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Panoramablick auf Freiburg, Bild: Sina Ettmer Photography / shutterstock

Freiburg im Breisgau – Culture and Nature

Most people associate Freiburg im Breisgau with “university, students, the Black Forest and pleasant temperatures”. Many also have the small watercourses in mind, which are called “Bächle” by the locals and which can be found again and again in the alleys of the city centre. Freiburg is located in the southwest of Germany, in the region with the mildest climate in the country and offers visitors a great mix of picturesque old town and beautiful nature. During a city trip to Freiburg, neither cultural activities nor activities in the wonderfully green surroundings close to the Black Forest are neglected.

The most important sights of Freiburg

Freiburg im Breisgau
The city center of Freiburg, Image: Sina Ettmer Photography / shutterstock

Freiburg’s medieval old town was largely destroyed during the air raids in World War II and later restored. Fortunately, however, some of the most important buildings were spared from the bombs. While walking through the picturesque little alleys, the Bächle attract not only all children, but also many adults like magnets. You can’t help but splash around in the clear water with your hands or feet at least once. It comes from the Dreisam, the river on which Freiburg is located.

Freiburg Cathedral
Freiburg Cathedral, Image: canadastock / shutterstock

But be careful: If you are not planning to marry a Freiburger, you should not accidentally “dappen” into a Bächle, because that would lead to such a wedding, as they say here. The small watercourses were created shortly after the city was founded in the 12th century to supply households with water and to always have sufficient extinguishing water within reach. During a stroll through the historic center, artistically decorated house facades catch the eye again and again, which make great photo motifs.

The city’s landmark is the Freiburg Cathedral, which was completed in 1513 after a construction period of more than 300 years. The west tower is 116 m high and was already described by a historian in the 19th century as “the most beautiful tower on earth”. It has 16 bells and especially the sound of the 750-year-old Hosanna bell is unmistakable. It is the oldest Angelus bell in Germany. Around the cathedral, the cathedral market takes place every weekday morning, where out-of-towners and locals stock up on fruit and vegetables.

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The city fortifications used to be equipped with five defensive towers, two of which have been preserved to this day. The Martinstor and the Schwabentor are undoubtedly among the most impressive buildings in Freiburg. The Historisches Kaufhaus should also be on the agenda of every visitor. The magnificent interiors, such as the fireplace and rococo halls, can only be visited as part of events taking place there, but even from the outside the elaborately decorated building with the red façade catches the eye. The inner courtyard is regularly used for open-air events and is an absolute highlight of the city. Freiburg has several high-class museums, especially the Augustinian Museum, which is located in a former convent and the associated monastery church from the 13. and 14th century, enjoys an excellent reputation.

It is worth taking a walk through the Old Cemetery. Tourists interested in art history in particular should take a closer look at the beautiful old tombs, all of which date from the period between 1683 and 1872.
Freiburg’s cosy cafés and restaurants invite you to stop for a bite to eat during a city tour. Since the weather here is generally much milder than in other areas of Germany, the range of outdoor gastronomy is extremely diverse and what could be nicer than having a refreshment or meal outside in your free time and watching the people strolling by? In the many boutiques and shops, most of which are housed in the historic townhouses, every tourist will find a tasteful souvenir.

Activities around Freiburg

Schloßbergturm Freiburg
Schloßbergturm Freiburg, Image: Uellue / shutterstock

In Freiburg, a classic city trip can be perfectly combined with various activities in nature. On the edge of Freiburg’s old town, the 456 m high Schlossberg rises with the Schlossberg tower on its summit, which allows a fantastic view of the near and far surroundings. In the park-like grounds, there are numerous paths for wonderfully relaxing walks, which are very popular at any time of the year.

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The real local mountain of the city, however, is the 1284 m high Schauinsland. It is worth taking the cable car, which covers a distance of 3600 m, to its summit and enjoy the fantastic view on the way. The Schauinsland is an ideal area for many outdoor sports. It is crossed by hiking and cycling trails and even climbing and paragliding are possible here. The little ones are always enthusiastic about the theme trail, where well-known fairy tale characters made of wood stand at regular intervals. In winter, the mountain is firmly in the hands of winter sports enthusiasts, who find the best conditions for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing here.

Especially for families with children, there are a variety of exciting activities in the Freiburg area. A great recommendation for an eventful day is the treetop walk in Waldkirch, which is about 23 km away. If you’ve always wanted to experience the forest from a bird’s eye view, this is the place for you. In addition, nature can be felt up close on a sensory path and a barefoot path and, to top it off, visitors of all ages can whiz down the longest giant tube slide in Europe (190 m).

You certainly won’t get bored during a stay in Freiburg, because the attractions in the city and its surroundings are incredibly diverse