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plan your next getaway

Where to next? Find out with our day trips and weekend excursions!

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Destinations

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Find your next destination! Travel times are calculated by car from Basel, but keep in mind that public transportation is also a good option. Here are a couple tips for travelling by public transport:

 

  • For travel within Switzerland, make sure to sign up for the SBB half-fare card, which cuts the price in half train rides and provides discounts on many Swiss attractions.  

  • Download the SBB app, which allows you to easily check routes, buy tickets and store your half-fare membership card.

Know a great destination? We'd love to hear about it!
Tell us about it here.

 
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Wasserfallen

Approx travel time: 35 mins

Canton: Basel Land

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Wasserfallen is a regional favourite for year-round fun.  It boasts lovely valley views and on a clear day you can see out to the Alps from the top of the little mountain range.  

 

After an easy drive (or bus ride) to Reigoldswil you can ride a cable car or or hike up to the Wasserfallen station.  In the summer months you can try out the ropes course or ride down the hill on a Trottinett - mountain scooter (kids under 10 must ride with an adult).   In winter months you can hike, sled, snowshoe or cross-country ski.

 

While you can bring your own picnic lunch, Wasserfallen has several small restaurants nestled in along the various trails as well as one at the Wasserfallen station.  The fare tends towards traditional Swiss favorites.

 
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Langenbruck

Approx travel time: 40 mins

Canton: Basel Land

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The charming village of Langenbruck is known for it's fantastic Rodelbahn (an outdoor luge track) and Seilpark (a climbing and ropes course), which are popular in the summer months. This area also has a small ski lift for downhill activities in the winter.

If you are looking for a bite to eat, Restaurant Bachtalen is a lovely location (with a very friendly dog) that serves farm-fresh typical Swiss fare.

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Deinkick Rodelbahn and Seilpark

 
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Covered Market

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Tarte Flambée

Colmar

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Approx travel time: 50 mins

Region: Alsace

Known as the 'Venice of France', Colmar is a picturesque medieval town located in the heart of Alsace.  While it's more touristy than many neighbouring villages, it is truly lovely and an easy train ride or drive from Basel.  (If driving it's best to park outside city centre and walk).

 

Stroll around on your own or take one of the little trains that go through the town and get a short history of the area (headsets have audio in several languages). Prefer a water tour?  You can also hop on a little boat (Venice style) and motor up the canal that runs through the eastern part of the town.  Typically, it’s possible to buy tickets the day of or even hop right on.  

 

Beyond taking in the ambience, Colmar is a great place to enjoy French cuisine.  A quick stop at the Covered Market will fill you with pastry, cheese, fresh produce and other tasty delights.  If you are in the mood for a delicious sit down meal check out Le Quai 21 located along the canal.  And don’t forget to try the regional favourite, Tarte Flambée, a thin crust pizza with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and ham (known as Flammkuchen in Basel but trust us, it’s not the same).

 

Shopping is also a favourite activity with lots of small boutiques and more well-known chains located around the town.  If museums are more your thing, there are several to choose from including the Unterlinden Museum and Museum of Natural History.  When you get tired of walking it may be time to relax at the Parc du Champ du Mars where you can stroll the grounds, ride a carousel and grab an ice cream.  

 
 

Eguisheim & Riquewihr 

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Approx travel time: 1hr

Region: Alsace

A trip to Alsace is not complete without seeing some of the beautiful villages that surround Colmar. Nestled amongst vineyards, these quaint, cobble-stone villages, with their half-timber houses are the perfect destination for a day trip.  

 

Eguisheim, once voted 'One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France', is a perfect first stop.  This medieval village is uniquely circular and easy to get lost in.  It will only be on your third trip around that you start wondering if that charming house you just passed looks familiar.

Riquewihr is equally as delightful and makes one feel as though they have been transported into Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Before you start breaking out in song, make sure to check out some of the lovely boutiques as well as Maison Alsacienne de Biscuiterie, where you will have the delicious problem of trying to decide what type of biscuit to try first.  Don't forget to pick up the favourite Alsatian brioche-style breakfast bread -  the Kugelhopf.

Before you leave this area make sure to visit La Montagne des Singes (near Kintzheim).  For those of you French speakers out there, this is not a typo, there truly is a 'Monkey Mountain' in Alsace.  Great for the kids, this nature conservancy is 60 acres of forest that are home to over 200 Barbary macaques that roam free and eat popcorn out of tourists hands.

This area is an easy drive from Basel, but if you don't have a car, or perhaps are wanting to partake in some of the many wines available in this region, you can book a private tour with Alsace Safari. Ana and Eric, the couple who run the tours, will take you on a customized tour of the area and show you some of their favourite sites, vineyards and restaurants.  

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Eguisheim

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Kugelhopf,

Photo: Diann Bayes

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Riquewihr

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La Montagne des Singes

 

Lucerne

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Approx travel time: 1 hr, 10 mins

Canton: Lucerne

Lucerne is everything you want a Swiss city to be. Prepare yourself for a visual feast (shared by many tourists of course) as everywhere you look is another stunning view.  From the lake, to the medieval architecture, to the surrounding mountains and the swans peacefully swimming in pristine Lake Lucerne, all can be enjoyed while walking around the Altstadt or along the the famous Chapel Bridge

Once you've had enough picturesque beauty, make sure to check out the equally impressive Verkehrshaus (Swiss Transport Museum).  Be prepared to spend all day here as each form of transport; planes, trains, boats and cars (oh my!) have their own massive building, which has an impressive collection of full-size vehicles and numerous interactive exhibits.  Perfect for kids, but really anyone, and you will be surprised how cool trains and planes can be.

 

This museum is also home to the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Adventure which takes you on an interactive ride (complete with chocolate of course) that explains the origin and history of the Swiss chocolate industry.

After strolling the city streets it's time to get out on the water - and in the mountains!  The Golden Round Trip will take you on a lovely tour of the lake by boat and then up Mount Pilatus by cog railway and cable car.  With its spectacular views and 'dragon trail' this is a must see.  And on the way down you can check out the ropes park and other fun adventures.  

If you are looking for a bite, you will have a lot of options, but for an authentic Swiss-style restaurant check out Gartenhaus 1313, which has a fantastic daily changing menu served family style.

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Lucerne Altstadt, Photo: Mariano Mantel

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Chapel Bridge, Photo: Jamie McHale

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Verkehrsmuseum, Photo: Ted Renner

 
 

Zürich

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Approx travel time: 1 hr, 10 mins

Canton: Zürich

While many of us may be intimately familiar with the Zürich airport, we tend to forget what a lovely destination it is.  Apart from the usual tourist attractions such as the Fraumünster with it's Chagall stained-glass windows, the charming old town and the lake, there are also a few lesser-known sites that can make for a lovely day trip.

Lichthalle MAAG is a fantastic art immersive experience that brings the paintings of artists such as Van Gogh, Khalo and Monet to life.  A great destination for all ages, it is a fabulous dancing light show that animates art to music with informative history about the artists.

An Instagramer's dream, the WOW Museum, has a series of rooms set up with visual illusions where you can take some truly 'grammable' pictures of you and your friends.

Of course food wise you are spoiled for choice in Zürich.  For some authentic and delicious Korean make sure to try the Bibim Shack, especially their signature Bibimbap (a tasty rice dish with meat veg and egg). For coffee  and cake, the always busy Babu's will not disappoint, provided you can find a table.

Lucerne Altstadt, Photo: Mariano Mantel

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Lichrthalle MAAG

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WOW Museum

 
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Black Forest Open Air Museum

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Gutach (Black Forest)

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Approx travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

Region: Schwarzwald Baden-Württemberg

Often associated with Grimm's Fairytales, and renown for its cuckoo clocks, the Black Forest is the perfect destination if you are looking for a change from city life.  Quaint farms (many of which host over-night guests) dot the landscape and you can be sure to find some authentic Schnitzel in one of the many Gasthofs.  Be sure to visit the Black Forest Open Air Museum near Gutach where you can walk though several farm houses (the oldest dating from 1612) set up to showcase the history of the region.

For the thrill seekers, there is also the impressive Sommerrodelbahn Gutach, which offers 1150m of toboggan fun for ages 3+

Fribourg

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Approx travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

Canton: Fribourg

Situated directly on the Röstigraben, (the line dividing French-speaking and German-speaking Switzerland), Fribourg sits atop a towering cliff on the winding river Saane/Sarine.  It's old town is as charming as is its idyllic riverside and is definitely worth a day trip.  Make sure to visit St. Nicolas Cathedral to see their spectacular Art Nouveau stained-glass windows by Polish painter Jozef Mehoffer. 

You can also take an immersive self-guided iPad tour with Frÿburg 1606.  After you have worked off some calories on one of their many picturesque (though very steep) streets you can stop for a decadent, fresh pastry at Boulangerie-Confiserie du Tilleul.  For something more substantive be sure to try Diyarah for fresh and tasty Indian cuisine in the historic old town centre.

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Friboug

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Approx travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

Canton: Fribourg

Situated directly on the Röstigraben, (the line dividing French-speaking and German-speaking Switzerland), Fribourg sits atop a towering cliff on the winding river Saane/Sarine.  It's old town is as charming as is its idyllic riverside and is definitely worth a day trip.  Make sure to visit St. Nicolas Cathedral to see their spectacular Art Nouveau stained-glass windows by Polish painter Jozef Mehoffer. 

You can also take an immersive self-guided iPad tour with Frÿburg 1606.  After you have worked off some calories on one of their many picturesque (though very steep) streets you can stop for a decadent, fresh pastry at Boulangerie-Confiserie du Tilleul.  For something more substantive be sure to try Diyarah for fresh and tasty Indian cuisine in the historic old town centre.

 
 
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Interlaken

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Approx travel time: 1 hr, 40 mins

Canton: Bern

Interlaken is an absolute must for a day or weekend trip from Basel.  Not only does it have stunning views, it is the home of Outdoor.ch - An adventure sports company that does paragliding, snowshoeing, white water rafting and has the most amazing zip-line park you have ever seen!  Explore their wide range of adventure tours to see what suits you.  Many (including the zip-line) course are appropriate for children.

Another not-to-miss experience is St Beatus Höhlen, an immense labyrinth of caves extending 925m underground.  They also have a restaurant and stunning views of Lake Thun.

If all that is perhaps a bit too adventurous for you, Interlaken also has the Funky Chocolate Club, where you can learn about the fascinating world of Swiss chocolate, while eating your weight in it.

If you are looking to eat something other than chocolate there are also some really fantastic restaurant options. Sample some authentic Mexican cuisine at El Azteca or have a Middle Eastern feast at Restaurant Bawwabat Dimachq (it's worth the trip just for this restaurant!)

Adventure Park Interlaken

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St Beatus Höhlen

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Funky Chocolate Club

 
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Neuchâtel

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Approx travel time: 1 hr, 45 mins

Canton: Neuchâtel

Prepare to step back in time to the Belle Époque (the heyday of culture in Europe before the First World War). Neuchâtel was a centre for this movement in Switzerland, which is reflected in it's lovely architecture and Art Nouveau details.  To celebrate this, the city has arranged a scavenger hunt 'Les Chenapans', which takes you all over the city with puzzles to solve in their beautiful murals and architecture.

A lovely farmers market in the Place des Halles on Saturday mornings will delight the senses with its wide variety of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, fish from the lake, farm meat, eggs, honey, flowers, as well as bread and pastries.

If you are looking for something a bit more thrilling make sure to try Parc Adventure Chaumont, which will take you on some challenging parkour adventures punctuated by thrilling zip-lines.

Of course if you are looking for good food, you are in the right place. Lets face it, the French-speaking part of Switzerland does have a culinary advantage and this is displayed most aptly with Restaurant Le Banneret, which serves traditional French cuisine and phenomenal fish.

If you are looking for something a little bit more fancy try the Hôtel du Peyrou, located in a Swiss mansion, built in 1775 by Pierre-Alexandre Du Peyrou (who was best buds with Jean-Jacques Rousseau).  Their seasonally changing menu is amazing.  Try (though you will fail) not to fill up on their fabulous bread so you have room for the rest of the courses.

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Parc Adventure Chaumont

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Hôtel de Peyrou

 
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Gruyères and Area

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Approx travel time: 1 hr, 50 mins

Canton: Fribourg

Pack your elasticized pants and prepared yourself for a culinary adventure in Gruyères. Home to the famous cheese of the same name, La Maison du Gruyère will not only explain the origins and history of this tasty delight, but also give a demonstration of how it is made. Don't leave before you have fully researched the product and sampled some fondue at their restaurant.

In order to avoid the 'cheese sweats' you better get moving and the short hike of the hill to Château de Gruyères is just the thing.  This pedestrian-only medieval castle and picturesque adjoining village, dates back to the 13th Century. Over eight centuries it changed hands many times, eventually becoming an artist residence, as evidenced by the numerous murals and paintings in its halls.  

 

While exploring the village make sure to visit the HR Giger Museum, showcasing the fantastical and sometimes disturbing work of the Swiss artist Hans Ruedi Giger, best known for his work on the 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien.  Although this is a rather unusual addition to a historical medieval village, it is quite a spectacle to see and even more fun to have a drink in the HR Giger Bar next door while you reenact that famous scene from Alien (you know the one).

Before you leave this area make sure to treat yourself (after all you did hike up that hill) to some chocolate at Maison Cailler in Broc.  This is home to a fantastic chocolate factory, which takes you on an interactive tour detailing the history of chocolate and how it is made. Of course you can try some of their many samples, and as you leave with your pockets bulging you will nonetheless be tempted to buy their full-sized versions in the gift shop. 

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La Maison du Gruyère

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HR Giger Museum

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Château de Gruyère

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Blausee

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Oeschinensee, Photo: Jorge Cancela

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Cross-country skiing

Kandersteg

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Kandersteg

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Approx travel time:  2 hrs 

Canton: Bern

Many know Kandersteg as the home of the Lötschberg Tunnel, which takes you under the mountains to popular destinations like Zermatt, but there is more than meets the eye to this little village.  

 

In the warmer months, Kandersteg offers lovely hikes.  Lake Oeschinensee is a must see.  This UNESCO World Heritage site is considered by many to be the most lovely alpine lake. 

Competing for the title of most beautiful lake is Blausee- the spectacular blue of which is something that can only be see in person. This crystal-clear pristine mountain trout farm is off-limits for swimming, but you can enjoy a hike in the mystical surroundings and eat some truly fantastic fish at their nearby hotel/restaurant.

 

In the winter, Kandersteg turns into a cross-country skiers paradise with novice runs located right in the village (assuming the snowfall is good) and more advanced terrain a short gondola ride up into the mountains.  Kandersteg has limited downhill skiing and all novice terrain, but it's about a 30-minute drive to bigger mountains like Adelboden.  

Dining and hotels are limited in the small village, but a family favourite is the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria.  This family style hotel offers stay/dine packages as well as a la carte options.  It's large ballroom is perfect for its generous breakfast and the hotel restaurant offers a good variety of Swiss inspired fare.  Kids, especially, are delighted with the large indoor pool and kids club room.  

 

St. Gallen

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Approx travel time:  2 hrs, 10 mins

Canton: St Gallen

St. Gallen is a lovely little city on the Eastern edge of Switzerland, just south of Lake Constance (Bodensee).  It is home to the impressive Abbey of St Gall (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as the Stiftsbibliothek, Switzerland's oldest library with books dating back to the 8th century.  Although a visit to the library may not sound like the most exciting excursion, this one is truly impressive and not to be missed. Plus everyone gets to wear felt slippers so as not to damage the impeccably inlaid floors.

Another site of note is the Textile Museum, which has a lovely selection of historical clothing and textiles and explains the rich history of textile production in St. Gallen, which was once world-renowned for its fabrics and embroidery.

For a bit of exercise you can take a walk along the St. Gallen Panoramaweg and see some stunning aerial views of the city.

After all this activity, you will surely be famished! the Stickerei is a cool casual spot with fantastic burgers.  For something a little more up-class, try Falkenburg who's delicious food is only rivalled by its beautiful views.

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Stiftsbibliotek, Photo: Peter Thoeny

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Abbey of St. Gall

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Stickerei

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Montreux 

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Approx travel time: 2 hrs, 10 mins

Canton: Vaud

Montreux is famous for its Jazz Festival but is lovely to visit any time of year, especially in the spring when the incredible number of flower boxes are on display throughout the city. Montreux has a lovely sea-side (or more accurately lake-side) feel and is said to have the most beautiful promenade in Switzerland. Here you can endlessly stroll, admire the serene beauty of Lake Geneva and eat ice cream, crepes and waffles of course.  

 

For Queen fans, there is also an homage to Freddy Mercury as well as the Queen Studio Experience, where you can tour the original Mountain Studios, where Queen recorded 7 albums.

Another great site along the shoreline is Château de Chillon, a fantastically restored castle located on a tiny natural island, which strategically controlled passage from the North to the South of Europe.

In the other direction in Vevey is the Alimentarium -an interactive museum dedicated to food.  Tour the exhibitions, take part in one of their cooking workshops or visit their garden or restaurant for a lovely afternoon.

The Olympic Museum in Lausanne is another great destination. Explore the history of the games and test your speed and stamina with their numerous interactive exhibits.

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Alimentarium

Freddie Mercury Statue

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Château de Chillon

Olympic Museum

 

Lavaux Vinyards

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Approx travel time: 2 hrs, 15 mins

Canton: Vaud

The Lavaux is a wine region that stretches from Lausanne to Montreux along Lake Geneva.  With spectacular views it is a must see for wine lovers and hikers alike.  Over 800 hectares in size, these terraced vineyards trace back to the 11th century when they were planted by monks.  The region was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

 

For hikers, there is a 32 km footpath that leads from Lausanne-Ouchy to Château de Chillon. Along the route, hikers will find 7 circuits complete with information panels detailing the local wine making process. If you prefer a guided tour, there are guides who will walk you through the vineyards as well as options for private bus tours or even a little train, the Lavaux Express.  

 

Vinorama is a must for its fascinating short movie on the region, nice selection of local wines and wine tours that take you to some of the top growers (reserve in advance). You can even book a day with a local winemaker through Lausanne Tourism and truly immerse yourself in the experience.

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Heidelberg

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Approx travel time:  2 hrs, 45 mins

District: Baden-Würtemberg

Heidelberg is a lovely university town in Baden-Würtemberg situated on the Neckar River. Apart from its university (Germany's oldest, founded in 1386), Heidelberg also has an impressive Castle - Schloss Heidelberg.  Also located in the castle is the Deutsches Apothekenmuseum (German Pharmacy Museum) which explains the history of development of pharmaceuticals in Germany (perhaps especially interesting to the Basel population :)

When you've finished exploring the castle and surrounding area, make sure to wander the Altstadt, which boasts the longest shopping street in Europe! While you enjoy the shops in this charming, but unending pedestrian shopping street, you will notice several shops selling the famous Heidelberg Schneeball (snowball).  Although you will try, resistance is futile and this fried dough ball is just as tasty as it looks.

Shopping can work up an appetite so make sure to take a break for some truly authentic  Schintzel in truly enormous portions at the Schnizelbank, or for a more refined, but certainly delicious option, make sure to try the Restaurant Romer in the ArtHotel.

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Schloss Heidelberg, Photo:Herbert2512

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Deutsches Apotekenmuseum

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Europe's longest shopping street, Photo: Ted McGrath

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Heidelberg Schneeball

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