Heidelberg, Germany

Tucked along the Neckar river lies this south-west German college town. A few things set Heidelberg apart from similarly sized cities. For starters, it is stunningly beautiful. The wide river sits at the foot of green, rolling hills decorated by large, elegant villas. The Heidelberger Schloss towers over the university, which is the oldest operational University in Germany, having been founded in the 14th century. Another difference is the length of its main promenade. Heidelberg's bustling "Hauptstraße" stretches 1 mile (1.6km), giving the city plenty or real estate for busking.

The biggest thing that sets Heidelberg apart is the way it effectively regulates busking on its streets. Along the Hauptstraße are four plots designated for performances, each bearing a sign that show times when performers are allowed to perform and for how long they are allowed to stay. There is no permit required, unlike other cities with a similar system in place.

In terms of reception, Heidelberg may be the best. There is always a very large flow of foot traffic, with plenty of tourists, families, and shoppers. The city has a law against drums and amplification, so bear this in mind. Thankfully, the promenade is tight, so an acoustic instrument will echo nicely along the historic Fachwerk buildings. Be sure to observe the rules for playing, as they are guarded heavily by police and local residents. If you play even five minutes before it is allowed, expect a nearby resident or officer to scold you. Ordnung muss sein.

Full map of Heidelberg's Haupstraße where each busking point is located.

Full map of Heidelberg's Haupstraße where each busking point is located.

Example of a street music sign in Heidelberg

Example of a street music sign in Heidelberg

AFFORDABILITY - 3/5
HOSPITALITY - 4/5
POLICE FRIENDLINESS - 5/5
PENNY RATING - 5/5