Remember the nursery fairy-tale of Hansel and Gretel? Well walking into Heidelberg, I swear I walked right into that story book tale, full of cobblestone streets and contrasting colorful buildings when stepping off the train in Heidelberg, Germany.
Heidelberg is a university town most well known for its castle ruins and original architecture from before WWII. Luckily Heidelberg escaped the majority of the bombings, so the buildings date back to the Middle Ages and early Renaissance days. If you are anything like me and love row houses and charming architecture, you will fall in love with this city!
When I started researching what to do in Frankfurt on Christmas Day for my 24 hour layover, I was so sad to find out that the Christmas markets were going to be closed already for the season. The majority of Christmas markets in Germany begin Dec 1st and run until Dec. 22, so I would be arriving a few days too late to partake in the festivities.
With no expectations, we wandered around Heidelberg planning to just window shop and hopefully bar hop to any place that opened their doors. So you can only imagine my childlike joy and excitement when we stumbled upon not one, but three Christmas markets!! I pretty much ran off like a kid at Disneyland seeing the rides in the distance.
We ate our way through the markets, from bratwurst to potatoes latkes to the yummiest waffles and glühwein. I wish I could share where all the markets were, but we walked for miles with no sense of direction and stumbled upon them. My tip for Heidelberg is to make your way towards the castle and Altstadt (Old Town) and that was where the majority of the festivities took place.
We took the DB train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg Hbf. Somehow we ended up on the local train, which made our ride even longer and then we had to walk a few miles from the train station. If we could do it over again, we would definitely have downloaded the DB train app to know which platform our train would arrive at and then also, I suggest getting off at the Heidelberg Altstadt station to be closer to the festivities! Otherwise, if you get off the the Hbf station like us, follow the main shopping street (Hauptstrasse) and you will end up at the castle!
All I know is that I think I found my new Christmas tradition and can’t wait to check off the list of all the markets around the world! Who wants to join me next year?!