Unsolicited advice: The best time to visit Heidelberg, Germany

Spring is the best time to be on the Philosophenweg, a popular walk with views over the Neckar river, the old town and the castle ruins of Heidelberg. The flowers and trees along the path are usually at their most beautiful around the second week of April.

Since only few Germans can resist the temptation to go outside on a sunny day, you will find the city at its liveliest in summer. Join the crowds for a sunbath next to the river or explore the area around the town. Burg Dilsberg high up on a hill further along the river makes for a nice day trip with a short but steep hike from picturesque Neckarsteinach.

The illuminated castle ruins of Heidelberg.

The illuminated castle.


If you can, time your visit with a castle illumination (Schlossbeleuchtung). The best way to enjoy this event is to pack a small picnic and arrive early enough to secure a space by the river with a view on the old bridge and the castle before it gets dark. You will not be the only one wanting to watch the fireworks! Note: the old bridge is closed for this event. If you are in the old town, make sure you have enough time to use one of the other bridges to cross the river.
The castle during the Schlossbeleuchtung.

The castle during the Schlossbeleuchtung.


In late summer, you can combine a city trip to Heidelberg with a visit to the vineyards, hills and Weinfeste (wine festival) of the nearby Pfalz. While Heidelberg is a big tourist magnet, you will see very few other visitors in that lovely region even though it is only an hour away.
The old bridge during the Schlossbeleuchtung.

The old bridge during the Schlossbeleuchtung.


Autumn and winter tend to be cold, wet and foggy. To make up for that, autumn brings the annual international film festival where many lesser known movies are shown in their original language and with subtitles in German and English. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll find the city brightly decorated and full of people walking (or staggering) from one Christmas market to the other.

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This article was published on perelincolors.com in response to the Photo101 prompt “landmark”.

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