With a population of about 150,000 people, Heidelberg, Germany is home to the oldest university in Germany (founded in 1386) where one in five residents are enrolled at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Heidelberg is also the location of scenic castle ruins on the flank of a hill above the Neckar River, and is destination to over two million visitors annually.
I’m often “home” in Heidelberg to visit friends who are in the city to work for the university or one of the many institutes in town. An important component for any visit to Heidelberg is Untere Strasse in the Altstadt (Lower Street in the Old Town). The narrow cobblestone street includes cafes, pubs, and shops with a neighbourhood feel attracting not only university students for “pub crawls” but also city residents for their favourite hangout spots.
In casual and cozy surroundings, a bistro by the name of Café Burkardt provides an easy environment for coffee, some cake (the fresh on display as you walk through the front door), or a light meal. The café is also a Weinstube (wine bar) for a quiet chat over a glass of wine.
It’s noon on Tuesday, but there are only four other guests in the café. The wood furnishings, the ample window to the outside, and even the light fixtures make me feel completely at ease. My palate has swung from the sweet to the savory side over time. I glance down at the lunch specials this week: pulled pork burger yesterday, vegetarian lasagna with tomato sauce tomorrow, but today, the offering is currywurst with roast potatoes, and a side salad. Having spent time in Hamburg and Berlin, I’m a sucker for currywurst, and I give in to the temptation. My experience is both example and reminder of German “Gemütlichkeit”.
Address: Untere Strasse 27, in the Altstadt (Old Town).
Bus stop (Haltestelle): Alte Brücke, bus 35; Rathaus/Bergbahn, bus 33; Universitätsplatz, bus 31 or 32.
To someone new to the city, it’s not entirely obvious how one reaches Untere Strasse. Most will spend a majority of their time up and down the Hauptstrasse (Main Street). Untere Strasse is tucked between Universitätsplatz (University Square) to the west, the Neckar River to the north, Marktplatz (Market Square) to the east, and Hauptstrasse to the south.
I made the photos above on 25 November 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com. Access to public transport was kindly provided by the city tourism organization Heidelberg Marketing and the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH regional transport authority.