Need Ideas...Heidelberg with a Toddler

Oct 7th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1
Need Ideas...Heidelberg with a Toddler

My husband and I are considering a trip to Heidelberg with our toddler. Why Heidelberg? We'll be attending a wedding in early May. Our son will be about 20 months by then and we'd like to know your suggestions on a travel itnerary for about two weeks or so.

You see, we're not sure where we should fly in. We were thinking about Paris. Stay there for a week then go by train to Heidelberg. Then what? Not sure...Can anyone suggest a different plan. For example, fly into (Frankfurt?)? Drive to ? Figure in that we can't do tons of driving and travel time every single day, but we're ambitious. We really like cities. We've never been to Germany and we're not familar with what is possible or close...Any suggestions would help.

ChicBaby is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 938
You should certainly fly out of Frankfurt since it?s little more than an hour away from Heidelberg. If you take trains, I?d recommend staying mainly with big railway hubs and taking hotels in the cities since switching trains with a toddler and his baggage is probably a little bit stressful. If you drive, you?d have more options but standing in a traffic jam with a toddler isn?t that much fun either.
A possibility, if you think about starting in Paris, would be going via the Netherlands to the Rhineland. You could take hops from city to city which don?t take more than 2-3 hours and if you stay with the big cities, you wouldn?t have to switch trains in between. You could then for example chose a city in the Rhineland, as for example Cologne (not pretty but very interesting if you ask me), for a few days to explore the Rhine valley. Then you could take the high speed train from Cologne to Mannheim, switch trains once and arrive in Heidelberg after about two hours. From there you could also think about going to Munich (maybe three hours).
Alternatively, you could also arrive in Frankfurt, go to Heidelberg and take trips lasting 2-3 days to various destinations around Heidelberg (Munich, Cologne, Strasbourg, Stuttgart etc.) which are all not more than 3 hours by train. And if you book one of the cheap flights, Frankfurt airport is little more than an hour away from Heidelberg and flights to Prague or Vienna take an hour.
Hans is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 11
We were in Germany in late August and loved it. It is the country of castles and beautiful scenery. We loved Heidelberg as well. Stayed in the Marriot the first weekend and found them to be so friendly and accommodating. Getting to the Market Platz, though, means taking a bus or trolley. You will want to see the castle there, and please be advised that the climb up is a very steep incline but so worth it. Do not be tempted to take the steps going up to the castle with a child. Coming down, however, depart the grounds out the back of the castle passing the tour busses lot and seeing a few tacky little shops in front of you on the narrow street. Right there on the right side, next to a shop selling kodak film, you will find the steps going back down to the street far, far below. It is an easier descent. We stayed at the Crown Plaza on our second weekend and found it very convenient to the market and Olde Town, but colder staff. Also had a great lunch down on the Neckar at the Hemingway Cafe. Our Driving in Germany was made easier by using the Michelin maps for a timeline until we got over there and discovered the routing sites Europeans use. We drove down the Romantic Road to Rothenberg ob der Tober and spent a day and a half. Loved it. Want to go back. Drove on down to Bavaria to see King Ludwig's Castles. It was so worth it. Hope you enjoy every minute of your trip.
Captain1 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 290
I just wanted to tell you about a great playground in the Altstadt of Heidelberg, the old parts of town:
It's about a third up the pedestrian street walking up towards the castle and Heiliggeist church. Turn right into Marzgasse (at the corner there's a touristy drug store with a teddy bear mounted on the wall blowing real soap bubbles). Then walk only 100 yards or so and there it is.

If you feel save enough doing it (or your son is very well behaved) you could ride a paddleboat on the Neckar river (can be rented on the opposite side of the Altstadt at the Theodor-Heuss-Brücke) or you can do a cruise up the Neckar and discover the little town of Dilsberg.

Up on the hill/mountain behind the Heidelberg castle there's the so called fairy tale paradise - the Marchenparadies. It's like a theme park for smaller children (while not necessarily as young as 20 months). Ask your friends/family from Heidelberg about it. It could be a nice way to spend half a day or so. Also, to get there you might want to ride the funicular up the mountain...

Besides the playground: Why NOT fly into Paris? It's a fascinating city. The train ride to Heidelberg takes as little as 5:45 hours with only having to change trains once. Doable even with a toddler.
Or if you take the Thalys train it'll go via Brussels and Cologne anyways. So you could stop for a day or two on the way.
Other than that I do second the recommendation for Strasburg or add my own: Freiburg in the black forest.

Kascha912 is offline  

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