Ulm is a great German city, home to the world’s largest church steeple and so much more. It’s worth a day trip at the least.
I love Ulm, Germany because it is located halfway between Stuttgart and Munich which makes it a perfect stop for me when I travel between the two. I didn’t really plan to stop here, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was so much to do.
1) Ulmer Münster (Ulm Cathedral)
Of course, the first place to head to in Ulm, Germany is the Cathedral. It is the tallest church steeple in the world measuring a whopping 161.53 meters. That’s roughly 530 feet. You will find it at the center of the Munsterplatz (creative name don’t you think). Unfortunately, visiting on a foggy day doesn’t allow you the best view of the steeple from the outside as it pretty much gets swallowed up by the clouds.
Another opportune aspect of visiting the Cathedral was that the entrance was free. That’s always a perk if you ask me. But I wasn’t really left breathless by the interior. Maybe I am jaded as I have seen a lot of churches and my standards may be slightly inflated when it comes to the wow factor. But hey, it still has it’s aspects of beauty and after all, this is just my opinion.
You can climb the 768 steps up the church steeple for a small fee, and the views are pretty spectacular up there. Unless you’re unlucky enough to run into the dreaded fog of course.
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1a) Enjoy the view of the Ulmer Münster
The inside of the Cathedral may not have inspired awe, but the exterior is a whole other thing. I can confidently say that the favourite part of my stop here is sitting in the Munsterplatz and enjoying a hearty drink and looking up at the steeple. My advice would be to sit comfortably if you’re going to be looking up at the steeple for more than a few minutes. For obvious reasons of course. You can head to Cafe im Stadthaus, a modern cafe that is a stark contrast to the cathedral but offers the best views through its massive windows.
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2) Check out the Albert Einstein Fountain
Ulm, Germany is the birthplace of Albert Einstein and there is a rather comical fountain that is worth visiting. I’m not sure this is how I would wish to be immortalized, but it is memorable and better than another boring looking statue just standing there.
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3) Fishermen’s Quarter (Fisherviertel)
The Fishermen’s Quarter can be found lining the River Blau. Here you will find some exquisite half-timber houses and cobblestone streets. As you can imagine, this was once the home of fishermen and tanners in a time long past. One of the highlights here is the Crooked House (Shiefeshaus). As the name aptly describes, it is a leaning 16th century house that has been renovated and is now a hotel. You can’t visit Germany and not appreciate the beauty of half-timber houses.
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4) Go for a Walk Along Fortress Way (Festungsweg)
Ulm, Germany is home to the Federal Fortifications which were built between 1842 – 1859. Fortress Way (Festungsweg) provides a nice walk along with the surviving buildings with signs along the way (in German). The Federal Fortress has more than 800 rooms in its four wings and was the largest fortress in Germany at the time.
While it is possible to go inside some of the buildings, it does take some planning. Fort Oberer Kuhberg (Upper Fort Kuhberg) is only open to the public on Sundays only from 2-5 pm, with a guided tour on the first Sunday of every month at 2 pm. Guided tours are available at Wilheimsburg (William’s Castle) on the third Sunday of every month at 1 pm.
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5)The World’s Largest Bread Museum (Museum der Brotkultur)
If you’re a lover of weird and wonderful, then you will love this quirky museum. You’re probably wondering why I am telling you to visit a bread museum of all places. Well, it may not be the best thing since sliced bread, but this attraction in Ulm Germany was one of my favorites. First off, the staff is amazing and friendly so hats off to them.
You can take a self-guided tour (in English), which is included in your admission price which is reasonable. At the bread museum, you will find over 17,000 bread artifacts but don’t worry you won’t have to go through all of them. Many are not on display. The tour was incredibly informative covering over 6000 years of the history of bread and bread’s significance in Christianity.
I had the most fun at the “Bread and Art” section where there were featured works by Salvadore Dalu and other artists. Surprisingly the art looked good, and not in an edible way. If you love small museums and plan on visiting often then get yourself an “8 for 12” Museum card. This entitles visitors access to 8 museums in Ulm and in Neu-Ulm for a small fee and is good for a year.
Accommodation in Ulm Germany
Best Western Plus Atrium Hotel is located in the Böfingen district right opposite to a bus stop that runs to the city center. The hotel offers free wifi, 2 restaurants and, modern, comfortable rooms. Guests are free to use the Finnish sauna and spa area as well as the fitness center.
Comfor Hotel Ulm City is located in the city center. The hotel offers free wifi, as well as a great daily breakfast in the conservatory. The rooms are comfortable with modern decor and include a work desk and refrigerator.