When you think of a city trip, do you think more of discovery tours than relaxation? Then take a look at these cities in Baden-Württemberg. There you can combine both perfectly with each other.
In the middle of the city, locals and guests dive into the world of Asia. Because the Luisenpark directly on the banks of the Neckar River houses an original Chinese gem - a two-story teahouse that, along with its garden, was planned and designed by a Chinese architect according to the principles of Feng Shui. One of the ideas: The environment of a building also affects the happiness of its occupants - in this case then just the tea drinkers and garden lovers who come here for a little break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Inside, 30 different types of tea are served during normal hours. Outside, you'll stroll through a garden of bamboo, reed grass, peonies and camellias. More information is available here.
Hiking and biking in the city? In Pforzheim in the northern Black Forest, this is perfectly possible, because about 100 kilometers of marked trails lie within the city limits and provide green moments during your city trip. For example, there are 20 circular tours for those who like to hike - 3 to 37 kilometers long - and directly in Pforzheim. There you can walk along the paths of the Romans, follow the tracks of the wolf, wander through castle ruins or treat yourself to a little time out in the woods. A special brochure will show you the way. The city is also a good starting point for cycling and hiking excursions into the depths of the Black Forest. And it invites you to experience culture. Just two examples: In the Pforzheim Jewelry Museum, you can marvel at around 2,000 exhibits spanning five millennia. And in the Pforzheim Gasometer, you can immerse yourself in the world's largest 360-degree panorama by artist Yadegar Asisi, which takes you into the fascinating underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. More information is available here.
Recharge your batteries in the border triangle: cultural treasures and relaxation at the same time - that's also possible in Freiburg, the sunny Black Forest metropolis in the southwest. The impressive cathedral, babbling brooks, student flair and southern laissez-faire await you in the historic old town with its alleyways and cozy outdoor seating areas. A Health Region has also been created in and around Freiburg: There, health experts combine the latest medical findings and a holistic view of people to create an effective wellness concept. So you can relax with a view of the Black Forest and use its natural treasures for recreation. By the way: Freiburg is also a Green City, where sustainability is a top priority. So your ecological conscience can also enjoy some time off. More information is available here.
A car-free city center and numerous parks and gardens characterize the spa town of Baden-Baden at the foot of the Black Forest. But it is not only the many green spaces that ensure such a high recreational value and relaxation factor. In addition, there are no less than twelve thermal springs, which were already discovered by the Romans: In the modern Caracalla Therme with its large sauna landscape, outdoor pool and steam bath, body and soul find a different, slower rhythm. The historic Friedrichsbad is uniquely beautiful. There, Roman bathing culture, Irish bathing tradition and unforgettable architecture have combined for more than 140 years to create an unforgettable synthesis of the arts and recreation. More information is available here.
Once built to protect the city, today a charming promenade leads along the city wall on the Ulm side of the river. Along the way, you'll pass the leaning Metzger Tower, have a chance to rest in the Rose Garden, and marvel at the jumping-off point of Ulm's legendary tailor, the city's very latest landmark - the red-white-red, 22-meter-high Berblinger Tower. At the end, the city wall runs into the Friedrichsau, Ulm's green lung. Want a change of perspective? If you would like to go on the Danube water, you can cruise comfortably with the MS Spatz between May and the end of September from the Metzgerturm to the Friedrichsau and back. More information is available here.
You can think what you like about the state capital's basin location - the green hills that grow up from the city into the surrounding area have been wine country since Roman times. They bear witness to the joie de vivre of the people here. Vines in the city, secluded hiking trails with views of the city, festivals, tastings and the wine museum in the suburb of Uhlbach, which tells the exciting story of the culture of wine pressing: Epicurean travelers in the mood for wine (and a glass or two) will also explore Stuttgart's frayed, hilly, sunny edges. And experience the part of town that has a slower, more casual pace. More information is available here.
A city trip with an overnight stay in a quiet, beautiful place on the sunny side of the Neckar Valley: The Benedictine Abbey Stift Neuburg with brewery and inn is picturesquely located in the Heidelberg district of Ziegelhausen between green pastures and orchards. From there, you can take walks on the Philosophenweg or along the banks of the Neckar. And by public transport or the White Fleet boats, you can reach Heidelberg's old town with its castle ruins and many small alleyways in no time at all. But stop: Before that, we recommend a home-brewed organic beer at the Gasthof zum Klostergarten in your accommodation. Sounds good? It is... The Benedictine monastery has ten simple rooms, and you can eat your meals with the monks. More information is available here.
Heilbronn has done a lot in recent years to give the inner-city Neckar River more recreational value again, not least with the newly created Neckarmeile and its many restaurants, as well as the Neckarbogen waterfront district that has just been built. Meanwhile, it is also a real pleasure to discover the river by canoeing or stand-up paddling. Or you can go to the water to experiment: Germany's largest Science Center Experimenta on the Neckar invites you to discover and explore phenomena of nature in a playful way. It's a lot of fun for young and old alike and has nothing to do with boring school. That's a promise. More information is available here.
Are you familiar with urban flora and fauna? Then it's time. Grab your flyer and take the NaturRADTour - a 45-kilometer bike tour that explores the green landscapes of Karlsruhe. You'll cycle through floodplain forests, along the river, through woods and meadows. Possible stops include the Rappenwört Nature Conservation Center or the Oberwald Zoo. The small brochure also provides information about outdoor pools and quarry ponds in the area as well as cozy places to stop for refreshments along the way. And if that's not enough, you can extend the route by 20 kilometers to the Great Route - or turn right off into cycling pleasure: Karlsruhe lies on no less than four long-distance cycle routes. More information is available here.
Cover photo: Idyllic location: Freiburg lies between rolling hills in the Breisgau region © Shutterstock / canadastock
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