Welcome to Freiburg, a charming city nestled in the scenic landscapes of southwest Germany, boasting wiht wonderful places worth visiting, iconic landmarks and beautiful attractions. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque surroundings, Freiburg beckons travelers from far and wide to discover its treasures.
From its amazing landmarks to hidden gems, this city offers a plethora of captivating places to visit, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re wandering through the historic streets of the old town, marveling at the stunning architecture of the Minster, or strolling along the tranquil banks of the Dreisam River, Freiburg is a destination that promises an unforgettable experience.
Freiburg truly caters to all interests, whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable getaway. Join us as we embark on a journey through the captivating places, landmarks, and attractions that make Freiburg a must-visit destination for every traveler.
Freiburg, by the way, holds the distinction of being one of the sunniest and warmest cities in Germany. With an abundance of sunshine, it offers visitors ample opportunities to soak up the beneficial rays and replenish their vitamin D levels.
In a nutshell: Freiburg Highlights
- Enchanting Diversity: Discover the captivating diversity that lies in every nook and cranny of Freiburg im Breisgau in Baden-Württemberg.
- Tranquil City: With approximately 230,000 inhabitants, Freiburg is a peaceful city nestled amidst the breathtaking mountain panorama of the Black Forest.
- Active Adventures: Explore a range of sports facilities that invite you to embark on thrilling adventures and adrenaline-pumping activities.
- Relaxation and Pampering: If you prefer a more leisurely pace, indulge yourself in the abundance of sunny street cafés, where you can unwind and savor delightful moments of relaxation.
1. Freiburg Minster
The Freiburg Minster is one of the top attractions in the city, as mentioned before. It is the most popular building for both visitors and residents, standing majestically in the middle of the Cathedral Square.
The Freiburg Minster tower, in particular, is a remarkable sight. With its height of 116 meters, the tower dominates the cityscape. Completed in 1330, it is the only Gothic church tower of its kind in Germany and is considered an architectural model. Visitors can enjoy a fantastic view over the entire city of Freiburg from a gallery at a height of 70 meters. The construction of the Freiburg Minster lasted over 300 years, during which it went through different Gothic styles from 1200 to 1513.
Inside the Freiburg Minster, visitors can admire original colorful glass windows from various periods of its construction. Additionally, the Minster houses the more than 750-year-old Hosanna, an unmistakable bell weighing about three tons. It is also one of the oldest Angelus bells in Germany. Despite the war, the Freiburg Minster miraculously survived unscathed and continues to tell its impressive story today.
Address: Münsterplatz, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Admission: Admission to the choir and chapel wreath costs €2 for adults and €1.50 for concessions. Climbing the tower costs €4 for adults and €2 for concessions.
2. Freiburger Bächle
The Freiburger Bächle meander through the entire old town, spanning a total length of 15.5 kilometers. However, more than 6 kilometers of the channels run underground. These flat, paved channels originally served as a water supply system for extinguishing fires and carrying away rainwater and dirt when the city was founded in the 12th century. Wooden bridges were used to transport the water to the fields, enriching them with nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Today, the Bächle offer a refreshing foot bath on hot summer days. Fed by the clear water from the Dreisam river, they provide a pleasant climate for both young and old to splash around. While exploring the city, visitors should walk carefully to avoid accidentally stepping into the Bächle, as locals believe that doing so means they will marry a native of Freiburg in the future.
3. Colombischlössle & Archaeological Museum
The former mansion, Colombischlössle, is now home to the Archaeological Museum Freiburg. Its permanent exhibition showcases the oldest works of art in southern Baden, ranging from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period. The exhibition features models depicting different eras, Palaeolithic female figures, original evidence of metal production, and the oldest glass bowl in the northern Alpine region. The museum also holds changing special exhibitions on various topics and offers a diverse program, including Roman fashion shows and costume tours for adults and children, taking visitors on a journey through millennia.
The Colombischlössle is surrounded by a landscaped park designed in the style of an English garden. The park enchants visitors with its exotic plants and fountains. Since 2003, both the Colombischlössle and the park have been declared cultural monuments.
The Colombischlössle, built in the neo-Gothic style from 1859 to 1861, stands on the site of the former Saint Louis Bastion. The building is characterized by a bright glass dome, and its historical stairwell reflects the former prosperity of its owner. In 1899, the city of Freiburg acquired the
Colombischlössle from the private owner and converted it into a museum in 1904. The mansion itself is an architectural gem, showcasing the elegance of the neo-Gothic style.
Address: Rotteckring 5, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Admission: The entrance fee for the Archaeological Museum is €7 for adults and €5 for concessions. However, prices may vary for special exhibitions or events.
4. Augustiner Museum
The Augustiner Museum is another must-visit attraction in Freiburg. Located in a former Augustinian monastery, the museum houses a diverse collection of art from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period. It showcases a wide range of exhibits, including sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts.
The museum’s collection includes renowned works of art, such as the famous altarpiece by Hans Baldung Grien, a German Renaissance painter. Visitors can also admire medieval wood sculptures, Gothic paintings, and a collection of ecclesiastical art and crafts.
In addition to its permanent collection, the Augustiner Museum hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various art themes and historical periods. It provides a comprehensive cultural experience for art enthusiasts and history lovers.
Address: Augustinerplatz 7, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Admission: The regular admission fee for the Augustiner Museum is €7 for adults and €5 for concessions. Special rates may apply for temporary exhibitions.
Opening times: The exhibition can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Schlossberg is a hill located in the heart of Freiburg, offering breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. It is a popular recreational area where locals and visitors can enjoy nature, go for walks, and take in the panoramic vistas.
One of the most iconic features of Schlossberg is the Schlossberg Tower, also known as the St. George’s Tower. The tower dates back to the 13th century and provides a spectacular viewpoint at its top. From there, you can enjoy a stunning panorama of Freiburg, including the Freiburg Minster, the Black Forest, and the Vosges Mountains.
There are several ways to reach the top of Schlossberg. Visitors can hike up the hill, take the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway, or use the Schlossbergstollen tunnel. Each route offers its own unique experience and scenic views along the way.
Schlossberg also features other attractions, such as the Schlossberg Restaurant, where you can dine while overlooking the city, and the Schlossbergturm Café, a cozy spot to enjoy coffee and cake.
Address: Am Schlossberg 1, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
Ticket Schlossberg Bahn: Adults pay €3.30 for a single journey and concessions €2.20.
Operating hours of the Schlossberg Bahn: The Bahn is in operation daily from 9 a.m. until the restaurant closes. On Tuesdays it only runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Limited operating times apply in winter.
6. Old and New Town Hall
Freiburg is adorned with several town halls, with a total of over 16 locations scattered throughout the city. Among them, the most significant and renowned are the old and the new town hall, situated right on Rathausplatz. These impressive historical buildings have undergone multiple reconstructions, and their facades vividly narrate their rich history.
The construction of the old town hall dates back to the 16th century. Its facade exudes a uniform appearance due to the red paint that covers the building. Upon closer inspection, you can also spot remnants from earlier periods, revealing the building’s evolution over time.
Adjacent to the old town hall stands the new town hall, linked to its counterpart through a passage. To create this connection, a portion of the Renaissance-style university building was incorporated. The new town hall was completed in 1901, featuring a turret added to its roof during the renovation. At noon, around 25 bells resound, filling the air with their melodious chimes. Additionally, during the summer, theatrical performances take place in the inner courtyard of the new town hall.
The old and new town halls in Freiburg are not only architectural gems but also integral parts of the city’s heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into its storied past.
Address: Rathausplatz 2-4, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
7. The Martinstor
Among the original four city gates, only two have survived, and the Martinstor is the older of the two remaining gates. Running through it is Kaiser-Jospeh-Strasse. When the tower was constructed, the gate was seamlessly integrated into the city wall.
During that time, it was likely closed using a drawbridge, which could be raised to ward off intruders. In 1900, the city gate underwent renovation and was enlarged from 22 to 60 meters. Notably, there is a plaque on the inside that commemorates the witch burnings in Freiburg.
8. The Schwabentor
In addition to the Martinstor, the Schwabentor has also been preserved. It is believed to have been built in the mid-13th century. The gate’s location held special significance as it was situated near the oldest crossing of the Dreisam river, making it an important position in Freiburg’s fortifications.
The Schwabentor has undergone multiple reconstructions. Initially, it was expanded from 26 to 65 meters. However, due to subsequent deterioration of the tower, the gate was reduced to 42 meters. Today, the top of the tower is adorned with an onion-shaped bell tower.
9. Seepark Betzenhausen
Covering approximately 35 hectares, Seepark Betzenhausen offers a serene recreational area, inviting locals and visitors alike to relax. The park was once the site of the State Horticultural Show and serves as a connecting point for four parts of the city. It is easily accessible from the old town via public transportation.
At the heart of the complex lies an artificial lake, providing a picturesque setting to enjoy Freiburg’s pleasant weather. The Japanese Garden within Seepark Betzenhausen was collaboratively designed with Freiburg’s twin town, Matsuyama. Created in the 1990s by Japanese garden architect Yoshinori Tokumoto, it features a waterfall, streams, and numerous other enchanting elements. Exploring the rose garden is also a worthwhile experience within this beautiful complex. Alongside the Stadtgarten, Seepark is one of Freiburg’s most beloved green spaces.
10. Historic Department Store & Old Guard
Nestled in the shadow of the Freiburg Minster, several striking buildings captivate onlookers, including the historic department store and the old guard. The majestic historic department store traces its roots back to the 16th century and boasts a vibrant red facade that serves as a popular photo spot for tourists. Its interior is equally impressive, making a visit to the magnificent premises a must.
It is important to note that despite its appearance, the historic department store is not a shopping mall but instead functions solely as an event venue.
Located nearby is the old guard, which initially served as the headquarters of the main guard of the Austrian guard organization before being repurposed for private use. In the mid-1990s, the building underwent renovation and became the “House of Baden Wines.” Here, visitors can sample various wines and brandies from the region. Notably, the old guard selects a wine each month to showcase as the featured “wine of the month.”
11. Market on the Münsterplatz
Münsterplatz proudly stands as the largest square in Freiburg, with the charming Freiburg Bächle flowing alongside its edge. Dominating the square is the magnificent Minster, surrounded by a backdrop of historic buildings. During the week, the bustling Münstermarkt takes place on the Münsterplatz, centered around the landmark. Here, vendors tempt visitors with an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fragrant flowers. And, of course, one cannot miss out on the legendary “Lange Rote,” Freiburg’s bratwurst specialty. For both traditional and refined palates, the market offers a variety of ingredients.
Engaging in friendly conversations with the sellers might reward you with free tips and ideas. Towards the northern section of the market, local farmers proudly display their freshly harvested organic vegetables, sharing stories about the origin and cultivation of their products. On the southern side, you’ll find stalls selling unique handicrafts, accompanied by the enticing aromas of exotic fruits and spices.
Opening Times: The market is open from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Saturdays, it extends its hours until 2 p.m.
Schauinsland, located in the Black Forest, proudly stands as Freiburg’s local mountain, approximately 10 kilometers from the city center. From its summit, rising 1,284 meters above sea level, visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views. The vista stretches from the scenic Upper Black Forest to the majestic Alps. Adventurers can conquer the summit from various directions, whether by bike, on foot as hikers, or by leisurely strolls. Thrill-seeking climbers can explore the challenging rock formations.
For those seeking a more leisurely ascent, a cable car offers a convenient option. Spanning a distance of 3,600 meters, it is Germany’s longest cable car, covering an altitude difference of 746 meters. From the gondola, you can enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Another notable feature is the “wind beeches” that grace the mountain. Shaped by the strong winds that often sweep across Schauinsland, these trees display unique forms. Paragliders are also drawn to the area, taking advantage of the constant winds.
Cable Car Address: Bohrerstraße 11, 79289 Horben
Cable Car Tickets: Adults pay €9.50 for a one-way ticket, while reduced rates of €6.50 are available.
Cable Car Operating Times: From October to June, the cable car operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In summer, the operating hours are extended until 6 p.m.
Bonus: Europa Park Rust
The Freiburg area is home to one of the most thrilling attractions—Europa Park in Rust. This exhilarating amusement park promises unforgettable moments, where the sounds of screaming roller coaster riders and the gleaming eyes of excited children are part of the daily excitement.
With over 120 attractions, including rides, shows, and imaginative themed areas, Europa Park captivates visitors from around the world. Spread across an expansive 95-hectare area, it boasts 13 distinct country-themed sections, ensuring that boredom is never an option.
One of the park’s most renowned and towering roller coasters is the Silver Star. Reaching speeds of approximately 130 km/h, it races down from a height of around 70 meters. For those planning an extended visit, the park offers excellent hotels and comfortable campsites.
With approximately 5.6 million visitors annually, Europa Park stands as one of Germany’s most popular amusement parks. Located just a 30-minute drive from Freiburg, it is easily accessible.
Address: Europa-Park-Straße 2, 77977 Rust
Opening Times: During the summer season, the park is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Freiburg has captivating places, landmarks, and attractions that make Freiburg a must-visit destination for every traveler. Freiburg is a city that offers an enchanting blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant city atmosphere. From exploring the majestic Freiburg Minster and strolling through the picturesque Münsterplatz with its bustling market, to immersing yourself in the charm of the old and new town halls, Freiburg boasts an array of landmarks and attractions that will leave you captivated. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures in the Black Forest, savoring the flavors of the local cuisine, or simply basking in the relaxed ambiance of its street cafés, Freiburg promises an unforgettable experience. Discovering the best places to visit in Freiburg will undoubtedly leave you with lasting memories of this remarkable city.