A much overdue post from my long weekend in Heidelberg a few months ago! ;) I’ve talked about my love for Heidelberg numerous times (see: here and here). It also holds a special place in my heart because it is where the Prince and I first met (our love story). We’ve now made it a yearly tradition to return to Heidelberg during the May 1st long weekend, the exact weekend that we met all the way back in 2014. To me, there is no place more magical or romantic than Heidelberg – especially Heidelberg at night! I’ve outlined below some of the best places to visit in Heidelberg at night.
Table of Contents
Heidelberg at Night Best Locations
One night during our trip in Heidelberg, the Prince had fraternity events to attend so I grabbed my camera and decided to aimlessly wander the Altstadt (Old Town area). I didn’t grab my tripod so apologies for the slight blurriness in any of these photos! However, the light was absolutely spectacular and I was so lucky to be able to photograph some of my favorite locations.
Side Streets of the Hauptstraße
While the Hauptstraße (main street) of Heidelberg is arguably the most famous main street in all of Germany (it is also the longest pedestrian street in all of Germany!), the side streets should not be overlooked! They are lined with adorable cafes, quaint restaurants, and wonderful architecture. You might even catch a glimpse of the gorgeous Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church).
The Marktplatz, or market square (also the main square) of Heidelberg, is packed with outdoor cafes and people lounging during the daylight hours. Surrounded by the city hall and Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), this square is the center of activity in Heidelberg.
Once the sun starts setting, the cafes close up and the people head indoors. This is, by far, the best time to start photographing this iconic square. The only time it will continue to be busy during the nighttime hours is during Heidelberg’s famous Christmas Market (definitely something not to be missed!)
My favorite square in all of Heidelberg, Kornmarkt is located just one square over from Marktplatz. Situated next to the famous Palais Prinz Carl (Palace Prince Carl), this palace actually used to be the Grand Hotel of Heidelberg and hosted guests such as Kaiser Wilhelm I, Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Empress Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, and U.S. President Cleveland. The famous mirrored hall was spared destruction and remains as it was 100 years ago. Fun fact: it is now an absolutely gorgeous wedding venue (hint hint to the Prince) and I absolutely lust over it every time I pass it in Heidelberg! But I digress…
But the real reason I love Kornmarkt? It gives some of the best views of Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle). Plus, one of the side streets from this square actually leads up to the castle (although I would recommend taking the funicular to the top instead of climbing all the stairs – personal opinion from someone who doesn’t like hiking…ha!). If you want to take in the views of the castle at night, opt for dinner or drinks at one of the main restaurants or cafes that line this square.
To be honest, there really isn’t much to do at Karlsplatz. Besides Cafe Gundel – the Prince’s and mine go-to place for weekend brunch – the square is quite empty (and there always seems to be construction around the area!). However, Karlsplatz will give you one of the best, unobstructed views of Schloss Heidelberg from below!
This tiny street leading to the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) is jammed pack with bars, restaurants, cafes, and breweries. A hot spot – both during the daytime and nightime – you can’t NOT visit this location during a trip to Heidelberg!
If you’re getting a bit exhausted by this point, I’d suggest popping into Brauhaus Vetter (Vetter’s Brewery) for some in-house beer and local food.
Banks of the Neckar River
There is nothing more gorgeous than walking the banks of the Neckar River at night, especially during the spring and summer months. If you’re looking to do something relaxing and relatively cheap, bring down your own beer or wine (yay no open container laws in Germany!) and watch all the nightly activity both on and off the river (so many adorable boats).
End your Heidelberg at night tour by walking the extremely romantic Alte Brücke (Old Bridge). Between music playing on the bridge and the gorgeously illuminated Schloss Heidelberg, the mood could not be more perfect. Ironically the Old Bridge of Heidelberg is actually only about 70 years old! After being bombed/destroyed at the end of WWII by the Germany troops (in order to prevent Allied troops from entering Heidelberg), it was rebuilt as an exact replica of the Old Bridge.
Keep an eye out in the next few weeks – I’ll be releasing an e-book providing extensive details and information on what to do, see, eat, and drink in Heidelberg, Germany!