Beautiful and picturesque architecture, breathtaking views, solar panels, bike and green areas are the ingredients of the city of the future that already exists: it's Freiburg!

Freiburg is a picturesque town in southern Germany, at the foot of the Black Forest. Its beautiful and characteristic architecture, the Bächle, small canals that run through the old city, its lively university life, the climate so mild compared to the rest of the country and its livability (thanks to the attention to the environment) make Freiburg a town that you can’t miss.

A typical street of Freiburg
A typical street of Freiburg, photo by Javier Ocaña via Flickr

1. Between ecology and architecture: what to see in Freiburg

The main attraction of Freiburg is undoubtedly its gothic Cathedral, the Münster. It’s located in the main square and its 116 meters high bell tower is the symbol of the town.


The bell tower of the cathedral
The bell tower of the cathedral

In the main square you will also find the Kaufhaus, beautiful red building, once the customs office.

The Kaufhaus, the red building in the main square of Freiburg
The Kaufhaus, photo by Deningures via Flickr


Walking through the old town you will notice the Bächle, channels of just 30cm width and 10cm deep, used in the early centuries of the founding of Freiburg as water supply and to keep the city clean. The old town is also decorated by numerous mosaics created with colored pebbles from the riverbed of the Rhine.

A street of Freiburg with a characteristic bächle
A street of Freiburg with a characteristic bächle, photo by Ken Hawkins via Flickr


Do not miss the two gates of the city, the only remains of the medieval city wall.

Schwabentor, one of the gates of the town
Schwabentor, one of the gates of the town, photo by Werner Kunz via Flickr


What is amazing in Freiburg is not only the architecture, but also the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Here one person in two is not using the car, and who does it often uses car sharing, but never in the inner city, closed to traffic. And so it seems that the whole city go by bike, creating a silence in which we are not used. No horns, no motor, just a sweet chatter. You'll realize how traffic influences also on noise pollution! In every corner of the city there is a green area, because the citizens of Freiburg have realized that in this way people live better. The Solar City  has built a stadium entirely covered with photovoltaic panels 15 years ago. Already in 1978 the municipality and citizens have begun the project to became an eco friendly town with the goal to achieve zero emissions by 2050. There's a part of town where much has been done: the Vauban district, a former military zone, rebuilt complement following the criteria of bio-architecture, using renewable energy sources, encouraging recycling and forbidding the access to cars.


Houses in Vauban, powered with solar panels
Houses in aVauban, powered with solar panels, foto di Frank via Flickr

To end the visit to the city, you just need to get in the cable car up to the Schlossberg hill, perfect for a walk in the woods and for enjoy the view over the city, hoping that in the near future also the other cities in Europe and in the world will try to look a little more like Freiburg.

2. Typical food and local cuisine 

Thanks to its unusual climate compared with the rest of Germany, its proximity to the French and Swiss borders and historical influences left by the Romans and Austrians, Freiburg is very much appreciated for its cuisine too. The Romans brought the snails, asparagus and wine. Thanks to the mild climate there are plenty of vineyards from which are made many highly rated wines, especially whites. Step into one of the many bakeries and discover the different types of bread; among them the Bretzel, typical of southern Germany, stand out. For a quick lunch the winning combination is schnitzel and the classic local beer. From the Black Forest there are smoked ham, liver sausage, and fruit brandies. And to finish a great meal, here is a piece of Black Forest cake, known throughout the world.


Black Forest cake
Black Forest cake, photo by Mikel Ortega via Flickr


3. The surroundings of Freiburg: the Black Forest

Freiburg is located at the foot of the Black Forest, one of the most scenic areas in all of Germany. Between hills, forests, valleys, small lakes, waterfalls and villages that seem coming from storybooks, there are 22000km of pathways: it’s a paradise for the hikers! Freiburg is the perfect spot to visit this beautiful region where you will find a pure nature and breathtaking views.

Schwarzwald lake, pearl of Balck Foresta
Schwarzwald Lake, photo by Eva Marie Schreck via Flickr

We suggest you to visit the two pearls of the Black Forest: the Schluchsee and Titisee lakes and the highest waterfalls in Germany, in Triberg where there is also the largest cuckoo clock in the world.

Waterfalls of Triberg
Waterfalls of Triberg, photo by Carsten Frenzl via Flickr

In Gutach you can admire the typical houses with their picturesque straw roofs.

Typical houses of Black Forest
Typical houses of Black Forest, photo by Marlene Manto via Flickr

 4. Where to sleep in Friburgo

What do you think of Freiburg? Does it seem like the perfect destination for your next holiday? We love it! Choose between modern and ecofriendly hotels and organic farmhouse in the country.

Here are all the ecofriendly accommodations in Friburgo and near the city. 

Cover image: View of Freiburg, photo by via Flickr

Author: Chiara Marras

Eco-friendly accommodations

Lebensgarten Erdweg

Freiburg (Baden-Württemberg)

Starting from €38.00

Camping la rivière

Haut-Rhin (Saint-Hippolyte)

Starting from €10.00