Tübingen, Germany

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Cities, Destinations | 0 comments

Tübingen in Germany is a town with a population of 92.000 and is located 30 km south of Stuttgart. I have visited Tübingen due to an event that took place in mid-September 2023 and stayed there for two nights. Tübingen has a railway station with direct trains to Stuttgart. Do I have a recommendation to get there from Stuttgart Airport? Well, there are two possible routes, one through Stuttgart and the other through rural Germany, in both cases you must change trains at certain stations and the chances you miss your connection or going to be delayed are high. But it is cheap, and trains are running frequently so you can just do it like me, do one route to Tübingen and the other one on the way back.

Orientation

Let’s begin with the basics, Tübingen is a small town with a medieval core, that results in a highly walkable city. When you arrive at the main station (Tübingen Hbf) you will be welcomed by construction work which is currently going on. After you managed to leave the construction site you enter a park at the other side of the street, continue through the park, turn right at the end of it, follow the street, turn left at the intersection and you are standing on the bridge to the city center. The city center is evil, no I mean medieval, with lots of buildings hundreds of years old. What I like about medieval cities is, that they usually (not in Vienna) have a very organic and memorable layout and it is easy getting from one point to another quickly. There are often small alleys which you can use as a shortcut. The city center of Tübingen is a pedestrian zone and the only cars you will encounter are from hotel guests and delivery men. And on my weekend, there was even less traffic because of an event called ‘Umbrisch-Provenzalischer Markt’ which is a market with specialties from Perugia, Italy and Aix-en-Provence, France.

View of Tübingen old town from a bridge on a sunny day with almost perfect reflections of the buildings in the river.
Old town of Tübingen, Germany with lots of people because of the Umbrisch-Provenzalischer Markt event.
Old town of Tübingen, Germany with lots of people because of the Umbrisch-Provenzalischer Markt event. The sunset is just between two buildings in a narrow alley.

Place to be

You want more than some old houses? How about a castle? On the highest point in the medieval core of the city there is one! Castle Hohentübingen is still in use, but of course a bit different than back in the day. It is home to some departments of the University of Tübingen. That means you don’t have to pay to visit this place, you can just walk into the courtyard during the opening hours. As I did not spend much time in Tübingen I did not check if there are guided tours or indoor rooms you can visit, however I did check out the outdoor area and I can highly recommend it, especially at sunrise and sundown. Besides the castle, there is another thing you really have to take a closer look at, the cafes & restaurants in this city. Back in the dark ages the city was built around the castle, today the city is built around the various departments of the universities. This is a city full of young people and there is so much good food, I am sure you enjoy it.

Archway at Castle Hohentübingen in Tübingen, Germany.
Courtyard of Castle Hohentübingen in Tübingen, Germany.
Backyard of Castle Hohentübingen in Tübingen, Germany.
Viewpoint facing east at Castle Hohentübingen in Tübingen, Germany. The old town and some newer buildings are visible.
Viewpoint facing north at Castle Hohentübingen in Tübingen, Germany. The old town and some newer buildings are visible.

Accessibility & Challenges

As I said before, Tübingen is a small city, you can’t get lost, and traffic is not much of an issue. The city core is a pedestrian zone and exploring is quite comfortable. With the ‘Umbrisch-Provenzalischer Markt’ in town it is however extremely crowded. I am not sure how you feel, but I find it kind of hard to navigate through a big crowd and check out the venue at the same time. I always have to get close to check out the offered goods, and then it is likely that I recognize only a few things. Those situations can be a bit easier with another person accompanying you, however then you must focus that you don’t lose your companion. Outside the city center you won’t have much of an issue by walking on foot. On larger intersections you will find accessible pedestrian signals and LED traffic lights to cross the street safely.

Intersection with traffic lights and acessible pedestrian signal in Tübingen, Germany.
Accessible pedestrian signal at an intersection in Tübingen, Germany.

Verdict

Usually, I do prepare a little bit, so I know what to expect from a new city. For Tübingen I did look up the path from the main station to the hotel but nothing else really. I did not expect such a lovely city and great vibes. If you are in the area, you should visit Tübingen. This place is easy to navigate and there is nothing that will hold you back from exploring and having a great time.

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