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Freiburg im Breisgau occupies a spot in Germany’s beautiful Black Forest region and is the perfect gateway to explore nearby spa towns, waterfalls and lakes – however, it also affords the opportunity to venture across the border to France or Switzerland to see some of the enchanting towns and cultural sites Germany’s neighbours have to offer. Here are our ideas for the best day trips to take from Freiburg im Breisgau.
Spa and wellness lovers should treat themselves to a day trip to Baden-Baden. Given that the popular spa town is only 100 kilometres (62 miles) and a 45-minute train ride away, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t seize the opportunity. Once here, the Friedrichsbad or Caracella Therme will help you to unwind and relax in pools filled with thermal water, long list of spa and beauty treatments and delicious food. If there’s still time left in the day, head on over the old town, take a tour of the New Castle or visit the ruins of the ancient Roman Bath.
It takes just over an hour by train or car to get to Strasbourg in the French Grand Est region. German and French influences are weaved into the culture and cityscape which boasts with the best of both traditional and modern aspects of life. Somehow, the cosmopolitan flair complements the city which is full of historical sights. A day in town is just about enough to visit the Gothic cathedral, stroll around the Petite France quarter with its quaint half-timbered houses and canal views and explore the Art Nouveau architecture of the Neustadt district.
Colmar in the Alsace region of France is one of those villages which seem to have sprung out a fairytale. Colourful half-timbered houses seam the cobbled streets and quiet canals, resembling the adorable towns you often find in the German and Swiss countryside. You can easily spend an entire day ambling along the canals, enjoy the picture-perfect vistas and indulge in culinary treats – bakeries here often sell goodies from neighbouring countries: German pretzels, Flammkuchen, quiches and Swiss caracs.
Curling up to the German and French border of Switzerland, Basel is only an hour-long drive down from Freiburg. Though often overlooked by tourists, the city is a worthy day trip if you’re in the area. The top spot on the must-see list is Basel Münster, an imposing cathedral which sits perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of the city. The remainder of the day is best spent trying cheese fondue, strolling through the old town and browsing the speciality boutiques and handicraft shops which occupy many of impeccably-preserved historical townhouses, or visiting one of the many museums.
Being the largest natural lake of the Black Forest region, Titisee is considered one of the major attractions in the area. You can get there in under an hour and the trip will be rewarded with stunning vistas and plenty of opportunities to go for a swim, take up windsurfing or jump aboard a sailboat for a trip across the lake. If you’d rather stay dry, you can explore the vast network of hiking trails and enjoy the views of Titisee from one of the many vantage points. If you’re here in winter and it’s cold enough, you may even get the chance to ice skate across the lake.
The road between Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt is known as Schwarzwald Hochstraße, and is considered the most scenic stretch – a setup which just call for an epic road trip. You can stop along the way to explore short circular walking trails, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges, valleys and sprawling fields of the Black Forest and shop for souvenirs and have a slice of Black Forest gateau in one of the small villages in between.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Triberg, but the town 65 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of Freiburg has several noteworthy attractions which easily fill a day of sightseeing. The most spectacular sight is the Triberg Waterfalls – the highest in all of Germany. For a small fee, visitors can climb up the narrow path to a lookout point for unobstructed views of the sheer masses of water rushing down the cliff. The House of 1,000 Clocks is more on the mellow end of the scale but offers a delightful collection of German cuckoo clocks, while the Black Forest Museum sums up the region’s history.