The charismatic town of Heidelberg is one of my favorite places. It is nestled in the densely forested, sloping hills of the Rhine Rift Valley on the Necker River, dotted with orange tile roofs and the beautiful red sandstone ruins of the Heidelberg Castle.
It is the type of place that immediately sweeps you up in its beauty and charm — it even had that effect on Mark Twain. Twain spent the summer of 1878 in Germany with his family and became particularly fond of Heidelberg, saying that it was “the last possibility of the beautiful.”
It is the type of place that is best enjoyed over a couple of days but if you only have one day— don’t miss it! It is easily accessible by regional trains, and is only about an hour from Frankfurt or Stuttgart.
We came from Munich which was just about 3 hours. No matter how much time you have in this romantic little town, I hope this vegan guide to Heidelberg helps you find great vegan restaurants, things to do, and more.
One last thing, if you’re feeling a little anxious about traveling as a vegan, be sure to check out my vegan travel tips!
If you’re hitting the road and looking for travel recommendations, check out these companies that I use regularly. Plus, by using these links, you can support Veggies Abroad!
- Hotels: Booking.com— They highlight properties with sustainable practices!
- Travel Insurance: Travelex— They have multiple comprehensive plan options with fewer “gotcha” moments.
- Activities & Tours: Viator & Get Your Guide
- Trains, Ferries, & Buses: Omio — use code OMIOFERRY to save 10% on ferry bookings.
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- Earth Hero: Travel-friendly toiletries & products. Use code VEGGIESABROAD to save 10% on your order!
Vegetarian & Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Heidelberg
While we didn’t have any luck finding a fully vegan restaurant in Heidelberg, there are a few vegetarian restaurants and vegan-friendly ones! Hopefully the vegan scene grows!
Poststraße 4, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
This fast-casual vegan-friendly café is a perfect spot for a wick and easy lunch or dinner. Their menu is super well-marked for vegan and gluten-free options, which include bowls, salads, smoothies, and more. They also mark which items are most “planet friendly,” no surprise it’s the veggie ones!
Untere Str. 21, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Whether you’re an arepa lover or have never tried these South American treasures, you’ve got to check out this spot. Their menu is very vegan-friendly, with a full section devoted to arepas packed with avocado, tofu, cheese, salsa, and more. They also have empanadas and veggie-loaded bowls.
Hauptstraße 187, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
When the mood strikes for a giant burger, come here! They have so many options to choose from a house-made spicy veggie to a chicken-less burger! Don’t skip an order of crispy sweet potato fries. If you’re gluten-free, you can get the burger without the bun, as seen below.
Hauptstraße 167, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
You can never go wrong with Middle Eastern cuisine! Here you can load up on falafel, hummus, and many other traditional veggie favorites.
Märzgasse 4, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
When you’re in need of something warm and comforting, come to this vegetarian soup bar! In addition to soup, they also have salads, coffee, and sweets.
Hauptstraße 136, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Whether you’re in the mood for ramen or a veggie-packed poke bowl, you’ll find it and more at this Japanese noodle bar. Their menu has great vegan options and two vegan protein options — Beyond Meat or SuperProtein.
Merianstraße 3, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
One more spot for fresh Middle Eastern cuisine! They are best known for having terrific Syrian style falafel.
Poststraße 42, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
This vegetarian buffet is loaded with color and variety! You can load up your plate and eat in the restaurant or get it for takeaway. They also have fresh juices and baked treats.
49 Rohrbacher Straße, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
Super chic vegan-friendly café with multiple locations throughout Heidelberg. Their menu features super green smoothie bowls, vegan waffles, freshly baked breads, juices, and more.
Dreikönigstraße 6, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
This warm and inviting vegan-friendly restaurant is celebrating the flavors of East Africa! They have a full “Vegetarische” section with plenty of vegan options. This is a great place to go with a group, as its ideal to get multiple dishes to share.
Bahnhofstraße 7, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
From Aloo Channa to plump samosas, you’ll find a great lineup of traditional Indian dishes to savor here!
Fischergasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
This is a great spot with a ton of vegan options and many things that can be made vegan. Start off the day with one of their many fruity smoothie bowls and come back later for a variety of burgers or other veggie-powered dishes.
If You’re Exploring More of Germany, Don’t Miss These Guides!
Where to Stay in Heidelberg
Unfortunately there isn’t a vegan hotel in Heidelberg just yet, but this spot is a great place to base yourself to explore the city.
Bergheimer Str. 91, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
We chose this hotel because of its proximity to the train station and to Old Town. It was only a 15 minute walk from the train station and about the same to town (depending on exactly where you wanted to go). The rooms were very spacious; we didn’t know what to do with all of that room!
Five Things To Do in Heidelberg
#1 Explore the Beautiful Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg)
Nestled above the town, the red stone Heidelberg Castle draws tourists in to explore its history, take in the views, and enjoy the castle grounds. A guided tour will help you understand the history of this behemoth, including its turbulent periods of growth and destruction. Its been hit by lightening twice!
You can also enjoy the elegant castle gardens and views for free. If you take the funicular up to the Castle, make sure you take it all the way up to the last stop, Königstuhl — The King’s Seat for more great views of the city.
#2 See an old Nazi relic—Thingstätte
An open-air amphitheater built on the Heiligenberg mountain during the Third Reich. It was to be used for Nazi events as part of their Thingspiel movement, which was a movement to gather people outdoors for propaganda presentations. Before the Nazis, this sacred mountain had seen Celtic settlements and temples created by the Roman.
#3 Shop, Stroll, Eat, & Relax in The Hauptstraße (Main Street) and the Altstadt (Old Town)
The cobblestone streets of this little area are filled with shops, outdoor cafes, museums, churches, and more. This is the oldest part of the city and the area where you really see the charm and feel the romance that draws tourists from all over the world. Consider a walking tour to make sure you don’t miss anything!
#4 Take in the city views from the top of the Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche)
Not far from The Heidelberg Castle, in the middle of the market square stands the most famous church in the city. The church has welcomed and been used by many different groups throughout the years — Catholics, Protestants, Hippies, and students. Today it still hosts church services as well as concerts.
Visitors can take the hike up the church tower to the viewing platform for great views of the city. It will cost you a few euros.
#5 Hike, Run, or Walk The Philosophers’ Way (Philosophenweg)
Take the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) across the Necker River to the winding Philosopher’s Way. The name, Philosopher’s Way comes from the many professors and philosophers who use/used this winding path to contemplate issues at hand.
It is a very calm and restorative environment filled with beautiful views of the city as well as a myriad of plant life. It’s a great spot to just hike or go for a run, just make sure to bring your camera, everything is picture perfect. If you love nature, you should also consider taking a kayak tour down the Neckar River.
How to Get Around Heidelberg
The easiest way to explore the narrow and winding cobblestone streets is by foot! The city is well connected with bus, tram, and train routes, so no worries if you need a little help getting around. A single bus or tram ticket starts at €1.90, a day ticket is €5.50, and a 5-day ticket is €22. Individual tram and bus tickets can be purchased at ticket machines or with the driver.
Heidelberg is also well connected by the regional train lines (D Bahn) and only an hour from Frankfurt making it easy to get anywhere in Europe.
Another option for tourists is the HeidelbergCARD. If you plan to visit many of the main attractions (including The Heidelberg Castle) and use the city’s public transportation system (bus and tram) you may want to consider this.
The card is available for 1, 2, or 4 days and starts at €27.