Language course in Freiburg: ESL Freiburg tips

Enjoy the evenings in Augustinerplatz

Augustinerplatz in the Altstadt has become the favoured meeting point for Freiburg’s students and “grown ups” alike. During the day, it is not unusual for artists and small theatre groups to set up in the square. In the evening, the nearby Feierling Biergarten is in full swing and the square fills with people enjoying the warm air and cool drinks.
ESL - ESL Freiburg tips
In Augustinerplatz and around Freiburg, you will find little man-made streams known as the Freiburger Bächle, which were designed to move water around the city and then to the nearby farms. Now they are a local curiosity and legend has it, if you accidently step in one you are destined to marry a Freiburger! You can find out more about Freiburg’s history with a tour (historix-tours.de)

BBQ and slackline by the Dreisam

ESL - ESL Freiburg tips
With so much sunshine every year, Freiburg is a great place to barbecue and the banks of the River Dreisam offer the perfect environment in which to get the charcoal glowing. Slacklining is currently very popular among local barbecuers: setting up a flat rope between two trees and then balancing, walking or performing tricks on it.

Save on public transport

ESL - ESL Freiburg tips
If you know which tickets to buy, you can get excellent value from German public transport. For example, within Freiburg and its surroundings, the Regiokarte (www.rvf.de/Regiokarte.php) gives you access to all local public transport for 24 hours. If you want to head further afield, for example to Stuttgart, Deutsche Bahn (DB) offers a Baden Wurttemberg ticket (www.bahn.de/regional/view/regionen/bawue/freizeit/ueb_freizeit.shtml) for €22 that is valid from 9am to 3am on all regional DB trains. A cheaper night version is available that is valid from 6pm until 6am (7am at weekends). The beauty of these tickets is that each additional traveller costs only €4 extra, so you can get excellent value for a group day (or night) out. If you plan to travel to nearby Switzerland or France, buying tickets in advance can save you money.

Take a Bike Taxi

Freiburg is an excellent city for cycling, with plenty of dedicated bike lanes. However if you are feeling lazy, or perhaps have enjoyed a little too much Riesling, a Bike Taxi (fahrradtaxi-freiburg.de) could be the solution to your transport needs. “Small, nice and environmentally friendly like our city”, according to the operators, the rickshaws are driven for you by locals. Fortunately for their hamstrings, they are helped by small motors. 

Spa

ESL - ESL Freiburg tips
Keidel (keidel-bad.de) is probably the best local spa and has an impressive array of saunas and steam rooms. The clothing policy in the hot rooms can come as a surprise if you are not used to German sauna tradition: the rooms are mixed and clothing is strictly forbidden! It can take some getting used to, but FKK (Freikörperkultur – free body culture) is popular in Germany. Don’t worry though, as you can wear clothes in most of the spa, including the swimming pools and sun terraces. Elsewhere, Badeparadies Titisee (badeparadies-schwarzwald.de) is a little out of town but has a range of saunas and 180 palm trees in the middle of the Black Forest.

To watch, read, listen

Watch
Schwarzwald - Klangfarben und Lichtblicke (2013) Director: Rainer Müllberg
Bomben auf Freiburg (2004) Director: Hans-Peter Hagmann
Freiburg-Film (www.freiburg.de/pb/,Lde/226424.html)

Freiburg cinemas
CinemaxX Freiburg (Bertoldstr. 50) is the place to go for Hollywood blockbusters, while Friedrichsbau (www.friedrichsbau-kino.de/) (Kaiser-Joseph-Str. 268), Harmonie (Grünwälderstr. 16 -18) and Kandelhof (Kandelstr. 27) are operated by Friedrichsbau (www.friedrichsbau-kino.de/) and offer a range of international and arty movies. During the summer months, they also run Sommernachts-Kino (Schwarzes Kloster, sommernachts-kino.de ), where films are shown in the open air each evening, weather permitting.

You can find listings for all of Freiburg’s cinemas here : www.freiburg-im-netz.de/kinoprog.php.

Read
Münstermörder by Renate Heyberger & Udo Marquardt
Studentenfudder – guide to student life in Freiburg (available free here : fudder.de/index.php?id=375/)
Gebrauchsanweisung für Freiburg und den Schwarzwald by Jens Schäfer

Listen
Halifax by Ray Austin
The Maddis'son Brass Show by Madis’son Brass Band
The Freiburger Barockorchester

Freiburg music venues
Due to the major university, all kinds of bands make the pilgrimage to Freiburg throughout the year. Check out fudder.de for what’s going on in Freiburg’s nightlife scene. For classical music, the Konzerthaus Freiburg (Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 1, konzerthaus.freiburg.de) is the place to catch some of the world’s finest orchestras as they visit the city. A couple of big annual music festivals are the Freiburg Jazz Festival (jazzfestival-freiburg.de) and Zelt Musik Festival (zmf.de).  
Image credits: Orest Shvadchak (CC BY-SA 2.0), Jakub Michankow (CC BY 2.0)

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