Heidelberg

Heidelberg

What do Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Hoelderlin, and Mark Twain have in common? They all lost their heart to Heidelberg. For good reason! It’s no coincidence the sun-drenched university town located in northern Baden-Wuerttemberg, lying on the banks of the Neckar River in the basin between the woody Odenwald Hills, draws millions of people from all over the world to the area every year. Besides fine weather, an atmosphere heavily influenced by student life, and one of the most beautiful historical centers in Germany, Heidelberg offers lots of opportunities for families to spend their days.

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Heidelberg in summer

Even though the Old Town is incredibly beautiful, just walking through it might not be the most exciting thing to do for the little ones. Tours by City & Quest are going to change this! Using a mobile app and small equipment you are going to explore the town solving riddles and playful tasks. The Heidelberg Zoo is always worth a visit, especially if the weather is fine. It is divided into five areas where you can watch a wide variety of animals, from big cats to reptiles to elephants. A special highlight is the penguin park. Moreover, the zoo offers multiple playgrounds and other rest stops. On top of the Koenigsstuhl Hill, a 570 meter (1870 ft) high hill on the Heidelberg city limits, you will find the Märchenparadies. It is a theme park between the trees of the Odenwald Forest where famous German fairy tales like Snow White, Little Longnose, Rumpelstiltskin, and the Baron Munchhausen come to live. Everything from rides to playgrounds to the bistro draws you right into those magical worlds. You can interact with the fairy tale characters, ride a witch’s broom or even steer a pirate ship. They also offer puppet theater shows and readings of fairy tales.

Summer Tips

Heidelberg in the rain

Even on rainy days Heidelberg offers a lot of family-friendly activities. For example, there’s the puppet theater “Plappermaul” in Pfaffengrund. Here child-friendly stage plays are played with beautiful handmade puppets in a traditional proscenium stage. It offers 70 seats while the front rows are reserved only for kids. The indoor playground “Happy Kids” is a fun place for children and their parents. Over 1500m² (~16000 ft²) filled with ball baths, bouncy castles, climbing gardens, and more. You even get the chance to walk right into a huge crocodile’s mouth! All attractions are certified to be safe to use for kids by the German TÜV association. If you get hungry the cosy bistro is the perfect place to eat, drink, and to recharge your energy. In Kirchheim there’s the “Sprungbude”. It offers over 80 huge trampolines in seven exciting areas. For example, you can play 3D jumping dodge ball, slam dunk in the Basketball area or perform flips into a pit filled with foam cushions. Their Lounge offers a variety of snacks and drinks.

Tips for rainy days

Heidelberg in winter

Most of Heidelberg’s famous sights are visitable in summer and winter. But the Christmas market is a special highlight. From the end of November until Christmas the smells of gingerbread, roasted almonds and cinnamon waft through the winding alleyways of the Old Town. About 140 stands spread over the Bismarck Square, which is seen as the entrance to the market, the Anatomiegarten with the Bunsen statue, the University Square with its antique carrousel, and the Market Square with the big Christmas pyramide. Especially for the little ones the fairy-tale winter woods at the Kornmarkt are a must-see attraction. At the Karlsplatz you will find one of Germany’s most beautiful ice skating rinks.

Winter tips: