Spectacular and historic Freiburg im Breisgau, commonly known just as Freiburg, sits on the edge of the mountainous Black Forest in southern Germany, a photogenic old city that was founded in 1120 that lays claim to having the most sunshine in the whole country. Life in this vibrant university city centers on the Altstadt’s cobbled and arcaded Rathausplatz (City Square), lined with Gothic churches and civic buildings interspersed with buzzy cafés and bars. The tangle of surrounding streets are stuffed full of medieval buildings, from half-timbered and gabled townhouses to the massive 11th-century Gothic Münster (Minister) encrusted with sculptured biblical scenes and adorned with dazzling stained-glass windows. One of the Freiburg’s stranger constructions is the bizarre Stühlinger Kirche (Stühlinger church), completed in 1897 and topped with bright-green tiled spires.
Freiburg’s proximity to the Black Forest National Park makes it the number-one base from which to explore its vineyards, pretty villages, crystal-clear lakes and scenic hiking trails; several way-marked walks begin at the Schlossbergbahn cable-car station just outside town. It is also close to Germany’s answer to Disneyland; Europa-Park is located near Freiburg at Rust, and has a vast array of rides, shows and amusements for a day packed with family fun.
Freiburg is just over an hour from Strasburg in France by car on the A5 motorway; exit Freiburg-Mitte.