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Heppenheim for 2 Nights

After ruling out Rothenburg as a base to 2 days, we're now considering Heppenhiem for a 2 night stay.
The Altstadt appears to have an architectural charm that appeals to us. The Odenwald forest area sounds interesting, and it looks as though towns like Michelstadt and Miltenberg might be more accessible.
Also, the commute to our next overnight stay in Bacharach would take significantly less time.
Can anyone comment about this area and whether Heppenheim would be a good location, or should we consider someplace else?
Thank You!

Posted by
12040 posts

I readily admit my biases, because I lived about 5 minutes away from Heppenheim for several years, and maintain some very happy memories of that time. But I think Heppeneheim is an excellent choice for what you have proposed (assuming you will have a car).

In my mind, Heppenheim is a quintessential southern (non-Bavarian) German town, in all the full scope that implies. Not just a preserved historic core that displays all architectural motifs that people call "storybook" or "fairy tale", but nieghborhoods that show the full spectrum of German history, including Classicism, Grunderzeit, Jugenstil and modern. Heppenheim isn't a hollowed-out tourist funhouse, but much more typical of Germany in that the history sits side-by-side with all the modern infrastructure that a town needs to meet the economic needs of its people. So, although you'll see the historic quarter with all of its restaurants, the castle looking down on the town from a low mountain, and vineyards lining the lower slopes, you'll also see modern high-rises and factories in the outer areas of the town.

Because I lived nearby, I never had reason to look up lodging there, but I know the Goldener Engel on the Marktplatz operates both a restaurant and small hotel. I can't imagine a better location in town to stay, although this particular business tends to close for weeks at a time, for some unknown reason.

As you mentioned, Michelstadt isn't too far away, and the drive to get there is rather scenic. Miltenberg takes a little bit longer to reach, but still very easily as a daytrip by car.

Lorsch is also very close by, and it's worth a quick peak. It boasts the remains of an abbey that reaches back to the Carolingian era, but even just a quick drive through the center is worth it.

You probably won't have much time for hiking if you make daytrips to Miltenberg or Michelstadt, but there's a few good hiking loops you can start in or nearby Heppenheim. One begins by the castle, and the other begins by the cemetery. You would probably need to buy a map.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks for your input Tom.
Ultimately, location was our deciding factor for choosing Heppenheim. An easier drive to Michelstadt and possibly Miltenberg, and much less driving time to our next overnight destination, Bacharach.
We'll be renting an apartment just a short walk from the town center. and we like that Lorsch and Bensheim are just a short drive away.

Posted by
12040 posts

Bensheim is nice (as is every town along the Bergstrasse), but if time is tight, I wouldn't make it a priority. It has a pleasent old Marktplatz, but I prefer Heppenheim and Lorsch's.

Posted by
1624 posts

Rothenburg may have one too many trinket stores and visitors but it’s a fabulous place. Having said that, I was based in Ladenburg last September for nine or ten nights and spent a morning or so in Heppenheim. The old centre was pretty but almost devoid of people, which may be a positive for you. I made a day of Erbach and Michelstadt (returning after over 30 years), both were still nice but many of the Michelstadt buildings were under renovation. Another day was made of Amorbach (the abbey for my wife) and Miltenberg after 30 years, which has its share of pretty buildings and nice hiking in the woods above the burg museum (which we did not go in). We drove via east of Heidelberg, once past there the scenery is much prettier.

Bad Wimpfen is more of a drive but far more satisfying to me as a visit.