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4 scenic day trips by car from Hirschburg Heidelberg

Any suggestions of highlights to visit by car the beginning of November will be appreciated.
We are going to Stuttgart for a tour of the Porsche factory and wonder what else in the area we should visit. We like scenic areas and markets.
Thank you!

Posted by
7502 posts

Well, this newsboard is very big on Rothenburg, but I've never been there. This Trip Report has a big section on South of Frankfurt, but the area is so rich with destinations that my report is inadequate.

I don't know what the BF is like in November, but Germans will hike anywhere, at any time of the year. Because you will have a car, I wonder if you should make a decision about whether having to reach a paid parking garage in a big city is a pain ... or a benefit, or whether you want to visit smaller places like Lorsch (in my TR), that don't fill an entire day by themselves?

Only because you said "scenic areas", I will quote myself, because it's easy to miss in my long TR:

The young woman in the Lorsch TI had never been to the Felsenmeer or Gross Umstadt, so she couldn't advise me. She did give me two brochures about the "Odenwald Bergstraße Neckartal" and the Bergstrasse Holiday Route. The latter was in English, listing Darmstadt, Seeheim-Jugenheim, Bickenbach, Alsbach-Haehnlein, Zwingenberg, Bensheim, Lorsch, Heppenheim, Laudenbach, Hemsbach, Weinheim, Hirschberg, Schriedsheim, Ladenburg, Dossenheim, and Heidelberg. Just FYI, not a recommendation:

Posted by
1326 posts

You could visit Schwetzingen, but in Fall the gardens might not be much to see. Driving along the Neckar River is nice opposed to the Autobahn. Bad Wimpfen is nice. Up into the Odenwald too (Erbach, Michelstadt).
Schwarzwaldhochstraße. Used to see some snow October - November, but now a days maybe not.

Posted by
1605 posts

I'll assume you have allowed some time for Heidelberg itself, Hirschburg is an area of Heidelburg, and you are flying out of Frankfurt?

I stayed around Heidelberg in 2019, first time back after 35 years. The main roads going north and south are extremely busy, as are many of the branch roads. Basing day trips on highway miles soon gets monotonous enough.

I can't speak much to markets, but the stretch along the Neckar east of Heidelberg makes for a scenic, curvy drive to the charming village of Bad Wimpfen. I've a soft spot for castle ruins and this route is peppered with them. If the weather cooperates, a walk along the Neckar from Heidelberg to Reichenstein ruin and Neckargemünd, even on to Dilsberg.

East and north of Heidelberg, country roads lead to the small half-timbered towns of Erbach and Michelstadt. I don't remember the day but the latter had an outdoor produce market when we were there, thoughy many of the stores appeared to be bordered up and empty. Depending on how far you are willing to drive, Miltenberg is a bit further east. Miltenberg has a pleasant enough main drag and waterfront. If you are into hiking:

Heading west of Heidelberg you will hit the German wine route running north-south. We stopped in Freinsheim for a champagne breakfast. I liked Freinsheim, a crumbly sort of place with a few cobbled alleyways. In 2019, or on a previous trip, we've stopped off at a few of the other wine villages, such as Bad Dürkheim, Deidesheim and Saint Martin. The scenery is pleasant enough but nothing out of the ordinary. A bit further south is the attractive Alsace village of Wissoumbourg, every bit as good as the famous wine villages in the southern part of Alsace.

Most of the other places I've visited and liked require highway driving. Baden-Baden is close enough and not a bad idea for a rainy day (spas). Schwetzingen can be combined with Speyer. The rest may be a bit too far for a day trip, depending on how long you are willing to stay on the road. Strasbourg is a good visit, as is the half-timbered town of Schwäbisch Hall. Rothenburg is fabulous but will take about two hours one way.

If you are not stuck on Heidelberg there are better places to base for 5 or 6 nights.

Posted by
2467 posts

Schwabian Alb
Neckar River from Heidelberg to Bad Wipfen. Maybe beyond to as far as Rottweil

Posted by
102 posts


If you're in Heidelberg, the city has a schedule of when and where farmers' markets are open: www link, in German only.

I lived in the university city's Weststadt for a couple of years and I've gone back "home" to visit many times. My favourite markets continue to be:

  1. the Saturday market in Heidelberger Altstadt (Old Town) at Marktplatz (Market Square),
  2. the market across the Neckar river in Neuenheim at its own Marktplatz on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and
  3. the market in Heidelberg's Friedrich-Ebert-Platz on Thursdays and Fridays.