberg | Added 48 times in trip plans
    Monastery Of St. Michael

    Tags: Monastery

    Address: Auf dem Heiligenberg, 69121 Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    On top of the Heiligenberg Mountain is the monastery of St. Michael, most of it in ruins. The monastery has been left abandoned since the 16th century. The monastery was dedicated to the archangel St....Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Heidelberg: