Travel Tips for the Freiburg Region
Freiburg serves as the main business, cultural and travel hub for the Black Forest and offers superb travel connections to all the region has to offer.
RegioKarte and SemesterTicket
Traveling in Freiburg and around the Black Forest is incredibly easy with long-term tickets from the Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg (RVF), Freiburg’s public transportation authority.
In September, all AYFers are given a one-month RegioKarte which allows students to travel all the way south to Basel Badischer Bahnhof on the German-Swiss border, east to the German-French border, north to the town of Offenburg and east to many idyllic Black Forest towns.
A map of the fanta5 region that shows where you can go with your September RegioKarte can be found online.
From October onwards, AYFers are responsible for paying for their own transportation costs – luckily, all students are able to purchase SemesterTickets for use anywhere in the RVF area with local trains, trams and buses for the incredibly student-friendly price of 89.00 EUR per semester.
AYFers usually purchase their SemesterTickets as soon as possible, and the tickets are valid for six months (October 1 to March 1 for the Wintersemester and March 1 to October 1 for the Sommersemester). Considering the great value and convenience of these tickets, they’re well worth the cost!
The region covered by the SemesterTicket is somewhat smaller than that of the RegioKarte that you will have during the month of September which is why we recommend exploring the Black Forest as much as possible in September! That being said, everyday travel to and from class and even weekend trips into the Black Forest are still covered in this area. (The area that you can use with the SemesterTicket is marked as the RVF on the fanta5 map above.) A more detailed schematic map showing all connections in the RVF area is available for download, the so-called Liniennetzplan.
Destinations near Freiburg
Exploring the region near Freiburg is incredibly fun and helps you to get out of the city, explore the magnificent region and connect with the local culture in the Black Forest. We have included some must-see destinations below that you can get to with your September RegioKarte or SemesterTicket. These destinations are perfect for daytrips and short weekend get-aways!
(Trips within the September RegioKarte area but out of the SemesterTicket area are labeled with an asterisk.)
|Destination and Description||Distance||Travel time RVF/fanta5|
|Vörstetten: Open air Alamannen Museum; history of Romans and early Germanic settlers||10 km||20 min|
|Kirchzarten, Steinwasenpark: Combined animal and amusement park||12 km||15 min|
|Emmendingen: Hochburg – second largest castle in Baden-Württemberg; Jewish museum with 19th century mikwe||20 km||15 min|
|Staufen: Inn where Dr. Faustus sold his soul to the devil providing the background for Goethe’s Faust||20 km||35 min|
|Waldkirch: Castle ruins within walking distance from the train stations; adventure park/ropes course; organ museum||20 km||20 min|
|St. Peter: Beautiful church and convent with baroque library (call ahead for library – must book tours)||25 km||50 min|
|Breisach: City on the Rhine within walking distance from France; Neuf-Brisach, not far across the Rhine, is a 17th-century fortified city designed by Vauban||30 km||30 min|
|Hinterzarten: Idyllic Black Forest town with the best snow in winter||30 km||35 min|
|Sulzburg: Frescos of Sankt Cyriak and renowned Jewish graveyard||30 km||30 min|
|Titisee-Neustadt: Lake surrounded by traditional Black Forest town||35 km||1 h|
|Rust: Europa-Park (amusement park larger than Disneyland Paris)||40 km||1 h|
|Rust / Rheinhausen: Guided punting tours through the “Taubergießen” Nature Preserve – gives you a good idea of what the Rhine was like in its untamed state||40 km||1 h|
|Triberg*: Cuckoo clock capital of the world; highest German cascade waterfalls||60 km||1 h 40 min|
|Basel (Badischer Bahnhof)*: Swiss border city offering cultural excursions||75 km||1 h|
Traveling by Bike
Riding a bike to other towns and even to France and Switzerland or further afield is an adventure that many AYFers undertake each year. Freiburg drivers respect the right of bikes to share city and rural streets, but bikers are expected to be vigilant and follow the rules of the road (e.g. using lights and staying off sidewalks).
If you would like to take part in a bike tour in the area around Freiburg, find a buddy – it’s not only more fun but a lot safer to be traveling with someone! Also, make sure you know the route you’ll be taking and check your bike to make sure everything is in working order. Finally, please wear a helmet – traveling on rural roads can get pretty fast!
When planning bike trips in the region, you may also want to find out if you can take your bike with you on local trains. Different rules apply to specific connections at different times and days; sometimes an extra ticket is needed for the bike, but often it is free of charge to bring along a bike. In any case, taking a train home with your bike can make the trip a lot more pleasant. Needless to say, for ambitous bikers more distant destinations are certainly an option.
Tips for Traveling in the Freiburg Region
- You can buy tickets on buses from the driver and in trams from the ticket machines (Automat) but before entering a local train, you have to have a valid ticket on you (e.g. one bought online or from the machines in the train station).
- Always have a valid ticket on you. The current cost for using public transportation without a ticket (schwarzfahren) is 60 EUR or twice the price of the ticket you should have purchased – whichever is higher! This is one more good reason to purchase your SemesterTicket on the first day of October and March.
- Always have your UniCard on you when traveling with your RegioKarte or SemesterTicket. Without proper university ID, you will be fined as if you didn’t have a ticket.
- When purchasing a SemesterTicket, it is a good idea to pay for it with your Volksbank Bank card. This will provide you with a proof of purchase. Should you lose your SemesterTicket at some point during the six months, you can show your bank statement to prove you bought it – and get a replacement issued for a small administrative fee.
- Please note: You can only travel with local and regional trains (no IC or ICE high-speed rail) while using your RegioKarte or SemesterTicket.
- Find out if you can use your RegioKarte or SemesterTicket to cover part of the trip to your final destination. For instance, if you wanted to travel to the Bodensee region, you can travel as far south as Auggen with the RegioKarte or SemesterTicket – since you will be traveling on local trains, just buy your ticket from Auggen to Konstanz. If your ticket gets checked by a conductor (kontrollieren) before Auggen, show your SemesterTicket and UniCard, if you get checked after Auggen, show your ticket.