Heidelberg is visited by a great number of tourists throughout the year, due to the different events held in this city all year round.
One of the most popular events in Heidelberg happens during February. It is called the Ball of the Vampires, or Ball der Vampire. This is a big vampire-themed party, where all attendees are required to look like vampires. The ball is held annually either at a local castle or at the city hall.
The Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival also takes place here in Heidelberg every year, in the month of November. At this annual event, newcomer directors come together to showcase their work to the international community.
And at the end of the year, people come together at a Christmas market. A favorite Christmas (or even all-year) gift in the city is the Studentenkuss – “student kiss” in English – a disk-shaped chocolate that is a favorite among visitors and locals alike.
The Romantic Road
Despite its name, the Romantic Road wasn’t originally created to be a road where lovers and newlyweds hang out. In the Middle Ages, it was unromantically used as a trade route.
Still, this 261-mile road between the Alps foothills and Wurzburg has become one of the favorite places for tourist to go if they want a scenic road trip, for the road passes through monasteries, towns with timber houses, lush green parks, courtyard restaurants, and lengths of pristine nature.
You will also see a lot of old castles, such as the Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle and the Harburg Castle, along this route.
Or stop by the towns on the way and experience their charm. Some of the best towns to visit are Dinkelsbuhl, Nördlingen, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The Cologne Cathedral is a perfect example of Gothic architecture. In fact, it has been listed as one of Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Cologne Cathedral is the seat of the current Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner. It was the world’s tallest establishment from 1880 to 1884.
Aside from the unique architecture, the Cologne Cathedral is also visited by tourists because it holds within itself the Shrine of the Three Kings. This work of art is a gilded sarcophagus which was believed to date as early as the 13th century and is said to hold the skull remains of the famed three kings, or the three wise men, who visited Jesus in the manger when he was newly born.
Other famous sculptures found inside the cathedral are the Gero-Kreuz, which is one of the earliest known free-standing sculptures of the medieval period; the Mailänder Madonna, a wooden sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus; the miraculous Jeweled Madonna; and relics of Saint Irmgardis, a countess who lived a simple solitary life after giving her wealth away to churches, hospitals, and the poor.
The Neuschwanstein Castle was built for King Ludwig, who wanted a refuge, a world of his own, far from the prying eyes of the public.
However, the castle was opened to the public seven days after King Ludwig II’s death in 1886. Today, the castle is visited by almost 1.3 million tourists per year and is known worldwide as the Castle of the Fairy Tale King.
Peak season happens in summer. Tourists come to see all the rooms which were once inhabited by a single person.
Many think that King Ludwig II used public funds to build his castle, but the truth is, the king used his own money, with the help of extensive borrowing from friends and family.
Today, this castle in Bavaria, Germany, is a popular setting for Hollywood movies. It also inspired the Sleeping Beauty Castle popularized in the well-known Disney movie “Sleeping Beauty.”
The Black Forest
The Black Forest – locally known as Schwarzwald – was first dubbed by the Romans as Silva Nigra because the large trees in the forest blocked almost all light from coming into the forest.
The Black Forest in Baden-Wurttemburg is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. Authentic German cuckoo clocks are made from timber gathered from this forest.
The city of Baden-Baden, which is considered the gateway to the Black Forest, is popular with tourists because of the numerous therapeutic bath houses found there.
The nearby town of Triberg is home to the world-famous Black Forest cakes. It is also arguably the best place in the world to buy German cuckoo clocks.
Each year, certain plots of land in the Black Forest are selected and cleared of trees. After the clearing, new trees are planted to replace the trees that were cut.
The lumber taken from the Black Forest will then be used to create world-class wood carvings, which can be purchased in all the nearby towns.