Life around Freiburg
Within the last 50 years, the upper Rhine valley has undertaken a tremendous change from a rural area, narrowed by borders, to the heart of Europe, with Milan and Paris being closer than the German capital Berlin. Since August 2013, a TGV train directly connects Freiburg and Paris, in 3.5 hours. Nearer neighbours to Freiburg are Basel in Switzerland and Straßbourg in France. Today, living in one country and working or shopping in another has become normality. All this contributes to a highly international flair of the upper Rhine valley, but still preserving its regional character.
The region, rich in culture and nature attracts many tourists. More than 9 million overnight-stays are counted each year and besides Basel, Freiburg and Straßbourg, many hidden treasures wait for the curious to be discovered. The Blackforest, flanking Freiburg in the east, has lots to offer, besides the characteristic cuckoo clocks and traditional costumes. The Feldberg, 30 minutes from Freiburg, invites for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, the small town Triberg attracts visitors with the biggest waterfall in Germany. And the open-air museum Vogtsbauernhof in Gutach is a highlight for children. Optimal sports opportunities for hiking, mountainbiking, paragliding and many other activities can be found here and in many other places.
In the French region of Alsace, Colmar is the closest town (35 km) to Freiburg. Its medieval city center, the famous Isenheim Altarpiece, painted in the early 16th century, and excellent shopping opportunities, make Colmar always worth a visit. Just a few kilometeres next to Colmar is the village Riquewihr, which is crowned as one of the most beautiful villages in France, because of its almost completely preserved historic viallge center, dating back from the 16th century.
From Freiburg, the door to Switzerland is Basel. Many museums reside in or next to the swiss city, e.g the Foundation Beyeler, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and at the German side of the border the Vitra Design Museum. Basel is also called the "pharmaceutical city" since the headquaters of various pharmaceutical companies are located here. From there, some of the most prominent Swiss mountains like the Eiger and the Matterhorn as well as many other more hidden treasures of nature can be reached easily.
Photo credits (Header): Rainer Sturm, Sven Richter, Matthias Lohse, Manfred Gerber, Moritz Rothacker/ all pixelio.de