Fribourg is a city in Switzerland that is also the canton's capital and economic center. The city was founded in 1157 by Herzog Berthold IV of Zaehringen. Fribourg is known for its cultural plurality, university, and bridges over the Sarine River that link the French-speaking part of Switzerland to the German-speaking part.

Fribourg offers a multitude of architectural sights. The Old Town, with Switzerland's best-preserved fortifications, is under a preservation order and there are still more than 200 Gothic-style houses to be admired. In addition there are aristocratic town houses, monuments, St. Niklaus cathedral and numerous churches.

Panorama of Fribourg


Fribourg has been a part of the Swiss Confederation since 1481, with over 10,000 inhabitants at that time. Since the city was founded on a peninsula many bridges were built to span the Sarine River, the first one in 1250. In the 19th century Fribourg was famous for its suspension bridges which have now been replaced with concrete. The university was founded in 1889. The 2000 census showed a population of 35,000 city residents and 235,000 in the Fribourg canton.

Sprinkled throughout the city are Renaissance fountains and more recent fountains such as the Tinguely Fountain made in 1984.

Get in

By train

Fribourg is accessible by one of the most efficient rail services in the world, the SBB. Trains run from Geneva airport, Geneva, Thun, Lausanne, St. Gallen, and Bern and Zürich, as well as many other cities and towns throughout Switzerland (anywhere from every half hour to daily) throughout the day and night. The SBB website has an excellent online timetable and route planner.

By plane

There is an intercity train from Zürich airport to Fribourg (1hr 41min). Other connections can be made but require changes. Zürich airport is Switzerland's largest international gateway with flights from all over Europe and North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and is 160km from Fribourg.

Fribourg can also be accessed from Basel's EuroAirport within 1hr 48min by bus and train. Bus 50 takes you from the airport to the Basel SBB in 17 minutes and runs frequently throughout the day. There are multiple connection every hour from the Basel SBB to Fribourg. EuroAirport is an international airport servicing many cities throughout Europe and is 140km from Fribourg.

Geneva airport is also 140km from Fribourg with direct train links that run hourly.

Get around


The best way to see the ancient and modern sights of Fribourg is on foot. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance from the main railway and bus station.



Portal over entrance to St. Nicholas Cathedral



Zaehringen Bridge from the steeple of the cathedral





Another Fribourg little panorama


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