ESSLINGEN AM NECKAR
During my visit of Nürtingen, a part of the German state Baden-Württemberg, and when I was quite bored due to not finding any worth-to-see place around there, I started to look for some close destinations. As I started to take notes of the touristic places I can go by train, I noticed that many of the choices I wrote down were in this place called Esslingen. I immediately left my hostel and took the next train, in an hour I was there: Esslingen with its river, pretty buildings, museums and many ornamental pools.
WHERE IS ESSLINGEN?
If you have ever been in Germany or have any knowledge about the country, you probably heard of Stuttgart which is the capital of Baden- Württemberg. East of Stuttgart is Esslingen which takes only ten minutes to go by ‘Deutsche Bahn’, hence train. Just like Stuttgart which is a well-known city of Germany, Esslingen is alco located in the same state, but rather a hidden gem.
WHO? WITH WHOM? WHEN?
First of all, if you are a person who is highly picky about the places to visit or you only want to see the most famous ones, chances are you won’t feel blessed to be in this city, but if you are a traveller who is into being in different places, exploring the neighborhood, and prefer to stay away from overrated and crowded touristic attractions, Esslingen is a must see place, especially if you are already passing by. I think it is a perfect place for solo travelers in that you won’t feel lonely in the crowd but peaceful. I did it solo, no regrets.
It was February when I was in Germany, so it was quite cold for me and days were not long enough to spend hours and hours. I left my hands to freeze as I take pictures and still it wasn’t worth it since I was smiling at the camera with a big red nose and red cheeks in every single selfie I made, but at least my smile was real. I didn’t care about the cold as long as I was somewhere making me feel happy, so if you are there in winter and you are used to cold or simply don’t care about it, just go! Still, however, the best time to be in Esslingen would be summer, so that you could spend your whole day more comfortably and find the opportunity to see everywhere you want to in this pretty city.
THINGS TO DO IN ESSLINGEN
If you are a walker, good news: The streets of Esslingen are very easy to walk on with fewer ramps, so you will never get too tired of walking around. Wherever you go, you will see old houses in different colors. Once you started to walk into the city center, you will see Neckar river on your right surrounded by nicely architectured buildings. This area is called ” Klein-Venedig” aka “Little Venice”, the name of it explains why, and it’s the first place that comes to mind when the word “Esslingen” is heard. If you don’t have the chance to go to Venice, yes, this place may compensate the gap. Even if you did, Klein Venedig is still a really cool place with spectacular view regardless of comparison. Plus, you can have a nice meal next to the river while enjoying this view.
“Stadtkirche St. Dionys” aka “St. Dionys City Church”
This is a Protestant church built in the thirteenth century and a unique example of Gothic architecture. The church has two unequal sized towers with a connecting bridge between. It is very easy to find once you are in Marktplatz and it is open to visitors from 09:00 to 18:00.
On one side of the exterior walls of Stadtkirsche St. Dionys, there is a sculpture of a fallen soldier. There are different doors on Stadtkirsche St. Dionys, but only one of them was open when I went, so it took some time for me to find the right entrance. I thought there would be some tourists like me, but probably because of the season and time, I was all alone which made me feel really nervous. I decided not to be a coward and spent some time looking around but I don’t think to be in a dark church welcomed only by the crucified Jesus sculpture is the best travel idea ever. Therefore, I suggest you visit the church with a friend if you’re there in off season like me. Putting my fear aside, I can say that the inside of the church was as spectacular as the outside, so if you are in Esslingen, St Dionys Church is a must see.
The city museum is located in “Hafenmarkt” and entrance fee is only a few euros. The museum is also known as Stadtmuseum im Gelben Haus. “Gelb” means “yellow” and haus is exactly what you think it could mean, so now you know what kind of a building you will look for to find Stadtmuseum. If you are a visual learner and interested in learning about the history of a place from original objects and photographs of that time, you should definitely visit the Stadtmuseum. If history means nothing but making caps with pictures of medieval sculptures to you, yes, you should go to Stadtmuseum too. I am not a person who likes visiting museums but I found being in this one both fun and informative.
- If you are like me, you will see a red building you’d like to have a photo in front of, that is the old municipality building called “Altes Rathaus”.
- Another must-see when you are in Esslingen is Esslinger Burg. You can even go for it first and watch the city view from above.
- If you are there in the right time to find it open, you should buy something from “Weichnachtsmarkt”. I suggest that you go for local wines since Esslingen is famous for its vineyards.
- There is a shopping center closer to the railway station. You might consider visiting some stores while you are waiting for the departure time of your train to come.