Freiburg: A Jewel Among German Towns

by Nicole Karsch-Meibom
Contributing writer


From Sept. 22 to 25, Pope Benedict XVI is going to visit Freiburg. Good choice. Freiburg is considered a jewel among German towns. Reason enough consider a overnight trip to the capital of the Black Forest.

Located in the “three-country corner” of Germany, France and Switzerland, Freiburg im Breisgau has a lot to offer. Students of the famous Albert Ludwig University love it for its numerous street cafes, locals cherish it for its fabulous quality of life at the bottom of the Black Forest, and tourists adore it for its medieval treasures.

Not to be confused with the city Fribourg in Switzerland, Freiburg is located about two and a half hours away from Kaiserslautern down the A5. To get the most out of this city, it is best to stay overnight.


Most sights are situated in the inner city and within comfortable walking distance. The town dates back to 1120, and there is no touring Freiburg without a visit to the Freiburger Münster cathedral — a gothic masterpiece. At its foot, the “Münstermarkt,” or farmers market, offers local products from fruits to flowers every day apart from Sundays.

Once in Freiburg, you can relax in the many parks or even go up the 1.284-meter-high “Schauinsland” mountain with the “Schauinslandbahn,” which was the first person cable car in the world when invented in 1930. Weather permitting, you can see the Voges, the Alps and even Mont Blanc.

Dining out is a pleasure in Freiburg as there are a wealth of regional specialities to be tasted, such as “Schwarzwälder Kirsch,” the famous Black Forest cake. At the same time, with Switzerland literally just around the corner, Freiburg offers many Swiss delights like chocolate or cheese. If you are budget conscious on your travel, there are many grocery stores in the town center, as is the shopping mall “Schwarzwald City.”

Accommodation ranges from bargain places like the Black Forest Youth Hostel (www.blackforest-hostel.de), medium price Hotel Schemmer (www.hotel-schemmer.de) or Hofgarten Hotel B&B Freiburg (www.hotel-hofgarten.de) up to five-star Colombi Hotel (www.colombi.de).

With a little bit of time on your hands, you can visit the town of Breisach (www.breisach.de) 30 kilometers west of Freiburg situated in the upper Rhine valley. Though the town deserves a trip all on its own, Breisach also offers boat trips on the Rhine. The trips range from city tours to Strassbourg, Colmar or Basel, to theme tours with music and food, or two-hour-round trips.

For information, call 07667-94-2010 or check out www.bfs-info.de, or call tourist information at 0761-3881-880 or e-mail touristik@fwtm.freiburg.de.

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