5 days: 2 days in Freiburg + 1 day in Markgräflerland + 2 days in Basel
Freiburg–Weil am Rhein (approx. 1 h 40 min by car/50 min by train)
Weil am Rhein–Basel (approx. 15 min by car/25 min by train)
Please check the current travel regulations of your state/country.
By the way, our flexible rebooking options mean you still have plenty of possibilities even if your plans change at short notice!
Stop 1 – Freiburg
GETTING ABOUT IN THE CITY
With a digital assistant: the best way to discover the car-free historic Old Town is on foot. For anyone who wants a bit of guidance, the Stadtführung Freiburg app (Android) provides virtual city tours. Or you can dive into Freiburg’s past at over 100 locations with the help of historical photos. The Freiburg Zeitreise app (iOS & Android) takes you on a journey through time!
Follow your feet: of course, another option is just to see where your feet take you. Simply head in a straight line from our Motel One and you’re soon in the heart of the city centre at Bertoldsbrunnen, where four sections of the city meet. This is the intersection for all tram lines and the main shopping street, Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse – or ‘Kajo’, as the locals call it. From here, it’s just a couple of minutes to the Old and New Town Hall (you can hear its bells chime at 12 noon each day!) or to Martinstor and Schwabentor, two medieval gate towers.
However you get about – watch out! Freiburg’s network of ‘Bächle’ – small, water-filled runnels originating from the 13th century when they served as a canal system – criss-cross the Old Town over a total of 15.5 km, contributing to the city’s ‘Mediterranean’ charm. Legend has it that if you fall in a Bächle, you’ll marry someone from Freiburg.
SATISFY THE SENSES
A visit to the Münstermarkt (Monday–Saturday, 7:30 am–1/2:00 pm) is basically a must. Surrounding Freiburg’s famous cathedral, you’ll find the lively hustle and bustle of the market, featuring fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, craftwork, and regional and exotic wares. Freiburg’s legendary sausage variety, the ‘Lange Rote’, is, of course, also on offer. But there’s also plenty on offer for vegetarians. And here’s an insider tip: the best cheesecake to be found far and wide awaits you at ‘Stefans Käsekuchen’ (Tuesday–Saturday, 8:00 am–2:00 pm).
PANORAMIC VIEWS GUARANTEED
Royal: for anyone who wants to get out of the city centre for a moment and surround themselves with nature, and also enjoy one of the best views over Freiburg and the surrounding area, it’s time to head up to the Schlossberg. Take it nice and easy with the Schlossberg Railway, bringing you directly from the Stadtgarten city garden up to the Schlossberg restaurant Dattler. Here, you can relax on the terrace and enjoy a panoramic view of Freiburg and the Rhine plateau, accompanied by an authentic Black Forest gateau and other delicacies. Feeling athletic? Go a step further and climb the Schlossberg tower.
Chic: a cool evening drink on the rooftop terrace of the bar and restaurant Skajo , with views across Freiburg, the Schlossberg and sometimes as far as the Vosges mountains, will open up whole new perspectives!
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
The Dreisam valley, just beyond Freiburg’s gates (15 min by car/25 min by public transport), offers so many walking and cycling routes with a wide range of difficulty levels, that you could spend days, weeks or even months exploring. Challenge accepted?
The Schauinsland is Freiburg’s nearest mountain, standing at 1,283.9 metres (35 min by car/1.5 h by public transport). You can reach the top by cable car, on foot (approx. 4 h) or by car. Once you’re at the peak, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Freiburg, the Rhine plateau, the French Vosges mountains and, on a good day, even the Swiss Alps. And if the weather’s not so good, simply head into the Mine Museum. Amateur detectives can even solve puzzles out on the Schauinsland instead of in a locked room, on one of the Outdoor Escape Walks from Berggeheimnis.
The Kaiserstuhl is the mountain range north of Freiburg. It extends over an area of around 100 square kilometres and includes 16 nature reserves. The town of Ihringen is considered to be the warmest in Germany (25 min by car/public transport). It’s a place for dreamy strolls among the vines, popping into one of the many traditional wine taverns, or embarking on a circular cycle tour along the Rhine and through the Kaiserstuhl, taking in the winegrowing village of Achkarren (here, you’ll find the Kaiserstuhl’s museum of winegrowing) and continuing on to Oberrotweil (approx. 3 h).
The Black Forest is the perfect place for some exploration, for example on a hike through the Ravenna Gorge with its historic stone arch bridge near the village of Hinterzarten – especially in summer, it’s lovely and cool! Alternatively, you could just jump into one of the nearby lakes Titisee or Schluchsee (approx. 50 min by car/1 h by public transport)! Or you could visit the Todtnau waterfall, one of the highest natural waterfalls in Germany, which has been a protected site since 1987 and plunges 97 metres into the valley between the villages of Todtnauberg and Aftersteg. One more stop is needed to complete your Freiburg experience: a visit to the cuckoo clock factory in Schonach (1 h by car/2 h by train), which is also where the clocks in our Motel One Freiburg come from.
Stopover – Markgräflerland
Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine, picturesque landscapes – here, the journey really is the destination. The drive to Basel via the Badische Weinstrasse (Baden Wine Road) is, as the name suggests, primarily all about one thing: vineyards and their liquid gold. But hikers, historians, nature lovers and design fans should all allow themselves some time here as well.
- Just like in Tuscany: you can either follow the Badische Weinstrasse right along the Rhine, or you can choose one of the alternative routes that take you deeper into the wine country, such as a tour through Markgräflerland. Here, Pinot Gris, Chasselas and Müller-Thurgau grapes are grown, among others, and the resulting wine can be tasted in the numerous taverns in the winegrowing villages. But don’t forget to line your stomach: after all, the cuisine in Baden features a unique combination of French, Swiss and German influences. Once you’re well-fed and watered, you can then explore the countless palaces and castles or learn about the history of winegrowing on an educational wine trail with panoramic views in Ballrechten-Dottingen.
- Viva la Vitra! The Vitra Design Museum is one of the world’s leading design museums. Its appearance is enough to turn heads even from the outside. But you shouldn’t skip the inside either: changing exhibitions illuminate the most diverse perspectives of international design development, from past to present.
Stop 2 – Basel
Art for all: Basel is the art and architecture capital of Switzerland – and a lot of it is free to access in public spaces. For an art tour encompassing Picasso, Borofsky, Tinguely and more, start at Theaterplatz with the Tinguely Fountain (also known as the Carnival Fountain). A few metres away you’ll find Richard Serra’s Intersection, then the Große Mondleiter (Large Moon Ladder); at Heuwaage, a colourful cockerel adorns the facade of a building – or strictly speaking, a basilisk – Basel’s heraldic animal. Two suggestions for exploring Basel’s art and architecture highlights on foot can be found here.
Urban art: in recent years, an increasing number of spaces in Basel have been made available for graffiti artists and their street art. Probably the best-known piece of street art in the centre of Basel is tucked away in Gerbergässlein , but there is a great deal more to see in Steinenbachgässlein, the Heuwaage underpass and at the main train station.
DOWN TO THE WATER, QUICK!
Rhine swimming – the locals love it! Hop into the Rhine at the designated points and let yourself drift downstream (looking out for buoys!). For example, start at the Museum Tinguely and get out again just before the two-storey bridge Dreirosenbrücke. Wondering how you’ll transport your belongings and keep them dry? Look no further than the Wickelfisch! For a more relaxed experience, take a ferry trip and cross the river in comfort on one of the four ferries that connect Kleinbasel with Grossbasel.
Need a little slice of island paradise? Why not head to the Kraftwerkinsel? This is a place to unwind, soak up some sun, play ball games or try out stand up paddleboarding.
All good things come in threes: the border triangle, where Germany, Switzerland and France meet, can be experienced on a Rhine cruise – or walk around it on foot and then enjoy some tropical beach vibes between palm trees and hammocks at the Sandoase beach bar.
TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BE TRUE?
Picture perfect: the Oberer Rheinweg is a highly sought-after residential area, where fantastic old townhouses – in pastel colours, covered in ivy – almost seem to have been made for Instagram. Want some more selfie spots? Basel has plenty!
St. Alban: the most elegant neighbourhood in Basel awaits you, with its villas and townhouses, on the south-eastern edge of the city. You can feel the charm of the old Basel as you wander through. In the past, this was where the wealthier of the old Basel families lived – and in some cases still do. The last remaining piece of the old city walls can also be seen here.
Come into bloom – at the Merian Gardens. Collections of ornamental plants, flower beds, kitchen gardens and a historical English garden are spread over 18 hectares. In short, it’s a rather different botanical garden, which is open daily with free entry.
POINTS OF VIEW
Platform: from the Pfalz viewing terrace behind the cathedral, there is fantastic view over the Rhine and Kleinbasel lying opposite. Steep steps lead down to a ferry, which crosses the Rhine without motorised assistance.
Cocktail time – but with a bird’s-eye view! That is to say, 105 metres up, in the Basler Messeturm trade fair tower at the Bar Rouge. The city’s highest bar offers a phenomenal view with cocktails on the side.
Photos: ©Basel Tourismus