We love Heidelberg, but wanted to get away from the bustle of the crowds and so began looking for towns around it to go visit. I love old castles and so that was a part of my search string. What we found was a small gem on our trip - Weinheim
It is easy to get to the Weinheim Altstadt, just get on Tram 3 out of Heidelberg (heading to Weinhein and not Manheim) and enjoy a 35 to 40 minute ride through Heidelberg and it's outskirts. You will then enjoy the sights of small towns on the way to Weinheim including beautiful hills, castles and abbeys, farms and the sights of Germany one rarely gets to see. Both castles are open to the public (for a fee I would assume since we chose to not visit on this trip) and have food.
When you arrive at the first Weinheim stop on the tram, get out and go to your left, following the sidewalk to the main road. Turn right and walk for about 10 minutes or so and you will find yourself in old Weinheim. The Altstadt and all that it offers is on the right. You have newer shopping, small stores, family run cafes, restaurants and the main square toward the end of the walk. There are wonderful places to eat, grab a pastry and cup of coffee and relax with the locals. There aren't many non-German tourists, but we felt right at home. We had a great lunch of local fare followed up with coffee and pastry at a family run bakery.
We spent the better part of a day trip on Tram 3 going first to Weinheim and then to Manheim and back to Heidelberg. The transportation costs were Euro 4.30 for the two of us for each leg. The time and small travel cost was well worth the trip. You might ask, "Why didn't you rate this as a 5-star place?" I think the castles would have much it worthy of 5-stars, but can only guess.
I want to go back and explore both castles as they are both open and the old one has food service.
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