Welcome to the guide to the main station in Heidelberg, hence it is the hauptbahnhof, but it is located at one end of the city centre.
Heidelberg Hbf is one of Germany’s finest examples of the Modernism school of architecture constructed during the 1950s.
A fact that ShowMeTheJourney was woefully unaware of when I changed trains at this station, hence the lack of images which showcase the station’s iconic design.
Intended to be as practical as possible, a recent refurbishment has made the station easier to use than it ever has been previously, particularly for those who require step-free access to and from the trains.
The railway tracks at a lower level to the main station building, so the platforms/tracks (gleis) and the entrance hall are connected by a bridge.
All of the gleis (platforms/tracks) are served by both elevators and staircases which link the bridge to the trains, but gleis 4 – 8 are also served by escalators.
So when arriving by train at Heidelberg Hbf don’t assume that you’ll have to use the stairs, an alternative route will be available.
The location of Heidlelberg Hbf is a reminder that the translation of ‘hauptbahnhof’ is main station and not ‘central station’, because it is located on the western edge of the town centre.
However, the town’s primary tourist attractions, the beautiful ‘Alstadt’ (Old Town), the Market Square (Marktplatz), the castle and the scenic ‘Philosopher’s Walk’ are all located on the opposite side of the town centre, at its eastern end.
The easiest means of accessing the attractions in the old town from Heidelberg Hbf is to take the bus.
Routes/lines 20 and 33 (direction Emmersgrund), both depart, albeit from different stops, just outside the station, on the other side of the Tourist Information Office.
Both routes go to the stop named Rathaus-Bergbahn, which is right by the base station of the Heidelerger Bergbahnen funicular railway, which goes up to the castle – and beyond.
This stop is also a three minute walk from the Marktplatz in the heart of the old town.
Line 33 departs every 20 mins on Mondays to Saturdays and every 30 mins on Sundays, while Line 20 departs every 20 mins on Mondays to Fridays only, but it takes a slightly faster route.
The Christmas market is also located in this old town area, so these buses are a good means of accessing it from Heidelberg station.
OR if you want to set off on foot, the old town is a 20-25 mins walk from Heidelberg Hbf
A leisurely stroll to the Kornmarkt will take around 30 – 40 mins.
A secondary station in the town, Heidelberg Altstadt, lives up to its name with a location closer to the Old Town, but it is a 10 min walk from the station to the Marktplatz and Kronmarkt.
Though if your train to Heidelberg is calling there, it is only served by local S-Bahn trains, leaving the train here is the best option for accessing the castle and other attractions in the area.
The trams in Heidelberg don’t serve the Old Town area, but they do cross the river and give access to the Philosopher’s Walk footpath, from where there are lovely views across River Neckar to the most picturesque parts of the town.
The closest tram stop to the western end of the Philosopher’s Walk is at BruckenstraBe and tram line/route 5 (direction Schreishiem-Wienheim) goes there from Heidlelberg Hbf.
Tickets for the bus and tram journeys are €1.70 per adult, and can be purchased online, or from ticket machines by the stops, or on the bus and trams by paying the driver.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.