The student city of Freiburg is located on the southern edge of the Black Forest and is famous for its medieval city center. Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic buildings, which were rebuilt after the Second World War, are lined up in the cobblestone squares.
Thanks to the many parks and surrounding hills, Freiburg is one of the greenest cities in Europe. The nightlife is very relaxed compared to many other major German cities. There are many small breweries that have existed since the 19th century.
1. Start the day at Münsterplatz
The Münsterplatz in Freiburg is the cobblestone area around the Freiburg Cathedral. Colorful buildings, mostly reconstructed after the end of World War II, line the picturesque square. In addition to the cathedral, the old market hall and the Wentzingerhaus are among the numerous historical structures on the square. Be careful where you go, because you could stumble into a brook, one of the open watercourses that run through the streets on Münsterplatz. According to legend, if you step into a brook, you end up next to a Freiburg native on the wedding altar.
2. Don’t miss: Freiburg Cathedral
The Freiburg Minster with its towering, Gothic architecture is the city’s most striking landmark. The cathedral was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and was one of the few buildings to survive the bombing of World War II. Its most impressive feature is the Gothic bell tower, which towers 116 meters high into the sky. For a few euros you can try to climb the 400 steps to its viewing platform to enjoy the panorama of the city of Freiburg.
3. Freiburg Cathedral Market
The Münstermarkt Freiburg is a market that takes up almost the entire Münsterplatz. Here you will find everything from cut flowers to fruit and vegetables to pastries, wine and sausages at around 65 stands. A number of vendors sell straw baskets in case you go empty-handed to the market. This is also a popular place to enjoy street food. For around 2 euros you can get currywurst or cheesecake.
4. Explore the medieval gates of Freiburg
Freiburg is flanked by two city gates, the medieval state of which has been preserved to this day. The Martinstor from 1202 is located on Kaiser-Joseph-Straße, a shopping street in Freiburg’s old town. When you walk through the archway of Martinstor, look for the plaque in memory of three women who were burned as witches in 1599. The Schwabentor from the middle of the 13th century is located about 500 meters east of the Martinstor. This sandstone gate houses the Zinnfigurenklause, a museum with thousands of handmade tin figures and dioramas of important events such as the Baden Revolution.
5. Visit to the brewery
The Feierling brewery, founded in 1877 near Augustinerplatz, is one of the oldest breweries in Freiburg. When you enter the two-story inn, you are immediately greeted by the sight of two massive copper brew kettles on the ground floor. The first and second floors are furnished with wooden tables. In summer, the people of Freiburg like to sit here in the beer garden all day with draft beer and pretzels. The specialty of the Feierling brewery is Inselhopf, a light, unfiltered Pils.
6. Don’t miss: House to the Whale
The Haus zum Walfisch is an elegant late Gothic structure in Freiburg’s old town. Its striking red facade with gold decorated bay windows and stone gargoyles make it one of the most photographed buildings in the city. The illustrious residents of the house included Erasmus of Rotterdam and Emperor Ferdinand I. Horror film lovers may recognize the house from Dario Argento’s film Suspiria, for whom it served as a model for an ominous ballet school. There’s not much to do in the whale house, but it makes for a good selfie while walking around town.
7. Fancy potato soup?
The traditional potato soup is served as a starter in most of Freiburg’s restaurants. For this simple dish, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery are boiled soft in broth and then pureed to make a strong soup. It is often served with dishes such as sausage salads, rolls and cold cuts. Many Freiburg residents claim that the Kartoffelhaus is one of the best restaurants in town for enjoying potato soup and traditional Baden cuisine.
8. Take a breather in the city garden
The 19th century city garden is located 500 meters north of the Freiburg Minster. The park, which is almost 3 hectares in size, is particularly inviting in summer
9. Dinner in Germany’s oldest hotel
Zum Roten Bären dates back to 1120 and is the oldest inn in Germany. The restaurant is always full of Freiburg residents and tourists who want to enjoy traditional German cuisine with wine in a traditional setting. The Wiener Schnitzel and Risotti with prices from 10 euros are particularly popular here. Foreign visitors have the opportunity to use their language skills here, as the menu is strictly in German.
10. A classical opera in the Freiburg City Theater to crown the evening
Operas, drama and dance events take place all year round in the Freiburg City Theater. The house, which has been a municipal theater since 1866, combines three venues and the workshop for the city’s youth theater group under one roof. The Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the Great House of the City Theater, but also in the neighboring concert hall. Even if you do not want to attend a performance, it is worth visiting the great concert halls of the city theater.