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City transportation

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All classes, parties and Big Band Battle at the grand historic city hall at the center of the city!
However, in case you need to take public transportation to get from your hosting to the venue, here is how you can best go about:

Public Transportation in Heidelberg:
Generally within the city centre you only need to pay a “city ticket” (€1.50); for general travel around town you need zone 2 (“Preisstufe 2”; €2.30). For streetcar travel you need to purchase your ticket BEFORE you get on the streetcar – there are machines at every stop; for buses you can purchase from the driver directly. IMPORTANT: unless you are on a bus and just bought your ticket from that driver, you always need to validate your ticket — stamp it using one of the machines just inside the bus or streetcar doors (otherwise you could be fined €40 for not having a valid ticket!!). Individual tickets are valid for one trip in one direction, however allow a change of transportation and short breaks (as long as you keep traveling in the same direction).

The local transportation company is called the VRN (or RNV – for some weird reason they like to use both!). Heidelberg is quite well connected through streetcar and bus service; their website is www.vrn.de (if you click on the little german flag at the left, it will give you language options). On the website you can input your start and end addresses and their system will provide you with the appropriate connections, including little maps surrounding your stop.

Night Buses:
At night you need to plan ahead a little, because bus service is limited. The so-called “Moonliner” buses leave from Bismarckplatz once per hour to travel to various neighbourhoods. We recommend you plan your route in advance using www.vrn.de.

Heidelberg Card:
If you think you will use the public transportation frequently, you might consider purchasing a “HeidelbergCARD” (€13, €15 or €17 for 1, 2 or 4 days). You can ride all buses, streetcars, and local commuter trains for free – including the funicular railway up to the castle. You also get free admission to museum areas of the castle courtyard, discounted entry to some other museums, and even discounts for some bars and restaurants in town. You can buy it at a few locations including the tourist office by the main train station (www.heidelberg-marketing.de/content/tourism/heidelbergcard/index_eng.html).

If you want to call a cab, use the central taxi dispatch for Heidelberg: 06221-30-20-30 (or “+49-6221-30-20-30” instead if you’re on a foreign phone). Also there are a few taxi stands where cabs will simply wait for you; the ones convenient to our location are University square (“Universitätsplatz”, aka “Uniplatz”) and Bismarckplatz.

The nearest parking garage is the P8, just across from the Kongresshaus Stadthalle; access via Untere Neckarstraße 44. For more parking garages, including up-to-date info on availability and prices, see parken.heidelberg.de (unfortunately only in German).

Street parking is very difficult to come by in Heidelberg’s centre. Most of the spaces are only for residents (Bewohner), and you could be fined if you use them. There are some exceptions, but you’ll need to pay attention to the signs to be sure you’re safe. One insider’s tip: the metered parking along the Friedrich-Ebert Anlage (between Friedrich-Ebert Platz and Adenauer Platz) is free outside of shopping hours; if you grab one there Saturday evening or all day Sunday you are lucky indeed 🙂

Heidelberg is quite easy to bike around; be sure to lock your bike securely at night, especially in the city centre or near the train station. You can rent a bike using the Call-a-Bike (www.callabike-interaktiv.de) service from the Deutsche Bahn; they have decent prices (only 9€/day if you have a BahnCard or are a student, €15/day otherwise) but you must be a member of their system (i.e., you have to arrange in advance). The bike shop by the old bridge also offers rental: fahrradverleih-heidelberg.de (€18/day, discount for multiple days or if you have a HeidelbergCard).