Get to know Fribourg and meet new people
Fribourg provides lots of opportunity to get together with like-minded people. There are lots of camps, mums groups and meet-ups. Look into expat groups and clubs, like the Swiss Alpine Club, in your area. Another great way to make friends is by participating in a sport or signing up for a language class.
Keskispass is a free online guide to Fribourg events that lists concerts, cinema showings and much more. Keep an eye on the Hello Switzerland Events page. Also, Fribourg Tourism and My Switzerland have great suggestions on how to spend a perfect day in Fribourg.
Learn about available English news resources in the article Entertainment, News & Media in Fribourg.
Things to do in Fribourg
Fribourg is a well-preserved medieval university city. It has a rich cultural heritage, a multicultural population and hosts regular events and cultural activities. Read about its excellent public transport network in the article Getting around Fribourg.
Explore Fribourg by way of its many fountains, or take part in one of the other city walking tours. If you are feeling adventurous, take a flying lesson at the Ecuvillens Airfield (FR). Use the Around Me feature on the Hello Switzerland app (on iPhone and Android) to locate points of interest in your vicinity. You may also be interested in the article Family activities in Fribourg.
Cultural activities in Fribourg
For a small city, Fribourg has an excellent selection of museums. The Art History Museum (French/German) is housed in the historic Hôtel Ratzé. Espace Jean Tinguely et Niki de Saint Phalle (FR) at the former Tram Depot is a must for art lovers. And for beer enthusiasts, a visit to the Cardinal Brewery Museum should definitely be added to the list! One great gallery to stop by is Fri-Art.
Visit some of the many heritage sites in Fribourg, such as the Old Town, the funicular, the Cathedral of St Nicholas, the Loreto Chapel, and Hauterive Abbey. Fribourg Old Station (DE/FR) has been converted into a cultural centre, which hosts the Fribourg International Film Festival, the Nouveau Monde cultural centre (FR), and the Belluard Bollwerk International. Equilibre (DE/FR) is a new theatre, connected to Fribourg Tourism, with opera and ballet.
Special dates and seasonal activities
Throughout the year there are several special regional events that happen around Fribourg.
- February or March is the traditional Fribourg Carnival (Carnaval des Bolzes) located in the basse ville, with a special children's carnival occurring on Tuesday.
- In April, the Natural History Museum hosts the Eastern Exhibition where you can observe baby chicks hatching. The SlowUp Festival (DE/FR) takes place in May along Lakes Murten/Morat and Gruyères. There are no cars allowed at this festival, simply walk or bike around the lakes with friends or family.
- A new music festival is beginning in July 2014 called the Les George Festival (international). Various musical band (jazz, rock, pop) coming from all over the world will play on stage.
- In July and August, make sure to take advantage of Fribourg beach (DE/FR), a good place to enjoy and relax with children. It is located on the grand place near to the train station.
- Of course 1 August is important as it is Swiss National Day. Fireworks and Barbecues are organized in all the cities and village in the canton of Fribourg. In the city of Fribourg the celebration is usually located by the Lorette.
- Experience the annual traditions of Bénichon (end of the farming season) and Désalpe (when the cows come down from the mountains) in September/October. This is also organised in nearly all of the villages in the canton of Fribourg.
- Also in autumn is Hubert Audriaz's Magical World in the quartier de l'Auge.
- The parade of St. Nicolas takes place in early December and is attended by 20-30 thousand people. The "cortege" starts at the St Michel College and ends up at the Cathedral with a speech from the St Nicolas.
Eating out, restaurants & nightlife
Explore Fribourg's nightlife at restaurants and bars around the city. In Café-Restaurant de la Clef you can enjoy an aperitif while taking in the views of the Sarine River and the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas. You may get to hear the unique local dialect known as Bolzé, a mixture of French and German. Le Gothard and Des Trois Rois offer traditional Fribourg specialities. Paddy Reilly's Pub is a well-known expat hang-out in town. For a fine dining experience, Le Perolle is a good choice. Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville is also excellent. If you are on the hunt for more affordable ethnic food, you will find several options around the train station.
Leisure and day trips in and around Fribourg
- Take the fondue train to Gruyères.
- Explore the area around Murten/Morat and Neuchâtel Lakes.
- Spend a day in the town of Avenches.
- Relax at Les Bains de la Gruyères.
- Take a walk on the Panoramic Trail at Gantrisch.
- If you need a bit of wildlife, visit Papiliorama in Kerzers. Under several glass domes the Papiliorama takes you into a tropical climate where all kinds of animals, plants, insects, and of course butterflies live together.
- Musée du chocolat in Broc is where you go to discover the process of chocolate manufacturing in the famous Maison Cailler (Nestlé).
- At Estavaver le lac (French) you can go sailing, windsurfing and water-skiing.
Photo: © FRIBOURG REGION