Nestled in the corner of the German state of Baden-Württemberg and on the edge of the Black Forest, Freiburg is famed for its university, its sunny climate, its vineyards and its clearly independent nature. Despite its location within Germany and proximity to France and Switzerland, it exhibits a very local form of patriotism. You'll hear the local Baden anthem far more often than the German national one.
Perhaps the key is that Freiburg has such a strong heritage of its own. Visit the Minster, the city’s cathedral and one of its most famous sights, to discover one of the oldest churches in Europe. If you climb the stairs to the top of the tower you’ll get to enjoy captivating views of the entire city. Every morning you’ll even find a Market taking place on the square surrounding the Minster, with all kinds of local produce available.
The small storm water canals that parallel the streets of the inner city are part of Freiburg’s particular heritage and folklore. It is said that if you step into one by accident, you will end up marrying a Freiburger. For more local heritage, head for Schwabentor and Martinstor, the two remaining old city gates.
Alternatively, for a more relaxed way to spend time in Freiburg, visit the manmade lake at Seepark or the city’s Botanic Garden. Just a short distance from the historic city center you can hike up the Schlossberg to reach the tower at the top of the hill, and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Black Forest.
The city is perhaps best known to the world as the home of the University of Freiburg, one of the most famous German universities and among the oldest in the world, dating back to 1457. It is home today to 22,000 students, giving the city a strong student vibe.