Freiburg in Breisgau, as Freiburg is officially called, is located in the southwest of Germany. Many may pass this city on their way to Switzerland. But Freiburg is ideal for a nice stopover. You can easily spend a long weekend here and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in this student city. We’d love to list some highlights for you.
Capital of the Black Forest
Freiburg, a city with over 200,000 inhabitants, is located in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The location is close to the Black Forest and the Swiss and French borders. The city is considered to be the capital of the Black Forest. The climate is actually good all year round. The sun often shines. This is why the region does a lot of wine growing and there are good wines from here. The University of Freiburg is well regarded. For that reason, many students are drawn from home and abroad creating a cosy atmosphere in the city.
The highlights of Freiburg
For us, the relaxed atmosphere and intimacy of a compact city centre were already a highlight of Freiburg. But we would like to mention a few attractions separately.
Mūnster Cathedral and Mūnsterplatz
Wherever you are in Freiburg, you’ll see the imposing Mūnster cathedral and its tower from all sides. This church is considered to be the highlight of Gothic architecture. The church has a beautiful dark red colour because of the stone used. In the evening, when the sun sets, the church is a very beautiful colour. The images of the different crafts in the city in the various stained-glass windows are remarkable. At the main entrance of the church is a number of miniatures of key figures from the Bible.
The square of the same name near the church is often the setting for a cosy little market. Near the square are several terraces. Here you can enjoy the hustle and bustle, while eating a nice piece of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. That regional specialty is not to be missed along with your cup of coffee.
If you walk through the old centre of Freiburg, you notice one thing immediately: in the streets there are small canals. These are the so-called “Bächle”, narrow gutters filled with running water. The name is derived from the German word Bach, meaning brook.
The Bächle get their water from the river Dreisam. These canals have been in the Altstadt since the 13th century. They were mainly used for the water supply of the inhabitants and as firefighting water. In the 19th century, the Bächle were actually all closed down. They were dangerous for traffic and the need for the canals had become less important. When the town centre became car-free in 1973, the Bächle were restored to their former glory. Now it is one of the city’s main attractions.
During our visit to Freiburg, in the middle of summer, the weather was beautiful and warm. We regularly saw the locals sitting with their feet in the wonderfully cool water. To let our feet cool down a bit from walking through the city we followed the example of the locals. The children also played enthusiastically in the canals.
In the old centre of Freiburg, you can walk through the small streets. Most of them also have the Bächle as an extra attraction. The buildings in these streets are almost all very beautiful. Many of them are nice specialty shops, which are definitely worth going into. A walk from the Fischerau via the Gerberau to the Konviktstrasse, shows Freiburg at its best.
During the walk, you will notice that a beautiful mosaic is in order for many buildings. This shows who the owner of the shop was before. If you see a sandwich, you know that a baker is or was there.
In addition, it is definitely worth enjoying the beautiful squares in the city. Oberlinden and Unterlinden are two fairly quiet squares in the city centre. But the most beautiful square is the Adelhauser Klosterplatz. An intimate and cosy square, far from the busy shopping streets. Special festivals take place all year round on these three squares. We had a delicious dinner under the trees, accompanied by a violinist.
On the edge of Freiburg lies the Schlossberg. In 1091, Koenraad I of Zähringen built a castle on this mountain. It is possible to go up this on foot or by cable car. On top of the mountain you can walk on several trails. But the best is the view you have of the city from the mountain.
There are several occasions on the mountain to have a drink and a meal. What’s more, during the walk back, you can regularly use a snack at various locations.
Practical information Freiburg
How to get there
Freiburg is easily accessible by car. The city is not far from the Autobahn A5, the transit route from Karlsruhe to Basel. This makes Freiburg an ideal stopover for a holiday south-eastward.
Accommodation in Freiburg
In Freiburg you will find many hotel accommodations in all price ranges. For an up-to-date overview, please visit Booking.com.
We slept once in a good room that we had booked via Airbnb in the Vauban district. This ecological district is located in the south of the city. By bike, we were in the centre in 10 minutes. The host was a friendly woman, who taught Syrian children German.
Best time to visit Freiburg
As Germany’s southernmost city, Freiburg has many hours of sunshine. Therefore, it is actually good to explore the city in any season. We were there in the middle of summer and it can be very hot.