10 tips for Ulm
Ulm’s cathedral dominates the city’s skyline from afar, but Schapfenmühle, Ulm’s town hall and the Metzgerturm are also among the most important buildings in the city. Whether strolling along Hirschstraße, a relaxed walk along the city wall or a boat trip on the Danube, Ulm has a lot to offer its guests.
1st Ulm Cathedral
Ulm’s cathedral is of course the most important sightseeing attraction. Construction of the cathedral began as early as 1377, but it was not until 1890 that construction was finally completed. The 161.53 m high church tower has shaped the region for many centuries and is also the highest church tower in the world. Up to the observation platform at a height of 143 m it is an unbelievable 768 steps, but once you have taken the ascent, you will be rewarded with a great view. With good visibility you can even see the Alps from here. The cathedral itself can look back on several famous master builders and a construction period of more than 500 years. Also impressive is the interior with its 41.60 m high nave and a length of about 120 m. The construction was financed exclusively by the citizens of the city and not by ecclesiastical or secular authorities. Ulm Cathedral is not only one of the largest Gothic buildings in southern Germany, it is still a very lively church with more than 1000 services, guided tours and musical events a year.
2nd + 3rd Fisher and Tanner Quarter
The idyllic old town, however, is dominated by the fishermen’s and tanners’ quarter. Countless small alleys, half-timbered houses and small bridges are typical of Ulms’ most important old town ensemble. Besides many historical buildings there is also the world’s slopingest hotel and the Ulmer Münz as well as the Gerberhaus and the Lochmühle. The former craftsmen’s district at the mouth of the river Blau and the location of the Illerflößerei is today a popular destination with countless restaurants, pubs and small galleries. The Fischer- und Gerberviertel is also sought-after as a residential area close to the centre and in a quiet location. With the Sebastianskapelle, the Seelturm and the Ulmer city wall there are many other places and buildings worth seeing. Whether the Ulm town hall with its striking facade paintings or the Schwörhaus and today’s city archive, a day in the city on the Danube has a lot to offer.
4th boat tours on the Danube
One of the highlights of a visit to Ulm is a boat trip on the Danube. Visitors and locals can explore the city from the water with the historic “Ulmer Spatz”. The journey takes about an hour and leads along the Danube via Friedrichsau and Metzgerturm. The special feature of the excursion boat “Ulmer Spatz” is also the cooperation of people with and without disabilities, both in restoration and in daily operation.
5. art and culture
Whether Ulmer Kulturnacht, the smallest theatre or Kunsthalle Weishaupt, lovers of art and culture will also get their money’s worth here. The smallest “theatre in your vest pocket” with just 40 seats will delight its visitors with exotic, but also experimental and innovative performances. The largest cultural tent festival “Ulmer Zelt” takes place annually from mid-May to early July and offers top international acts as well as events for children, cabaret and music events. Several museums and the Kunsthalle Weishaupt invite visitors from all over the world to marvel and experience. With the sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle on the sculpture path on the Upper Donkey Mountain, the city possesses important works by contemporary artists and has therefore also received the status of an outstanding exhibition venue. The Bread Museum, the Danube Swabian Central Museum and the Natural History Collections also address all those visitors who are interested in the history of the city and topics such as botany, zoology or ecology.
6. for sports enthusiasts
Sports enthusiasts will find countless opportunities in Ulm to do sports themselves or to experience great sporting events live. Whether tennis, rowing or American football, the city on the Danube has a lot to offer. Fun and action is not only offered by the Danube pool with wave pool, current canal and slide facility, but also the DAV Kletterwelt Neu-Ulm with a climbing height of 17 m and a total climbing area of 2,900 sqm cordially invites sports enthusiasts. A large network of long-distance cycle paths also leads cyclists into the city. The route leads along the Danube-Lake Constance cycle path to Lake Constance. Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy canoeing on the Danube or the annual Einstein Marathon in September. The first trampoline hall is the Xtreme-Jump-Ulm with a total of 52 trampolines.
7. culinary delights
Ulm’s specialities are a must when visiting the city. Culinary delights include dishes from Swabian cuisine such as cheese noodles and sour lentils as well as typical delicacies. What could be nicer than exploring a city culinarily? Many small cafés make it easy to enjoy Ulm specialities over a good cup of coffee. The fine chocolate desserts “Ulmer Gulden” are as much a part of this as the pralines of “Münsterspitze” and “Ulmer Spatzen”.
Home-brewed beer and specialities from the region are served in the “Historisches Brauhaus”. Especially the beer garden is a popular place in the warm season to enjoy a home-brewed beer or a glass of wine from the region in the shade of old trees.
8. parks and gardens
Situated directly on the Danube, Friedrichsau is probably the most beautiful recreational area in the city. Passenger ships also dock here and Friedrichsau can also be easily reached by bus and train. The largest local recreation area in Ulm can be reached on foot, about 30 minutes from the city centre. With several social gardens, a fairground and the zoo, there is something for everyone. The Friedrichsau got its name from the former elector Friedrich I., who was appointed by Napoleon to the Würtembergischen and donated 2000 gulden for a new recreation area. Once the various “Au societies” were established there, today various folk festivals take place in Friedrichsau and the large park also has several restaurants and beer gardens. With the botanical garden and the adjoining “ratiopharm” medicinal herb garden as well as the fragrance and touch garden, the city also has other green oases.
9. excursions in the surroundings
Ulm itself is perfectly suited as a starting point for great excursions into the surrounding area. From here you can discover Upper Swabian Baroque road and the nearby Legoland in Günzburg as well as the Geopark Schwäbische Alb.
About half an hour’s drive from the city is Germany’s second most water-rich karst spring. The azure blue has given the blue pot its name and is intensified again depending on solar radiation. This is also the source of the little river Blau, which flows back into the Danube in Ulm/Neu-Ulm. The Blaubeuren monastery is located directly at the Blautopf and a small café invites you for coffee and cake. With the Blautopfbähnle we then go on a round trip through Blaubeuren and the landscape protection area Ried.
10. tips for music lovers
Whether concerts in Ulm’s cathedral, the state trombone day or opera open air, the city also has a lot to offer for music lovers. Especially the Kulturnacht Ulm/Neu-Ulm with an impressive program of many artists from the region sets very special highlights. Fascinating performances in museums, live clubs and theatres promise an eventful time at sometimes unusual locations. The offer ranges from classical music and opera to dance, theatre, literature and painting.
The city on the Danube is rich in experiences, interesting and always worth a visit in several respects. Whether it is the most crooked hotel, the highest church tower, the oldest municipal theatre or Europe’s largest hairdressing museum, Ulm is simply ingenious in every respect.