Heidelberg is located in central Germany, approximately 80km south of Frankfurt and is easily accessible by plane, train, or car.
By Plane + Train/Bus
The closest international airport (80 km, 1 hour by car) is Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt / FRA) with a wide selection of national and international connections. There are two terminals at the airport, with Terminal 1 occupied by Lufthansa and its partners and Terminal 2 for all other airlines. Transportation between the airport and Heidelberg is available by a regular train service. Frankfurt Airport is directly connected to the German long-distance rail system by its own train station (without need to use local transportation to Frankfurt Main station first), with most connections to Heidelberg's main train station (Hauptbahnhof) involving a change to a regional train (S-Bahn) in Mannheim. One way price: ICE 27.- EUR , journey time: ~ 1 hour.
Additional modes of transportation to Heidelberg include a dedicated Lufthansa Airport Bus Service. The departure: Terminal 1, "THE SQUAIRE WEST", Level 3 (When landing at Terminal 1, follow the directions to DB long distance trains and subsequently to "THE SQUAIRE". A signposting "Lufthansa Express Bus" on your left-hand side leads you to the bus stop outside the building. When landing at Terminal 2 you will have to take the "Skyline" or the Terminal bus first to get to Terminal 1). You should drop off at Crown Plaza near the city centre of Heidelberg. The journey time is approximately 75 minutes. One-way ticket is 25 Euro (Note that there are discounts available for online booking, up to 50% if >8 weeks in advance). http://frankfurt-airport-shuttles.de/en/home-2/
In addition busses go serval times per day between Heidelberg and Frankfurt Airport. They leave on the airport from the the long distance bus stop and arrive at the Central Train Station of Heidelberg (Heidelberg Hbf). You can book online with flixbus. After selection Frankfurt-Heidelberg make sure that on the results page you select Frankfurt-flughafen (as there are three stops in Frankfurt). Cost for a one-way ticket +/- 8 Euro.
tls - door to door service
FRA-HD individual transfer <=8 persons (2018): 150€ or shuttle: 38€/person, discounts as of 3 persons,
excess luggage 10€/piece
Heidelberg Main Station (Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof / HD Hbf) has regular connections to most German and European destinations by long-distance train service (often also via Mannheim). Information on schedules is available on the homepage of Deutsche Bahn.
Heidelberg is centrally located approximately 80 km south of Frankfurt on the "A5", one of Germany's major north-south motorways. For more information, please use google maps or your favourite GPS system. Note also that there are two Max Planck institutes on the same hill: Kernphysik and Astronomy.
From Heidelberg to MPIK
In order to get to the MPIK, you can take the public bus line n°39 (Bismarckplatz - Königstuhl). (2,60 €, the bus driver accepts only coins). It is advised to purchase tickets from the machine on Bismarkplatz, select MPI Kernphysik as your destination. You can purchase multiple tickets at the same time, these need to be stamped by the (yellow/orange) box in the bus.
Warning There are two types of 39 bus:
- The one in direction of "Königstuhl" is actually stopping at the "MPI Kernphysik". This one is leaving Bismarckplatz hourly at xx:00 and also at 08:43.
- All other buses (except for the one leaving at 8:43) won't go via the MPIK stop. You'll have to get down at the previous stop "Bierhelderhof" and walk up the hill (easy walk ~100 m). Those 39s buses are going in direction of "EMBL" or "Rohrbach Süd" and are indicated by a "R" or "E" in the timetable below.
12-14 € (2018) from Heidelberg main station to MPI Kernphysik
Make sure you know the address: Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg (close to clinic Speyrerhof)
as there is another Max Planck Institute (Astronomy) further up on the same hill (Königstuhl)
Please order a “Großraumtaxi” if you need more space (Taxizentrale Heidelberg: +49 6221 30 20 30)
public transportation within Heidelberg and surroundings
Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv)