This year, ITiCSE offers two interesting excursions on Tuesday afternoon: the traditional walking tour through our hosting city, and a bus tour to the well-known and beautiful city of Heidelberg.
A long-time favorite excursion of ITiCSE attendees who want to see something of the city they have been (and will be) working in for some time is the city walking tour. This year, the walking tour will show you some of the highlights of Darmstadt, and introduce you to the historical and current situation of Darmstadt. This includes locations like the City Castle and Luisenplatz, where you will not only enjoy the sights but also learn about the history of the city and its buildings.
As a special highlight, you will also have a guided tour through the City Castle Museum. Based on paintings, furniture, jewelry and everyday accessories, you will receive an impression on how the Grand Dukes lived between the 17th and 19th century. The museum also documents the history of the city, the local Grand Dukes and their relation to other important royal houses in Europe. A collection of military items mostly of Hesse-Darmstadt origin also underscores the character of a local history museum.
Normally, you would not be able to visit this museum, since it is only open to the general public on Friday to Sunday - which is either during the Working Groups, before your arrival in or after your departure from Darmstadt.
The city walking tour will take about 2 hours, on of which will be spend on foot around the city center (but not covering a large distance), and the other hour will be spend in a guided tour through the museum.
If you are still interested in more sights after this tour, we strongly encourage you to visit the Artisans' Colony on the Mathilda Heights, one of the European centers of the Art Nouveau movement of the beginning of the 20th century.
The cost for this walking tour is $35 per person.
Bus tour to Heidelberg
Heidelberg Castle. Picture © Heidelberg Marketing
With good reason, Heidelberg is known far and wide as a beautiful and scenic city. This excursion will transfer you to Heidelberg by bus, where a guide will join you and lead you through parts of the (extensive) old town at the bottom of the hill, near the Neckar river. You will then take a short funicular trip up the very steep hill - with an incline of up to 43%! - to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. After a tour of the castle, the funicular will take you down to the city center, with a spectacular view of the old town as you descend. The bus will then take you back to Darmstadt, with a total excursion duration of about 4-5 hours.
For some impressions of Heidelberg, you can first check out the Heidelberg Wikipedia page, and then - more importantly - follow this up by a good look at the Heidelberg Tourism page, which presents a couple of the main sights such as the Heidelberg Castle and Gardens, the Knight St. George building, the Church of the Holy Spirit (started in 1344) or the St. Peter's Church that probably dates back to the 12th century. Also, a trip with the Funicular Railway, especially going downwards towards the old city center, is truly an experience! Make sure to bring your camera for this tour - you will need it!
The cost for this tour, which includes the bus transfer of roughly one hour one way in a comfortable tour bus, a guided city tour, a trip with the funicular railway up to the castle, castle entrance and tour, return trip with the funicular railway, and the bus trip back, is $75, a real bargain given what is offered!