Exploring on a Budget

Rachel Musetti
March 19, 2020

Studying abroad is total freedom. The only thing you need to ask permission from is your wallet, which if you're like me will all too often tell you to reconsider. For those of us looking for that extraordinary experience with an economical price tag, here's a list of inexpensive yet memorable activities I enjoyed in Freiburg.

Botanical Gardens

Operated by the University of Freiburg, the Botanical Gardens in Freiburg were constructed in 1620 and are one of the first in Germany. Admission is completely free, and the gardens are loved by community members and visitors alike. Every time you go is a completely new experience and it’s definitely worth a visit.

To get to the Botanical Gardens, simply hop on Tram 4 toward Zahringen. You'll find a beautiful greenhouse that is about 900 square meters and is perfect for rainy days. Not only is it a breathtaking walk through the greenhouse, but it is also divided into four regions, hosting tropical plants, succulents, ferns, and cacti. Whether you’re looking to warm up from the rain or simply need a reason to smile, the greenhouse always left me in awe. 

But no matter how beautiful the greenhouse is, Freiburg is the sunniest city in Germany and no one wants to waste those gorgeous days inside. The Botanical Gardens has a huge outdoor exhibit, with everything you could dream of, from quizzes to evolutionary explanations, you can easily spend the day in the garden. The garden’s focus is on Black Forest flora so even in February the garden is full of life. My two favorite exhibits were the beehives and the tree ring examples demonstrating the difference between hardwood and softwood. There’s so much to learn, just remember to have Google Translate downloaded as the descriptions are all in German. 


Located in the heart of the city, the Münster Cathedral is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever set foot in. Every day of the week except Sunday there is a lively market taking place around the cathedral where you can get a hearty lunch for a couple of Euros and they have an amazing tofu stand for vegetarians and vegans. 

But my favorite part of the Münster is inside. Admission into the cathedral is free and you are welcome to explore and take pictures, and speaking from experience you can never take too many pictures of a building as beautiful as the Münster. Once you are satisfied with pictures on the ground floor, make your way to the staircase where for 2 Euros you can climb to the very top of the spire and look at the city. It is truly an experience like no other.


If you couldn't tell from previous blogs, the number of hiking options in Freiburg leaves me speechless. While some hikes can last hours and offer breathtaking views, there are also shorter hikes that will help you find peace of mind. I suggest using AllTrails and Google Maps to find hikes, but it's been rewarding to ask locals about their favorites as well. A couple of my friends have German roommates and they already know all the hidden treasures, so be sure to ask around! Every person I asked had a different hike to recommend and each one has proven worthwhile.


It's hard to study in Germany and not think about all the hundreds of years of history that took place right where you are standing. Freiburg is home to an abundance of museums ranging from everything from art to archeology. All the museums offer discounted rates for students, so be sure to show your ID when you arrive. 

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Rachel Musetti

<p>Originally from rural Pennsylvania, I'm currently a third-year at Emory University studying Environmental Sciences and minoring in Sustainability. I'm really excited to spend a semester in Germany's sunniest and most sustainable city! Hiking and camping have always been passions of mine, so I'm ready to go explore Europe!</p>

Home University:
Emory University
Damascus, PA
Environmental Studies
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