The enchanting gardens of Schloss Schwetzingen, the grand baroque-style summer residence of Prince-Elector Carl Theodor (1724–1799), are wonderful for a stroll, especially on a sunny day. The only way to see the furnished Schloss interior is on a 90-minute guided tour. Download the free brochure Schwetzingen Castle Garden or buy it at the ticket desk (€1.50). Schloss Schwetzingen is 10km west of Heidelberg and 8km south of Mannheim (served by buses), just east of the A6.
Of Versailles-like proportions and inspiration, the palace gardens blend French formality and meandering, English-style landscaping. Scattered around the gardens are burbling fountains and ‘follies’, architectural flights of fancy. Among them is an ersatz Moschee (mosque), an extraordinary pink complex decorated with Turkish crescents, that mixes 18th-century German baroque with ‘exotic’ styling inspired by Constantinople. As you wander, keep an eye out for strutting peacocks.
There are cafes on site.