Located around a 40-minute drive southwest of Stuttgart is the small little town of Tubingen.
Tubingen has a rich history, with a medieval castle atop one of the many hills dating back to 1078. Home to one of Central Europe’s oldest Universities (Eberhard Karls University) in 1477 and the earliest settlement first recorded during the 6th and 7th centuries.
Fortunately, during the Second World War, Tubingen was left relatively unscathed, and many of the medieval buildings remain intact. If you are willing to take the small hike up a hill to Hohentubingen Castle (Schloss), the view is the reward. From its perch, there are spectacular views of the river and sprawling own. While the castle now houses part of the University, it was home to the dukes of Tubingen.
The Marktplatz or marketplace is a small square with many cobbled streets weaving off it. It is home to a busy market during the weekends as well as outdoor cinema screenings and other events throughout the year. It is the heart of the town, feeling as if you have stepped back in time with how preserved and traditional the area is.
The Swabian Alps sit around Tubingen, and many locals speak with the Swabian dialect which is slower and softer than traditional German. The food has strong Swabian influences, with hearty and traditional dishes such as stews that are worth a try.
The town remains heavily student-populated, with almost every third person of the city being a student! This student dynamic creates somewhat liberal and young energy to this city, almost in contradiction to its medieval beginnings. There is a bustling nightlife, with many bars open late and lots of events open to the public through the universities. Since the building of the university, it has been a central feature of the town with its sprawling campus away from the town centre.
The Neckar river remains an integral part of the town and in the summer is the scene of many busy beer gardens. If you fancy your chances, you can punt down the river in a Stocherkahn. From the bridge, you can view the brightly coloured picturesque houses along the river bank. These homes have become a picture postcard synonymous with Tubingen.