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'''Heidelberg''' is a city in the region Rhein-Neckar in the state of [[Baden-Württemberg]] in the Federal Republic of [[Germany]].Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald. Over 148,000 people live in the city.[[File:Heidelberg schloss.jpg|thumb|380px|View of old city with castle Heidelberg]][[ImageFile:Heidelberg_Bruecke_und_SchlossHD altebruecke schloss vom neckar.jpegjpg|right|thumb|350px300px|Karl-Theodore-Brücke and Schloss in the background]] 
During WWII, the city was almost completely spared allied bombings which destroyed many of Germany's larger inner cities. As a result, Heidelberg has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and of course the world-famous Schloss (castle ruins). After World War II, the US Army built large barracks at the southern end of the city. Heidelberg's 147,000 inhabitants thus include not only 28,000 students at the university but also nearly 30,000 US citizens, almost all of them soldiers and their families. With hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to the city annually, Heidelberg is truly a culturally diverse and international destination, despite its small size.
Over the years, Heidelberg has attracted numerous artists, intellectuals and academics from all over Europe and has sometimes been referred to as Germany's unofficial intellectual capital. People who have lived and worked in the city include the poets Joseph von Eichendorff, Jean Paul , Goethe and GoetheIqbal, scientists such as Bunsen and Kirchhoff, philosophers such as the founder of the "Illuminati" order von-Knigge, atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, existentialist Karl Jaspers, political theorist Hannah Arendt, architect Albert Speer, and many more. Mark Twain wrote in ''A Tramp Abroad'':
:...Out of a billowy upheaval of vivid green foliage ...rises the huge ruin of Heidelberg Castle, with empty window arches, ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers—the Lear of inanimate nature—deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms, but royal still, and beautiful.
====Lufthansa Shuttle Bus====
If you don't like trains, but prefer to see the German Autobahn, Lufthansa provides a [ shuttle bus] from Frankfurt to Heidelberg for €23 one way and €40 €42 round trip. If you have a Lufthansa Ticket, you get €2 discount.
====Minor Airports====
The city runs a small rather effective system of trams and buses. The two most important nodal points are the main station and ''Bismarckplatz''. Bus #32 and #33 connect the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) with the old city area; detailed maps, schedules and routes can be found online. A mountain railway runs between four stations (including the castle), linking the old city on the level of the river with the summit of the ''Königstuhl'' Mountain, about 400 m (1312 feet) above the city.
The "Heidelberg Card," a tourist pass that includes public transportation, many museums, and the lower section of the mountain railway (a separate fare is required for the upper section), can be bought at the tourist information center located just outside the main station.
[[File:Neckar in Heidelberg.jpg||750px|center|]]
[[Image:Heidelberg_Germany_Castle.JPG|thumb|Castle at Heidelberg]]
*The '''Altstadt''' (historical city center) and Hauptstrasse Hauptstraße (main street). The Hauptstrasse leads from Bismarckplatz across the old town. Approximately one mile in length, it is reputedly the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany. *The '''Castle''': an audio guide tour of the castle and its grounds is available for a fee near the entrance. It is available in several languages, including English. There is also a statue to the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the castle gardens. Currently covered with unsightly scaffolding [Sept 2012] but this is very normal.*The '''Philosophenweg''' which can be found on the northern side of the city. It provides a wonderful view across the oldest part of the city. Here you can find the site of the famous '''Merian Stich''' (engraving) which is a popular illustration of Heidelberg.*The '''Heiligenberg''' mountain which boasts a wonderful view over the old town.
*The '''Thingstätte''' on top of Heiligenberg (an open-air theatre built by the Nazi regime in 1934 to host propaganda events)
*Also on the '''Heiligenberg''' the remnants of a wall ancient Celts built to keep Germanic tribes out, the Heidenloch, a deep well with unknown origins, and the ruins of a 10th century cloister.*The Kurpfälzisches Museum on the Hauptstrasse Hauptstraße contains interesting exhibits of items from Heidelberg's pre-history to modern times.
*The old university on '''Universitätsplatz''' in the old city and the adjacent old armory which is now a student cafeteria (but also open to the public).
*'''Jesuitenkirche''' has 1712 Baroque construction with modern touches inside.
[[Image:Germany_Heidelberg_Jesuitenkirche.JPG|thumb|Jesuitenkirche Heidelberg]]
*The '''Heiliggeistkirche''' church is only one of many large and small churches, but definitely the one with the most interesting history. During the dark ages, it was the shelter of the ''Bibliotheka Palatina'', Germany's oldest library. The Bibliotheka was stolen and brought to Rome but eventually returned in pieces. Today, parts of it can be visited in the University Library (also the oldest and probably the most valuable of its kind in Germany), which is situated close to the old university. [[Image:schlossHeidelberg.jpg|thumb|View of cathedral from Heidelberg Castle]]
You can get a great view of the Heiliggeistkirche, Old Town, and the Neckar river bridge from the castle (Schloss Heidelberg).
The city boasts more than twelve cinemas, over eight theaters, including
*'''Stadttheater''' the large state-run theater, and
*'''Zimmertheater''' on Hauptstrasse, Germany's oldest private theater
* '''Kao Kao''', Haupstr, [0] 6221 / 14012
*<eat name="La Locanda 26" alt="" address="Steubenstrasse 26" directions="" phone="+49 (6221) 7268922" url="" hours="Opening Hours: 11.00 - 23.00 / Wednesday closed" price="middle" lat="49.423746" long="8.688297"></eat>
*<eat name="BrunnenStube" alt="Restaurant BrunnenStube" address="Kranichweg 15" directions="see website for directions" phone="[0] 6221 734222" url="" hours="Mon.-Sat. from 17:00, closed Sundays and some public holidays;" price="Main course from 7.90 EUR to 18.90 EUR" lat="" long="">Nice restaurant with modern german cuisine and moderate prices. Great fish, lamb and many seasonal specials. Located in the west of Heidelberg's center in a living area. Not a touristic restaurant. Patio dining in summer. The menu and parts of the website are available in english as well. Payment with cash or debit card. Easy and free parking.</eat>
== Sleep ==
====Private Rooms/Guesthouses====
* <sleep name="Heidelberg Private Accommodations" url=""> Over 50 rental options in Heidelberg from private rooms to entire flats.</sleep>
=== Budget ===
* <sleep name="Hotel Restaurant Scheid" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">'''Hotel Restaurant Scheid''' is a nice, quiet, reasonably priced hotel in the suburb of '''Schriesheim''', a short tram ride north of Heidelberg. '''Schriesheim''' is built on a hill so if you are hitting the clubs, don't forget about the late 30 min. night walk up the hill from the tram stop (Schriesheim Bahnhof) to Hotel Scheid. Phone +49 (0)6203 6050.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Ibis Heidelberg" address=Willy-Brand-Platz 3" directions="Adjacent to the Hauptbahnhof" phone="+49 (0/6221) 91 30" fax="+49 (0/6221) 91 33 00" email="[email protected]" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="€65" lat="" long="" tag=""></sleep>
=== Mid-range ===
* <sleep name="The Ritter" alt="" address="Hauptstrasse Hauptstraße 178" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" phoneextra="" tollfree="" email="[email protected]" fax="" tags="">The Ritter is the oldest building (1592) in Heidelberg that has outlasted all fires and wars that have haunted the city over the times. It can get a little noisy considering its location directly at the heart of the Altstadt. Also a picturesque photo opportunity. </sleep>
* <sleep name="Hip Hotel" alt="" address="Hauptstrasse 115" directions="" phone="" phoneextra="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" tags="">This was revamped in 2005 as a boutique hotel. Each room is modeled after a famous city, the most interesting room being the Zermatt (for Heidi and skiing fans).</sleep>
* <sleep name="Holiday Inn Heidelberg" alt="" address="Pliekartsfoerster Strasse 101" directions="" phone="" phoneextra="" tollfree="0800181 6068" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="3PM" checkout="11AM" price="€198 +" lat="" long="" tags="Hotel">Standard hotel that's about 5 kilometers outside of the center of Heidelberg. Amenities include a sauna and gym. Internet access comes at a hefty minimum price of €10 for 60 minutes or €17 for 24 hours if travelers are only looking to browse. For business users, it's even more expensive. </sleep>
*'''Hotel Holländer Hof Heidelberg''' [], Neckarstaden 66, Tel: +49/6221/60 500. The hotel has a unique view of the Neckar River and the Philosopher´s Walk. It is located in the middle of the historical old city centre, just opposite the Old Bridge. The famous Heidelberg castle, as well as all sights of Heidelberg can be reached within a few walking minutes. The Restaurants and the pedestrian area are located around the corner. All rooms are equipped with private facilities, telephone, TV set, minibar, safety-deposit-box, hair dryer and analogue WLan Internet-access. And some with air-conditioning.
=== Splurge ===
* <sleep name="Der Europäischer Hof" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Located just on the edge of the Altstadt ''Der Europäischer Hof'' a classic privately owned five star hotel. Pleasant atmosphere and attentive staff. Most of the rooms look out over the courtyard and are therefore admirably quiet.Since 1865 der EUROPÄISCHE HOF has been a home from home for cultivated travelers in search of timeless traditional charm, atmosphere, and service. The name of the establishment stands for all that is best in European hotel culture and for exceptional standards of service. Official listings have rated the hotel as the finest hotel in Heidelberg and in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The hotel is a Certified Business Hotel, Certified Conference Hotel, and certified as conforming to the pharma code. Accordingly, they have everything you expect of a professional business hotel.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hirschgasse Heidelberg" alt="" address="Hirschgasse 3 - 69120 Heidelberg" directions="" phone="+49 6221 4540" url="" checkin="3 PM" checkout="12 AM" price="from 125 to 335" lat="" long="">The ''Hirschgasse'' is the oldest Hotel of Heidelberg and the oldest student dwelling house of Germany. It was first mentioned in a love story in 1472 and is nestled in a little side valley of a select residential area opposite the Heidelberg castle. An impressive walk along the River Neckar will take you to the Altstadt on the other side of the river. Mark Twain wrote about this in his book "A Tramp Abroad." The rooms are all unique and will delight Laura Ashley fans and the ones seeking a good shot of authentic romantic ambiance. It comes along with two restaurants: the historic Mensurstube with regional dishes and over 250 year old tables, even Count Otto von Bismarck carved his name into. The elegant Le Gourmet is a classic French restaurant with attentive but yet uncomplicated service and will delight your credit cards with a good value for a swipe. A vineyard only a stone's throw away from the hotel "Sunnyside upon the Bridge" provides a good local Riesling or Late Burgundy.</sleep>
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