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Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley Travel Guide

  • Photo: S.Borisov / Shutterstock

Plan Your Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley Vacation

Heidelberg remains one of the best-known and most visited cities in Germany, identifiable by its graceful baroque towers and the majestic ruins of its red sandstone castle. From this grand city, the narrow and quiet Neckar Valley makes its way east, then turns to the south, taking you past villages filled with half-timber houses and often guarded by their own castle—sometimes in ruins but

often revived as a museum or hotel. This part of Germany is aptly named the Burgenstrasse (Castle Road).

The valley widens into one of the most industrious areas of Germany, with Stuttgart at its center. In this wealthy city, world-class art museums like the Staatsgalerie or the Kunstmuseum in the center of town contrast with the new and striking Mercedes and Porsche museums in the suburbs, adjoining their sprawling manufacturing facilities.

A bit farther south, the rolling Swabian Hills cradle the university town of Tübingen, a center of learning in a beautiful historic setting on the banks of the Neckar River. Overlooking the town is—of course—a mighty castle.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Heidelberg Castle The architectural highlight of the region's most beautiful castle is the Renaissance courtyard—harmonious, graceful, and ornate.
  2. Heidelberg’s Alte Brücke Walk under the twin towers that were part of medieval Heidelberg's fortifications, and look back for a picture postcard view of the city and the castle.
  3. Burg Hornberg With its oldest parts dating from the 12th century, this is one of the best of more than a dozen castles between Heidelberg and Stuttgart.
  4. Stuttgart's museums Top art collections in the Staatsgalerie and the Kunstmuseum contrast with the Mercedes and Porsche museums, where the history of the auto mobil is illustrated by historic classic cars and sleek racing cars.
  5. Tübingen Altstadt With its half-timber houses, winding alleyways, and hilltop setting overlooking the Neckar, Tübingen is the quintessential German experience.

When To Go

When to Go

If you plan to visit Heidelberg in summer, make reservations well in advance and expect to pay top rates. To get away from the crowds, consider...

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