Germany off the beaten track

Marienberg fortress high above the Main river in Würzburg. © CTW/ Andreas Bestle

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Tübingen

Young life in an ancient setting

Tübingen offers you the rare chance to experience an almost completely preserved old town of half-timbered houses. You get the best view of the colourful ensemble of historic facades walking along the idyllic Neckar island in the middle of the river: Overlooked by the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) at the Holzmarkt, sights like the 16th-century Alte Aula (university auditorium), the Burse, Evangelisches Stift (Protestant hall of residence and teaching) and Hohentübingen Castle line up like pearls to form the picturesque "Neckarfront". It is romantically set in scene by the famous yellow Hölderlin Tower, the town's landmark.

To enjoy this panorama from above, there is no better place than the tower of the Collegiate Church - the medieval rooftop landscape is a must-see vista! 1,000 years of city history await you under the roofs and behind the colourful facades. Famous poets and philosophers lived and studied in Hölderlin Tower and Evangelisches Stift, while Hohentübingen Castle today houses the university - the heart and soul of Tübingen. Since it was founded in 1477, brilliant minds, ingenious scientific achievements like the discovery of DNA, and nine Nobel Prize winners have been an integral part of the town.

In cosmopolitan Tübingen, student lifestyle meets tradition. Intellect and fun go hand in hand, around the market square with its imposing town hall, for example. Here you can amble around the little boutiques and unusual shops, enjoy a smoothie in the student café, or traditional Swabian cuisine in a wine tavern: cheese spaetzle (noodles), lentils, Swabian ravioli and a roast joint are always on the menu. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the weekly food market entices you to browse and shop at the stalls. On warm summer evenings, the market square is a popular hangout with a Mediterranean flair.

From the market, you pass by antique shops into the winding alleyways of the romantic vineyard quarter, known to many locals as the Gôgenviertel. Not to be missed are the sensational UNESCO World Heritage ice age figures in the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Hohentübingen Castle. Just outside the town centre, the Cistercian monastery of Bebenhausen, founded in the 12th century, beckons with its Blue Hall and Green Hall, a beautiful cloister, and an elegant refectory.

After all these discoveries on land, you should be sure to take to the water, too: no visit to Tübingen is complete without a leisurely trip along the colourful Neckarfront on a punting boat.

Our tip for your rendezvous of the senses: 
Turn your punt trip into a culinary experience including wine tasting, cheese specialities and other regional delicacies!