Drinking a cup of coffee in a leisurely fashion, admiring the old facades and beautiful fountains, listening to two local languages or gazing from the 74-meter spire of the Cathedral far into the countryside - this is an experience enjoyed in Fribourg.
Fribourg, nestled on a rock promontory, is surrounded on three sides by the Sarine river. It is one of the largest medieval towns in Switzerland. Over 200 unique Gothic facades from the 15th century impart incomparable medieval charm to the Old Town.
Town walls that are over two kilometers long used to protect the city in the past. Remnants of the walls, turrets and bastions are still preserved. Most impressive, however, is the St. Nicholas Cathedral with its extraordinarily beautiful stained-glass windows. Construction started in 1283 and continued in several stages. Dedicated to St. Nicholas, it boasts a 74-meter-high tower that offers a fantastic panoramic view.
Another good viewpoint is the Italian-style early Baroque Loreto Chapel. From the Neuveville district (in the Old Town), a funicular railway takes you up to the pedestrianised area of the town centre. Fribourg is a lively university town, with many students from all over the world, making this a cosmopolitan, multi-faceted mini-metropolis. In the narrow alleyways are tightly packed rows of little boutiques, antique shops, student cafés and restaurants, offering local and foreign specialities.
One of the favourite destinations for art-lovers is the "Espace Jean Tinguely - Niki de Saint Phalle", housed in a former tram depot. More works by the two artists can be found on the Sculpture Trail through the town centre. Modern art is on display in the Fri-Art Gallery. Children will love the Puppet Museum or the highly educational Natural History Museum.
It is worth making an excursion to Hauterive Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1137, and once a stopping place on the pilgrims' route to Santiago de Compostela.
Discover some of the 11 historic fountains with their beautiful columns either alone or learn all of their secrets with one of our city guides. Fribourg’s fountains have great names like Fidelity, Strength and Courage. Did you know that the city of Fribourg built its most beautiful fountains in the 16th century to compete with the rival city of Bern? Several fountains were built during this period by Hans Gieng and Hans Geiler, who were responsible for creating the most beautiful fountains in Switzerland. Embark on a journey of discovery in the company of an expert guide who will reveal the secret stories behind the fountains.
As darkness falls, grab a lantern and follow a noble knight and a town gossip to discover the legends and real facts about Fribourg and its lower town. The 2-hour walking tour takes you from the 12th to the 21st century in a whistle-stop guide to the colourful the history of the city. As you traverse the city’s narrow alleys and lofty crags, you will hear stories drawn from the history and legends that have shaped this region.
This is much more than just a tour, but rather a unique experience – a unique voyage of discovery!
Fribourg’s bridges form a link between Latin and Germanic culture as well as between the French and German languages. No fewer than 15 bridges span the Sarine river. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river and cross our various bridges, constantly surrounded by the fabulous skyline of the city.
Let an experienced city guide take you on a route where you can learn interesting facts about the city of Fribourg.
Accessible town walls
The fortifications of the town of Fribourg were built in the Middle Ages between the 13th and 15th century. Large sections of them have been preserved to this day, which makes them the most significant piece of medieval military architecture in Switzerland. The town’s fortifications consist of gates and towers, some of which are linked with walls. This system of walls, which is at least two kilometres long, once served to protect the town against invaders. Today, you can visit the old town walls on your own or on a guided tour.