Arrival: Welcome to Heidelberg!
Heidelberg is located in the Rhein-Neckar region, about 100 km south of Frankfurt/Main. The nearest international airports are Frankfurt and Stuttgart and from each there are frequent trains to Heidelberg. The train ride from Frankfurt airport to Heidelberg takes about one hour and may involve changing trains either at the main station in Frankfurt or in Mannheim. A one-way ticket costs approximately € 25.
For timetables and train fares see: http://www.bahn.de/
It is also possible to take the Lufthansa Airport Shuttle from Frankfurt airport to Heidelberg.
The bus route terminates at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Kurfürstenanlage. A single ticket costs €24 and is payable to the driver in cash.
Buses run every hour between 7:00 am and 10:15 pm and can be found right across from the Frankfurt Airport Meeting Point in Terminal 1, Hall B, Exit B 4. Seats can only be guaranteed if you reserve three days prior to your arrival. The exact bus schedule and information on reservation procedures are available at: www.frankfurt-airport-shuttles.de.
Perhaps the most convenient way to get to Heidelberg is to order a shuttle mini bus run by the company TLS. A staff member of TLS picks you up at the airport and takes you to Heidelberg. The taxi has to be booked at least two days beforehand, a one-way ticket costs about € 35. Further information is available on the Internet: www.tls-heidelberg.de.
If you have a room reservation for one of the student residences, your first stop in Heidelberg should be the Triplex-Mensa building. You will receive the lease for your room in either the "Welcome Area" at the back of the building or in the Info-Center, which is located at the front. Both venues are on the ground floor of the Triplex-Mensa building.
Directions to the Info-Center in the Triplex-Mensa:
From the main train station in Heidelberg you can proceed to the Triplex-Mensa either by taxi or bus. The taxi stand is in front of the main exit (Hauptausgang). Ask to go to Universitätsplatz - it will cost about € 12.
It is also convenient to take the bus from the main train station. The bus stop is located in front of the North exit (Nordausgang) on the same side of the streetcar tracks as the train station. A ticket costs € 1.10 (so-called City Ticket) and can be purchased from the driver. The driver will give change but not for much more than a € 5 bill. Take bus #32 and get off at Universitätsplatz.
From the rear entrance of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is where the Lufthansa Airport Shuttle terminates, you can either take taxi to Universitätsplatz or walk to nearby Bismarckplatz and take bus #31 or #32 (direction: Universitätsplatz) from the bus stop on Bismarckplatz to Universitätsplatz.
We strongly advise you to schedule your arrival to coincide with the Info-Center's hours of operation to ensure that you can move into your room the same day.
Opening hours of the Info-Center:
Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Before the start of the Preparatory Language Course the Info-Center will have longer hours of operation. You will receive a schedule of the extended hours prior to your departure via e-mail.
At the Triplex-Mensa you will receive your room assignment, sign a lease (Mietvertrag) and pay the deposit (€ 450 plus a € 30 administrative fee) together with the first month's rent (between € 200 - 350). Please note that the Studierendenwerk does not accept credit cards, checks or foreign currency traveller's checks. Thus this payment - which can come to € 800 - must be made in cash, EURO traveller's checks or with an EC-Card (European debit card).
We advise you to bring Euro traveller's checks in order to avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Foreign currency traveller's checks can either be cashed at the Reisebank located at the main train station or at another bank such as the Sparkasse on Universitätsplatz. The Reisebank is the only bank in Heidelberg which is open on Saturdays (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Sundays (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Most banks charge a fee for cashing traveller's checks and will request to see your passport.
Alternatively, cash can be withdrawn using a bank card from a cash machine (Geldautomat).
Once you have taken care of these formalities, the Studierendenwerk will give you the keys to your room and provide you with directions to your student residence. It remains for you to go to your residence and arrange to meet your house keeper (Hausmeister/in). You can purchase a pillow, sheets and bedding from the Hausmeister of your residence or buy them at a store if you prefer to do so.
If you arrive outside of the Info-Center's business hours, we recommend that you stay overnight for a reasonable price at the youth hostel located at Tiergartenstr. 5, 69120 Heidelberg (tel. 06221 651 190 - www.jugendherberge-heidelberg.de), which is reachable from the main train station or the Crowne Plaza Hotel by bus #32 (direction: Kopfklinik, bus stop: Jugendherberge).
You can also inquire about temporary accommodation at the Tourist Information Office in front of the train station. The Tourist Office is also a good source for maps and information about public transportation and cultural events in Heidelberg. www.heidelberg-marketing.de