Only a 15-minute train ride from Mannheim, there’s a ridiculously charming touristy town called Heidelberg. Because it wasn’t a hub of transportation or an industrial stronghold during the 1900s, (luckily) the U.S. Army didn’t feel as though it was remotely necessary to bomb it during the second World War. It is because of this that the old town and castle have been able to maintain their authentic appeal that lures tourists in on a daily basis.
The most popular attraction is easily the Heidelberg castle that can be seen ominously towering over the city wherever you go. After climbing steep walkways and realizing you’re incredibly out of shape, you will finally arrive at the base of the massive structure. There are various outlooks scattered around the castle grounds and gardens, giving you surreal views of the entire city and surrounding areas.
Coming in close second, located in the middle of the old town, you will find the Old Bridge. After wading through the flocks of tourists, you’ll have a spectacular view of the castle and (if you’re lucky enough to not have any fellow tourists in the way) you can get a couple of great 360 pictures of Heidelberg, as well as the picturesque river and bridge.
Because Mannheim isn’t exactly that touristy spot we all love and admire, Heidelberg is a wonderful (and might I add cheap) getaway for the typical college student like myself. Filled with crooked streets and hidden secrets around every corner, there’s plenty for you to see and do, most of it being free (can I get a booyah).
Now that I’ve been here for a little over a month, and having visited a couple of famous towns around Germany, two things are beginning to don on me: 1. my time here is flying by, and 2. it’s nice to know the language. Although I am considered a tourist amongst all the places I visit, exploring these places made me realize how comfortable I am being surrounded by the locals and tourists alike.
I can read the German signs (thank God), I can typically understand what is being said to me even though it’s technically a foreign language, and I no longer feel frazzled and stressed when ordering from a menu. I’ve become much more confident when maneuvering about my day to day business, something that took me by surprise, and definitely not at all what I had expected. I can’t wait to see how the next three months continue to impact me and my language skills!