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One Day in Heidelberg: A Day Trip from Frankfurt

Escape for the day to Heidelberg, a beautiful historic city that’s just a short train ride from Frankfurt. Find out how to make the most of your day trip to Heidelberg from Frankfurt in this article.

With its picturesque castle, cobblestone streets, and beautiful setting on the Neckar River, Heidelberg makes for the perfect day trip from Frankfurt.

Heidelberg Old Bridge, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is seeped in history, romance, and German culture; a place where you can get away to relax and explore. With just one day, you can experience the magnificence of Heidelberg’s Old Town, view the majestic Heidelberg Castle, and more.

Discover the hidden gems of Heidelberg on an unforgettable day trip.

How to Get to Heidelberg from Frankfurt

Heidelberg, Germany

Getting to Heidelberg from Frankfurt is really simple. The most popular options are to take the train or book a guided tour.

We opted to take the train. But I’m always a fan of a good guided tour that takes the stress out of planning, so I’ve detailed both options below.

By Train

There are over 40 trains per day that travel the route from Frankfurt to Heidelberg, so you’ll have no problem catching one at a time that’s convenient for you.

The average train ride is about 1 hour, but you could also get the direct train that takes just 48 minutes. If you don’t get the direct train, you can expect to have a quick change in Mannheim to a regional train. It’s usually a less than 15 minute wait for your next train.

All trains depart from Frankfurt Main (Hbf) station and arrive at Heidelberg Main (Hbf) station.

By Guided Tour

If you don’t want the stress of figuring out the train schedules, a guided tour from Frankfurt to Heidelberg is a great option. There are a few different tours you can choose from depending on how long of a tour you want, if you want to see only Heidelberg or other destinations as well, and how much you want to spend.

Here are some top tours:

Heidelberg Day Trip Itinerary

Heidelberg is a charming city renowned for its picturesque old town and historic landmarks. Spend one day in Heidelberg and you’ll get to explore a fairytale-like castle, admire the river flowing through town, and stroll through the cobblestone lanes of Old Town.

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Castle is the top attraction in Heidelberg. This fairy-tale ruin is perched majestically on a hillside overlooking the charming town below.

The castle’s ruins evoke a sense of awe and wonder. It’s one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in the country. You can get breathtaking panoramic views of Heidelberg, the river, and the surrounding hills from the castle’s terraces and overgrown gardens.

Inside the castle, you’ll find the German Pharmacy Museum, which houses an extensive collection of historical pharmaceutical artifacts. You’ll also want to check out the Großes Fass, a giant wine barrel that dates back to the 16th century. You can also take a guided tour of the elaborate staterooms that have been restored to their previous glory.

To get to the castle, you’ll ride up a funicular railway, which is an adventure in itself! The railway ticket is included in your admission to the castle.

Lunch at Bier Brezel

Bier Brezel combines two of Germany’s favorite foods — beer and pretzels.

This restaurant on Heidelberg’s main street is like walking into an old-fashioned castle pub. The menu has your German favorites like Schnitzel, Spätzle, and Flammkuchen. They also have a whole section of savory beer pretzels.

If you really want to go authentic, you can get the Knight’s Meal where you get to eat with your hands and drink from a horn.

Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit)

Heiliggeistkirche, Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg, Germany

Heiliggeistkirche, or the Church of the Holy Spirit, is the largest church in Heidelberg. Located in the center of Old Town, this Romanesque Gothic church was built between 1398 and 1515.

The church was built originally as a burial place for the Electors of the Palatine, who resided at Heidelberg Castle. The graves of the Electors were destroyed during the Palatine War of Succession, though, and only the grave of the church founder, Elector Ruprecht III, remains.

Heiliggeistkirche, Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg University was founded on the grounds of Heiliggeistkirche. The church also housed the Bibliotheca Palatina, the most important library of the German Renaissance. The library contained collections from the university libraries, the castle libraries, and from several monasteries.

Heiliggeistkirche is free to visit.

Universität Heidelberg

Universitätsplatz, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

Universität Heidelberg, or Heidelberg University, is the oldest university in Germany. Founded in 1386, it was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire and is one of the oldest universities in the world.

The university’s campus is centered in Heidelberg’s Old Town in the midst of the pedestrian shopping zone at Universitätsplatz (University Square).

Antiquariat Hatry

Antiquariat Hatry, Heidelberg, Germany

While you’re in Heidelberg’s pedestrian zone and shopping district, be sure to stop in at the many stores. Our favorite was Antiquariat Hatry, an antique bookshop that has been around since 1986.

The store sells antique and used books that date back five centuries. They have five floors total with everything from books to vinyl, CDs to DVDs.

I explored every single nook and cranny and got a little lost. There are book from floor to ceiling, lining all the walls, stacked up high in the middle of the room, and covering every surface.

Old Bridge

Heidelberg Old Bridge, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg’s Old Bridge (which is actually named Karl-Theodor-Brücke, but no one calls it that), crosses the Neckar River connecting the Old City with the Neuenheim district on the opposite bank.

This current bridge was actually the ninth one built here, and it was constructed in 1788. The south end bridge gate dates back to the Middle Ages, though.

The pedestrian bridge is a great spot to enjoy the views of Heidelberg Castle and the Neckar River.

Lindt Boutique Heidelberg

Lindt Boutique Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

End your day trip to Heidelberg with a sweet treat from Lindt Boutique Heidelberg.

This candy shop beside Heiliggeistkirche is heaven for Lindt chocolate lovers! You can buy all kinds of Swiss chocolate goodies, from chocolate bars and pralines to truffles and gift boxes.

Top Heidelberg Tours

With so much to see, Germany can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Heidelberg tours to help you make the most of your time in this quaint German city.

Where to Stay in Heidelberg

Want to stay longer than just one day in Heidelberg? Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Heidelberg, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

Mapping Out Your Day in Heidelberg

Ready to explore Frankfurt’s best attractions and places to eat? Use the map below to help plan out your time exploring Frankfurt, Germany.

With its beautiful architecture and rich history, Heidelberg is sure to captivate you on your visit.

I hope this list of must-see attractions helps you plan the perfect day trip to Heidelberg from Frankfurt!

More Germany Itineraries

Make the most out of your vacation to Germany! Check out these other German travel guides to plan your perfect trip:

Ready to visit Heidelberg, Germany? Plan your trip with these tips.



One Day in Heidelberg: A Day Trip from Frankfurt

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