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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?
Good restaurants for dinner?
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?"Hello, I want to travel to Tubingen from Scotland. Normally I can fly with Ryanair from Glasgow to Europe. Which is the best airport for Tubingen?" (posted 11/01/2014)
Where to find good quality groceries?
Are there any special local events?"I'm arranging a Junggesellinnenabschiedsparty (hen party) for a friend on 17.5. We are going on a Stocherkahnfahrt for an hour, but would like to have a type of \high-tea event\ after this - a good selection of cakes/bites just for us. Or perhaps a cake decorating workshop. Do you know of anyone who can offer this? We are 8 girls. Thanks - German answers are fine." (posted 05/11/2014)
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"Hi there, what doyou have to see when visiting Tuebingen (as a USA-student)? Thank you!!" (posted 11/17/2014)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?
What are good places to go for shopping?"Are the shops open in Tubingen on Sundays?" (posted 05/20/2015)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?"My partner and I will be staying in Tubingen for a week in July and would like know where the best place to hire bikes from. We would hopefully be exploring round the town and countryside. Thank you. Graeme " (posted 02/01/2015)
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Tübingen
Hohentübingen Castle was first mentioned in 1078. It is now part of Tübingen University's Departments of Classical Archaeology, Primeval and Early History, and their collections are open to the public. Highlights include numerous archeological treasures and replicas, among them a complete ancient Egyptian burial chamber, the early classic
Tübinger Waffenläuferand the paleolithic
Vogelherdfigurencarved from mammoth tusks.
Hours: May 1 - September 30: Wednesday - Sunday from 10am - 6 pm. October 1 - April 30: Wednesday - Sunday from 10am - 5 pm. Tours (4 €) on Sundays at 3pm.
Admission: 4 € Adults, 2 € concessions.
City Hall (Rathaus)
The visually dominating City Hall was built with three stories in 1435, in 1508 heightened by a fourth level, and in 1511 decorated with an artfully made astronomical clock by Johannes Stöffler. The clock, which still functions, shows the course of the stars and the phases of the moon. The building's main facade, with its picturesque appearance, was completed for the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Tübingen University in 1877.
On the first floor you will find the Main Conference Hall in Alemanic timber framing construction; on the second floor is the Old Reception Hall (Öhrn) with interesting grisailles, the so-called
Pictures of Justicedating back to the 16th century.
Collegiate Church (Stiftskirche)
The Stiftskirche is a late gothic structure built by Peter von Koblenz in 1470. The stained glass windows were designed by Peter Hemmel of Andlau who also designed windows in Ulm, Augsburg, Nürnberg, München and Straßburg. The church has one of the nicest Gothic rod screens in Southern Germany, a resplendently decorated baptistery, a masterfully created lectern and impressive choir stalls. The tower, which is accessible from the choir loft, offers a wide view of the city.
Bebenhausen Abbey was a Cistercian monastery located in the village of Bebenhausen (now a district of Tübingen). It was built by Rudolf I of Tübingen, probably in 1183. After the Reformation the abbey buildings were used at various times as a school, a hunting palace for the kings of Württemberg and the legislative assembly of the State of Württemberg-Hohenzollern. Most of the abbey is superbly preserved.
Hours: Apr-Oct: Mon 9-12pm & 1-5pm; Tue-Fri 9-6pm; Sun 10-6pm. Nov-Mar: Tue-Sun 9-12pm & 1-5pm. Closed Dec 24, 25, 31, Jan 1.
Admission: Entrance 2.50 € tours 3.50 €
Alter Botanischer Garten Tübingen
The Alter Botanischer Garten Tübingen is the former botanical garden of the University of Tübingen, now a municipal park. It is located at Am Stadtgraben 9, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and open daily without charge.
The garden traces back to 1535 when medicinal plants were first grown by Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566) beside the Nonnenhaus (House of the Nuns), which still exists. In 1663 a Hortus medicus was created by direction of Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (1614–74), with university gardener appointed in 1666. In 1681 Georg Balthasar Metzger (1623-1687) was named director, followed in 1688 by Rudolph Jacob Camerarius (1655-1721). The first greenhouse was completed in 1744, and noted botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755) appointed director in 1751.
In 1804 a new garden was established by decree of King Frederick of Württemberg (1754-1816) under the leadership of Professor Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer (1765-1844), which grew and flourished throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. By 1809 it contained four greenhouses and a lecture hall, with its first seed catalog published in 1820, and from 1818-1825 its plants were reorganized according to the system of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu. In 1846 a substantial institute building was completed and by 1859 the garden cultivated 5,226 species. In 1866 the garden's final expansion was made with the purchase of adjacent private land. In 1878 Wilhelm Pfeffer (1845-1920) became director, who inaugurated a sizable palm house in 1886. Beginning in 1888, the garden was reorganized to the Eichler system.
In 1969, the university established a new botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten der Universität Tübingen. The old garden was then converted to today's municipal park.
The Exotenwald Weinheim (about 60 hectares) is a forest arboretum located beside the Schlosspark in Weinheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is open daily without charge.
The arboretum was established in 1871 by Christian Friedrich Gustav Freiherr von Berckheim (1817–1889), former Minister of State and Großhofmeister at the court in Karlsruhe, on the grounds of a baroque estate founded in 1725. His initial plantings were extensive – between 1872–1883 he planted some 12,494 trees on 36 hectares – with specimens purchased predominantly from specialist nurseries in Orléans, Ghent, and Exeter. Approximately 1460 sequoia trees were planted in this interval within a 2 hectare site. Although the climate has not proved entirely hospitable, and the original catalog of 150 species has subsequently dwindled to about 50, many mature specimens still remain, including original plantings of Calocedrus decurrens, Sequoiadendron giganteum, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus ponderosa, and Thuja plicata.
After Gustav's death, the arboretum was neglected for several decades until his grandson, Christian Philipp Graf von Berckheim, became owner. He planted a further 8.25 hectares of exotic trees, with plantings in the years before World War II focused primarily on East Asia and especially Japan, including specimens of Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Cryptomeria japonica, and Magnolia hypoleuca. In 1955 the arboretum was sold to the state of Baden-Württemberg. Since then, it has been augmented with South American and New Zealand plantings, with continued expansion of its European, Asian, North American, and North African collections, and an emphasis on trees from China and Korea. It now contains about 130 tree species.
Choco Art Festival in Tuebingen
Every year - in the first week of december - the university town of Tübingen will become Germany’s biggest chocolate wonderland with atmospheric lighting, sophisticated art and consummate taste – a holistic “chocosophy” for everyone! The Swiss chocolate legend Alois Immoos will teach a sensory language in his seminars, which involves all of the senses and can be tried out immediately at the chocolate tastings. Children can plunge into the secrets of chocolate production with a visit to the chocolate workshop and can share their favourite creations with friends and family. Adults can take part in “Dr Choco’s” popular filled chocolate course and learn more about the manufacturing of high-quality truffles and pralines.
On the historical marketplace of Tübingen, visitors will encounter the enchanting atmosphere of the illuminated half-timbered houses and the chocolateROOM, the glass-walled confectionery of the “chocolART” festival. Here the most prestigious confectioners of Baden- Württemberg will give a live demonstration of their skills. Visitors can watch as they make “Tübinger Schokotaler”, a filled chocolate specially designed for the festival, and observe how chocolate works of art are produced.
Africa, North and South America, Europe – 100 international premium chocolate makers will visit the picturesque old town of Tübingen. Over 200,000 grateful connoisseurs will be presented with a wide variety of delicacies: meltingly tender sweets, handmade gourmet chocolates and a huge selection of fair trade chocolate which promises pleasure without remorse. The chocolate programme within the scope of “chocolART” also includes highlights such as relaxing chocolate massages, artistic cocoa painting, inspiring readings and exceptional chocolate theatre.
What is your insider travel tip for Tübingen?
Travel Insider Tips for Tübingen
Tübingen's scenic location between the forests, the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb) and the river Neckar make it a beautiful stop in south-west Germany. Its flair is comparable to cities like Heidelberg (Heidelberg vacation rentals | Heidelberg travel guide) or Freiburg, although Tübingen is smaller than those cities. The primary attraction is the unspoiled Altstadt (city centre) and the lively student population.
Tübingen's population of about 85,000 people is a mixture of students, researchers and academics, medical specialists and "Gogen" (the people whose families have been there since forever). The university and its network of hospitals are its economic lifeblood (and the biggest employer in southern Württemberg); Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet, founded in 1477, is reputed to be one of the top 5 German universities for studies in German, medicine and law, and Tübingen serves as a regional medical service hub (they even have a malaria clinic).
About 20,000 students fill Tübingen's pubs, cafe patios and university lecture halls during
lecture time (mid of October until mid of February and mid of April until mid of July). Meanwhile, the high concentration of educated folks with lots of free time means that there are plenty of things to do for the size of the town - 16 choirs; 3 theatres; a fine little art gallery; special lecture series at the university; and, of course, constant parties hosted by the student associations of the various departments (it's almost a competition to see whether the chemists or the anthropologists do it better). The town does get quiet, though, in the breaks between semesters (Feb 15 - Apr 15, Jul 15 - Oct 15).
The city dates back to 1078 A.D. and is remarkably well-preserved; only one bomb fell in Word War II - on the house where Goethe lived (or was it Schiller?). The "old town", which lies along the Neckar river, looks much as it would have in the 1600s - its crooked, cobblestoned streets will have you walking in circles, when you're not climbing up and down the stairs built into the sidewalks! The Arts campus of the university lies nearby, while more modern science faculties and student residences perch on the large hills that surround the center of town. Everywhere you go, there are signs of those who went before, sometimes literally (
Dr. Alzheimer worked in this building), sometimes less so - you can find Tübingen's traces in the writings of Hesse and Holderlin...
Tübingen has fairly good weather compared to the rest of Germany (slightly worse than Freiburg, though). Sudden changes in the weather can make your ears pop heading up into the hills by bus, or just sitting in the marketplace in the centre of town! The medieval architecture, the students' joie de vivre, the 40% of residents who vote for the Green Party, the absurd charm of the constant festivals that wind through the streets...it's a unique little spot.
Things to See in Tübingen
Tübingen's scenic location between the forests, the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb) and the river Neckar make it a beautiful stop in south-west Germany. Its flair is comparable to cities like Heidelberg (Heidelberg vacation rentals | Heidelberg travel guide) or Freiburg, although Tübingen is smaller. The primary attraction is the unspoiled Altstadt (city centre) and the lively student population.
- The city center is full of crooked half-timbered houses, small alleys, cobblestone roadworks and some nice old churches.
- The river Neckar is next to the city center, on which the students go punting (similar to what they do in Oxford or Cambridge) in summer time, occasionally with a barbecue and a crate of beer on board.
- In June, there is a famous punt boat race (Stocherkahnrennen) in which more than 40 punting boats race along the river, trying not to come in last, as each crew member of the last boat has to drink half a litre of cod-liver oil. Traditionally, most of Tübingen's student fraternities participate in the race, but also private crews are allowed.
- About 6 km north of Tübingen, right in the Schönbuch (Schönbuch vacation rentals | Schönbuch travel guide) forest reservation, is the old cistercian monastery (founded 1187 A.D.) of Bebenhausen (http://www.bebenhausen.de/) with a small village next to it, especially nice to visit at night when part of the monastery is illuminated.
- The Schloss, or castle, can be a fun place to wander around. Look at the intricately carved gate at the entrance. Skip most of the center courtyard and head up the stairs on the back side of the courtyard. This leads to a beautiful garden/courtyard, with some beautiful views from atop the wall to the left. Alternatively, go through the tunnel on the backside of the main courtyard that will take you through the backside of the castle, a much more medieval and beautiful part of the Schloss. From back here there is a path that will take you along the wall of the castle and through the woods, ending up on Haagasse very near the Marktplatz.
- It's an easy day trip to see the Burg Hohenzollern, a fairytale castle dramatically set on top of a conical hill.
Things to Do in Tübingen
- Tübingen is situated at the southern rim of the Schönbuch, a large forest reservation area which offers some beautiful scenery for hiking, cycling, etc.
- If you arrive in Tübingen in summer, make sure you take some time to stroll along the Neckar river, maybe get some ice cream and sit on the old city wall above the water.
- If you are more adventurous, you might give punting a try: push a large wooden boat with up to 14 passengers along the river using a long wooden pole. It's not as easy as some of the professional punters make it look.
Stuttgart Echterdingen is the closest airport. From there, the easiest way into Tübingen is the 828 Sprinter bus, which runs hourly and takes approx. 48 minutes to about an hour. For bus schedules, go to www.naldo.de. At the bottom left of the page under Mini-Fahrpläne, type in 828 and choose the one with the RBS company.
If coming from Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide), it takes about 2 to 2.5 hours with at least a change in Stuttgart (Stuttgart vacation rentals | Stuttgart travel guide) and sometimes in Mannheim (Mannheim vacation rentals | Mannheim travel guide) as well. See www.bahn.de and click on the 'international' tab for English pages.
The train from Stuttgart takes about 45min by IRE train or around 1hr by normal train. If you arrive at the main station of Tübingen, don't let the ugly and uninviting surroundings of the train station put you off. Just leave the station behind and keep going (north) and after 10min. walking you'll be right in the old town center.
With Tübingen's terrible traffic system, lots of one-way streets and some eager ticket officers, it is best to park your car as soon as possible and then explore the city on foot or bicycle.
[ source: Wikitravel ]
More about the History of Tübingen
Tübingen itself dates from the 6th or 7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni. There are even some arguments that the Battle of Solicinium was fought at Spitzberg, a mountain in Tübingen, back in AD 367, though there is no evidence. The city officially first appears in records in 1191, and the local castle has records back to 1078. By 1231, the city was a civitas indicating recognition of civil liberties and a court system. Its name ends with the familiar suffix -ingen, indicating it was originally settled by the Alemanic tribes. In 1342 Tübingen was purchased by count Ulrich III and incorporated into the County of Württemberg.
Although it is largely impossible to notice such things today, as recently as the 1950s Tübingen was a very socio-economically divided city, with poor local farmers and tradesman living along the Stadtgraben (City Canal) and students and academics residing around the Alte Aula and the Burse, the old university buildings. There, hanging on the Cottahaus a sign advertises Goethe's stay of a few weeks while visiting his publisher. The German tendency to memorialize every minor presence of its historical greats (comparable to the statement "Washington slept here" in the United States) is parodied on the building next door. This simple building, once a dormitory, features a plain sign with the words "Hier kotzte Goethe" (lit.:"Goethe puked here").
In the second half of the 20th century, Tübingen's administrative area was extended beyond what is now called the "core town" to include several outlying small towns and villages. Most notable among these is Bebenhausen, a village clustered around a castle and Bebenhausen Abbey a Cistercian cloister about 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of Tübingen.
Tübingen's scenic location between the forests, the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb), and the river Neckar make it a beautiful locale in southwest Germany. The city dates back to 1078 and is remarkably well-preserved. The old town, which lies along the Neckar River, looks much as it would have in the 1600s. Its crooked, cobblestoned streets will have you walking in circles, when you're not climbing up and down the stairs built into the sidewalks! Tübingen's population of about 85,000 people is a mixture of students, researchers and academics, medical specialists, and those whose families have been there for generations. The university, Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet, founded in 1477, is reputed to be one of the top 5 German universities for studies in German, medicine and law. The high concentration of educated folks means that there are plenty of things to do for a town of its size. There are 16 choirs, 3 theaters, a fine art gallery, and a special lecture series at the university to name a few. Additionally, one can explore the Schloss, an old castle, try punting (large wooden boats propelled by poles), or enjoy hiking or cycling in the nearby Schönbuch, a large forest reservation area.
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