Discover the Fairytale Black Forest City of Freiburg im Breisgau
Updated: Apr 1
Freiburg im Breisgau, often referred to as just Freiburg but not to be confused with Fribourg in Switzerland, is a small city based in southwest Germany. It's a popular destination for European travellers coming from Strasbourg or Colmar, France who look to stop en route to bigger cities such as Stuttgart, Basel or Munich, for example.
Stepping Into the city
When you step foot in Freiburg you are greeted with vibrant colours that illuminate the city. You immediately recognise the black forest identity in the architecture of the buildings, streets and structures. It honestly feels like you are in a movie set. One thing that has to be mentioned about Freiburg (and most of Germany) is the city's cleanliness and I'm not just talking about it's litter-free streets but the quantity of greenery on display, as well as the crisp, fresh air that seeps into your lungs.
You Must See…
It is important that you get to capture as much of the black forest in Freiburg as possible, and the best way to do that is to get a view from above. This all depends on how much you want to climb, if you don't want to walk for too long simply head to the Ludwigshöhe or Kanonenplatz for scenic views across Freiburg. If you want to reach higher heights go up the Schlossbergbahn which is a mountain cable car that takes you up the Schlossberg which is 456m tall! The tree-covered hill belongs to the black forest which in itself is a thing of natural beauty.
Don't Miss The Schwabentor and Freiburg Münster
The Schwabentor alongside the Freiburg Minster is what many people come to see, and is the city's pride and joy. They are easily the two things you can't miss when visiting Freiburg. It's the same as missing the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Red Square in Moscow.
In the middle ages, Freiburg was a walled city with two gates and only one of them remains now which is the Schwbentor (or the Obertor as it was called then). Frieburg Minster is the city’s cathedral and has been standing in the city centre since 1200. It is just over 100m tall and uses a mix of both Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen ordered the construction of the cathedral in Romanesque architecture and then 30 years later was continued with a Gothic style.
One of the best ways to visit the city (and also the most cost-effective) is to book a guided walking tour. This is especially useful if you aren't confident in your German language and want a native speaker.
Check out at least one of these restaurants:
Yepa Yepa is a Mexican-style restaurant which is also vegan friendly. It is very popular with locals and tourists, having been rated second on TripAdvisor. Although not traditional Black Forest cuisine, Yepa Yepa provides an opportunity to eat food we all might be a bit more familiar with.
This restaurant is located at the top of the Schlossberg (where I mentioned previously) and while obviously provides excellent views, also provides excellent food. Here you will find authentic German food and particularly regional dishes that use local produce.
Zum Roten Bären
Located in the oldest hotel in Freiburg is Zum Roten Bären. It dates back all the way to 1387, so while it is also worth visiting for its luxurious food and dining experience, you simply cannot pass up the opportunity to see the city’s oldest hotel.
How Long Do I Need in Freiburg?
Freiburg is a great city, don't get me wrong, but you really don't need to spend too long there. I would recommend between 2-3 days but in all fairness, you could get away with 24 hours. If you're looking at a week-long trip in the area, consider visiting bigger nearby cities such as Strasbourg in France, Stuttgart in Germany and Basel in Switzerland.
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