Fribourg has been sitting too long in my travel bucket-list and I finally ticked it off. Don’t know why it took me a long time to finally go there when it’s literally 30 minutes away by train from where I live. It was a no-plan kind of day and I was traveling solo to this beautiful town. Or city. I actually don’t know if Fribourg is a city or a town. Anyway, Fribourg is more than what I expected, way more charming than the Fribourg I searched on the Internet. I spontaneously hiked around and saw Fribourg in several angles (if that even makes sense).
To get to Fribourg, it’s pretty simple. Just buy a ticket to Fribourg and follow the time schedule in the train station. Once I got off the train, I went around for a while nearby the train station to kinda get the vibe of this medieval city (or town). I happened to bumped into a flea market where some people sell this vintage old stuff such as old cameras, antiquities, clothes. I went to Fribourg on Sunday, and probably it is happening every Sunday. The location of the flea market is in Place Georges-Phyton, adjacent to Rue de Lausanne (look it up in the Google Maps). Rue de Lausanne is a very cool, car-free, pedestrian-only street by the way, with lots of cafes to try.
Ville de Fribourg
If you see in the Map Itinerary (scroll down), I put Ville de Fribourg as the starting point of my hiking. Walking downhill to the Rue de Grand-Fontaine, you might find a small parking lot with incredible view. It is on the left of the Rue de Grand-Fontaine if you’re walking down. I seriously love the view from there. You can see like the opposite hill and that’s where I hiked around after passing through the houses and crossing the river. The hike trail I did is not quite the same with the Map Itinerary that I put. There are some off-path from the map that I pin in the Google Map. But hey, you can always improvise your hiking and just go with it. Switzerland is very hiking and outdoor-activities friendly and you can see signs of hiker sticker and also bicycle everywhere.
Continuing the little hike after the amazing view of Fribourg, you will pass by the houses to get to the other side. Following after Rue de Grand-Fontaine, you should go downhill (again) to Escalier du Court-Chemin. There are some bars, cafes, restaurants but I didn’t try any of them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. To get across, you also have to pass by a river with a little stone bridge called Pont de Saint-Jean. Everything in this small area neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly cause the streets are too narrow. A lil tips about hiking for beginners (I’m a beginner too), you should follow the tall tower or building if you cannot find your way back and like in Fribourg, the Cathedral is very tall and can be seen from everywhere. You can use that (Fribourg Cathedral or Cathedral Saint-Nicolas) as a pinpoint if you ever get lost during your adventure.
After lots of stairs to get to Chemin de Lorette and lots of sweat, you will be rewarded with the eye-pleasing view of Fribourg. There’s something about these old town of buildings /houses with red roof scattered on the other side that made me love Fribourg and definitely wanna come back for this scenery. I took like 100 snaps of that view because I just can’t get enough. At the end of Chemin de Lorette, there’s this little chapel called Loretto Chapel and it has beautiful view of the bridges, both the white, modern one and the stone bridge. But the Loretto Chapel itself is quite creepy and I’m not sure if we can enter it.
Pont de Berne
Going downhill from the Chemin de Lorette and Beau Chemin (again, see Map Itineraries), I encounter off path through the forest sadly not in the Google Map. It’s safe but kinda steep. Sarine River is part of Fribourg and that’s the reason why there are bridges and one of them is Pont de Berne, the wood bridge. There’s also another bridge, and also made from wood and it has this wall (so it’s not like open-wall bridge) and decoration with vintage portraits/pictures but it happens to be off Google Map too. Pont de Berne reminds me of the short version of the wooden bridge in Lucerne.
Fribourg Cathedral Saint-Nicolas
Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas or Fribourg Cathedral, definitely a gothic cathedral that seems to be the icon of Fribourg. Didn’t go there when I was in Fribourg. I never know if I can enter a church or cathedral as a tourist or I have to pretend that I’m there to pray, if you know what I mean. Well not really like pretend, I’m a catholic and I’m happy to go to church but you know, sometimes it’s just weird bringing mirrorless camera to the church. It said it was founded in 13th century and it is a Roman Catholic church. Like any other European church, it’s still open for mass but probably only in French language.
At the end of my spontaneous, little hike, I discovered Cafe Belvedere. You can see the location in the Map Itinerary down below. It has this cool theme and definitely the coolest view. I adore their ceiling-to-floor shelves with books (vintage mostly) and everything inside Cafe Belvedere seems so cozy and warm because of the warm tone of brown everywhere. I really want to take pictures of the inside (and I did ask permission actually) but there were so many people and I’m really shy and awkward if I start snapping around haha. This place is definitely recommended for you. Either after your hike or straight to Cafe Belvedere after you got off the train, I think you’ll like this cafe.
This blog post is just me telling you a small fraction of Fribourg. When you stroll around in the Grand Rue (somewhere between Rue de Lausanne and Cathedral Saint-Nicolas) you can see so many cool stores, restaurants, cafes, and museums. I really wanna go to the cool places but it was Sunday where naturally, everything’s closed. I even found an Indonesian Restaurant that I really hope that I can give a try in the future. By the way, notice something missing in some of my pictures? The cloud, nothing but a great blue sky.