Heilbronn Travel: Everything You Need to Know!

Heilbronn Wartberg Autumn

Nice that you are here and want to know more about my hometown of Heilbronn. I’ll tell you what you can do here, what the sights are and my favorite places. There are also excursion tips for the Heilbronn region and tips for the best cafésbars, and restaurants.

Are you from the region? No? Then I will show you accommodations with ideal locations to explore. I also have tips for motorhome travelers because I own a campervan (panel van)  myself.

One thing is certain: Heilbronn is underestimated. At first glance, the city looks like an ugly duckling between the beautiful half-timbered towns around it. But if you know where to look, you will see the beauty. Heilbronn is located between the longest river in Baden-Württemberg, the Neckar, and many vineyards, there are wonderful views and places to linger. I’ll show you where to find them.

All Tips for Heilbronn at a Glance

Information Before the Trip

Facts About Heilbronn

The post-war industrial city was almost destroyed in a hail of bombs on December 4, 1944. Since the reconstruction, we residents have had a kind of love-hate relationship.

You will find old buildings in a few places, such as the Käthchen Haus on the market square or the train station. Architecturally, a lot has been screwed up in the past. There are some buildings that don’t fit into the cityscape. Shopping centers such as the K3 or the Stadtgalerie are just two examples.

Käthchen city is the most dynamic and, on the way, to becoming one of the most modern cities in Germany. Heilbronn was one of the first cities where homosexuals could marry. In addition, with the Neckar Mile, we have the longest gastronomy mile on a river. The Experimenta is another highlight in the immediate vicinity.

In addition, the most modern educational campus in Europe has been located in Heilbronn for a few years. Who would have thought so?

Heilbronn is the City of Short Distances

Heilbronn is known as the city of short distances. From the train station, it is only 9 minutes to the Experimenta, to the town hall 2 tram stations or also 10 minutes on foot. Another 5 minutes later you will reach the Neckar Mile, Germany’s longest gastronomy mile on a river.

A lot has happened in the last 5 years. Today I’m taking you to my homeland. All tips and information with the most important sights and my favorite places in Heilbronn.

Everything about Heilbronn

Heilbronn is known to many through Heinrich von Kleist’s “Kaathchen von Heilbronn”. The city is not necessarily one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. I love my Heilbronn! Germany’s most dynamic city is reinventing itself and is really an exciting place!

The Federal Horticultural Show 2019, together with the Experimenta – Germany’s largest science center – opened in the same year – transformed the entire cityscape of Heilbronn. And that’s good.

In their own words, Heilbronn is currently reinventing itself. A lot has happened since it was announced a few years ago that Heilbronn would host the Federal Horticultural Show in 2019:

In the last 10 years, a new, super cool district has emerged from a more than 100-year-old commercial area: Neckarbogen. The Federal Horticultural Show also took place on this huge area.

Which, by the way, broke all records:

  • Germany’s tallest wooden residential building with 10 floors
    800 guests on a construction site tour
  • More than 100,000 visitors on the 1st weekend
    With over 94,837 season tickets sold, expectations were far exceeded

Brief facts about Heilbronn:

  • Heilbronn has around 125,000 inhabitants52% of whom have a migration background. In my school class, there were 3 Greeks, Turks, Italians, Croatians, and Portuguese. My mother was also a refugee child (with a German passport).
  • The fact is, we cover ourselves with a carpet (blanket), which brings a smile to many people.
  • Heilbronn was once a free imperial city, later a flourishing industrial city, and was one of the most beautiful cities in Germany until it was destroyed by Allied forces in World War II (98% were reduced to rubble and ashes within minutes).
  • Heilbronn is the seat of large companies from the Schwarz Group (Lidl and Kaufland), Unilever (Knorr), Friesland Campina (Südmilch), the Südwestdeutsche Salzbergwerke and Intersport .
  • Travelers keep asking whether Heilbronner is Swabians or Badeners. Officially we are Lower Franconia, I count myself among the Swabians.
  • Heilbronn is considered a city in the heart of the largest German red wine growing region (Trollinger and Trollinger Lemberger), unfortunately, which I don’t like at all.
  • The most modern educational campus in Europe is located in Heilbronn
  • The average family income is among the highest in Germany (thanks to Audi, Lidl, Kaufland, Würth, and whatever they are called)
  • The Experimenta is the largest science center in Germany.
  • During the Cold War, the USA’s Pershing IA medium-range missiles equipped with nuclear weapons were stationed on the Waldheide. Today’s nature reserve was therefore not accessible to us citizens. At the time, large protests led by Günter Grass brought citizens against the stationing.

Getting There

Arrival By Bus

Heilbronn is served by Flixbus. The bus station is right next to the train station. Ideally located in the center. With a travel time from Hamburg of 11 hours, I would rather use the train.

Arrival By Train

Tired topic as a Heilbronner: Heilbronn is NOT connected to the ICE network. You always have to change trains in Stuttgart, Mannheim (sometimes Heidelberg) or Würzburg when you arrive. That really annoys me because trains in Mannheim are often late. Then you have to wait an hour for the next train to come.

Camper Place

There are 20 free parking spaces for mobile homes directly at the Wertwiesenpark (at the entrance to the Neckarhalde outdoor pool). Of these, 12 are powered (50 cents per 1 kWh). 100 liters of freshwater costs 1 euro. There is a disposal point for this. The public toilets are not always clean, and I would avoid them.

You will also find 1-2 places in Landvergnügen at the Albrecht-Kiessling winery at the foot of the Wartberg.

Just outside there are places at the Heilbronn-Erlenbach-Weinsberg cooperative winery (approx. 4 km from downtown Heilbronn) and at the “Breitenauer See Camping Park” (approx. 15 km), our local recreation area on the lake (for swimming).

Parking Downtown

You can find an overview of parking spaces for your car on the Heilbronn website. I like to park in the Experimenta multi-story car park or in the Stadtgalerie (if I’m going to drive at all since I have the tram stop in the immediate vicinity. In the summer I cycle everywhere).

Hotel Tips Heilbronn

The following hotels are right in the center and best located: The new Parkhotel right in the center. Alternatively, the Hotel Ibis or the privately run and really individual Hotel TraumRaum (my tip). The hotel with the longest history and institution is Insel Hotel mittendrin.

There is also a Mercure at the beginning of the pedestrian zone or the Hotel Newton, in the direction of the Jägerhaus. All of these hotels are very close to the center.

The HARBR Hotel is located directly on the former Buga site. The hotel is great but is a bit too far from the center for my taste

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