Germany for Visitors - Home
Germany Index Europe for Visitors

Arrow"Best of the Web" - Washington Post

Europe > Germany > Freiburg im Breisgau > City guide

Freiburg im Breisgau

Travel and Tourist Information

Freiburg im Breisgau Mü

ABOVE: The sun sets behind the Münster (Freiburg Cathedral).  INSET BELOW: A Freiburg manhole cover, a child wades in the medieval Bächle that run through the Altstadt, and hikers explore Schauinsland just outside of town.

Manhole cover with Freiburg coat of armsFreiburg im Breisgau is a lively, prosperous university town of about 200,000 at the western edge of the Black Forest, on the main rail line between Frankfurt am Main and Basel, Switzerland.

Freiburg is said to be the sunniest city in Germany, and it also has a reputation for being one of the most people-friendly: We made our first trip to Freiburg (with children in tow) in the 1980s after it earned Germany's #1 livability rating in Eltern, a German parenting magazine.

Freiburg baechleIf you like walking, you'll love Freiburg: The city began banning cars from its shopping district in 1949, and the center of town was repaved with stone and turned into a pedestrian zone in 1973. Freiburg's unique Bächle, the 13th Century water channels that had been paved over in the automotive era, were reopened, and today you can take off your shoes and cool your feet in fresh water from the nearby mountains when you need a break from sightseeing.

Hiking in SchauinslandBest of all, Freiburg im Breisgau isn't just a tourist destination: It's also your most convenient gateway to the Black Forest, which begins literally just across the street from the pedestrian zone. From Freiburg, you can easily reach villages and hiking paths in the Hochschwarzwald and other nearby scenic areas by train, bus, or car. I'd recommend spending at least three days in Freiburg, or--better yet--a week if you can spare enough time to enjoy both the city and its rural surroundings.

Next page: History and background

In this article:
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
History, background
Sightseeing, local tours
Day trips, excursions
Museums, culture
Where to stay
Restaurants, pubs, cafés
Tourist information
More photos

Related article:
Höllentalbahn to the Black Forest from Freiburg by train)

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (now including Germany for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.