Finally a sunny day, and what a great time to take advantage of a day off than visit the Hohenzollern Castle and the chocolART Schokoladenfestival in Tübingen.
The Hohenzollern Castle is very impressive. I’ve been to Heidelberg and Neuschwanstein Castle, but this is by far more impressive. Firstly, I couldn’t believe the hill it was on, certainly greater than castles i’ve been to previously. The view from the top was impeccable, we were above the fog.
And the castle grounds itself were broad and the interior charming. You could see the set up of a christmas market in the castle walls. I was fascinated with the entrance to the castle grounds, as i have never seen one so elaborate. This by far, is my favourite castle to date. Yes, the Neuschwanstein Caslte is iconic, but there’s not many places to stroll around. This castle, you could walk the exterior of the castle walls, and the view in every direction was breathtaking.
During the night we adventured to Tübingen where the chocolART Schokoladenfestival was taking place. The festival is only a few days long, from Monday – Sunday. We went on a Thursday night and it was completely packed!
The town of Tübingen itself is so pretty! They had the majority of the tents around the Rathaus. Some of the houses had lights projected on the them to make them resemble gingerbread houses and then just some chocolate decorations. I had a plan in mind, window shop, have a crepe and then some hot chocolate and then buy what chocolate looked good. Everything looked so good! My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. Got the crepe first and it was delicious, and of course had it with chocolate. My last bite of my crepe, was followed by hot chocolate. The hot chocolate here is actually just chocolate melted down into liquid form. it was thick. It wasn’t overly sweet, i could finish it all. But after having the crepe and the hot chocolate, i had a stomach ache. When we walked around again, i couldn’t even look at the chocolate.
But eventually, after some vendors offering chocolate samples, I bought a package of chocolate truffles. They were so good it was an instant, yes i need to buy these.
It was definitely more chocolate than it was art. You could ask to try some of their products, and they even had some people just handing out free samples. They also had a chocolate bar, with chocolate beer and chocolate shots; served in mini ice cream cones with a chocolate rim, or hot chocolate with Baileys, rum, amaretto etc. It was such a great vibe and the chocolate was magnificent. I would highly recommend going for a visit!
Since we were kind of hoping all over the place, we bought a Baden Württemberg ticket, which means we can take any train and public transportation within the state of Baden Württemberg. For 3 people it was 11€ each, which was a great deal.
We took the train to Hechingen and since it was off season, there were no busses or shuttle to the castle, there was one during that day but it left way before we got there. You cannot walk there, the castle itself is on a huge hill that would take more than an hour to walk to. We found 2 other people at the train station also wanting to go to the castle, so we all split a cab. It was only 3€ each then.
There’s an admission fee for the castle, even if you don’t wanna go inside the castle itself, just to walking the grounds there’s a fee. There’s also a tour for the interior, but we skipped that. From the ticket office (which is already more than halfway up the hill) you can walk up or take the shuttle bus. The walk really isn’t that bad, some brutal stairs but then it evens out into a nice walk. Takes ~15 minutes to walk up. once there i’d say you don’t need to spend longer than 1.5 hours if you’re just walking around the grounds.
On the way back, there was thankfully a public bus you can take to the main train station, and with our BW Ticket, we didn’t have to pay an additional price. The train from Hechingen to Tübingen comes often enough we didn’t have to worry too much. And from Tübingen to Stuttgart, instead of taking a train into Stuttgarts Hbf, we took one to the last stop on the S-Bahn near Tübingen and then rode the S-Bahn to the university, i was surprised by how quickly we got home.