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Day trips from Heidelberg

We will be traveling to Germany for the Under 24 Ultimate Frisbee World Championships in July (our son will be playing for the US). They will be held in Heidelberg which means that will be our home base for travel. Since we won't be able to plan more than day trips from Heidelberg we were looking for advice on the best days trips to take. We were disappointed to see Rick list Heidelberg as not worth a visit so we're hoping to make the best of our 10 days there by taking short journeys out of town. We will have a car and, should there be a day or 2 when we don't have a game to watch, we might be able to pull off 1 or 2 overnight trips during our visit. Any advice will be appreciated.

Posted by
1746 posts

The Neckar river is a route as far as you want to take it. Bad Wimpfen is a nice town.

Go up the Jagst or Kocher rivers. up one and back the other

The whole area northeast is the Odenwald with some interesting towns

The Main River is not that far away with some nice towns.

Just because Rick Steves for some reasn doen’t recommend a place is no reason not to go there

Posted by
3597 posts

Heidelberg has plenty to offer so I don't think you'll be bored. Consider Wurzburg (perhaps an overnighter), Rothenburg, Miltenberg, or Klingenberg.

Posted by
8072 posts

I bet Rick hasn't visited Heidelberg in probably 30 years. The town is wonderful and there is no reason not to visit here. He feels the same way about Mainz too, a city that has 10 times the history of Rothenburg. He does a real disservice to his readers by making those kind of negative, unjustified comments about cities.

Hope you are there on the 13th for the castle illumination.

Do consider a visit to Frankfurt. There is much to see here and it is only a bit more than an hour away by train.

Events in the Rhein-Main-Neckar region in July:
* 5-7 July Food Truck Fest, Gelnhausen
* 6 July Rhine in Flames, Rüdesheim
* 7-8 July Amazing Thailand, Bad Homburg
* 8 July Fireworks, Frankfurt Höchst
* 13 July Castle Illumination, Heidelberg, 22:15
* 13-14 July Medieval Fest, Büdingen
* 19-21 July Christopher Street Day Fest, Konstablerwache
* 26-28 July Mainz Summer Lights, Mainz River Bank
* 27 July SaTOURday, Frankfurt Free Museum Day

Posted by
1348 posts

We found Speyer really interesting in a 2 day visit a couple years ago. We have visited several grand cathedrals in Germany and thought the Kaiserdom was the most appealing that we have seen. It was only one of several attractive churches in the town. Speyer's website is one of the best that I have found for tourist information.

We visited Speyer after 2 days in Heidelberg. We enjoyed Heidelberg but we liked compact Speyer better.


Posted by
2979 posts

The Neckar river, which flows through Heidelberg before joining the Rhine in Mannheim, is a really underrated area to explore, especially if you like wine. You can travel upriver on the Neckar by boat, train, or car, stopping at picturesque wine-growing towns along the way. Hirschhorn isn't too far and has an excellent modern German fancy pants restaurant in town, and a castle to visit as well. Zwingenburg also has castles, actually there's just too many castles between Heidelberg and Bad Wimpfen to list them all. Bad Wimpfen is a beautifully preserved medevial town with towers and walls, a must-see. Besigeheim and Marbach have traditional town centers, the latter being famous as the birthplace of Schiller, but there's so many more along the Neckar worth seeing.

Travel far enough and you're in Ludwigsburg, which has the "Swabian Versailles", the most impressive baroque palace in Southwestern Germany. From there you're a hop skip and a jump from Stuttgart, the big city to the south, which is the birthplace of the automobile and has the world-class Mercedes and Porsche auto museums, as well as two palaces right downtown and a wealth of good museums and restaurants.

In the other direction, Speyer and Worms are two of the most historic German cities, having been extremely important in the early middle ages.

And others have given you good advice about what to see north of Heidelberg. Despite Rick's omission, there is plenty to do in this beautiful area! You won't be bored.

Posted by
6449 posts

Tubingen, Speyer, Ulm, Mainz are all doable day trips, either by car or train (if you don't feel like driving). Augsburg, Wurzburg, or Frankfurt for overnights.