The Namibia Conference 2022 is going to take place in Freiburg im Breisgau.
The often as the Tuscany of Germany described city (sunny and good vine) celebrated 2020 its 900 years anniversary. Freiburg’s history is still apparent in the city’s historic buildings and picturesque narrow streets. You can find many traces back to the Middle Ages, but also to colonial times and the time of the National Socialism. There is, for example, the Freiburg Cathedral which was built between 1200 and 1513 in the middle of Freiburg where every morning until noon a lively farmers’ market takes place. At the entrance, you can still see the old measurements for bricks and bread which construction workers and bakers used in the past to standardize their goods. The Historian and Sociologist Heiko Wegmann has discovered that at the still running restaurant ‘Zum Roten Bären’, colonial club members would meet regularly and many arcades in the centre of the city go back to the National Socialism.
Today many university students live here. Besides the University of Education, there is the University of Freiburg, which is dating back to 1457 and is one of the oldest universities in Germany, the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg and the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Freiburg. Nevertheless, there are also a lot of senior people living in the city, which gives the city a high diversity of age. Also, many people with various cultural background are living in the city. Therefore, you can hear African, Turkish and Arab dialects while walking the streets, there are also many restaurants from these backgrounds. Freiburg has about 200.000 inhabitants and is the fourth largest city in Baden-Wuerttemberg (federal state).
If you look closer there are many social challenges in Freiburg which makes life in this city for some less lifeworthy than other people: The rents are increasing and are compared to other German cities very high, the districts are mostly heterogenous, like for example Herdern where much more academic people live or Weingarten where rather people with low incomes and multi-ethnic background live. Drug addiction and homelessness are also playing a huge role.
Nevertheless, the city which is close to France and Switzerland is very worth a visit and as locals we want to share some tips with you, to enjoy it during your stay at the conference to the fullest. Also, follow the links for further information.
Things to do in nature:
Black Forest: Nearby Freiburg you can find the Black Forest. The name derives from the many evergreens which give the forest a dark appearance. This can, especially in autumn, lead to a mystic atmosphere. There is the possibility of long and short hikes, which let you for example discover canyons (Ravenaschlucht), waterfalls (Zweribachwasserfall), fresh milk from a Black Forest Farm (Hinterzarten).
More information here: https://www.schwarzwald-tourismus.info/erleben/wandern.
Water: In and around Freiburg you can find a lot of water. It starts with the unique Bächle, a little stream that flows through the city next to even small streets, people just sit here in summer and cool their feet or beer and children play with boots. There is also a myth that when you fall into the stream you must marry a local. So be careful!
There is also the Dreisam, a big river running through Freiburg, the Pflückinger Seepark, which is a lake in the middle of Freiburg, but also the Moosweiher, Dietenbachsee and Opfinger See. In Autumn these lakes are nice for a walk nearby, but for a swim, you rather go to the warm ponds of the Keidelbad with natural thermal water.
Kaiserstuhl: One area next to Freiburg which you can reach by train and bus, is the Kaiserstuhl. You can take walks along the vineyards, even join wine tastings and also, especially in autumn, visit one of the many Straußenwirtschaften. These are small seasonal wine taverns that are not open all year. They sell very typical wine such as the so-called ‘Neuen Süßen’ (which is a young, very sweet wine, which almost tastes like grape juice) and Flammkuchen (thin bread with onion, cheese, and bacon). Trying a Straußenwirtschaft is probably the most typical local thing to do, as it is very unique for this part of Germany.
Things to do in town: In the city center:
First things first: Do not get hit by the tram or bicycles, both seem to be everywhere!
Münstermarkt (Farmers’ Market):
In the morning until two o’clock, there is a big farmers’ market around the Freiburg Cathedral (a big church you can see from everywhere). It is really worth a visit, many products from local farmers but also Italian antipasti, French cheese, and the Lange Rote (German Sausage) are sold here.
There is one big shopping street in Freiburg, it is called Kaiser-Joseph-Straße, you can skip that one, as it is very exchangeable with other shopping streets in Germany, but if you go into the Old Town which is placed around Gerberau, Fischerau and Konviktstraße you can have a look into beautiful, unique shops like Fundevogel (a children’s book store) or the Honiggallerie(which sells honey products).
Very lively, especially in the evening, is the Platz der Alten Synagoge (translated: Old Synagogue Square) which is located in front of the city theatre, and also the Augustinerplatz.
Schlossberg (Castle mountain): From the old town you can walk up the hill called Schlossberg or you can take the Schlossberg railway which transports you in three minutes from Freiburg’s Municipal Park up to the line’s namesake peak at 456 meters. From the Cannon Square (German: Kanonenplatz) you have a beautiful view of the town.
Planetarium: If you have some extra time and money, you should definitely visit the Planetarium, it is a great way to experience modern Astroscience and at the same time relax while seeing the most beautiful night sky all around you. http://www.planetarium-freiburg.de/pb/1126882.html
Museums: The city also offers a broad range of Museums and Exhibitions. In the Augustiner Museum you can, for example, see the Exhibition which is also curated by Heiko Wegmann about Freiburg’s relation in German Colonialism. This exhibition can be visited until June 2023 (https://www.freiburg.de/pb/,Len/1827076.html).
Places to eat:
Besides delicious food from all over the world like Afghan lunch at the Afghan-Eck or dinner in the middle of a little Italian supermarket (Primo Market) you can of course also try German and even more specific Baden food. The best places to do this are for example: The Küchenschelle (You sit in the middle of Schrebergärten (little gardens which belong to people and they visit from time to time – very German as well) and the Gasthaus Blume in Opfingen where you can try little portions (tapas) of Baden food.
If you want to go into a beer garden, you can choose the Feierling in the middle of the old town. For a German Pub we recommend Schlappen (also in town).
Follow this Link for much more tips and pictures of Freiburg: https://visit.freiburg.de/en/feel-freiburg
Where to sleep:
We heard good things about the following places:
Green City Hotel has a great inclusive and ecological concept in the hip and ecological district Vauban (you can get in 10 minutes with tram 3 to the city centre: https://green-city-hotel-vauban.de/en/)
Motel One is standardized but good and central in town: https://www.motel-one.com/de/hotels/freiburg/
The Alex Hotel is quiet but still close to the centre: https://www.the-alex-hotel.de/de/
An overview of further accommodation possibilities you can find here: https://visit.freiburg.de/en/plan-your-trip/accommodations-in-freiburg
Do not hesitate to get in contact with us for further information. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our beautiful city.