Where to stay in Heidelberg for first time: 3 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Heidelberg as a first-timer can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Heidelberg for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safe areas to stay in Heidelberg for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Heidelberg and recommend some of the best hotels for visitors with various budgets.

Heidelberg is a picturesque city located in southwestern Germany. Known for its historic charm, Heidelberg is famous for its stunning castle, which overlooks the Neckar River and the old town. 

The city is also home to Heidelberg University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Germany, dating back to 1386. With its cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Heidelberg attracts tourists from all over the world.

Additionally, the city is surrounded by lush forests and vineyards, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and wine lovers alike.

The nearest major international airport is Frankfurt Airport. From there, you can take a train or a shuttle service directly to Heidelberg. Alternatively, you can fly to Stuttgart Airport and take a train or shuttle to Heidelberg from there.

Heidelberg is well-connected by train. You can take a train from major cities like Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, or Cologne. The main train station in Heidelberg is in Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof (Hbf).

Is Heidelberg safe to visit?

Yes, Heidelberg is overall a safe city to visit. The city has a low violent crime rate, but as you travel to any city, I always advise you to use common sense, be aware of bike theft, look left and right before crossing a street, avoid walking on bike lanes, and avoid walking alone late at night.

Where to stay in Heidelberg for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Heidelberg for first-timers and tourists include Altstadt (Old Town), Bergheim/Weststadt, and Neuenheim. Regardless of where you stay, Heidelberg is a relatively compact city with an efficient public transportation system, so you can easily explore its attractions from any area.

Altstadt (Old Town) is the heart of Heidelberg, known for its charming cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and the iconic Heidelberg Castle. Staying in the Old Town allows easy access to attractions like the Heidelberg University, the Old Bridge (Alte Brücke), and the Heidelberg Castle.

Bergheim and Weststadt, west of the Old Town, are great bases for both easy access to the main train station and the old town. These are  modern commercial neighborhoods with vibrant restaurant scene, boutique shops, and attractions like Bismarckplatz Park and Body Worlds Museum.

Neuenheim, located on the north bank of the Neckar River, is a quieter residential area known for its leafy streets and upscale atmosphere. It’s within walking distance of the Old Town and  home to attractions like the Philosopher’s Walk, Heidelberg Zoo, and Heidelberg Botanical Garden.

During my trip to Heidelberg, I stayed at the 3-star City Partner Hotel Holländer Hof. It was a great stay in the heart of the historic center, close to everything, including the main shopping street of Hauptstraße, the castle, and the river. My room was clean and spacious, and had stunning river views.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Heidelberg for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Heidelberg first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Heidelberg first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Heidelberg, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Heidelberg have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Best/ Safe areas to stay in Heidelberg for first-timers and tourists:

1. Altstadt (Old Town)

Altstadt (Old Town) is an excellent base in Heidelberg for first-timers and tourists due to its central location and proximity to many of the city’s main attractions. 

Staying in the Altstadt puts you within easy walking distance of the castle, university, museums, and theaters. Additionally, the area is well-served by public transportation, making it convenient to explore other parts of the city and beyond.

The iconic Heidelberg Castle is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, and it overlooks the Old Town. Staying nearby allows you to easily visit this historic castle and enjoy its stunning views of the city and Neckar River.

The Altstadt is filled with picturesque cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint squares. It offers a unique atmosphere that immerses you in Heidelberg’s rich history and culture.

The Old Bridge is another iconic symbol of Heidelberg, connecting the Altstadt with Neuenheim across the Neckar River. You can take a stroll across this bridge and enjoy views of the river and castle.

The Altstadt is home to numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques, offering plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining. Whether you’re looking for traditional German cuisine, international flavors, or cozy cafes, you’ll find plenty of options within walking distance.

The oldest university in Germany, Heidelberg University, is located in the Altstadt. You can explore the university’s historic campus, visit its museums and libraries, and soak in the lively student atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Heidelberg Old Town for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg, great 5-star hotel centrally located in the heart of the  Heidelberg old town, offering stunning views of the castle. It has a well equipped gym, a nice  roof terrace, an indoor swimming pool, paid airport shuttle, and wonderful breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Arthotel Heidelberg, 4-star boutique hotel located in the central historic center, beside the university, within a short distance from the Schloss Heidelberg castle. Easy access to the funicular to the castle. Short taxi ride from the train station. It features paid parking, excellent breakfast, and paid airport shuttle services. Ideal location to explore Heidelberg.

Mid-range ($$): Berggasthof Königstuhl, 4-star hotel located on a hilltop overlooking Heidelberg and close to the cliff railway, easy to get to funicular to go down into the town. 15 mins walk from Heidelberg Castle. It has spacious rooms with fabulous views of the city.

Budget ($): City Partner Hotel Holländer Hof, great 3-star hotel located in the old, close to almost everything, right next to the Alter Brücke bridge, offering views of the scenic Philosophers’ Way. 5-10 mins walk from Hauptstraße shopping street and Heidelberg Castle.

Budget ($): Hotel Goldener Falke, 3-star family-run hotel conveniently located on the old town’s main square, great base for sightseeing and for christmas markets. You can take a bus to get to the train station and the zoo. You’ll have easy access to the Holy Spirit Church, the town hall, and the pedestrian zone with many restaurants, cafes and shops. The cable car nearby will take you to the summit of the Königstuhl mountain for stunning views.


2. Bergheim/Weststadt

Bergheim and Weststadt are conveniently located close to the old town, the river, and the train station, making them great locations to stay in Heidelberg. You can find some popular hotels in these districts.

Heidelberg Central Station (Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof) is a major transportation hub connecting the city with other parts of Germany and Europe. The station offers various train services, including regional, intercity, and international trains. 

Best places to stay in Heidelberg in Bergheim:

Mid-range ($$): NH Collection Heidelberg, 4-star hotel located in Bergheim district of Heidelberg, close to the river, the old town, and the rail station. They have lovely breakfast with lots of different things.

Mid-range ($$): Qube Hotel Bergheim, 4-star hotel in the city center of Heidelberg, in a quiet neighborhood, easy access to the old town and the Christmas market. It has an underground parking garage, delicious breakfast, and an onsite restaurant.

Budget ($): Hotel Panorama, 3-star good value for money hotel located along the River Neckar in central Heidelberg, within 10-20 mins walking distance from Hauptstraße shopping street, Main Station, Alte Brücke bridge, and historic market square. Easy access to trams for further exploration. It has a 24-hour front desk, and exceptional breakfast.

Budget ($): The Heidelberg Exzellenz Hotel, popular 3-star hotel, located  in a quiet section of the Weststadt suburb, slightly outside of the city center, but only 5 mins walk from  the old town and Adenauerplatz tram stop (for direct services to the main train station). It has comfortable family rooms with a kitchenette.

Budget ($): GuestHouse Heidelberg, 3-star studio apartments in central Heidelberg, only a few mins from the  Old town, university, train station, and Stadthalle congress center. Also a short distance from the castle, Peterskirche church, zoo, an botanical garden.


3. Neuenheim

Opting to stay in Neuenheim while visiting Heidelberg provides a peaceful yet convenient experience, blending the tranquility of a residential area with easy access to the city’s attractions. 

Neuenheim is situated on the north bank of the Neckar River, where you enjoy leisurely walks along the riverbank, relax in riverside parks, or even take a boat tour to admire Heidelberg from the water.

Neuenheim is known for its leafy streets, historic buildings, and upscale vibe. You’ll find elegant villas, cozy cafes, and boutique shops scattered throughout the neighborhood.

You will be within a short distance from many attractions from the old town. Additionally this area also offers easy access to the Philosophenweg Path, the zoo, and the botanic garden.

Best places to stay in Heidelberg in Neuenheim:

Luxury ($$$): House of Hütter – Heidelberg Suites & Spa, 5-star hotel conveniently located in Neuenheim, just a short enjoyable walk from the Old Town along the River Neckar. Close to Philosophenweg Path. It has a nice view of the river and castle. 

Budget ($): Rafaela Hotel Heidelberg, 3-star good value for money hotel located next to a tree-lined square with cafes, restaurants and bakeries. It is in the peaceful Neuenheim district, 15 mins walk from the Old Town with the theater and university. 

Budget ($): BS Boutique Hotel, 3-star accommodation located in the Neuenheim district in Heidelberg, 20 mins walk from Heidelberg Theater and Orchestra. A Short 5 stop tram ride to the main train station.


In conclusion, Altstadt (Old Town), Bergheim/ Weststadt, and Neuenheim are the best places to stay in Heidelberg for first-timers and tourists. These areas are generally safe and offer a variety of accommodations and convenient access to the city’s attractions.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Germany in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Heidelberg. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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