Heidelberg's Altstadt: A Self-Guided Audio Tour
- Audio Guide
- Instant Confirmation
- Group Tour
- 40 min
Join Heidelberg resident Erin McGann on a winding self-guided audio tour of the picturesque Altstadt, the old town of this fascinating German city on the banks of the Neckar River. Take in the famous Church of the Holy Ghost in the center of the main market square, discover the carvings that allowed residents to check the legal size of their pretzels (really!), hear stories of the catastrophic floods, find out which buildings are the oldest, hear how the university students got so rowdy they ended up with their own prison, and learn about the romantic history of our ruined castle. The tour is ready whenever you are and the audio plays automatically at exactly the right time and place using your smartphone's GPS and the VoiceMap mobile app, which also works offline.
Operated by: VoiceMap
Pass By: Altstadt (Old Town)
Enjoy the flexibility of a GPS-enabled audio tour of Heidelberg’s Altstadt whenever you’re ready to take it. Erin McGann, history geek, writer, and Heidelberg resident, takes you on a walk through the winding streets of the picturesque Old Town. Erin lets you in on some local secrets including stories about the dramatic floods that plagued the residents for hundreds of years, the secrets of the German street names, what the pretzel carvings on the Church of the Holy Ghost mean, why there is a student prison, and stories about the residents of the famous castle. Download the tour, pop your phone in your pocket, and let this enthusiastic Heidelberger resident take you around the town she loves.
Pass By: Market Square (Marktplatz)
The center of the Altstadt, the Marktplatz, or Market Square, is where you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy a coffee, or a Glühwein in December at our gorgeous Christmas Market. There’s a lot of history in this square, and we’ll do a full circle on the audio tour.
Pass By: Old Bridge (Karl Theodor Bridge)
The Alte Brücke, or Old Bridge, is a bit of a misnomer. Built in 1877, it’s quite young compared to the rest of Heidelberg. Depending on who you ask, it’s either the 11th or the eighth bridge on that spot. Floods are a common experience in Heidelberg’s history, and if you know where to look, you can find the marker for the highest flood ever to hit the town.
Pass By: Student Jail (Studentenkarzer)
The Student Prison, or Student Karzer was an important part of student life for over 135 years, from 1778 to 1914. No, students weren’t put in prison for bad marks, but what they did get up to was driving the town residents crazy. So much so, the phrase ‘letting the pigs loose’ in German is a local idiom for getting drunk and rowdy.
Pass By: Kornmarkt
This square has been a meeting place for Heidelbergers since the 1500s, but the name Kornmarkt only came about in the 1600s. The red stone and white building here is a side of the Stadthalle, or the City Hall.
Pass By: Church of the Holy Ghost (Heiliggeistkirche)
A landmark in Heidelberg, this church holds the keys to some fascinating stories about our historic town. Why are there doors halfway down the building? Have the shops under the eaves always been there? Find out more as we circle the building in the audio tour.
Pass By: Jesuitenkirche
Jesuitenkirche is the main Catholic church in Heidelberg. The variegated red stone is from the Neckar valley quarries, and it practically lights up from within in the evening light. The construction began in 1712, and finally finished with the addition of the tower in 1872.
Pass By: King's Throne (Konigstuhl)
The Castle is located only halfway up the hill. You can take the old funicular, with its 100-year-old wooden carriages, up the last leg to the summit. There are incredible views over the city, many nature trails, a falconry open to visitors, and a small amusement park for children. You can, of course, make the climb yourself.