• Franklin

Fun Activities in Heidelberg, Germany

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

What I’ve learned after a couple of days in this country is that Germans excel not only at relaxing, but also at robust physical activity. We began our foray into this by renting bikes at Heidelbikes, at only 15 Euro for the whole day (highly recommend this store and friendly shopkeepers). We jumped onto the intricate network of bike paths which crisscross the countryside, and found our way to Schwetzingen, passing farms and tiny German hamlets and many many other bicyclists along the way. Schwetzingen, maybe 1 hour away, is a miniature Heidelberg. It has its own castle, sleepy downtown, and expansive gardens. We came for the gardens. For anyone who likes likes strolling, this is a haven. You have giant and perfectly manicured hedges, countless fountains and weird statues, and many varieties of fowl.

Statue of couple riding pig outside Schwetzingen Castle in Germany

In the evening, we met up with Donna’s friend from study abroad, Simon. A very gracious and welcoming host, Simon took us to a tasty and vegan-friendly Lebanese restaurant (not pictured here because of the rapidity with which we ate the enormous platter of food). We then went on a tour of a couple more Heidelbergian bars, hopping with students and tourists.

You have giant and perfectly manicured hedges, countless fountains and weird statues, and many varieties of fowl.

The following days in Heidelberg followed the same pattern: robust physical activity and equally as robust relaxation. We visited the Schloss a couple more times: sunset beers on the lookout turrets, acro-yoga in the courtyard, and gourds in the castle grounds. We hiked to the Tingstette (an amphitheater in the mountains, built by the Nazis in the 1940’s), explored the ruins of a nearby monastery, and climbed a series of watchtowers with wide views of the city. We met up once more with Simon for Sunday beers on the Rhine-Necker, mingling with Germans enjoying the sunshine and medieval role-playing games. Donna even managed to find some vegan gelato.

Woman holding ukulele at the Tingstette, Heidelberg, Germany.
the Tingstette above Heidelberg

Our last night in Heidelberg was bittersweet. We wandered into the old town and stumbled upon a local bar showing a soccer match. At the 94th minute, the losing team tied the game, the bar exploded in cheers for a brief moment, and the match went into extra period. We stayed for a while longer in the bar, but something had changed in the air. We knew our time in Heidelberg had ended (for this visit at least), so we paid our tab and began our last walk up to our AirBnb. It was beautiful to inaugurate our voyage in this magical city, but many more discoveries lay waiting on the horizon. Next stop: Frankfurt.

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