Went on a quick two night trip as an early birthday present for myself late last week. The plan was to go somewhere within a short driving distance of Stuttgart that we hadn't visited before, we settled on one night in Freiburg in the Black Forest and one night in Colmar in Alsace. This is the Freiburg report. We left relatively late in the day as this was a real last minute trip, didn't decide we were going at all until noon. I made a quick reservation via booking.com for Hotel Schwarzwalderhof for 89 euro for a double. A little higher than I would've liked, but consistent with the more affordable hotels in the center of town. The drive was quick although we missed a turn at one point and ended up within a kilometer or two of Switzerland - whoops! Driving into Freiburg was easy, and the parking garages around the "ring road" of the old city were convienent. The one we choose by chance (Schlossberg) was only a block from our hotel. The hotel has to be one of the nicest I've stayed at in Europe, period, so I think it's a great value for the price. (It is an RS pick, but I didn't know this until we were on our way. Also recommended by Lonely Planet). Really nicely decorated, fantastic bedding, AMAZING bed, large bathroom with towel heater and giant super modern shower, just a really beautiful room with a view of the Munster tower.
Although there were some local specialities that could be tasty, on the whole Badischer food didn't seem to differ that much from Swabaian food, so we decided to take advantage of Freiburg's status as a university town to get some cheap ethnic grub at the Markthalle. It reminded me of a food court back in the bay area in Emeryville - a bunch of cheap food stands of different cusienes in a covered hall. It was a lot of fun just to try to figure out where to eat. I eventually went to the Afghani booth and had an amazing sampler plate of all the dishes offered. Some of the most delicious, flavorful food I've had in a while, everything was just really excellent. My husband had your standard not-so-great German Chinese food, but it satisfied him. We explored the town by nightfall and enjoyed window shopping in a few of the posh wine shops before everything closed. The little canals/gutters running through the town are really charming. Socialized with the students at a silly place called "Shooting Stars" that specializes in - you guessed it, shots! With amusing names like "Chuck Norris" and "YOLO". Walked around some more, basically doing a backwards version of the RS walking tour at night. We ended up at a really nice local pub near our hotel on Konviktstrase called the Altstadtlokal Alter Simon. Looks like the kind of place that would be full of older Germans in Stuttgart, but this is a university town, so most people were under 30. Enjoyed the youthful vibe of the town in general. Cont.
Unfortunately the beds at the hotel were so great that we didn't get up in time for breakfast at the hotel, or for exploring the city by day. I'm OK with that, it was really great sleep. We did get coffee and quiche after checking out at Cafe Domino on the corner before checking out Freiburg's market at the Munsterplatz. What a great market! In addition to the usual produce and wurst stands, there was a lot of homemade brandies and vinegars and jams, and some interesting local items on sale (like strange looking house shoes made of straw). We got some mirabellenwasser and tried the local sausage, a lange rote ("long red one") with onions. Toured the Munster, which is one of the most beautiful I've seen although the ongoing restoration does diminish the view a bit, and went into a game store and bought some christmas cards at the Munster's shop (located two blocks away). Went to the TI to hopefully get some good tourist driving maps but didn't find a whole lot there for free. And that was it, we were off to the border, to France! Looking forward to exploring the southern black forest more in the summer. The weather was predictably grey and cold, so we didn't bother with going up to any of the hills nearby for views.
Thanks for your report. I remember taking trips to the Titisee from Freiburg which was lovely (maybe not in this season). I rarely see the Titisee listed in guidebooks but it is appreciated by locals.
We visited Freiburg a couple of years ago as a day trip from Staufen. You need to go back when you have time to explore the altstadt more thoroughly. It's really nice. We were also there during market day. Could not believe how much was on offer and how many people were there. You might also want to add Staufen and Gengenbach (stayed there on another trip) to the lists of places to visit in the Black Forest. Staufen is small and could be seen in a half day as could Gengenbach.