Freiburg im Breisgau

10 tips and sights for your short trip to Freiburg im Breisgau

Sunny, environmentally friendly and young at heart – that is Freiburg im Breisgau. The fourth largest city in Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim and Karlsruhe is located 60 kilometers from the Swiss border, nestled between the Rhine plain and the Black Forest. Here in a sun-drenched location, an exciting contrast between medieval buildings and pioneering architecture beckons.

And since the train journey from Zurich to Freiburg im Breisgau takes less than two hours, we took this as an opportunity to pay a short visit to the friendly university town. We took four whole days this spring to explore the historic old town and the surrounding area. The essence of this article is a selection of places worth seeing and tried-and-tested tips for places to stop.  

The sights of Freiburg at a glance

There is definitely no shortage of sights in Freiburg in Breisgau. The city seems to easily manage the balancing act between tradition and modernity and thus appeals to a broad target group. We have located the main attractions on the map below. Of course, we enriched the whole thing with our very personal discoveries and favorite places; including, as always, a few culinary highlights!

1. Follow the Freiburger Bächle through the city center

And where is the best place to start a city tour of Freiburg? Clear case: At the Bertoldsbrunnen in the historic old town. It can be reached on foot from the main train station in just over ten minutes. In the predominantly car-free city center, the medieval city gates, the cathedral and the oxblood-red historic department store serve as welcome landmarks.

With these fixed points in mind, we recommend simply wandering through the streets with your nose and admiring the pretty houses from different building eras. A special feature of Freiburg’s old town are the so-called “Bächle”. They were once used to supply the city with water. Today, the shallow rippling water ensures a pleasant climate and is at the same time an attraction for children.

In my opinion, Konviktstrasse is one of the most charming streets in the old town. And it’s worth turning into a narrow aisle every now and then. For example, we discovered Nóstimo Coffee located on Dreherstrasse.

Freiburg Old Town
Freiburg Café
Altstadtgassen Freiburg

The area between Gerberau and Fischerau is also pretty. Due to the narrow canals, it is often referred to as “small Venice ” designated. Admittedly, this comparison is far-fetched. Nevertheless, Freiburg’s old town presents itself here from its particularly cozy and relaxed side.

Freiburg Beautiful Old Town District

2. Enjoy Baden cuisine at the Feierling brewery

With its walkable size, Freiburg’s old town is also ideal for a day trip. Whether you’re just visiting Freiburg for a day or spending a whole weekend in the city, you’re guaranteed to walk past two culinary institutions on your old town tour. On the one hand, there is the Feierling brewery, which tempts visitors on the Gerberau with hearty Baden cuisine and a cozy beer garden.

Baden cuisine at Feierling Freiburg

On the other hand, there is the “Lange Rote” offered at the stalls of the Münstermarkt. We tested both and found them to be good – and by the way: Eating the 35 cm long grilled sausage sandwiched into a baguette isn’t all that great an art.

Freiburg Red Sausages

The Münstermarkt is open all year round from Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Market stalls are not set up on Sundays and public holidays.

3. Climb 335 steps to the cathedral tower

No tour through Freiburg’s old town without climbing the 116 meter high west tower, which is considered an architectural masterpiece of the Gothic period. From up here you can enjoy a great view over the rooftop landscape of the city center. By the way, as if by a miracle, the Freiburg Cathedral was spared from destruction by bombing raids during the Second World War.

Freiburg Minster Platform Dome
Freiburg Münster view
View of Freiburg Münster

Access to the cathedral tower: Monday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sundays and public holidays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | regular entry 5 euros | Further information:< /p>

4. Look over Freiburg from the Schlossberg tower

Another beautiful viewing point is not far from the cathedral on the Schlossberg. The striking elevation nestles against Freiburg’s old town to the east and forms a beautiful green backdrop. The Kanonenplatz can be reached in just a few minutes on foot, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city center.

Ascent Schlossbergturm

From here you can walk uphill for another 15 minutes on a hiking trail until you reach the Schlossbergturm. The viewing platform is accessible free of charge and offers an impressive panoramic view of the city districts of Freiburg, the hills of the Black Forest and the flat Rhine plain.

Schlossbergturm Freiburg
Freiburg surroundings
View of the Schlossberg Tower

If you don’t want to cover all the altitude on foot, you can take the Schlossbergbahn. This inclined lift travels from the castle gardens to the Schlossberg restaurant in three minutes. The tickets can be bought from the machine directly on site and usually cost 3.50 euros (one way).

5. Have a delicious breakfast at Bächle

In Freiburg there is a wide selection of coffees and breakfast bars that offer specialty coffee as well as homemade delicacies. This includes the «Bächle» at Friedrichring. In addition to daily classics, as shown in the photo below, a hearty breakfast that changes seasonally is also served on weekends. It’s worth making a reservation!

From Thursday to Saturday, the Bächle is transformed into the Kurz&Kork wine bar in the evening from 6 p.m. Unfortunately, time didn’t work out for us (and due to public holidays with irregular opening hours), so we didn’t test the wine bar. But the concept definitely sounds very casual.

Café Norso Freiburg

Opening hours: Thursday to Monday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Tuesday & Closed on Wednesday | Further information and reservations can be found at

6. Take a trip to Schauinsland

Even though Freiburg is considered the sunniest city in Germany and the weather was quite good during our visit – the trip to the Black Forest fell just as we did know from previous visits, at least partially in the water. Despite the thick fog: the detour to the 1,284 meter high Schauinsland was worth it. The journey on the Schauinslandbahn, which overcomes an altitude difference of 746 meters over a length of 3.6 kilometers, is an impressive experience.

Schauinsland Bergbahn

And since there was less to look at due to the weather, we listened even more. We were inspired by the free audio tour (see following link) of the Schauinslandbahn and followed the approximately three kilometer long tour from the mountain station. Last but not least, the sun even showed up! I can recommend the audio tour to anyone who is interested in background information about the Schauinslandbahn and the Schauinsland.

Operating hours: January to December 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed twice a year for maintenance, see details Website) |Ascent and descent (regular tariff): 14 euros | Directions: take tram line 2 to Freiburg, Dorfstrasse, from there take bus line 21 to the valley station of the Schauinslandbahn (approx. 45 minutes)

The app for the audio tour can be downloaded free of charge. You can find further information on this at

7. Visit Freiburg’s municipal museums

If you are interested in Freiburg’s city history, you should plan a stop at the Museum for City History during your old town tour. This is one of the five museums that together form the network of municipal museums. If you like art and architecture more than the city’s history, I recommend a visit to the Augustinian Museum. This is located in the former monastery church, which was redesigned by the architect Christoph Mäckler. The result: A harmonious interplay between the historical building structure and the modern new museum building, which offers surprising insights and views.

Art fans should also feel attracted to the Museum for New Art. Here, themes of our time are artistically processed and reflected in changing exhibitions. If you visit both museums on the same day, you only have to pay entry once.

Municipal Museums in Freiburg

The Freiburg Municipal Museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Admission to the Augustinian Museum costs 8 euros (regular) | The normal price ticket is also valid as a day ticket for the municipal museums Further information:

8. Walk through the Seepark Freiburg

Freiburg is a green city. This is not only thanks to the green backdrop of the Schlossberg. The spacious, publicly accessible parks also contribute to this. These include the City Garden and the Colombipark, which border directly on the old town. A little further away, but also significantly more spacious, is the Seepark. This is located in the Betzenhausen district and includes the site of the 1986 State Garden Show. We walked around the artificially created Flückigersee and climbed the Seeparkturm. From here there is another completely new perspective of the Freiburg Cathedral in front of the green hills of the Black Forest.

Seepark Freiburg

9. Find out more about sustainable cities in the Vauban district

On my bucket list for visiting Freiburg was of course a trip to the Vauban district. “Why “of course”, you might ask yourself. Well: Over the last twenty years, a model city for sustainable and climate-adapted urban development has been built on the former barracks of the French armed forces. A prime example of the issues that I deal with every day in my job. Anyone who would like to get an idea of what urban living close to the center, surrounded by greenery, with few cars looks like (and how it is well received) will find some inspiring approaches in Vauban.

Sustainable and resource-efficient construction is also an issue in the Botanical Garden in Freiburg. The livMatS Pavilion< exhibited there /a> represents the first building whose supporting structure consists exclusively of robotically wound flax fibers.

10. Discover Freiburg’s star cuisine

Of course we didn’t miss the opportunity to explore Freiburg’s fine dining scene. Among other things, we reserved a table in the traditional restaurant Zur Wolfshöhle and met Martin there Fauster’s craft tried out. His concept: a classically oriented cuisine in which good (but not necessarily local) products are the focus. Conclusion: cozy atmosphere, nice menu sequence – but no wow moments.

Wolfshöhle Freiburg

This is in complete contrast to our second gourmet evening in the Eichhalde in the district herders; the top address for excellent Italian cuisine! Federico Campolattano has amazed us more than once with his tastefully composed courses. I wouldn’t be surprised if another star is added here in the near future.

Risotto in the Eichhalde

Our hotel tip for Freiburg

For our four-day stay in Freiburg im Breisgau in the Courtyard by Marriott (partner link) checked in opposite the main train station. Room prices start at around 160 euros (depending on the season and day of the week). Conveniently located to save yourself the hassle of lugging luggage around. Once across the street, store your luggage and start your tour of the old town without delay.

Other recommended bars and restaurants

In addition to the restaurants and cafés already mentioned in the article, we also tried the following places during our stay and found them to be good:

  • Vegan Lelanis Falafel: A food truck on Eisenbahnstrasse (opposite Colombipark)
  • Sedan Café on Sedanstrasse
  • The Hemingway Bar in the basement of the Hotel Victoria on Eisenbahnstrasse
  • One Trick Pony: award-winning cocktail bar in the old town (Oberlinden 8)

We would also have liked to try a sip or two of Baden wine in the Alte Wache on Münsterplatz. However, due to the beautiful spring weather, the restaurant was so busy that we couldn’t get a seat outside.

Alte Wache Freiburg

The most important questions about your city trip to Freiburg

How long does it take to get to Freiburg im Breisgau

From Zurich, the journey to Freiburg in Breisgau without changing trains takes just under two hours (1:54 h, with direct Links). From Bern you can also get to Freiburg in Breisgau in just over two hours.

When is the best time of year for a city trip to Freiburg im Breisgau?

In my opinion, it’s worth a visit at any time of the year. We visited Freiburg im Breisgau at the beginning of May, which seemed ideal to me. If you don’t like crowds, you should avoid the run-up to Christmas, as that’s when Freiburg has the most tourists.

How big is Freiburg im Breisgau?

Freiburg has a population of just over 230,000 and is the fourth largest city in Baden -Württemberg. But the old town feels more like a small town and clear.

How much time should you spend on a city trip to Factor in Freiburg im Breisgau?

The sights in the historic old town can easily be discovered as part of a day trip. If you want to explore the surrounding area and have a relaxing break during your visit to Freiburg, I recommend planning two full days.

When does the Christmas market in Freiburg im Breisgau take place ?

The Freiburg Christmas market starts at the end of November (this year on November 23rd) and lasts until December 23rd. It takes place around the town hall square, the potato market and Franziskanerstrasse and consists of around 120 market stalls. From Monday to Saturday you can also add a visit to the stalls at the Münstermarkt to your stroll through the Christmas market.

ps. Of course, a short trip to the Swiss counterpart of Freiburg im Breisgau is also worthwhile. I’ve seen what you can experience here in one day captured in this blog post.

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