The Ultimate Fribourg Travel Guide

Freiburg City Münster Building Architecture Houses

Fribourg is a lovely town in Switzerland that is also the economic center and canton’s capital. The town was established in 1157CE by Herzog Berthold IV of Zaehringen. Fribourg is known for its university, cultural plurality, and gorgeous bridges over the Sarine River that link the German-speaking part of Switzerland to the French-speaking region.

How to reach Fribourg?

Fribourg can be reached by one of the most dynamic rail services in the world, the SBB. Trains run from Geneva airport, Thun, Geneva, Lausanne, St. Gallen, Zürich and Bern, and many other towns and cities throughout Switzerland throughout the night and day. The SBB website has an excellent route planner and online timetable.

Top Attractions in Fribourg

Tilleul de Morat

According to a myth, in 1476 CE, a messenger dashed from Murten to Fribourg to relay the joyful news that the Swiss had conquered Charles the Bold…only to die due to exhaustion on arrival. Spectators, disheartened by this terrible twist, took the linden branch from the messenger’s hat, planted it, and cared for it – the tree you can see today, over half a millennium later, is born of that same twig.

Cathédrale St Nicolas de Fribourg

Before accessing this brooding 13th-century CE Gothic cathedral, contemplate the leading portal with its 15th-century CE sculptured description of the Last Judgment. On your right, upon entering, inside the Chapelle du Saint Sépulcre, is an unusually lifelike sculptural group (1433) representing Christ’s burial. Unless you are of poor health or suffer vertigo, a 400-step climb of the cathedral’s 74m-tall tower for extraordinary views over the medieval town should be deemed a must-do.

Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de Saint Phalle

This lovely museum, built in memory of Fribourg’s modern artistic genius, Jean Tinguely (1925 CE–1991 CE), is situated in a tramway depot dating to 1900 CE. The nifty space showcases his tools alongside the strikingly out-there creations of French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 CE–2002 CE), who worked with Tinguely from the 1950s CE until his death.

Old Town

The 12th-century CE Old Town was laid out simply, with Grand-Rue as the central street and parallel Rue des Bouchers and Rue des Chanoines devoted to church, markets, and civic buildings. The settlement later evolved downhill to the river: the bridges here – stone Pont du Milieu (Middle Bridge; 1720 CE) and covered Pont du Berne (1250 CE) – present great views.

Things to do in Fribourg

  1. Ride the Funicular.
  2. Walkthrough Old Town.
  3. Climb the 368 steps of St. Nicolas’ Cathedral. 
  4. Eat at local café-comptoir-restaurant.

Now You Know

Was it worth reading? Let us know.