Heidelberg at Christmas
Dec 29, 2016, Updated Feb 07, 2023
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Heidelberg, in Germany’s Southern Rhine Valley, is a beautiful city nestled into a hillside over the river Nektar and whimsical at Christmastime! Heidelberg at Christmas is a treat!
While visiting my brother’s family in Germany, we got to wander around a few Christmas Markets before they closed for the year this holiday season.
Christmas in Germany was never crazy high on my wish list – we primarily came to visit my brother in law and his wife for the holiday- but it should have been really high on our list, because Germany at Christmas is an absolute dream — and Heidelberg is a fairy tale town come to life, especially at Christmas!!
I’ll be talking a bit more about the castle and the funicular railroad in a later post, but the town itself is absolute perfection all decorated for Christmas, it deserves its own post!
Hit The Market Stalls
German Christmas markets are a dream in and of themselves – magical, whimsical places full of trinkets from far-flung places, delicious foods, candies, and treats you will only find at large markets.
Walk under the lights
Heidelberg is beautifully lit for the holidays – shining, sparkling stars hang over the cobblestone streets, trees twinkle everywhere, and just the walk down the streets turns into an event in itself!
Let Kids Take in a Ride or Two.
There are a variety of fun little rides and attractions for kids at the markets- all for less than a couple euros. It’s a great way to let them blow off some steam (walking around and looking at lots of fun things to buy can get tiring for little ones who dont really grasp self-restraint), but the rides help divert them for a moment (and give you a nice quiet moment to enjoy some gluehwine!)
Stop at a Cafe for a Snack
There are tons of lovely, quaint cafes and restaurants perfect to top into for a quick coffee, snacks, bread, and more – perfect to watch people strolling through the streets, warming up, and taking a quick moment to relax and rest your feet from the cobblestones.
Check Out the Ice Bahn.
Not to be confused with a regular Christmas market, the Ice Bahn area has its own gluewhine stalls and food stands – selling Christmas Market favorites like fried doughs of all sorts, candied nuts, gingerbread, gluewhine, kinderpunsch (dont let the name fool you, this non-alcoholic gluehwine is just as delicious as the grown-up kind), sausages, and potato cakes.
Walk the Streets, and Check out the Shops.
There are so many cute shops in Heidelberg with cute window displays – especially at Christmas! We spent a good chunk of time just walking down cobblestone streets, gazing into cute shops and checking out their Christmas flair.
Walk across the bridge at night.
The view down the river of twinkling street lights is magical at night – as is the view up the funicular railroad and up at the castle at night. Most of the people walking around the bridge at night are tourists – so nobody really notices if you stop to snap a selfie or a couple shots up the hill. (Just make sure to not totally block the path!)