Life in and around Freiburg
Live in Freiburg
Freiburg is a very young and lively city with a highly intensive cultural scene. The town with its approximately 200.000 inhabitants is characterized by 25,000 students at the University of Freiburg, 15% among from abroad, half European and non-European, which adds to the international flair of the town. The University also offers courses in over 70 indoor and outdoor activities for students. Football fans can enjoy first division matches at the grounds of the SC Freiburg.
Freiburg’s climate and the fact that is lies between France and Switzerland, gives the town an almost Mediterranean touch. The local cuisine of Baden adds to this southern charm and is crowned with numerous first class restaurants in and around Freiburg.
The towns world famous symbol is the Cathedral with its characteristic tower, which can be seen from afar and is the only gothic Cathedral to be constructed in the Middle Ages. The town itself was founded in 1120 by the Dukes of Zähringen, who also founded Bern and Basel in Switzerland.
The unique location of the city is highlighted by its surroundings. The Black Forest is one of Germany’s highest mountain ranges, ideal terrain not only for nature lovers, hillwalking and other outdoor activities, but also for skiers, mountain bikers, and paragliders. The nearby vineyards of Kaiserstuhl and Markgräfler Land provides Freiburg and beyond, with excellent wines such as "Weissburgunder" and "Spätburgunder".
The cultural life of Freiburg is also very diverse. A big concert hall, several theaters, and many clubs offer events on a regular basis. During the summer time, various open air concerts and festivals take place, the Zeltmusikfestival ZMF being one of the biggest.
Freiburg is also famous as the Green City, reflected through the large network of cycle paths and the many solar panels on public and private buildings. In the South of Freiburg, the district Vauban was built as "a sustainable model district" on the site of a former French military base, providing space for more than 5,000 inhabitants and 600 jobs. All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard and private cars mainly remain outside the district. Vauban attracts architects and town planners from all over the world.
Residents and visitors alike agree that the quality of life in and around Freiburg is one of the best in Central Europe. Climate, location, scientific diversity and culture, make it a particularly attractive town.
Live 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.