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This post lists all the magical and intersting things to do in Tubingen in one day. Apart from that, this is also a detailed guide to the magical town of Tuebingen, Germany.
What do you picture when you hear the word – Germany?? Beer? Football? Angry Germans?? The real Germany consists of polite and organised people, fairy-tale towns, magical castles and of course a lot of beer. Tübingen (or Tuebingen) is a small university city in South-West Germany that’s truly unique and magical. Throughout this travel blog post, you’ll see the word magical everywhere because I stand by it – that’s how I would describe Tubingen in one word.
Apart from this Tubingen travel guide, if you wish to see enchanting pictures of this place and other places in the world, feel free to head over to my Instagram profile (@thespicyjourney).
Table of Contents
10 Magical Things to do in Tubingen in One Day
This Tubingen travel guide contains everything you need to know for your visit to Tuebingen, Germany. Apart from listing the 10 best things to do in Tubingen, it will tell you the best time to visit Tubingen, how to reach there, where to eat in Tubingen, where to stay etc. It will also answer any additional questions you may have about your visit. In case you still need some additional information, feel free to drop a comment and I’ll be sure to reply promptly!
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Best Time to Visit Tuebingen
May to July are the best months to visit Tubingen, since this is the summertime in Germany. Keep in mind that everyone will be out on the streets and in the gardens during summer.
Thus, if you want to avoid the crowds, you can visit Tubingen in the shoulder months like March, April, September and October. This is when the weather won’t be perfect, but bearable. However, the positive side is that there will be much fewer people out and about during this time.
How to Reach Tuebingen
Because Tuebingen is small and completely off the tourist radar, you might need some help in getting to know how to reach Tuebingen. It is well-connected to nearby cities and even to the rest of Germany.
Nearest Airport to Tubingen
Stuttgart Airport is the nearest airport to Tubingen, which is located around 30 km away. From here, you can take a direct shuttle bus or even a taxi cab to reach Tubingen. Coming to the popular airports, Frankfurt airport is 230 km from Tubingen. On the other hand, Munich airport is 263 km from Tubingen.
How to Reach Tuebingen by Rail
Stuttgart is the closest big city to Tuebingen. If you’re doing a one day trip to Tuebingen from Stuttgart, getting here will be super easy. Given that there are direct shuttle buses and trains from Stuttgart to Tübingen, no matter which city you’re coming from, you’ll have to go to Stuttgart first then reach Tuebingen.
How to Reach Tuebingen by Road
I personally had traveled to Tubingen by road, driving here from Munich. Munich to Tubingen was a 2.5 hour ride, and we also did a stopover at Lichtenstein castle nearby. Just like all of Germany, roads are wide, with carefully laid-out rules and so it was an easy drive to Tuebingen.
How Many Days to Spend in Tubingen?
Tubingen is a very small city and can easily be seen in just one day. That being said, I highly recommend spending a night here because of how beautiful the city center is. I personally loved taking a romantic stroll through the Tuebingen Marktplatz (Market Place) after sunset with my husband. However, if you don’t have the time, you will still be able to cover all of the city within 1 day.
Is it Worth Visiting Tubingen?
It’s understandable if you have doubts or apprehensions about visiting Tubingen. It’s practically unheard of. But, if you ask me if it’s worth visiting Tuebingen, I’d only say yes yes and yes again!! Germany is known for its fairy-tale villages and Tuebingen is not less than any fairy-tale town.
Can I do a Day Trip to Tubingen from Frankfurt or Stuttgart?
If you live in Germany, you’ll know that you can cover a 200 km journey within 2 hours. Together with the Autobahn (which has no speed limitations) and the nice clean roads, you can easily drive down to Tubingen from any big city. We ourselves drove 2.5 hours from Munich to Tubingen, and did sightseeing in the city in one day. Frankfurt to Tubingen should be a 2 hour drive whereas Stuttgart to Tubingen is only 30 minutes.
Map of Things to do in Tubingen, Germany
Things to do in Tubingen in One Day
1. Take a Walk on the Iconic Bridge
Every iconic, signature picture that you’ve seen of Tübingen has been taken from this particular picturesque bridge. The bridge is located close to the Tübingen city center, along the main road of the city – you can’t miss it. This beautiful bridge is lined with street lights that are laden with colorful flowers. Every now and then you’ll even see a ‘punt’ boat gliding by in the river. Not to mention the many pictures and videos you can take on this bridge.
2. River Punting
Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll see quite a few punting boats on the Neckar river in Tubingen. Usually, punting here is a University tradition and most of the boats are owned by college fraternities. These boats are long and narrow while they have wooden benches for seating. There’ll be someone standing at the back, pushing a long stick into the river and thus propelling the boat forward. Make sure you grab a pizza and some beers whilst you go punting on the river – definitely one of the most interesting things to do in Tubingen in one day.
3. Enjoy a Walk through Neckarinsel Garden
You’ll see the Neckarinsel Garden while you’re standing on the bridge that I mentioned earlier. This humble garden is located on a small island on the Neckar river. As you enter the park, you’ll see a large beautiful birdhouse build for pigeons on the left-hand side. Whereas, the Marktplatz, or the Market Place of Tubingen, lies on the other side. The garden itself is scenic, with rows of trees neatly arranged in an organised manner along the path. You can spend one time strolling or enjoying a picnic with a view of the river, the bridge and the colorful lined buildings from here.
4. See the Botanical Garden
Speaking of gardens, there are two more gardens in Tuebingen. No matter what else you do, visiting at least one of these gardens should certainly be in your list of things to do in Tubingen in one day. The old botanical garden is close to the Tübingen Marktplatz, whereas the new one is a little farther off. The old botanical garden lies on the way from our hotel where we stayed to the city center so we walked through it on the way. Most of the people visiting the garden were locals with kids who wanted to play outside. The new garden is bigger and more beautiful so you can decide which one you want to visit.
5. Marvel at the Tübingen Marktplatz
The Tübingen Marktplatz is one of the most beautiful market places I’ve seen in all of Germany. Keep in mind that I live in Germany so I’ve seen loads of them. The entire Old Town of Tübingen has cobblestone steps, boutique stores, romantic outdoor restaurants and they all lead to the incredibly beautiful market square. Me and my husband spend hours simply strolling around the Old Town. We even sampled many cute outdoor cafes. Finally, we got takeout from an Asian restaurant and sat by the steps in the Marktplatz, enjoying the Autumn wind and the views all around us. You certainly can’t miss this while you’re in Tübingen for 24 hours.
6. Visit the Hohentubingen Castle
Hohentübingen is just a 10-minute (but uphill) walk from the Tübingen marktplatz. The castle offers sweeping panoramic views of the entire city, the Neckar river and even the Neckarinsel garden. You should come here while you’re visiting Tübingen for one day if and only if you have the time. Speaking personally, we did have the time but we were enjoying strolling around the city quite a bit so we skipped the castle. However, if you have the time and the desire to walk uphill, you should certainly visit the Hohentübingen castle as it’s one of the most spectacular places to visit in Tübingen.
7. Have Coffee with a View
I’ve mentioned this countless times already but let me stress this again. The Tübingen Marktplatz is one of the most beautiful market squares in Germany. If you have just one day in Tübingen, you can’t skip spending at least half an hour sitting at a nice outdoor cafe or restaurant, sipping a hot cup of coffee, whilst staring at the gorgeous views surrounding you. We ourselves sat outdoors at Cafe im Hirsch, which is close to the Marktplatz and I have no complaints whatsoever!
8. Hop Over to Lichtenstein Castle
If you have more than one day in Tübingen, have run out of things to do in Tubingen or simply have the time for it then you can do a quick day trip to Lichtenstein castle from here. This castle is located just a 30 minute drive from Tubingen and is small enough to cover quickly but grand enough to make it worth visiting. We ourselves were coming to Tübingen from Munich so we stopped at Lichtenstein first before making our way to Tubingen. But you can go the other way around as well. Is Lichtenstein castle even worth visiting? Hell yeah! The castle is high-up, built on a tall rock and surrounded by a small but nice garden and lush greenery. It’s not much but definitely worth a quick visit.
9. Explore the Tubingen Old Town
I could honestly spend hours, nay days, strolling around the Old Town of Tübingen. What’s not to like? Cobblestone steps? Good. Outdoor seating? Good. Boutique stores? Good. Charming vibes? Good! Because Tuebingen is a small university city and it’s still not under the tourist radar, you won’t find the streets too crowded. Just a handful of tourists, some locals and university students roaming around. Whether you indulge in shopping at one of the many specialty stores, or drink at the local pub, you’re sure to have a good time here.
10. End with an Outdoor Dinner
End your one magical day in Tubingen with a hearty dinner at one of the many outdoor restaurants and cafes in Tübingen. On our first night in Tubingen, we ate takeout by the Marktplatz whereas on our second night, we sat down for a nice dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. There are way too many restaurants in Tubingen for you to choose from so you won’t have a problem finding a place for dinner.
Where to Stay in Tubingen?
While in Tübingen, we stayed at Hotel Meteora, which is a clean, modern and decently priced hotel, not far from the Tubingen city center. One night here cost us €98 which included a grand breakfast buffet. One of the reasons why we chose to stay here particularly is because they offer free parking at the premises. Another great thing about Hotel Meteora are the clean, modern rooms with a decent amount of space. Additionally, the hotel is located just 1.5 km from the city center, which is easy to cover by foot.
List of the Best Restaurants and Cafes in Tubingen
1. Veggie Box
Veggie Box is a vegan restaurant, located close to the Old Botanical Garden of Tubingen. I tried a vegan wrap which was filled with a fried vegan fritters, a salad, potato fries, and sauces which I got to choose on my own. My husband tried the vegan meal where he could choose from rice/ bulgur/ potato etc and it came with a side of dressing and a salad. We both loved what we had. One thins I liked about this place was the number of choices available, which we don’t usually find in a vegan restaurant. Secondly, everything was budget friendly and lastly, the quantity of all dishes was ample and filling.
2. Saints & Scholars
We visited Saints & Scholars on our second night in Tubingen, solely because it was close to our hotel and it looked quite inviting. It’s located right next to the road so it shouldn’t be hard to find. The restaurant is massive, with plenty of both indoor as well as outdoor seating. The place seemed to be popular among university professors and students. We tried the veggie burger, that came with a choice of either a salad or potato fries. The veggie patty itself was delicious and had a good texture. The sauce and the caramelized onions at the top tasted delicious too. All in all, we loved the vibe here.
3. Hao’s Box
I’ll be honest – we only choose to carry a takeout from here because we saw many people carrying these cute boxes out on the streets. As we were walking along the main road, trying to find a restaurant to eat at, we saw Hao’s box and immediately decided to try Asian food. They had the option of vegetarian noodles without meat and we got to add fried spring rolls as an extra for 50 cents. We could even choose the size of the box – a small or large. They had extra spicy sauce that we could add, if we wanted. Two veggie noodle boxes with spring rolls cost us around 9 Euro, which is cheap for a dinner. What I loved about Tubingen is the number of inexpensive places to eat, because it is a University city.
4. Hotel Restaurant Meteora
As mentioned earlier, we had stayed at Hotel Meteora which also had a fabulous restaurant. The restaurant itself was on the bottom floor, large, spacious and had ample seating. In the morning, they put up a grand breakfast buffet for guests whereas for lunch and dinner, we could order from the menu. All the food on the menu looked inviting and it seemed a popular place in the evenings, not to mention how convenient it was for us to eat there instead of heading out when we were tired from a day full of sightseeing in Tubingen.
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