Things to do in Heidelberg on a day trip

Heidelberg was always high on our list of places to see but we knew we would only have one day in Heidelberg. You see we love Castle’s and the castle at Heidelberg always looks amazing in every picture we have seen. The Castle in Heidelberg is located sitting perched up on the hill guarding the town below.

Schloss Heidelberg was priority number one of the things to do in Heidelberg for Wyld Family Travel. We only had a short time sightseeing as we made a Heidelberg day trip up from Freiburg to see the city before returning later that day. So the question remained what to see in Heidelberg in one day

Heidelberg Tourist Info:

If you only have one day in Heidelberg’s head straight for the tourist information centre. You can access Heidelberg tourist info experts all the year round at the Main Train Station and in the Old Town The staff will provide you with any information needed for things to do in Heidelberg Monday through Saturday

The Heidelberg tourist info centre is in the Heidelberg City Hall on Market Square in the Old Heidelberg area. Grab your Heidelberg map, maybe a Heidelberg Free Walking Tour:

Free walking tours are a great way to learn about the city you are visiting, You will be taken to and explained the Heidelberg points of interest. Meet the tour EVERY WEDNESDAY to SUNDAY for our English tour at 2:30 PM next to the famous Bridge Monkey, which is close to the Old Bridge Gate.

For more information check the Heidelberg Free Walking Tour Website

Things to do in Heidelberg
Heidelberg old town

We concentrated our time on old Heidelberg to cover all of the Heidelberg points of interest. We started at the Heidelberg Old Town or the Altstadt as it is called in Germany and we walked down to Market Square first. Like most old towns, this square is full of activity markets and such going on, some of the best Heidelberg Germany restaurants are located around here.

The market square of Old Heidelberg has a checkered past and was once used for the burning of witches and heretics. Citizens who committed petty crimes were made to hang in cages in the square for all to see. The square is boarded on one side by the church of the Holy Spirit Heidelberg and the other side of the town hall.

Things to do in Heidelberg for half a day

We went inside the Church of the Holy Spirit. Like all medieval period churches, it is well worth a viewing. The Church of the Holy Spirit was first mentioned in Old Heidelberg in 1239. This current church is 3rd version of a church to sit in this spot and is one of the most beautiful Heidelberg attractions. The church was once famous for its Library that had over 8000 books and manuscripts but they were taken and now form part of the Vatican Library in Rome, Italy. This makes Market Square a great starting point for you Heidelberg itinerary.

Things to do in Heidelberg
The church of the holy spirit

What to do in Heidelberg in one day – There is plenty!

We headed around the corner to the Alte brücke Heidelberg Bridge. The Alte brücke bridge runs over the River Necker. I have to say its an amazing bridge with views in all directions. It is one of those places you just want to stand and look and take it all in. Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. The bridge is adorned with statues and The Bridge-gate at each end.

The Alte brücke Heidelberg was constructed in the 18th Century. Throughout history, bridges have always stood here but were ravished by flood and war. Today you can see markings on the Heidelberg brücke bridge that will show you flood levels the River Necker has reached. You can’t do any Heidelberg sightseeing without stopping by this gorgeous bridge.

Things to do in Heidelberg
Where to eat in Heidelberg

Being a lover of different beers, we stopped at Vetters Brauhaus for a drink and a bite to eat. I had to try Heidelberg Beer. The brewery is about 100 meters from the bridge-gate. I tried a few varieties of Heidelberg beer that’s made on the premises. Vetter brews there Heidelberg beer according to the German purity law. The brewery is also one of the most popular Heidelberg Germany restaurants. This traditional restaurant served a sausage platter with locally made wurst. We enjoyed the Heidelberg beer while sitting at the outdoor dining. So far our time in Heidelberg was well spent seeing many Heidelberg points of interest.

The Vetters Brauhaus is located at Steingasse 9, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Things to do in Heidelberg

What to see in Heidelberg in one day – The Castle

It was time to head to the main attraction, one of the most important things to do in Heidelberg, we went to visit Heidelberg Castle. The whole reason we undertook a five and a half hour return trip was to see the castle in Heidelberg. In order to get up to the castle, the easiest way is to take the funicular.

This was probably the highlight of the day for Marley and Willow during our one day in Heidelberg. For the girls, it is just like an escalator but only supersized. The funicular whisks you up to the top of the hill to visit Heidelberg Castle, where its a short walk to the castle. A return ticket on the funicular to Heidelberg Castle stop includes entry to the castle grounds, the wine cellar and the German Pharmacy Museum.

Heidelberg Furnicular Price

  • Adults 7€ Return
  • Concession 4€ Return

The Schloss Heidelberg was first mentioned in 1196. What is left of the castle, Heidelberg? today is mainly the outer shell but in no way a ruined castle. The shell is impressive no doubt, the castle rises from the tree-lined hill it sits perched on. One could imagine it would have been an intimidating site for medieval warriors trying to attack it, today it sits welcoming ready to greet the hordes of tourists.

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Heidelberg Castle has lived through wars, fires and twice being struck by lightning. On one occasion, the lightning struck the gunpowder room and virtually blew up half the castle with it. Over the last 800 years, the castle has been expanded, destroyed and damaged to the point in the 1700’s people from the town where using the stone the castle was made from to construct houses. You can see now why this castle is a must on a Heidelberg Day trip.

Things to do in heidelberg
A view of Heidelberg Castle from the bridge
Things to do in Heidelberg
The outside moat of Heidelberg castle
Things to do in Heidelberg
Heidelberg Castle
The Heidelberg Castle has an amazing history

The Castle Heidelberg once had a moat for protection during wars. The moat is now a beautiful contrast with its green to the red brick colour of the castle. The castle itself I was disappointed with as there was really not a great deal of access unless you took a Heidelberg Castle tour. You had access to the giant wine barrel and the apothecary museum. The giant wine barrel is the biggest in the world. Its truly one of the most unique things to see in Heidelberg.

When it was completed in 1751 it had a capacity of 221,000 lire’s of wine. 120 oak trees were chopped down to construct this monster barrel. It really is amazing to think that someone made and stored wine in something of this size. Surely the whole castle must have been on the wine juice often. What to do in Heidelberg in the medieval times? Drink wine, no tea drinkers here. You really get a feel for the size for this barrel when you take the steps up to the top of it.

Things to do in Heidelberg
The giant wine barrel at Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle hours:
MON – SUN8 am – 6 pm
Things to do in Heidelberg

Our one day in Heidelberg was up and we headed back down the hill and slowly walked along Hauptstrasse. Strolling the main mall area of the old town towards our car and the trip back to Freiburg. Mind you there were some stops for gelato and coffee at Starbucks plus the shop my wife loves, Pylones stores and I must say I like the cool stuff they sell.

If you like our post why not buy it as an app for your trip to Heidelberg. See more her at GPS tour guides

In the end, we checked off our Heidelberg attractions list. The views of Heidelberg were amazing, one of the most beautiful cities in Germany made our Heidelberg day trip worthwhile. Old Heidelberg The Karl Theodor Bridge (Alte Brücke) and the castle confirmed our thoughts. Our one day in Heidelberg was over.

We hoped you enjoyed our article on what to see in Heidelberg in one day. Wyld Family Travel has 2 more articles for your reading enjoyment below. Just click the images to be taken to the article 

About the Author

Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids.  I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .

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