If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Heidelberg and the Neckar River without a lot of effort, head up the cable car from the Altstadt (old-town) district of downtown.
The first stop is the Heidelberg Castle or Schloss where you can either exit to visit the castle and gardens or continue to the next stop, Molkenkur. At Molkenkur there is a lovely restaurant with outdoor terrace where you can enjoy views over the old bridge and downtown Heidelberg.
To continue further, be sure to purchase a ticket to Königstuhl, which is the highest station on the line. The historic funicular used for this route was built in 1907 and apart from a few closures for upgrades, has been in continuous operation ever since.
It is a rickety 1 km ride to the top in the original wooden cable cars that ran on the first tracks here, although they were restored by Swiss technicians between 2003-05.
Once at the top, enjoy the views over downtown from the Waldwirtschaft restaurant terrace or follow the 2 km Via Naturae, or nature trail, that starts from the parking lot above the restaurant.
There is also a Falconry (www.tinnunculus-heidelberg.de) located here which holds shows twice a day at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. though October 31. The Falconry is closed on Mondays. The cost is €4 for adults and €2 for kids.
A ten minute walk beyond the Falconry is the Marchenparadies theme park for young children. Many well-known characters are on display here including Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Rumpelstiltskin as well as rides like the mini bumper cars and narrow gauge railroad.
The park is open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., from March until early November. Admission is €2 for adults and €3 for kids ages 2-12. Sundays and Holidays they are open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and admission goes up one euro. Check out www.maerchenparadies.defor more information.
A round trip ticket on the funicular all the way to Königstuhl costs €12 for adults and €10 for children ages 6-14. Family tickets are also available at a reduced price. For more information, check out their website: www.bergbahn-heidelberg.de or ask the helpful ticket agents at the Kornmarkt station, located at Zwingerstrasse 20. The lower funicular is stroller and wheelchair accessible but the upper railway is not due to several large steps and the narrow design of the cars themselves.