Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Freiburg im Breisgau

Last Saturday Boyfriend and I decided to go on a shopping trip to Freiburg im Breisgau (yep, I finally learnt to write it correctly!), a tranquil town in the south of Germany. We both needed some winter garments and as clothing - and everything, except for petrol - is cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland we knew that Germany was the way to go. The girly side of me always gets excited when it comes to shopping so I spent Friday evening doing my research. I eyed the Mango catalogue until I learnt it by heart, made a list of the things I wanted needed and looked for the necessary addresses on the internet. And then came the shock. No Mango in Freiburg. Neither Zara nor HunkeMöller. "D'OH!," said the Homer Simpson side of me, "H&M will have to do then!". And it did. I found a gorgeous and bargainous autumn/winter jacket to substitute my old, battered H&M jacket which has a done a good service for five years now (yep, I do like H&M). Shopping aside, we had a fun time in Freiburg, though it was freaking cold! Seriously, it was around 5ºC and it was drizzling for most of the morning but later in the afternoon the sun appeared shyly in the sky and Freiburg looked even prettier.


Freiburg im Breisgau is tucked in the Black Forest and is approximately 45 minutes by car from Basel. Freiburg has a very renowned university and like many university cities in Europe, it has a very lively feeling to it. The city centre is very compact - actually, all the addresses I needed were in the Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse - and is perfect for walking around, though the city is crisscrossed by trams. The city centre of Freiburg is similar to that of most cities whose history goes back to the Middle Ages or further: cobbled streets, large market squares, a cathedral here and a church there, historical buildings (genuine or not) and sometimes, even a remaining gate or two of the old city walls.



The streets of Freiburg have a very distinctive sign, the Bächle. Most streets in the city centre have open gutters that carry water throughout the city, originally intended to suffocate fires or for livestock to drink and currently used to cool the city during the summer and well, to embellish the city. At the end of the Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse lies the Martinstor, one of the reamining gates of the city which dates back to the 13th century. Past this gate is the university quarter and besides the main university building there are quite a few cafés with terraces outside. At the other side of the Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse, on a perpendicular street, is the market square with the Münster, or cathedral, in the middle. On Saturdays there is a market selling fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and nuts, flowers and some typical handcraft from the region. The market square is really busy and there are also many stalls selling all kind of wurst for very reasonable prices.







Freiburg has also been on the headlines in recent year for its reputation as green city - some even point it as the greenest city in the world. Freiburg tries to make the most of solar energy and other sources of renewable energy and in the past decade has been busy building new neighbourhoods made entirely of sustainable houses and appartment blocks. In the middle of the Black Forest, Freiburg is surrounded by lush scenery and you can spot some trees from almost any point of the city, as it counts with many parks as well. And this is one of the things I liked most about Freiburg, that sense of freedom that comes from knowing that you're fully surrounded by nature. Even in the city centre, it didn't take you long to find a green-going yellowish landscape and I'm sure there are many hiking possibilities not far from the city. I should do my research for next time!

View from the market square
Have you ever been to Freiburg im Breisgau or to the Black Forest? 
Any recommendations for things to see or do in the neighbourhood?
Have a lovely Wednesday!

6 comments:

  1. Qué bonitas fotos de Freiburg( supongo que será Friburgo) . Las ciudades centroeuropeas tienen un colorido muy bonito. Espero que compraras muchas cositas en H&M, Irene( ya que no había ni Mango ni Zara...no me lo puedo creer)Bss:)

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  2. german architecture is so beautiful. i love their signs and such. so glad you found a coat Irene. your other one got good wear :) i always get frustrated when a place doesn't have certain stores. maybe in time they will. i think everywhere is cheaper than Switzerland. HaHaHa
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  3. I have only been to Freiburg once but I loved it a lot. I have only been to a couple of smaller towns in the area but I forgot the names. I can't believe they don't have a Zara in Freiburg! Every town should have one. :)

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  4. I love how lively it is, all the greens. No Zara and Mango. :( Glad you were able to find great stuff. I like how McDonalds was camouflaged within the architecture.

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  5. Son unas fotos preciosas, desprenden mucho encanto. Espero que disfrutaras de la visita.
    Un besazo enorme guapa
    Thiscanbeperfect.blogspot.com

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  6. What a beautiful town! I love seeing the trees beginning to change their colors!

    I am in bad need of new winter clothing, but I am almost completely apathetic when it comes to shopping. I wish I were rich enough to have someone do it for me. :o) Although I do like the clothes in H&M, I cannot stand actually going into the store. Maybe it's just London, but it is so packed with people that it's almost impossible to get any decent shopping done!

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