Must see attractions in Swabian Alps Region

  • Top ChoiceSights in Ulm

    Ulmer Münster

    'Ooh, it’s so big'… First-time visitors gush as they strain their neck muscles gazing up to the Münster. It is. And rather beautiful. Celebrated for its 161.5m-high steeple, this Goliath of cathedrals, the world’s tallest, took 500 years to build from the first stone laid in 1377. Note the hallmarks on each stone, inscribed by cutters who were paid by the block. Those intent on cramming the Münster into one photo, filigree spire and all, should lie on the cobbles. Only by puffing up 768 spiral steps to the tower's 143m-high viewing platform can you appreciate the Münster’s dizzying height. There are terrific views of the Black Forest and, on cloud-free days, the Alps. The Israelfenster, a stained-glass window above the west door, commemorates Jews killed during the Holocaust. The Gothic-style wooden pulpit canopy eliminates echoes during sermons. Biblical figures and historical characters such as Pythagoras embellish the 15th-century oak choir stalls. The Münster’s regular organ concerts are a musical treat.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Museum Ulm

    This museum is a fascinating romp through ancient and modern art, history and archaeology. Standouts include the 20th-century Kurt Fried Collection, starring Klee, Picasso and Lichtenstein works shown in rotating exhibitions. Archaeological highlights are tiny Upper Palaeolithic figurines unearthed in caves in the Swabian Alps, including the 30,000-year-old ivory Löwenmensch (lion man), the world’s oldest zoomorphic sculpture. There's free entry on the first Friday of the month.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Marktplatz

    Lording it over the Marktplatz, the 14th-century Rathaus sports a step-gabled, lavishly frescoed Renaissance facade. Out front is the Fischkastenbrunnen, where fishmongers once dumped their catch to be sold at market. The Rathaus' architectural antithesis is the cutting-edge glass pyramid of the Stadtbibliothek, the city's main library.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Stadtmauer

    South of the Fischerviertel, along the Danube’s north bank, runs the red-brick Stadtmauer (city wall), the height of which was reduced in the 19th century after Napoleon decided that a heavily fortified Ulm was against his best interests. Walk it for fine views over the river, the Altstadt and the slightly off-centre Metzgerturm.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Fischerviertel

    The charming Fischerviertel, Ulm’s old fishers’ and tanners’ quarter, is slightly southwest of the centre. Beautifully restored half-timbered houses huddle along the two channels of the Blau River. Harbouring art galleries, rustic restaurants, courtyards and the crookedest house in the world – as well as one of the narrowest – the cobbled lanes are ideal for a leisurely saunter.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Einstein Fountain & Monument

    A nod to Ulm’s most famous son, this fiendishly funny bronze fountain by Jürgen Goertz shows a wild-haired, tongue-poking-out Albert Einstein, who was born in Ulm but left when he was one year old. Standing in front of the 16th-century Zeughaus, the rocket-snail creation is a satirical play on humanity’s attempts to manipulate evolution for its own self-interest. Nearby, at Zeughaus 14, is a single stone bearing the inscription Ein Stein (One Stone).

  • Sights in Ulm

    Zeughaus

    With origins dating back to the early 14th century, the Zeughaus is one of Ulm's most impressive historical buildings. It underwent significant expansion in the 16th and 17th centuries – note the Renaissance and baroque motifs embellishing the portals – and was damaged during WWII. Only a few of the original arsenal's weapons remain as most were seized during the Napoleonic Wars. Out front is the Einstein Fountain, dedicated to Ulm's brainiest son.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Stadthaus

    Designed by Richard Meier, the contemporary aesthetic of the concrete-and-glass Stadthaus is a dramatic contrast to the Münster. The American architect caused uproar by erecting the postmodern building alongside the city’s Gothic giant but the result is striking. The Stadthaus stages exhibitions and events, and houses the tourist office and a cafe.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Synagogue

    Fitting neatly into Ulm's ensemble of eye-catching contemporary architecture, this free-standing synagogue was built for the Jewish community and completed in 2012. The architecturally striking edifice sits on the Weinhof, close to the former synagogue that was destroyed during Kristallnacht in 1938. At night its main window shimmers with the Star of David pattern.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Museum der Brotkultur

    How grain grows, what makes a good dough and other bread-related mysteries are unravelled at the Museum of Bread Culture. The collection celebrates bread as the staff of life over millennia and across cultures, displaying curios from mills to Egyptian corn mummies.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Rathaus

    The 14th-century Rathaus has an ornately painted Renaissance facade and a gilded astrological clock (1520); bells count off every quarter-hour. Inside you can see a replica of the flying machine created by the ‘Tailor of Ulm’, Albrecht Berblinger.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Schwörhaus

    On the third Monday of July, the mayor swears allegiance to the town’s 1397 constitution from the 1st-floor loggia of the early 17th-century baroque Schwörhaus (Oath House), three blocks west of the Rathaus.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Kunsthalle Weishaupt

    The glass-fronted Kunsthalle Weishaupt contains the private collection of Siegfried Weishaupt, which is presented in rotating exhibitions. The accent is on modern and pop art, with bold paintings by Klein, Warhol and Haring.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Stadtbibliothek

    This 36m-high glass pyramid is the city’s main library. Designed by Gottfried Böhm, it's most impressive illuminated after dark.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Albrecht Berblinger Plaque

    This bronze plaque marks where Albrecht Berblinger, a tailor who invented a flying machine, attempted to fly over the Danube in 1811. The so-called ‘Tailor of Ulm’ made an embarrassing splash landing but his design was later shown to be workable (his failure was caused by a lack of thermals on that day).

  • Sights in Ulm

    Fischkastenbrunnen

    In the Marktplatz is the Fischkastenbrunnen, a fountain where fishmongers kept their river fish alive on market days.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Einstein Memorial

    On Bahnhofstrasse sits Max Bill’s memorial (1979) to the great physicist – a stack of red-granite pillars marking the spot where Einstein was born.

  • Sights in Ulm

    Metzgerturm

    Part of Ulm's original medieval fortifications, the 36m-high, colourful tile-roofed Metzgerturm does a Tower of Pisa by leaning 2.05m off-centre.