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Freiburg Sightseeing and Tours

From: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Historisches Kaufhaus

ABOVE: Statues on the Historisches Kaufhaus, where merchants and officials governed trade in the medieval era. TOP INSET PHOTO: Manhole cover with Freiburg's coat of arms.

Sightseeing resources

photoFreiburg Tourist Information publishes several maps and brochures in English and German. Most are available as PDF files for download, but at least printed item--the free Freiburg City Map--is also available by mail or in person at the Tourist Information office.

What to see in the Altstadt

Freiburg's main tourist sights are in or near the Altstadt, the medieval center of the town, which is about a five-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof or main railroad station. Most of the area is a pedestrian zone (except for trams, taxis, and delivery vehicles at certain hours).

Any good map will identify the major attractions, but here are a few things you'll want to see:

MuensterplatzThe Münster is in the center of the Altstadt, past the department stores of the Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse, in the Mü nsterplatz or cathedral square. The Gothic cathedral of red sandstone is topped by a stone lacework spire above the bell cage; you can see the bells and stand inside the spire by climbing up a spiral staircase from an entrance on the church's side side. (The views--see photo at left--are well worth the climb and the small admission fee.)

Historisches KaufhausAlso on the cathedral square are the red stone Historisches Kaufhaus (once a merchants' hall and customs house), the Alte Wache (formerly the city's guardhouse, now a tasting center and salesroom for Baden wines), Wentzingerhaus (the city's history museum), and other houses--such as the Stadtbücherei, or Public Library--that were reconstructed or built to fit the Altstadt's medieval scale after Allied bombing destroyed existing houses in World War II.

Haus zum Steinin Brü
cklinIf you head south from the Münsterplatz, you'll pass Augustinerplatz on your way to Gerberau, Fischerau, and Insel, where small houses, shops, restaurants, and beer gardens are huddled together by a fast-moving canal. The Haus zum Steinin Brücklin (shown at left) has straddled the rushing water since 1460. As you walk along the canal, look for the sculpted head of a crocodile peeking out from the rapids.

SchlossbergturmAllow time for a walk to the Schlossberg, where you'll be in the Black Forest as soon as you cross the footbridge to the hillside park. If you don't mind a hike, follow the signs to the Schlossbergturm, an observation tower on top of the hill. (Admission is free, and the views are spectacular.)

Local sightseeing tours

Helika JurinaThe Freiburg im Breisgau Tourist Office and its local partners offer local tours in various languages, including English. You can also hire private guides through the tourist office. (We can personally recommend Helike Jurina, shown in the photo at left.)

For more information, see the official Freiburg Individual and Group Tours page. The tourist office's Freiburg Strolls page lists a number of self-guided walks.

Next page: Day trips from Freiburg

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)

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