If only the rule that applies to most German cities also applied to humans – that you get more and more beautiful as you age. Founded in the 12th Century, Freiburg’s picturesque Black Forest mountain views, charming little houses and the grandest of grand architecture make it a city that is sure to impress.
Once you manage to tear yourself away from Freiburg’s Ganter Brauereiausschank beer garden and the trendy club spots like Kamikaze, it’s time for a history lesson. For the brave (and curious), the Foltermuseum (torture museum) is a good option, while the Colombischlössle (Archaeological Museum) seduces everyone with its neo-Gothic exterior. Just beware the water-filled Bachle rivulets that are scattered around Freiburg’s streets – legend says that if you stumble into one, you’ll marry a local. So maybe those beer gardens aren’t such a bad idea after all…
Freiburg’s Top 10
10. Black Forest Take a train to this beautiful wooded and mountainous area, where cuckoo clocks are the specialty.
5. Augustiner Museum Located in the grounds of a former monastery and home to both artistic and historical gems.
9. Theater Freiburg The arty-farty and fancy-schmancy congregate for plays, exhibitions and operas.
4. Schwabentor Check out the massive city gate (complete with mural) and be captivated by its 13th century charm.
8. Steinwasen Park If you think the 218m (715ft) high hanging bridge looks daunting, wait till you try the rides…
3. Hausbrauerei Feierling You’re simply not allowed to leave Freiburg without visiting this iconic beer garden.
7. Rathaus Photo opportunity alert! City halls don’t come any prettier than this one.
2. Minster Square Trawl the streets of the historic city centre, shop yourself silly and relax at one of the many cafés for a bite.
6. Schlossberg If you can handle the hike, the impeccable view from the top of this mountain is your priceless reward.
1. Freiburg Minster This Gothic cathedral is the city’s main icon. The stained-glass windows and seemingly never-ending belfry are the highlights.
- Maria in der Tanne – A pilgrimage church that dates back to the 18th century.
- Bertholdsbrunnen – A fountain and statue that was built in 1965 to commemorate the founder of Freiburg, the Duke of Zahringen.
- Munster cathedral – One of the city’s oldest cathedrals that has gargoyles at every corner.
- Bachle – Small canals in the inner city were used to fight fires during medieval times.
- Schwabentor – One of the city’s oldest gates.
Freiburg Art & Culture
- Augustiner Museum – Features 19th-century paintings and medieval art.
- Schwarzwald Museum – A great place to learn about the history of the region.
- Schlossberg Lookout Tower – Built to commemorate the fortress that once stood on this hill and offers great views of the city.
- Naturmuseum – Museum of natural history with exhibits for wildlife and history.
- Staufen – A small town that still holds castle ruins.
- Christmas Market – Open four weeks before Christmas and is considered to be one of the most beautiful markets in Germany.
- Farmers Market – Located at Minster Square with vegetables, fruit and flowers available for sale.
- Kartoffelmarkt – Market with many stalls that sell jewellery, accessories and hippie-style clothing.
- Rotteckring Street – Offers many Indian and North African goods.
- Atrium – A large shopping arcade in Freiburg with shops, restaurants and cafés.
Gay & Lesbian Freiburg
- Sonderbar – A cocktail bar in Freiburg that regularly serves more refined clientele.
- Jos Fritz – This lesbian-owned bookstore holds events every month.
- Jazzhaus – Hosts “Sister Zone”, a women-only dance party, each month.
- E-Werk – A music venue that occasionally hosts gay dances, including the Ball Verqueer during Karneval every year.
- Tiffany Bar – A gay-friendly dance club open seven days a week.
- The Black Forest – Hike, walk or drive through the different areas of Freiburg with high mountain peaks.
- Triberg Waterfall – A beautiful waterfall in the Swiss Alps.
- Schauinsland – Allows visitors to take a cable car to the top of Schauinsland.
- Europapark – A popular theme park that opened in 1975.
- Baumkronenweg – A wonderful nature park with a path for an enjoyable stroll.
- Participate in climbing and other alpine sports at the Nordic Fitness Park.
- Watch football at the Badenova Stadion, home to the SC Freiburg football team.
- Learn how to ski at the Schneebrett Ski School on Feldberg.
- Cool off at one of the many outdoor swimming pools, such as the Broc outdoor pool, during the warmer months.
- Enjoy water sports like paddling, swimming, surfing and fishing on the lakes near the city.
At the massive parade for the Alemannic Carnival in March/April, tradition calls for those wearing masks to scare the bejesus out of spectators.
Over 160 aspiring stonemasons gather in Freiburg to carve up the European Stone Festival, taking place every year in May.
For good music with a circus twist, visit to the Zelt Musik Festival in June or July. Everything from rap to jazz takes place in the tents.
It’s not just beer gardens that provide an excuse to get tipsy before noon – the Freiburger Weinfest (Freiburg Wine Festival) brings more than 400 wines to the city in June/July.
December brings the magical, lantern-lit Freiburg Christmas Market. Shop for gifts or simply indulge in gingerbread and mulled wine.
When To Go
- The height of summer is pleasantly warm, with an average temperature of around 25°C (77ºF).
- With summer comes rain, so avoid June if you’re not a fan of getting wet.
- Winter hovers around -2ºC (28ºF), but if you’re wanting the white stuff you’ll have to head to the nearby Black Forest.
- Most Freiburg walkways have dedicated cycle paths, so do as the locals do and get on your bike.
- VAG provides the city’s bus and tram networks. Pick up a multiple-use pass to for the best value for money.
- Many places in Freiburg are car-free zones, so get used to walking.
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