One of Europe’s most charming university cities is at its most romantic during the Yuletide season. With cobbled streets and baroque styled houses, dramatic castle ruins, everything is picture-perfect. One thing that cannot be missed is visiting the Heidelberg Castle during the Christmas season. From December 3 to December 15, head up to the castle either by foot or with the cable car to enjoy seasonally decorated pagoda tents featuring local artists offering their handcrafts made of felt, wool, glass wood, ceramic and leather. Relish beautiful views of the city from the Stückgarten (Castle Garden) and enjoy music ringing out of the historic castle chapel.
From November 23 to January 10, in front of the romantic backdrop of the castle, ice-skating at the Karlsplatz ice rink, is one of the most festive activities. In the Old Town, there are more than 140 stalls filled with handcrafts and Christmas delicacies. The centerpiece of Old Town’s market at Universitätsplatz (University Square) is open from November 23 to December 22; there are silk paintings, hand blown glass-objects, candle houses and gifts from around the world. Children will also love the nostalgic horse carousel right in the middle of the square.