We arrived much later than initially planned so we knew that we would only have very limited time to explore the family-friendly must-see places in Freiburg. We managed to squeeze in some kid-approved agenda the following day which basically meant . . a go-slow walk around the city center, city park and playground, and an ice cream shop that was once home to the Mama of this free electrons family.
Earlier in the day we had a family fun day of driving from Luxembourg–the city of a count who married a mermaid–and spontaneously visiting Schengen and Strasbourg on the 27th day of our go-slow, camping-in-one-tent, road trip last summer, from Spain to Poland and back again. We finally arrived at our camping site in Freiburg at night. And we still needed to pitch a tent before meeting an old family friend for some hearty German dinner and Kristallweizen!
It has been more than 15 years since the last time I (Ania) was in Freiburg. It was like the whole new world for me back then, in 2003, and the first time I was earning my own money!
As a student, I would come to this charming town, located on the edge of the magnificent Schwarzwald (the Black Forest in southern Germany), to work in an ice-cream cafe. Not just any ice-cream place, believe you me, but THE best ice-cream place in town! The original Italian gelateria called “Eisland” run by a fantastic and very entertaining Italian couple with whom I was lucky to have become friends.
Three summer months, three years in a row. This was when I discovered that you can get addicted to ice-cream! Luckily, I used to BIKE then EVERYWHERE, so most of the calories would get burnt. . . well, eventually!
When entering Freiburg I had that feeling–you know, that feeling of returning to a place where you spent some of the best times of your youth! It made me want to go back to being a student again, just for a bit!
Now, instead of Eisland, there’s an artesanal ice cream shop called Gelatologia at the same exact place on Habsburgerstrasse. I certainly went back in time once I tasted something called “Spaghetti Eis“–vanilla ice cream in the shape of noodles with a strawberry red sauce on top and whipped cream at the bottom, and grated white chocolate inside! YUMMY-YUM-YUM-YUM, GIMME SOME!
Even though, the original owners are no longer there, the place brought so many pleasant memories which I could now share with my children too.
Freiburg has a lot to offer for the little ones as well as the grown-ups.
Once you have eaten your ice-cream, make sure you make your way back to the center (25 minutes walk down the Habsburgerstrasse).
Since our kids got an energy booster, we needed to bring them first to a park. We chose one of the coolest parks we have seen so far, the Stadtgarten. It was spacious, clean, colorful. . . and with many attractions for kids and adults. We could have easily spent the whole day with a picnic and all kinds of freeplay for the children.
There is a cafe where you can drink the Hefeweizen or Kristallwitzen (both very good beers, and the latter. . . a must-have especially in the summer) while you admire the mountain views surrounding the park.
You can also catch the Freiburg cable car (or funicular) to get to one of the viewpoints on top of a hill (for us it seemed like a mountain though, which gave us an excuse not to climb it at this time). We’d been there before and you should check it out!
Once the kiddos satisfied their monkey-tree-climbing instincts, we were off to the actual center, the Munsterplaz with its beautiful cathedral.
We were there at the weekend (on a Saturday), making it extra special for us because they had an open market, right on the square next to the cathedral.
Everything looked gorgeous! Ripe fruits and veggies, eggs, pastry. Basically all you can think of, they had it!
We left that place on empty stomachs though because the prices were quite expensive. Given our experience shopping for CHEEEAAAPPP produce in Jerez, the German market seemed criminal! 50 euro-cents per egg and 8 euros for a kilo of plums??!!?? Are you kidding me!?! WTF-reiburg!!!
Hey, no worries! There is always a nice and cheap alternative called Penny Store (ok, ok.., it is more cheap than nice…). We shopped for non-bio and non-eco food that still kept us happy and fueled for the next phase of our road trip to Switzerland.
I couldn’t help but notice that over the years, Freiburg has become very popular and touristy!
The main street (Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse) was so full of people that it was a challenge to get through! If you are there and get tired of the crowds, you can always jump into Karstadt department store.
It used to be one of my favourite places in Frieburg (not that I would buy a lot, rather just go there like people go to museums, looking but no touching 🙂 and cooling off especially in the summer.
For those of you who rather crave for some intellectual stimulation, there is a fantastic book store called “Thalia“, right across the street from Karstadt.
Hey, don’t forget to try the currywurst with sauerkraut!! Tastes best with a beer stein full of Hefewizen! YUMMY-YUM-YUM-YUM, GIMME SOME!. . . AGAIN!
Here’s a family video to BRING A BIT OF FREIBURG TO YOU!
For those of you, especially with children, who cannot be there, here’s a video of a family-friendly day in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany during a 6-week camping road trip across Europe in the summer. In 6 minutes, this family video shows the Stadgarten (city park) playground, open market at the Freiburger Münster (cathedral), a little bit of the Alstadt (the old city center), Camping Hirzberg, and an Italian ice cream shop. Yummy!
Do you wanna save money on your next vacation? Try camping! Check out our review of Convenient Camping Hirzberg in Freiburg, Germany
Where to next? Yup, we’re slowly catching up to our posts. . . Next up: Bern, Switzerland. . . to spend some time with friends whom we had met initially in Kyrgyzstan, then Switzerland, then Spain and the back again. . . It feels like this whole trip is about seeing old friends. . . and making new ones too. So nice to be. . . FREE. . . electrons. 😉
If you are in the area, near Freiburg, and have a chance to visit Strasbourg, even if you only have an hour, go see the FREE self-guided tour of the European Parliament! It’s excellent, enriching and entertaining, even for our young kids (7 and 4 years old).
And, if you are on the way to Luxembourg (or coming from it) make sure to teach the kids a bit of geo-political history and visit Schengen. . . You know, where the whole idea of a “European Union without borders” was born?