A day in Ulm

A day in Ulm

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Living in Germany can make for some memorable day trips, especially if you live in the Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg regions. The excitement of Munich or the outdoor playground of the Black Forest is just a few hours away. It can be easy to overlook the cities a little more off the beaten autobahn. Take, for instance, the delightful medieval town of Ulm. Established along the banks of the Danube River, Ulm sits right on top of the border between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. With a fascinating history, quirky museums and plenty to do, it’s easy to spend the day here.

What to See and Do

Believed to have been founded around 850, Ulm was once a haven for German royalty. Today, the city is known as a hub for transportation and communications and its iconic gothic cathedral. The Ulm Münster was founded and began construction in 1377, and the massive house of worship would take more than 500 years to complete. Reaching more than 160 meters in height, it’s the home to the tallest church spire in the world. Although the tower is not currently accessible to visitors, you can still tour the impressive nave, see the intricate stained-glass windows and stunning altars. Across the river just outside Neu Ulm is Wiblingen Abbey. This Benedictine monastery dates to the 11th century and features breathtaking works of art. The exquisite library features ornate and stunning one-of-a-kind detailing.

If you’re looking for something a little more outside of the box, head to the Museum of Bread Culture. Don’t worry, you won’t find any moldy loaves of bread inside. Instead, you’ll find an in-depth and mesmerizing exhibit of the importance of bread within culture and civilization. Are you tired of being inside? Head to the Fischerviertel and step inside a fairytale. With brightly colored half-timbered houses, this area once belonged to the fishermen and tanners. As you walk closer toward the water, be sure to keep an eye out for Hotel Schiefes Haus. Built in the 1400s, this crooked building leans precariously over the water. Strolling through the Altstadt, take a gander at the Ulmer Rathaus. The city hall is covered in vibrant frescoes from the 1500s and features a beautiful astronomical clock.

Ulm has a vast amount of green space and parks. Covering a large northeast portion of the city is Friedrichsau. In the warmer spring and summer months, it’s the perfect place to spend the day outside. While not quite as impressive as the Munich or Berlin Zoos, the Tiergarten Ulm (located within the park) is home to a small collection of animals and smaller gardens. There is truly something for everyone with water fountains, playgrounds for little ones, lively "Biergartens" and a sports stadium.

Good Eats

Start your day off right with a strong coffee, at Kaffee Fred. About a block or two northeast of the cathedral, this hole-in-the-wall cafe is known for its delicious specialty coffees and freshly baked treats. For a filling lunch, head to Wirsthaus zur Brezel. This gastropub offers a modern twist on German favorites. Warm, gooey Käsespätzle, a variety of golden, crispy schnitzel, and vegetarian and vegan offerings make this a great dining option for all palates. After trekking along the city’s medieval walls, head to Ristorante Italiano San Remo. Offering hearty pizzas, handmade pasta dishes and boasting an impressive Italian wine list, you’ll be happy you stopped by.

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