I received advices about Heidelberg from both, those living in Stuttgart and those living in Frankfurt. In other words, everyone from the north and south of the city advised me to see this hidden city. When you search its name from Google, you will understand why, because you will face with an admirable, well-preserved city from the middle ages of Europe.
The city hosts Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg University. The foundation date of the University is 1386! It has been recognized, especially in the fields of medicine and pharmacy. It is one of the hardest medical schools in Germany to get into. The German Pharmacy Museum, located in the Heidelberg Castle nestled in the hill above the city, presents the most unique pieces of this history. The museum hosts the first prehistoric studies that can be called as pharmaceuticals, works from the 13th century that the pharmacy studies of the Germany began and also works displaying the pharmacy history from 13th to the 21st century.
The entrance to the museum is included in the ticket of the Heidelberg Castle.
The Heidelberg Castle nestled in the hill above the city as in the other, similar small German cities, and stands the breath-taking as it is not damaged by war. If you’re travelling with car, there is a car park. On the other hand, you can choose the famous funicular of the Heidelberg to reach the castle. However, the funicular does not operate a whole year, you have to check before.
The entrance for the Castle was 8 euros, when I visited. It was 4 euros for students up to 28 years, with student ID. (Students IDs belonging to other countries also accepted. Backside of my student ID was in English, I showed that side.) This ticket including the entrance of the German Pharmacy Museum that I mentioned above. The castle was hosted the electors of the Holy Roman Empire (in a way, the council of electors) for more than 500 years. So, its historical significance is also quite big.
There is a famous Street in the city that you can make shopping. I mean a popular street located in the old town while calling it famous. Its name is Hauptstraße. Some restaurants, nice souvenir shops are located in this street. If you check Foursquare for dinner, you will see a schnitzel restaurant called Schnitzelbank is recommended. (You can find it easily by turning into an alley while walking on the Hauptstraße.) But we couldn’t find an available table because we came unplanned and without booking as always. This also provided us to discover another nice restaurant.
The name of the restaurant is Zum Güldenen Schaf. It has a history of 250 years in Heidelberg! (If you’re looking for a place to stay in Heidelberg, it also serves as a hotel.) There is a large, wooden table placed on a corner of the restaurant for crowded groups. The place is mainly decorated with wooden columns, oil paintings and pennants. Therefore, when we sat down at the wooden table I mentioned, I remembered the dinner at Bilbo Baggins’ house located at the end of Bagshot Row, in the Hobbit movie.
There are many meat alternatives in this restaurant. The place stands out with its schnitzel. The waiter first states; “other places may use different meats to make schnitzel cheaper, but a real schnitzel must made of veal and this place uses only veal for schnitzels.” The schnitzel is served with potatoes that fried in pan (slightly burnt to give a caramelized taste) and red raspberry marmalade that we know from Swedish cuisine (ok, from Ikea). Would I recommend it? It was a place achieved 3.5 out of 5 with 462 comments as I checked from Tripadvisor, while writing this text. While most of the comments were positive, some of people were commented like; “for the tourists who will not come again”. Our experience did not even close to such a negative experience. Everything was great.
While leaving Heidelberg and setting out for Strasbourg, we made a final Hauptstraße tour and stopped by souvenir shops. The souvenir shops are full of people, especially if you go in the New Year or Christmas time. Of course, I think one reason to this crowded situation is that they present more kinds of products than normal times. This was a Heidelberg tour for us that a half-day long. Can it take a full-day long or worth to stay? It may deserve spending a full-day long here. Because, I have to say, we couldn’t visit the castle completely. Apart from the pharmacy museum, inside of the castle can also be visited, but you can make this tour only with guides. We may do that, if we have more time. Or, we may climb the castle with funicular. So, you may consider these points while planning.
See you in the Strasbourg article!