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The old town is the nicest and most popular part of Heidelberg. It's fun to have a stroll along the pedestrian street (Hauptstrasse), enjoying the view of the castle from the old stone bridge, exploring the little side streets and of course enjoying a couple of beers in a traditional pub.

The castle of Heidelberg has been a ruin for the last couple of hundred years which has added to its charm. A steep climb of about 315 steps leads you from the old city to the ruins and past some nice old fraternity houses. You can also visit the castle by using the Heidelberg Bergbahn funicular railway (first stop). Once at the castle it is worth visiting the grounds - especially the view from the terrace and a visit to the old wine cellar are highly recommended!The nicest views onto the castle are from the old stone bridge and the Karlsplatz (Carl's square) and from the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Way).

Rambling up the southern side of the Heiligenberg, across the Neckar from the castle, one will find the Philosopher's Walk. Its name, it is said, stems from the fact that university professors and philosophers walked there, perhaps using the solitude of the forest and the incredible views of the city and surrounding area for inspiration. It is well worth a visit as it provides the best views of Heidelberg and its surroundings. If you feel fit, you should consider reaching the Philosopher's Walk via the Winding Path (Schlangenweg) which starts near the Old Bridge.

The student prison was established in the 1780s and remained in use until 1914.  From 1823 to 1914 students were incarcerated for offenses such as disturbance of the peace by night and other breaches of the public order. Nowadays it is a museum which preserves the graffiti and poems of the incarcarated students.

Bars and Restaurants

​Being a university town, Heidelberg has an abundance of bars and "Kneipen". Go anywhere close to the Heiliggeistkirche or "Untere Strasse" and you should find a place to have a drink. Some are:

  • Bent Bar is small and serves decent cocktails

  • Vetter is good for large steins of beer

  • Destille if you are feeling adventurous. It is a bit of a dive, but can be fun.

The same is true for restaurants, there are too many to list here. Tripadvisor's recommendations are mostly spot on.  Some options are:

  • Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg: Hearty food and home-brewed beer. They have good wine too. Attached to it is "Zum Seppl" which has been a watering hole for students and locals for hundreds of years.

  • Akademie  for Italian food

  • Palmbräu Gasse: This is again hearty food and beer in steins.

  • Schnitzelbank: Yet more hearty and local cuisine.

Don't despair if steins of beer and pork knuckles are not for you, there are plenty of options in Heidelberg to satisfy every taste.

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