A day Trip To Heppenheim, Germany
Before moving to Germany, I had heard about Heppenheim only from my son, who happens to follow Formula One races. Sabastian Vettel, one of the most successful Formula One Drivers, belongs to Heppenheim, and that’s how I knew about this place in Germany.
After moving to Darmstadt, we planned a day trip to this city when we figured that Heppenheim was just 32 km away. We loved this small, quiet town and had a lovely day there.
You can also plan a day trip to Heppenheim if you live in Darmstadt or nearby areas. In this article, I shall share how you can plan a day in Heppenheim. These recommendations are based on my experience. But feel free to do your research before you reach Heppenheim.
Choose a pleasant summer day to visit the town as you will spend most of the time outside.
Start from home after breakfast and pack a picnic basket comprising lunch and some drinks.
We started around 9:30 a.m. from Darmstadt and were in Heppenheim within 30 minutes by car. You can also plan to be there by 9-10 a.m.
Read my articles about 10 reasons to drive a car in Germany and step by step procedure for getting a driving licence in Germany.
I have also written an article about my experience with car rentals in Germany. You could check that out too.
The next best option is Deutsche Bahn-German Railways. You can book a ticket on their official website. Enter your destination as Heppenheim Bahnhof.
Visiting the City Center (Marktplatz):
After reaching Heppenheim, park your car in the city centre. You can use this website to find parking places in Heppenheim. If you reach there by train, use Google Maps to find Marktplatz Heppenheim. The city centre is just 900 mts from the railway station and can be easily reached on foot.
Heppenheim City centre (called Marktplatz) is alive with shops, cafes, restaurants etc. You can easily spend an hour there exploring the city centre, stopping by a cafe or ice cream parlour. Please note that on Sunday, by and large things are closed in Heppenheim. So, if you want to enjoy the vibes of the town, it is best to visit it on a Saturday.
Visit Saint Peter’s Church:
After exploring the city centre, you can walk down to St Peters (at a distance of under 100 mts from Marktplatz. ). St Peters is a parish catholic church in Heppenheim and is also called Dom der Bergstrasse. The first mentions of this church have been found as early as 755 AD. It has a long history, and it is believed that it belonged to the Lorsch Monastery ( Read about Lorsch in my article), after which it changed hands in the course of time. A fire in the 18th century caused it to be demolished completely, after which it was consecrated in the early 20th century.
The church looks lovely from the inside as well as the outside. Spend some time at the church and head to your next destination, i.e., Starkenburg Castle.
Hike/Drive up to Starkenburg Castle and enjoy your picnic before entering the castle:
Starkenburg is a hilltop castle in Heppenheim. You can hike up to the castle. It is an uphill climb of about 1.2 km from the Marktplatz and can be reached in about 30 minutes. On the way, you cross a forest and fields and can stop by and take lovely pictures of the town.
If you have a car, then it is just a 10-minute drive away from Marktplatz. There is plenty of parking space after reaching the top. There is a small play area for kids and benches near the parking area, where you can have your picnic.
Please note that there is no public transport connectivity to the castle.
Visit Starkenburg Castle:
After the picnic, start a short walk ( of about 600 mts) towards the castle. On the way, you will find Starkenburg Sternwarte ( An Observatory). You can check its official website here for programs and events. Continue your walk and reach the castle.
Starkenburg Castle is an early 11th-century castle built to protect the Lorsch Monastery and provide refuge and protection to monks. In 1924, due to its weak structural condition, it was blown up. Little is known about this castle’s history, and the towers in the castle are all in different states of preservation. Today, the castle houses a youth hostel (called Jugendherberge in German). You can find more information about the hostel here.
Although the castle has less historical value, it is a great point to hike up to. After reaching the castle, you can enjoy lovely views of the town along with a cool breeze from the top of the hill amidst nature and plenty of greenery.
Visit Bergsträsser Winzer:
After spending time at the castle, start your hike /drive back to the town, where you can visit your next destination, Bergsträsser Winzer. Bergsträsser Winzer is a place for Wine connoisseurs. Their official Website is https://www.bergstraesserwinzer.de/. You can check their website before visiting Heppenheim. They organize many events and experiences for wine lovers, such as wine tasting, a tour to see the wine collection and the cellar, hikes, etc. So, if you plan ahead, you can add the ‘wine experience’ to your visit.
Bergsträsser Winzer is about 1 km from the railway station. You can either walk to the station or take public transport.
With this, you can end your day at Heppenheim.
A brief note about Public Transport in Heppenheim:
While all the places mentioned in my article can be easily reached on foot, you can use public transport in Heppenheim if you have mobility issues. You can get details about it here. Use Google Maps to get the bus number you need to take to reach from one place to the other in Heppenheim.
Accomodation in Heppenheim:
Heppenheim is a small town which can be easily explored in a day. However, if you wish to stay here, it is best to stay close to the city centre. You can check accommodation options on Booking.com or Heppenheim City Website.
Check out many more pictures of Heppenheim on my Gallery Page.
Read about other day places in and around Darmstadt here.
Read about my experiences in other holiday destinations here.
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