Summer Vacation Tour

TRAVEL :: Heidelberg, Germany with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour

So far on this virtual travel series, we’ve explored two cities in Germany — Frankfurt and Hamburg, thanks to Sylvia (Artsy Ants) and Alyx (Every Day is a New Adventure). Today, we add a third to the list, as Amanda tells us all about living in Heidelberg!


A bit more about Amanda
I grew up in Ohio and moved to Florida a couple months after I turned 23. I lived there for three years and didn’t really plan on leaving. Then I met my husband, a medic in the Army, who was stationed in Georgia. I moved there the month after we got married. To our surprise, a month later, we found out we had orders to Heidelberg, Germany. Three months later, we were living here. So far, we have explored Heidelberg and several cities in Germany, and we plan to visit several more. We also plan to visit other countries, although we haven’t gotten to do so yet. I blog about our life and travels abroad at Overseas Adventures. Today, I’ll tell you a few of my favorite things about living here.

Amanda’s Top Five Things to Love about Heidelberg
Gemüse und Käse Flammkuchen (Vegetable and Cheese Flame Cake)Gemüse und Käse Flammkuchen (Vegetable and Cheese Flame Cake)

Food: I love the quality of food here in Heidelberg and in Germany in general. I have had food I prefer more than others here, but I’ve never had anything bad. The dish I’ve ordered most often isJäger-Schnitzel, a pork schnitzel with a mushroom sauce. My favorite so far was my first Flammkuchen (Flame Cake), which I had at a Catholic festival in Mannheim, a city about twenty minutes from Heidelberg. We actually had gone to the city for something else and didn’t really participate in the festival, but walking through the refreshment area provided a good opportunity to try a new food. Sometimes it’s also interesting to try American restaurants here. We have a Pizza Hut in Heidelberg that, in my opinion, makes much better pizza than any Pizza Hut I’ve been to in the States. I also enjoy the fact that it has a walk up window where you can order pizza by the slice.

The mug from our first Glühwein at the Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market).The mug from our first Glühwein at the Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)

Events and Festivals: There are several events and festivals in Heidelberg and nearby cities throughout the year.  One of the first I visited was the Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) where I tried Glühwein, a mulled wine.  In February, I went to a parade in Mainz, about an hour from Heidelberg, which was held to celebrate Fasching, a carnival season in Germany also known asFastnacht and Karneval. In April, the Lange Nacht der Museen (Long Night of Museums) allows one to visit museums throughout Heidelberg, Mannheim, and Ludwigshafen, although I ended up staying within Heidelberg. In June, July, and September, Heidelberg has a Schlossbeleuchtung (Castle Illumination) where the castle is made to appear as if it’s on fire and fireworks are set off. While I missed the first two this year, I hope to be able to see the one in September. I’d also like to check out the Heidelberger Herbst (Heidelberg Autumn Fair) and the Internationales Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg (The Mannheim Heidelberg International Film Festival).

One of my favorite pictures I've taken from the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), looking to the left over the Neckar River.One of my favorite pictures I’ve taken from the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), looking to the left over the Neckar River.

The Neckar River: While I lived in Florida, I loved going to the beach. There isn’t one here, so the Neckar River is the closest thing for me. I like to go to the Karl-Theodor-Brücke, which is better known as the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge). It is a good spot to take pictures and enjoy a breeze. Many people also sit along the banks in the summer. Walking or driving along the river can also be fun, and there are many places to enjoy a view.

One of the views over Heidelberg from the Philosophenweg (Philosopher's Way), taken in the spring.One of the views over Heidelberg from the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Way), taken in the spring.

The Philosopher’s Way: Speaking of enjoying a view, my favorite place to take in Heidelberg is on the Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Way).  You can either hike up the path that’s across from the Old Bridge or walk up through the neighborhoods. I went up there once in the winter and once in spring. I would like to go at least one more time while we’re here because from that path you can go further up to see the Monasteries of St. Michael and St. Stephen, a Nazi-era amphitheater, and the remains of a Celtic hill fort.

The ruin of Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle), taken from Philosophenweg. The ruin of Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle), taken from Philosophenweg.

History: A city over 800 years old, Heidelberg has a lot of history. I have learned a lot from listening to people take about places, artifacts, and people or visiting places on my own and looking up their significance later. Just a few of the historical places in Heidelberg include the ruin of Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle), the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), Hotel Zum Ritter Sankt Georg (Hotel Knight St. George) and the Alte Universitat (Old University), including the Studentenkarzer (Student Jail).

Amanda blogs about her life as an American military wife in Germany at Overseas Adventures. You can also like her Facebook page, Writer Amanda Papenfus.

This post is a part of the Summer Vacation Tour, a virtual travel series hosted here on To ‘travel’ to other locations, click here. (Want to be featured in the future? Email me!)


6 thoughts on “TRAVEL :: Heidelberg, Germany with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour”

  1. Amanda, I always enjoy it so much when you talk about my home country. And Heidelberg is such a fabulous city! And don’t get me started about the Glühwein! :)) Great post!


    1. I’m glad you enjoy it :) It is. I think we got pretty lucky to get stationed here. Glühwein was an interesting thing to try. Thanks :-)


  2. I have never been to a Pizzahut in the States and I’ve never had the chance to compare them to what we have over here. When we were teenagers, we used to shop in Cologne and always grab a pizza at the one they have in the Pedestrian Zone. It was pretty good; otherwise we would have not gone there so often.

    The Neckarwiese is a common place for students to play soccer and sunbathe. I have many fond memories of lazy summer days spent hanging out and BBQing over there! So much fun!


    1. I’ve had it a few times and didn’t really prefer it over other options, but I do like the one here. In the States, we ordered a lot from Papa John’s because they had specials where you could get a large with up to 7 toppings for $7. Sometimes I do miss being able to have a pizza delivered to our door. I haven’t really participated in anything on the Neckarwiese, but the times I’ve been done there a lot of people are there either having picnics or sunbathing. We usually just walk around. When we did stop it was on the side where everyone puts their boats in. We sat on the steps in one of the areas no one was using and hung out until someone else came down there to do the same. Our dog didn’t care for his presence, so we left, but it was a nice spot for a break.


  3. Take a break on the “Neckarwiese”, the banks of the river Neckar close to the Old Town: Besides unobstructed views of the Heidelberg Castle, the grassy stretch along the river offers plenty of space to relax, sunbathe, and take in the tranquility of the river valley and the forests beyond. If you want to be more active than that, you can also rent a rowing boat.


Have something to say? No need to log in. Now, commenting is easy and seamless, even from a mobile device.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.