Sitting plump at the foot of the Black Forest’s wooded slopes and vineyards, Freiburg is a sunny, cheerful university town, its medieval Altstadt a storybook tableau of gabled townhouses, cobblestone lanes and cafe-rimmed plazas. Party-loving students spice up the local nightlife.
Blessed with 2000 hours of annual sunshine, this is Germany’s warmest city. Indeed, while neighbouring hilltop villages are still shovelling snow, the trees in Freiburg are clouds of white blossom, and locals are already imbibing in canal-side beer gardens. This eco-trailblazer has shrewdly tapped into that natural energy to generate nearly as much solar power as the whole of Britain, making it one of the country’s greenest cities.