Germany off the beaten track

The Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square) is surrounded by impressive buildings. © FWTM/ Schonen

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Practical information

Why go?

Cosmopolitan attitudes and a strong focus on research in the sunny climate of Germany´s southernmost city. Freiburg was founded by the Dukes of Zähringen in 1120. The layout of streets and squares of the rapidly prospering metropolis is still impressively reflected in today's cityscape. In 1368 Freiburg came under the Habsburgs - remaining, with but brief interruptions, the capital of Austria's Vorderösterreich until the beginning of the 19th century.

/assetimage_893_240w158.jpgThe medieval Old Town with its architectural treasures, colorful marketplace, twisting narrow lanes and Bächle (little waterways) running through the streets, picturesquely circles the magnificent  Freiburger Münster (Freiburg Cathedral). Its unique 381-foot-high (116m) tower ranks among the masterwork of Gothic architecture, enhancing Freiburg's incomparable silhouette. It took over 300 years to build this Gothic masterpiece, which was completed in 1513 and takes pride of place as Freiburg's main landmark.

The location of the cosmopolitan university town is unmatched: right at the foot of the Black Forest, in the midst of the "Dreiländereck" (Border Triangle) where Germany, France and Switzerland touch. With the Vosges and the Alps close by, a climate like that of Lugano, a renowned mineral thermal bath and spa resort and with all the things that make for unspoiled quality of life.

When to go?

/assetimage_892_241w159.jpgGermany is a popular travel destination all year-round, with a typical four-season climate. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). In terms of tourist numbers, May through to September are the most popular months to visit Germany. However, the winter holidays with their enchanting Christmas Markets are also a major highlight. Those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions will favor January through to April.

The weather in Freiburg is blessed with a particularly pleasant climate which allows for the successful cultivation of grapevines. Temperatures are generally warm enough for tobacco to grow successfully.

Long periods of fine weather can be followed by unsettled conditions. To be on the safe side, make sure you bring a sweater and wet weather clothing with you.

What to eat?

/assetimage_2511_240w159.jpgTradition is important in Freiburg. Farmers and craftspeople still come daily (except on Sundays) to sell their wares at the Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square). On the one side, farmers sell local fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, sausages and bread, as well as teas and spices. On the other side, craftspeople sell wooden toys, carvings and candles, many of them from the Black Forest.

Freiburg has something to offer for every palate and purse. Whether it is in elegant and rated pubs, native Badisch pubs or in traditional pubs and Beizen (Swiss word for pubs) - everywhere you can experience the Badisch cuisine and wine.

Badisch wines from the Markgräflerland region, the low mountain ranges Kaiserstuhl and Tuniberg, and from the regions of Breisgau and Ortenau are well known and popular. The Spargelsaison (asparagus season) is as its height in late April. Nearly all restaurants offer the "royal vegetable" for two months: asparagus from the Tuniberg area. A lively local white wine is the ideal accompaniment.

Freiburg Gallery

Map of Germany

It´s all about Wine!

Organic Wine "Ecovin"

/assetimage_3294_158w50.jpgThe largest association of organic vintners, “Ecovin”, was already founded in 1985. Nowadays it consists of 200 members who farm around about 1,200 hectares. The Landmann winery in Freiburg is particularly notable for its organic wines and the local wine festival is a particularly festive time. In order to be called “eco vintner” the wine-growers have to follow strict regulations such as the prohibition of using mineral fertilizers or certain pesticides against diseases and pests.

That´s Germany

The “Münsterplatz“ (Cathedral Square) is full of Baden wines for Freiburg’s six-day
wine festival which also attracts gourmets and wine enthusiasts from neighboring Switzerland and

VIP: Martin Waldseemüller

Martin Waldseemüller – the man who named America: In 1507, the Freiburgborn cartographer
christened the newly discovered land in his map of the world.