Get a taste of the Black Forest and Flammkuchen with these things to do in Freiburg

Three pictures of beautiful buildings in Freiburg, Germany

Last Updated on 23rd March 2019 by Sarah and Justin

We decided to end our 13-month world trip back in the country where we truly discovered our love of travel together: Germany. We started in Freiburg im Breisgau, a small city in the Black Forest. We had visited Freiburg once before and loved for its overall relaxed vibe, its pretty location, and its food (specifically Flammkuchen). We were excited to return and our memories did not deceive us. Freiburg is indeed one of the loveliest and most enjoyable cities we’ve visited. And, as a bonus, it’s the sunniest city in Germany! We’re happy to share our recommendations for things to do in Freiburg and where to eat the best Flammkuchen.

Things to do in Freiburg

Get out into the Black Forest

View of Freiburg including its cathedral from the Schlossberg

Freiburg serves as a gateway to the Black Forest for many tourists. Even if you’re not fully exploring the area (we haven’t), you can still see some of what the Black Forest has to offer right in Freiburg. In the middle of the city is Schlossberg, a big hill that was once fortified. You can hike up the whole thing, but we took the Schlossbergbahn (the wonderfully-named funicular) up most of the way and then hiked a bit further to the top view point (and yes, Sarah needed her portable oxygen concentrator for that).

View of Freiburg in Germany from Schlossberg

It was nice to walk in the forest up there, but honestly, the views are best at the level where the funicular lets you off. There you can see the entire city of Freiburg, including its beautiful cathedral, spread out right in front of you. If you want to take a longer hike, you’ll have access to many paths and trails.

Signs with distances to other places in the Black Forest in Freiburg, Germany

After taking the funicular up, we walked down. If you do the same, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of Freiburg’s Old Town (Altstadt).

Explore the Freiburg Old Town

Want to see colorful and half-timbered buildings as you walk along cobblestone streets? Freiburg’s Old Town is the place for you! There are also two old city gates (Schwabentor and Martinstor).

The big gorgeous Freiburger Münster also deserves some attention. The Gothic cathedral has lovely pink brick and flying buttresses.

People enjoying a market in Münsterplatz in Freiburg, Germany

During the summer, Münsterplatz is bustling with a great green market. And during the holidays, you can enjoy some Glühwein at their Christmas Market.

Christmas market stalls closed at night in Freiburg, Germany

<< Want to visit other beautiful places in Germany? Read our post about what to do in Nuremberg next >>

Venture further afield

Round columned building - Stadttheater in Freiburg

During our first visit to Freiburg, we mainly stuck to the Old Town. This year, we had more time and had to do mundane, long-term travel things like laundry, so got to explore the non-touristic parts of the city a bit further. Freiburg is a university town, and we found some  interesting looking buildings in that area of the city.

View of Wiwilibrücke - a small blue bridge over train tracks with a mountain in the back, Freiburg

We’d also recommend going back near the Freiburg train station, to see this scenic view of the blue Wiwilibrücke against a backdrop of mountains. The bridge is a popular place to have a sit, and even though it’s not as precarious as it might look from afar, we weren’t that adventurous. If you cross the bridge, you’ll find Herz-Jesu-Kirche. It’s a bit kitschy looking with its bright green spires. Much different from the grand Freiburger Münster.

Enjoy the Freiburg Bächle

Colorful rainboots in a small canal - a Bächle - in Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg is also known for its canals. These aren’t like the grand waterways you’ll find in Italy or the Netherlands, but rather narrow gutters that line most of the streets in the city. They’re called Bächle in German and locals say that if you accidentally fall in one (or more like step in one since they’re quite shallow), you’ll marry a Freiburger.

Colorful buildings in front of the Bächle in Freiburg, Germany

We were most recently in Freiburg in June and one of the things people like to do most there in the summer is sit with their feet in the Bächle. You can take your shoes off and cool your feet in the Bächle that have running water, or do like we did, and just use the dry ones as a resting spot. But whichever you choose, definitely bring a beer or a picnic.

Don’t miss the crocodile of Freiburg

A canal at night in Freiburg, Germany

Okay, so there is one larger canal in Freiburg, the Gewerbekanal. Perpetually swimming in the canal is a crocodile. We quite like him (and the German sense of humor in general). And the canal itself is quite pretty as well.

Crocodile sculpture in a canal - Das Krokodil in Freiburg, Germany

Where to eat Flammkuchen in Freiburg

Flammkuchen is one of our favorite foods. We first discovered it in its French form – tarte flambée – on our honeymoon in Strasbourg. Freiburg is right across the border from the Alsatian region of France, so shares in this culinary delight. Flammkuchen is somewhat like extremely thin crust pizza, but the dough is much thinner and much lighter. The classic recipe is a crème fraîche base topped with onions, bacon, and cheese.

In Freiburg, there are many places to get Flammkuchen, and many different varieties. You can even make your own Flammkuchen (and enjoy a great selection of beer) at the very popular pub, Schlappen.

Or eat a slightly fancier version at Der Kaiser, which is about a 15-minute walk outside the touristic center.

Where to drink the best beer in Germany: Hausbrauerei Feierling

Justin inside Hausbrauerei Feierling in Freiburg, Germany

As is evident on this blog, we are beer lovers. And we’ve tasted a lot of beer in Germany. We can say with confidence that the best beer we’ve had in Germany is in Freiburg at Hausbrauerei Feierling. The beer to have at Feierling is their unfiltered pilsner. It’s perfectly balanced, not too heavy, and quite refreshing. Hausbrauerei Feierling has an indoor bar/restaurant open year-round and an outdoor beer garden open when the weather is warm enough. It’s the most popular place to get beer in the city so come early!


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28 thoughts on “Get a taste of the Black Forest and Flammkuchen with these things to do in Freiburg

  1. Annika says:

    Makes me so happy to see when people explore other places than Munich, Berlin and Hamburg. I think Freiburg is absolutely lovely and I really love a good Flammkuchen (luckily my Mum makes amazing one!).

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Oh wow I’m jealous! Would love a real home-cooked Flammkuchen. Even though it’s a specialty of the region, we have seen it more and more all over the country (and Europe!) as the years go by. We love Germany so much and have tried to see smaller, less visited spots.

  2. Cory says:

    Super useful! We just moved to Budapest for a few months so we can explore Europe by car. This post is exactly what we needed to add to our itinerary! Thank you very much

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Oh wow! I would love to spend more time in Budapest… only visited for a few days several years ago. It’s such a gorgeous, interesting, delicious city.

  3. Runaway Brit says:

    You know, Germany always surprises me for some reason. I visited a few years ago, and really didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. We didn’t get to Freiburg that time, but it looks lovely there.

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Totally agree. We’ve been to many cities and towns in Germany and never cease to be surprised by its differences and loveliness.

  4. Abby says:

    Was looking at your pics and thinking how similar Freiburg looks to Graz in Austria. Just did a google search and found out they’re both eco-cities. Adding Freiburg to my bucket list now. And that Flammkuchen looks absolutely droolworthy. Gonna go whip some homemade version up right now 😉

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Oh that’s cool! We really want to go to Graz. When we were on a safari in Botswana years ago, we met a couple who lives there and have always wanted to make a trip. It looks like such a great place.

  5. Michelle says:

    I am truly in love with Germany. The people are so nice and the charm of the building and streets is just amazing. Thank you for adding another German city to my must see list 🙂

  6. Joanna Davis says:

    I have heard many good things about Freiburg from my friends who have visited this city but wow, your photos are so pretty and so make me want to visit myself. I love the views over the city from the top of the hill.

  7. Ann says:

    Love your blog, was in Freiburg again last week, love it, but staying in the old town. Found the crocodile quite by accident. Can’t wait for another visit, as this was my first summer visit. In December it DOES get cold. X

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Thanks for letting us know! Freiburg is such a great city. That cute croc is easy to miss. We love Germany in December but it was nice to enjoy some different weather too.

  8. Valentina Velasco says:

    Love your post. We are going to Friburgo in April with my daughter (who is studying at the University of Darmstand) and my husband… your photos an tips where really helpfull…love your pictures….love your attitude…

  9. Pingback: Flammkuchen with White Asparagus » Travel Cook Repeat

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