I've only got one day in either Heidelberg or Strasbourg. Anyone want to weigh in on this decision?
I'd prefer Strasbourg. The boat ride around the oldtown which sits on an island will also take you past the European parliament buildings for something more modern of interest. After the ride, return and walk about the oldtown in the parts that you've seen from the boat that interested you and include the cathedral. I also would prefer the food there, try the sauerkraut cooked in white wine served on a large heaping platter with many cuts of meat surrounding it.
But there's nothing wrong with Heidelberg either except the many tourists, you should enjoy yourself in either place, and I'm sure that you actually have lots of other excellent choices of places you could visit depending on your interests besides these two cities.
Use the one which fits better into your travel plans. I.e. which is anyway en route or the shorter detour.
Heidelberg- truly be one day you'll never forget. I look forward with all my heart to going back-- A Christmas stay... in a heartbeat!
Check out Gasthaus Hackteufel B&B; you'll find some helpful info there on Trip Advisor.
Easy choice: Strasbourg, for the cathedral, the architecture, the food and the wine.
Easy choice - Strasbourg. For the reasons given. The recent book Germania was inspired by the author's initial visit to Strasbourg.
Heidelberg, with its beautiful architecture that escaped WWII largely intact is simply breathtaking on a lovely river set among wooded hills. The Heidelberger Schloss, a big picturesque Renaissance castle and famous ruin in Germany, has endured natural catastrophe and wars for over 800 years almost meeting complete destruction by the French Troops in 1688/1689 if not for the mercy of a French general, Rene’ de Froulay de Tesse’.
It captures a lot of the “Europe” feel tourists want with lots of fun bars and restaurants. From the end of WWII, Heidelberg was the headquarters of US Army-Europe-high ranking officers sooner or later ended up living there which as we all know then attracts the best amenities while being a major support of their local economy. All this adds to a positive experience if you are American, which I am assuming you are.
I do believe Heidelberg will steal your heart; I have not been to Strasbourg but understand its borders belong to France and though it is very beautiful, interestingly, some posters' countries have a better relationship with France.
Course, I see now someone from New York agrees with Strasbourg basing his findings on a book, Germania, written by a historian from the Roman Empire. I believe Mark Twain (American) wrote A Tramp Aboard and the first half was inspired by Heidelberg!
I think it depends on what else is on your agenda. If you are spending time in Germany anyway, do Strasbourg, since it has a French touch. If you are spending time in France or other places, Heidelberg has a nice Baroque (not medieval) flavor.
I really like both cities. In my opinion, Heidelberg does not have to be overly touristy (although tourists do go there because if its fame and ambience). Its a large univeristy town, and also there are still many American GI's stationed there, as well as NATO, etc. near Rohrbah (a lovely suburb). In HD, sure, stop and see the castle. But then, for example, cross the Neckar, walk along the banks, walk thru Neuenheim (just the other side of the river), also walk some backstreets of old town HD, etc. Its a great place; you don't have to act like a tourist with a check off sheet.
If you choose Strasbourg (also a tourist-type place) the "Petit-France" are is very popular as is the Cathedral. Excellent food and wine as well.
There's a new book entitled Germania. Written by a Brit who speaks no German. Worth reading.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may repost if desired.
Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.
To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts
Update - We ended up in Strasbourg. It was a lovely day and we throughly enjoyed our visit. Thanks to everyone for their input.
The food was terrific - try the local specialty Tarte Flambee. The Musee Alsacien was a wonderful museum with a historical perspective of life in Alsace. What could have been a dry tutorial turned out to be one of the highlights of our visit.
The Cour Du Corbeau hotel was perfect - location, room, service, charm. Stay here!
Next trip - Heidelberg!