Things to do in Heidelberg in December
Heidelberg Christmas Market
The Heidelberg Christmas Market has roughly 160 tables spread out over 5 markets, in a line from the shopping centre to the base of the castle.
The first market, right outside of the mall, had a great meat stall. Bratwurst, Rhindwurst, and Steak. All on a Brötchen. This area is also near a few banks, and ATM machines in case you forgot to bring cash with you, and the whole site has various food stalls for those not interested in wurst… though this is Germany after all.
Further down the markets, still heading towards the castle, where the Christmas carousels. Don’t want to spend your hard earned time and money on carousels? Too bad. They are smack in the middle of the market and there is no way your kid won’t see them.
To which I earn a small commission, at zero cost to you!
The Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway runs from Heidelberg’s Kornmarkt, or Heidelberg Weinachsmarkt in this case, to the summit of the Königstuhl.
The funicular is at the top of a set of stairs and only allows wheelchairs are allowed in the lift to the top of the stairs. We were thus forced to carry the stroller up the stairs or wake the baby and close the stroller. This is both stated in words, pictures and the staff refusing to allow us the empty elevator.
Guests pay 7 euro per adult when getting tickets for the funicular but it is technically free. The tickets include entrance to the inner castle, which costs 7 euro, even for those walking up the hill.
Sit in the bottom section and watch the world pull away as you climb up the hill. It’s a fairly short ride to the first stop, which is the castle. The second stop takes up to a lookout and a few more stairs to another funicular. We didn’t do both since most people coming down the stairs said it wasn’t worth the effort of getting the stroller up there.
Waiting all of 10 minutes and the funicular was back to take us down. We walked out of the building and found the old ruins next to the gift shop (of course).
This is the Heidelberg Tun, the world’s largest wine barrel. Constructed in 1751 and standing 7 meters high, the Heidelberg Tun holds 220,000 litres (58,124 gallons) of wine and includes a dance floor built on top. A staircase allows visitors to climb atop the barrel for a quick dance!
In 1751, the year of its construction, the present one had a capacity of 221,726 litres. Due to the drying of the wood its current capacity is 219,000 litres. One hundred and thirty oak trees were reputedly used in its construction.
In the same room, sat another large wine barrel. There was also two small wine bars and a lot of wine tasting. If memory serves me, wine hasn’t been made at this castle in a few hundred years, but there were preparing to start again in the New Year. Definitely, need to visit again. The rest of the castle can only be visited with a paid guided tour.
Hotels in Heidelberg | Where to stay in Heidelberg
We have already mentioned how much “fun” it is to find family-friendly, budget-friendly accommodations near the city centres can be. If you missed it, you can find that here.
Best Budget Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Heidelberg City Centre
Best Mid-Range Hotel: NH Heidelberg
Best Luxury Hotel: Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre
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