Freiburg, oh how I love you! This quaint, charming city wasn’t on the original itinerary. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until we met three friendly Germans [ who currently live there ] while on a free walking tour in Bruges, Belgium. Ally and I had been toying with the idea of replacing our time in Copenhagen, Denmark with a city in close proximity to Berlin, Germany. Therefore, we didn’t have to think twice about rerouting the itinerary to visit our new German friends. Although a bit far from Berlin, the trip down to southwest Germany was absolutely worth it, as we had the most unforgettable weekend. Paul, Kira, Benny and Leon were incredible hosts, showing us trendy cocktail lounges, casual biergartens, a night out at a dance studio and even an afternoon at a local food truck festival.
As I learned from our time in Celle, spending time with locals is the best way to fully experience a culture. I am forever grateful for the weekend spent in Freiburg, and I hope I have an opportunity to return the favor should our friends venture over to the USA one day.
Accommodation: Airbnb about 15 minutes from the city center. I recommend staying closer to the city center, as everything you will want to do/see is there.
Pretty cool: Get your German food fix for lunch, so that you can dine for dinner at the “all you care to eat” sushi restaurant, Oishii Sushi & Grill. It is unique in that your order is placed on iPads at your table, and you hardly have any interaction with your server. There are 10 separate rounds to order food/drinks, with a five-minute break in between rounds. It was a perfect way to try different types of sushi. Come hungry and leave happy. Or in my case, leave sad that you might never experience that kind of greatness again. It’s seriously that amazing. After dinner, grab a delicious German beer at Schlappen, a pub located in the heart of the city.
Don’t miss it: Spend your morning sightseeing and walking through the Freiburger Münster cathedral to view the beautiful stain glass windows. Check out the first window on your left when entering the church. Germans love brezels [ soft pretzels ] so much that they incorporated one in the stain glass. After you’ve knocked out the sightseeing [ which won’t take long, Freiburg is a small town after all ], enjoy the afternoon in the Hausbrauerei Feierling Biergarten.
Wish I had more time for: A day-long hike in the Black Forest, which is also home of the infamous cuckoo clocks. However, we did a short climb up the Schlossberg, a small [ but steep ] hill in the center of the city, which offers spectacular views of the city below and the Black Forest in the distance. Afterwards, grab a beer at Kastaniengarten, a biergarten that sits on the top of the Schlossberg hill. You’ll feel as if you are in the clouds.
Must try food/drink: I tried my first Döner Kebab in Freiburg. Although a Turkish pita-style sandwich, it is found all over Germany and throughout Europe. It’s suitable for “lunch on the go,” a midnight snack or both [ why not?! ]. Gin is also trendy in Germany right now. To fit in with the locals, order a “Gin Basil Smash” or any cocktail made with Monkey 47 gin. It’s quite delicious. Lastly, you can’t visit the Black Forest and not try Black Forest cake, essentially chocolate cake topped with cherries.
Here’s a hint: Rumor has it, if you step in one of the canals that run through the city, you will marry a man from Freiburg. Ladies, if you are dreaming of a life with a German man, go ahead and dip those toes! Also, Freiburg is well-known for dancing. Almost all men and women learn to dance [ rumba, two-step, tango, waltz, etc. ] at a young age. The dancing studios, which are located all over town, hold cocktail-style dance events on the weekends. It was such a neat experience, and of course one of the first things I did after the weekend is look up dance lessons in my hometown.
[ Next stop ]: Train to Interlaken, Switzerland, which is the most beautiful train ride I’ve taken, specifically the area from Bern, Switzerland to Interlaken, Switzerland. Sit on the left side of the train, and keep your eyes open.
Visited Freiburg before? Tell me about your experience here.
[ Follow the adventure to Interlaken ]