Old Bridge of Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Bridge - Germany

Alte Brücke (the Old Bridge) of Heidelberg, Germany

A walk down the cobblestoned streets of old Heidelberg on a rainy Sunday morning is the perfect way to explore this gorgeous ancient city. Baroque buildings parade their beautiful facades to onlookers, the medieval castle looms up on the hilltop, and a dark forest crowns the hills. The world is quiet, the streets are empty, windows are still shuttered – quite the change from the night before. Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most famous student cities, making it very fast-paced and lively by night. Wandering the quiet lanes of Heidelberg in the early hours of the weekend, making this the perfect time to have this romantic city all to yourself. From the centre of this fairytale city, break out of the narrow network of historical streets to the picturesque riverfront. Spanning this river are the six arches of the Alte Brücke, or the Old Bridge – simply a beautiful spot on this rainy German morning. Crossing the Neckar River, the Alte Brüke is a stunning stone bridge dating back to 1788. It connects the castle and old town of Heidelberg to the newer streets and the still-wild hills on the other side of the Necker. In fact, this is where the gorgeous Philosophen Weg pathway is – the forest track that eventually leads to the ruins of St Michael’s Monastery deep in the German woods. All in all, whether you are looking for fun and nightlife or quiet meandering, Heidelberg is your ideal destination.


Pro tip: If you like beer, be sure to try some of the delicious German weissbier (wheat beer) – available throughout the region!  As explained in the post, be sure to cross the Alte Brüke and hike up the hill to the forgotten monastery! But… bring a map. 


Find More Lovely Places in Germany


This post originally appeared in October of 2013 and has since been updated.

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

dunnattor

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Dunnottar is an easy place to fall in love. Perhaps due to the rugged nature of the peninsula, perhaps due to the fact that it is a castle on a cliff, perhaps due to brilliant surrounding countryside, Dunnottar Castle will make your heart flutter. The stone fortress is perched on a peninsula which is perched on a cliff, which creates an imposing image as you traipse through the Scottish countryside to get here. Dating back to 1400, this castle is probably the most famous of the roughly 55 castles in Aberdeenshire alone – one of the most castle-dense counties in all of the UK.  Dunnottar Castle is well worth the traipse, even if you don’t go inside. The countryside hike to the castle is gorgeous. The castle itself is dramatic and picaresque, which exactly what you’d expect from a Scottish castle.  Hidden beaches and steep cliffs line the castle’s edges, sporting a ruggedness that truly defines Scotland’s coast. Dunnottar Castle is full of untold treasures, and not just the sort of treasure that glitters!


Other Amazing Castles in Europe
  1. Kreuzenstein Castle, Austria
  2. Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany
  3. Castillo Xàtiva, Spain
  4. Gutenberg Castle, Balzers, Liechtenstein
  5. Vajahunyad Castle, Budapest, Hungary
  6. Carcassonne, France