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Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

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Bridgewater
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Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

Can someone direct me to a website which gives a map of Heidelberg?

Are there any suggested day trips from HB and how to get there (by train?) such as Rhine Castles etc? any day boat trips of interest?

We have only about 10 days in Germany--trying to determine where to go and how to partition the time. How long would you suggest in HB to see the main sites and relax a bit?

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1. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

map Heidelberg Altstadt (old town)

…heidelberg.de/Altstadt-Information/english/…

geographic map with public transport

vrn.de/frames/…content_heidelberg.html

area of the regional local public transport network VRN

www.vrn.de/frames/karten_plaene/content.html

Heidelberg (by the way the shortcut for Heidelberg is HD; HB is used in Germany for the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen) - is at the river Neckar. Between Heidelberg and Mosbach you have a number of castles. This is also the first part of the Castle Road

www.burgenstrasse.de/showpage.php…

see e.g. Neckarsteinach

Another nice day trip would be Speyer

www.speyer.de/de/tourist/sehenswert…

esp. interesting the imperial cathedral and the Technikmuseum

A 24 hours ticket for the whole VRN area is EUR 12,00. Same for a mini group (2-5 persons) is EUR 17,50. The Neckar Valley and Speyer are both connected with S-Bahn lines to Heidelberg.

Heidelberg alone 1-2 days. More if you use it as a base for day trips.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

A short (several hour) boat trip up the Neckar and back is nice. Heidelberg itself is OK for at least a day or two. I would recommend renting a car and visiting world heritage Maulbronn monastery, a drive up the Neckar by the castles to near Heilbronn, a visit to Schwaebisch Hall and nearby walled Comburg monastery, and Rothenberg ob der Tauber. The picturesque castles built in the mid-1800's Neuschwanstein, Hohenzollern (Hechingen), and Lichtenstein are wonderful to view with fairy tale appearances. Germany's largest perfectly preserved baroque palace at Ludwigsburg is also fairly close to Heidelberg. Germany isn't that large and is full of wonderful things to see and do. Get a book on Germany which has beautiful pictures and select what interests you You might also look into events when you are visiting. Some may be worth the trip to Germany by themselves.

Bridgewater
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3. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

Thanks for the information! Speyer looks quite nice! Unfortunately (and fortunately) the more I look at web sites and pictures, the more confused (and enthused) I get about where to go. Originally I was considering covering a lot more of the country--from HD to Romantic Road to Bavaria/Munich/Alps, etc. But now I'm starting to think of limiting our area as it looks like so much to see everywhere. In Rich Steves book he dismisses HD saying it is overun with Americans and tourists (true?), whereas he highlights Rothenburg as a major not-to-miss--attraction. But it also sounds as if it is a very touristy place(?) One of our reasons for traveling is that our daughter is learning German--so we want to be places where German (and not mostly English) is spoken!

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4. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

Heidelberg and Rothenburg are two of (if not the two) most touristic cities/towns in Germany. In both cities the tourists concentrate on the Altstadt (old town). But in Heidelberg they have to share it with some 145.000 inhabitants (among them some 30.000 students). Rothenburg has only some 11.000 inhabitants, thus the tourists are even more dominant.

Speyer is so far largely ignored by international tourists. The Germans know it of course. Speyer had played a much bigger role in history than Heidelberg or Rothenburg. Speyer cathedral was not only the biggest church in Europe when built nearly 1000 years ago, it's also the church with the most tombs of emperors of the HRE.

There are quite a number of interesting places in this region:

e.g. Dilsberg (a walled village castle)

http://www.dilsberg.de/Tour/tour.htm

Las Vegas, Nevada
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5. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

somerset,

My wfe is a language teacher and she often arranges visits for schools from other countries. This summer a school from Alabama in the USA visited and the students went to Rothenburg which they didn't like because it was full of American and Japanese tourists. It's nice to see them be discrimnatng at their young age. Visit Rothenburg in the early mornng of a week day before the toursts arrive or in late afternoon after most have left. You really have to time visits so that some of the places you visit are not over run by tourists. I'm an American living in Stuttgart, and believe that if you avoid parts of Bavaria and the Rhine gorge you can miss most tourists. We always recommend people visiting the old town part of Esslingen, the Swabian Versailles at Ludwigsburg, Tuebingen for a nice college town, the monasteries at Mullbronn and Bebenhausen, and the picturesque castles at Hohenzollern (Hechingen) and Lichtenstein amid the nice cliff scenery of the Schwaebisch Alb. Although these sights are spectacular, you will see few German tourists and almost no foreign tourists. Your daughter can practice her German, and she might even have to! We visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Rothenburg in midweek in December to avoid tourists. I can also recommend staying in Stuttgart for the local sights and culture. Besides Ludwigsburg and Esslingen, most stops at the end of the S-bahns are worthy of a visit of a few hours, and you certainly won't run into hordes of tourists.

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6. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

Correction to the above: we visit Rothenburg and Neuschwanstein in February. Neuschwanstein is gorgeous in the snow and we make repeat visits.

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7. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

I am an American currently living in Heidelberg. Yes it is touristy, but I would definitely not skip it, it is beautiful and full of great sights! Boat trips down the Rhine Valley are excellent also, usually starting or ending in Rudesheim. The Romantic Road, Bavaria area is also wonderful but plan for it to take longer than you anticipate (the traffic is pretty thick). You can also easily get to Switzerland, France or Austria for a day (or two) trip as well. Having lived here for 4 years and travelled through Germany extensively, I would be happy to give you my opinions on any of the places your are considering. Some of the guide books make some of the cities sound cooler than they really are. Heidelberg has a really helpful tourism office and alot of nice hotels in the alstadt.

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8. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

It seems a bit odd to me that your book highlights Rothenburg but dismisses Heidelberg at the samte time. Of course, both are touristy, but Abalada is absolutely right that Heidelberg itself is much larger, so that at least you will not see ONLY tourists. Still, there is a reason why both cities are tourist attractions - they're simply quite nice when they are not too crowded. You might additionally want to check Trier (not too far from HD) and maybe even Strasbourg in France, which is not so far away either.

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9. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

Well, I'm not a great fan of Rick Steves in any case (having bought a second-hand copy of his Spain guide, just out of curiosity: talk about restricted view of a country)but that comment on Heidelberg being full of tourists but go to Rothenburg really takes the biscuit!

Other suggestions of mine to add to our list wd be: Darmstadt (esp. for Mathildenhöhe colony: Jugendstil/art nouveau architecture).

Würzburg esp. for Residenz baroque palace.

Freiburg im Breisgau:further than the other two but really worth the trip. Beautiful town on the edge of the Black Forest. Direct route is up Rhine Valley but if you travel one way through the Black Forest, via Villingen-Schwenningen, the scenery is wonderful.

Was Mainz mentioned already? And Frankfurt? It isn't thought of as a major tourist destination but has great museums, mainly along by the river.

Missouri
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10. Re: Questions--day trips from HB, map, how long in HB?

I spent two years in Heilbronn in the mid-'80s. It's a beautiful town.

If you get a chance, go for a walk in the vineyards. I stayed at Badenerhoff Kaserne on the edge of town and the vineyards are wonderful to just wander around.

You could find a good party up there back then, too.

:-)