Freiburg (im Breigau) is small city in the southwest corner of Germany. Nestled in between France, Switzerland and the Black Forest, Freiburg is a charming city worth checking out. If you have been traveling mostly in large cities, spending some time in a smaller city like Freiburg can be a welcome change of pace.
Known as the sunniest city in Germany, and also situated in the Baden wine growing region (famous for Pinots and Rieslings), Freiburg offers ample opportunity to enjoy a relaxed city experience and spend some time outdoors.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Freiburg if you’re in or near Germany is via train. Trains, including the fast Intercity Express (ICE), run hourly north to Frankfurt and south to Basel.
If you’re flying in, the closest airports are Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Basel (Switzerland). Both airports can be cheap to fly into with Ryanair servicing Karlsruhe, and Easyjet stopping in Basel. From either airport, you are only a 30-40min train ride away from Freiburg (although you will need to get from the airport to the train station).
Being a small city, Freiburg is very walkable. The majority of the city is within a 15-20 minute walk of the city center. For places that are a bit further out, such as the close-by mountain Schauinsland, both buses and trams are available and are very easy to navigate. Check Freiburg’s public transit website for a bit more info on the transit system (unfortunately German only, but you can Google Translate it).
Where to stay
While the city doesn’t have the cheapest hostels in Germany, there are relatively inexpensive but very comfortable options available. A night in Freiburg can run anywhere from €15 to €30+. Check out the Black Forest Youth Hostel. Also since Freiburg is a big college town, finding a bed via couchsurfingis a distinct possibility.
What to do
Get a drink at Feierling just off the Augustinerplatz, the city’s most famous beer garden. A great place to try some local beer, grab a bite to eat and meet some locals.
Climb the Schlossberg tower just east of the city for a fantastic panoramic view of the city. The tower is about a 30 minute walk from the city center, or you can take the Schlossbergbanh, 3 minute long cable car ride to the top.
If you’re into sports, Freiburg has a club soccer team, SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga. Tickets are relatively cheap, and it’s great fun to drink some beer and cheer for Freiburg.
Get outside the city
Along with Freiburg itself, there are a number of interesting day trips in the area.
- Take the train up to Baden-Baden to visit its famed roman baths, or get dressed up (suits required) and pretend to be James Bond at Baden Baden’s upscale casino.
- Hop on over to Heidelberg and explore its medieval town and trek up to Heidelberg castle.
- Spend a day around Lake Constance, swimming, boating, and exploring.
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