Philosophers’ Walk

Explore Heidelberg like a local. Come and experience an unforgettable day in the city we love.

Philosophers’ Walk

Explore Heidelberg like a local. Come and experience an unforgettable day in the city we love.

ABOUT THE WALK

Beautiful views of Heidelberg’s old town and lots of history from the Celts to Romans, the German Revolution and the time of National Socialism await you on the Philosophers’ Walk. The 6 kilometer long hiking tour leads you on comfortable, mostly shady paths to the Thingstätte, the assembly place in the forest, which was built after the Germanic model, and the monastery ruins on the Heiligenberg. You will pass drinking fountains and take the true Philosophers’ Walk, which was so appreciated by the romantic poets, having the best view of Heidelberg Castle, the Neckar Valley and the other sights of Heidelberg.

The free tours tend to run for around 2 hours and 30 minutes, and anyone in groups of up to 8 can register online beforehand – for groups larger than this, please book a private tour. We meet next to the famous Bridge Monkey which is a stone’s throw from the Old Bridge Gate, on the other side of the Hotel Holländer Hof. The English tours begin at 10 AM and run every Saturday. Make sure to be on the lookout for our smiling tour guide who will be wearing a backpack that is sporting our bright green logo on the front, and standing under our green Heidelberg Free Walking Tour umbrella.

See below for an example tour itinerary that includes many of the popular destinations that we venture through.

ABOUT THE WALK

Beautiful views of Heidelberg’s old town and lots of history from the Celts to Romans, the German Revolution and the time of National Socialism await you on the Philosophers’ Walk. The 6 kilometer long hiking tour leads you on comfortable, mostly shady paths to the Thingstätte, the assembly place in the forest, which was built after the Germanic model, and the monastery ruins on the Heiligenberg. You will pass drinking fountains and take the true Philosophers’ Walk, which was so appreciated by the romantic poets, having the best view of Heidelberg Castle, the Neckar Valley and the other sights of Heidelberg.

The free tours tend to run for around 2 hours and 30 minutes, and anyone in groups of up to 8 can register online beforehand – for groups larger than this, please book a private tourWe meet next to the famous Bridge Monkey which is a stone’s throw from the Old Bridge Gate, on the other side of the Hotel Holländer Hof. The English tours begin at 10 AM and run every Saturday. Make sure to be on the lookout for our smiling tour guide who will be wearing a backpack that is sporting our bright green logo on the front, and standing under our green Heidelberg Free Walking Tour umbrella.

See below for an example tour itinerary that includes many of the popular destinations that we venture through.

ITINERARY

Please be aware this is just a sample, and the actual tour locations are at the discretion of the guides.

Thingstätte:  A dramatic amphitheatre/stadium designed by Nazi master-builder Albert Speer and realized by architect Hermann Akker in 1935.

Monastery of St. Michael: The first mention of the monastery is in the Lorsch codex, from the 12th century.

Merian’s View: Merianblick is an illustration of a 1620’s copperplate engraving of Heidelberg, which shows the city and how it used to look before it was destroyed.

Bismarck Tower: Is a specific type of monument built to honour its first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.

Heiligenberg Tower: The Heiligenberg Tower was built in the 19th century as a lookout tower, using stones from the Monastery of St. Stephen.

ITINERARY

Please be aware this is just a sample, and the actual tour locations are at the discretion of the guides.

Thingstätte:  A dramatic amphitheatre/stadium designed by Nazi master-builder Albert Speer and realized by architect Hermann Akker in 1935.

Monastery of St. Michael: The first mention of the monastery is in the Lorsch codex, from the 12th century.

Merian’s View: Merianblick is an illustration of a 1620’s copperplate engraving of Heidelberg, which shows the city and how it used to look before it was destroyed.

Bismarck Tower: Is a specific type of monument built to honour its first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.

Heiligenberg Tower: The Heiligenberg Tower was built in the 19th century as a lookout tower, using stones from the Monastery of St. Stephen.

FAQS

These are the questions we’re most commonly asked about our Free Philosophers’ Walk.  If you can’t find an answer to your question below, send us a message through the contact form at the bottom of this page, or reach out via the Instant Messenger icon at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.

What days do the tours run?

The English-speaking tours run weekly on Saturday.

If for any reason there is a change, we will inform you via our Facebook page.

At what times do the tours leave?

The tours leave at 10AM.

Do I have to register?

We do prefer it if you can book in advance on our website, as it allows us to prepare additional tour guides in case of large numbers, but it isn’t a problem if you just show up.

If you are planning a private tour with us, we would like to help by organizing your tour; therefore, you should contact us here.

What are we going to see on the free Philosophers' Walk?

Please check out our example itinerary for some of the places we visit.

Does the tour still go ahead when it rains?

Yes, as locals we have grown to love the rain and snow in Heidelberg. But please don’t forget to bring an umbrella and some warm clothes.

Why is the tour FREE?

As a group of travellers ourselves, we don’t believe that a budget should stand in the way of learning about the nature and its culture. The tour is based on tips, as our guides are not paid by any company or the city – so you decide how much to give.

Can we join thewalk if we are under 18 years old?

The permission of a legal guardian is only needed for people younger than 16 years old. 

How long does the walk last?

Overall, the tour takes around two hours and 30 minutes- this can depend on how adventurous you and your tour guide are feeling on the day.

What should I bring with me?

In the winter, make sure to bring warm shoes, water and clothes as well as an umbrella for the rain.

In the summer we recommend sun cream, a hat, and plenty of water.

Please don’t forget to bring:
– some snacks
– good shoes
and physical condition

How many people normally show up for the walk?

It depends. Normally, we try to have a maximum of 20 people in a group, but it can vary according to the weather, national holidays or events in and around Heidelberg.

What can we do before and after the walk?

We recommend visiting Frankfurt, it is 78km north of Heidelberg and is an extremely vibrant city with a fascinating history. Our sister site also offers free walking tours there.

Where is the best place for German beer in Heidelberg?

You can visit the Heidelberg TripAdvisor page for the best spots to find German beer; however, the city is actually famous for its Melonenschnaps.

Where should we stay in Heidelberg?

We recommend either the Lotte Hostel or the Steffis Hostel, both are great for budget travelers!

How do we get to Heidelberg?

The train is the simplest and cheapest way to travel to Heidelberg from nearby Frankfurt. You can find times here.

FAQS

These are the questions we’re most commonly asked about our Free Philosophers’ Walk.  If you can’t find an answer to your question below, send us a message through the contact form at the bottom of this page, or reach out via the Instant Messenger icon at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.

What days do the tours run?

The English-speaking tours run weekly on Saturday.

If for any reason there is a change, we will inform you via our Facebook page.

At what times do the tours leave?

The tours leave at 10AM.

Do I have to register?

We do prefer it if you can book in advance on our website, as it allows us to prepare additional tour guides in case of large numbers, but it isn’t a problem if you just show up.

If you are planning a private tour with us, we would like to help by organizing your tour; therefore, you should contact us here.

What are we going to see on the free Philosophers' Walk?

Please check out our example itinerary for some of the places we visit.

Does the tour still go ahead when it rains?

Yes, as locals we have grown to love the rain and snow in Heidelberg. But please don’t forget to bring an umbrella and some warm clothes.

Why is the tour FREE?

As a group of travellers ourselves, we don’t believe that a budget should stand in the way of learning about the nature and its culture. The tour is based on tips, as our guides are not paid by any company or the city – so you decide how much to give.

Can we join the walk if we are under 18 years old?

The permission of a legal guardian is only needed for people younger than 16 years old. 

How long does the walk last?

Overall, the tour takes around two hours and 30 minutes- this can depend on how adventurous you and your tour guide are feeling on the day.

What should I bring with me?

In the winter, make sure to bring warm shoes, water and clothes as well as an umbrella for the rain.

In the summer we recommend sun cream, a hat, and plenty of water.

Please don’t forget to bring:
– some snacks
– good shoes
and physical condition

How many people normally show up for the walk?

It depends. Normally, we try to have a maximum of 20 people in a group, but it can vary according to the weather, national holidays or events in and around Heidelberg.

Is the public tour provided in German?

Unfortunately not. Our public tours are only in English. If you require a tour in German please book a private tour.

What can we do before and after the walk?

We recommend visiting Frankfurt, it is 78km north of Heidelberg and is an extremely vibrant city with a fascinating history. Our sister site also offers free walking tours there.

Where is the best place for German beer in Heidelberg?

You can visit the Heidelberg TripAdvisor page for the best spots to find German beer; however, the city is actually famous for its Melonenschnaps.

Where should we stay in Heidelberg?

We recommend either the Lotte Hostel or the Steffis Hostel, both are great for budget travelers!

How do we get to Heidelberg?

The train is the simplest and cheapest way to travel to Heidelberg from nearby Frankfurt. You can find times here.

BOOKING

You can book a spot on our free Philosophers’ Walk below.  You can also book a private tour, and you can find more information here. If you book a private tour, please enter your desired start time and meeting point in the “Description” section, and we will reach out via email to confirm all of your details. For our Spanish-speaking tour, please visit the Spanish version of our website.

PLEASE NOTE: For groups of more than 8, you will need to book a private tour.

Please check our facebook page for the latest tour updates before booking.

BOOKING

You can book a spot on our free Philosophers’ Walk below.  You can also book a private tour, and you can find more information here. If you book a private tour, please enter your desired start time and meeting point in the “Description” section, and we will reach out via email to confirm all of your details. For our Spanish-speaking tour, please visit the Spanish version of our website.

PLEASE NOTE: For groups of more than 8, you will need to book a private tour.

Please check our facebook page for the latest tour updates before booking.

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CONTACT US

If you have any questions about our free Philosophers’ Walk, our private tours, or if you’re interested in finding out more about joining our team, please send us a message.  We’d love to hear from you!

4 + 2 =

CONTACT US

If you have any questions about our free Philosophers’ Walk, our private tours, or if you’re interested in finding out more about joining our team, please send us a message.  We’d love to hear from you!

9 + 15 =

FIND US

CONTACT

heidelberg-free@alternative-walking-tour.com

+49 163 234 6786

Meeting Point:

Monkey Statue – Old Bridge Gate

69117 Heidelberg, Germany

FIND US

Meeting Point:

Monkey Statue – Old Bridge Gate

69117 Heidelberg, Germany

CONTACT

heidelberg-free@alternative-walking-tour.com

+49 163 234 6786