Ulm: the birthplace of Einstein, home of the tallest church in the world, and a city with some adorable half-timbered buildings.
How’s that for a rap sheet? Ulm is a must-see in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, and it makes for a great Saturday visit with fresh markets for strolling and cobblestone neighborhoods for exploring.
We headed to Ulm as the first stop on a weekend tour of towns and castles in Baden-Württemberg and think it’s a great place for a day trip. All the major spots are in walking distance and the city isn’t crowded with tourists.
So get ready for all the details on a lovely Saturday adventure in Ulm, Germany!
P.S. There’s a Google Map at the bottom of the post with everything marked.
Didn’t you think that the tallest church in the world would be in a more famous city? Not trying to throw any shade at Ulm, just being honest!
At 161.5 meters, Ulm Minster is taller than the Notre Dame, St. Peter’s Basilica, or any church in the United States.
It’s important to note that it’s not a cathedral, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. You can climb to the top of the steeple and take a look out at the city. On a clear day you can even see the Alps! Unfortunately it was cloudy on the day of our visit so no mountain views for us.
Even though Ulm as a whole was badly damaged by bombing during World War II, the church and steeple were left remarkably unscathed.
While it has the record now as the tallest church in the world, it is due to be surpassed by the Sagrada Família upon it’s completion.
If you’re already at Ulm Minster, you cannot miss the Saturday fresh market in the main square. It’s right outside the church’s doorsteps and is a foodie and photographer delight.
I took pictures of the vegetables, the honey, the flowers (holy cow the flowers), the fruit, and then my dog amongst the vegetables, honey, flowers, and fruit. I was uncontrollable!
You can tell it’s a pretty cool place for a stroll. I even saw some ponies there! And it’s great to experience something that locals are also enjoying.
If you’re not able to take perishables like fresh vegetables or flowers home with you then I suggest getting some cheese or honey. The fresh market in Münsterplatz occurs every Wednesday and Saturday from 0600-1000.
Welcome to half-timbered heaven. This is the medieval part of Ulm that gives you all those cute vibes with climbing ivy, windy canals, old stones, and colorful buildings. This bridge right here was a great photography spot for my travel style post.
In the olden days this area of Ulm was home to businesses for fishermen, tanners, and shipbuilders who used the channels as transportation.
And nowadays it retains the old world charm but also has restaurants and shops that make wandering even more fun. It’s not too large, so you can take your time as you soak up the details on each of the buildings and go down every alleyway. Another bonus is that it isn’t crowded with visitors like many renowned medieval neighborhoods in Germany.
As a side note I have to say Ulm was very dog friendly. Rascal walked all over Ulm with me and the only thing I didn’t see was the inside of the church since I held onto him while my husband climbed to the top.
We stayed in a dog-friendly hotel right by Münsterplatz, the Hotel Goldenes Rad, and even took Rascal out to dinner with us to Q-MUH (great burgers, by the way). Both these spots are marked on the Google Map at the end of the post.
Schiefes Haus (Crooked House)
A fun part of Fisherman’s Quarter is walking by Hotel Schiefes Haus. Which, if you don’t speak German, means Hotel Crooked House. And from the photo I bet you can tell why! How is this place even still standing?
While the building dates back to 1406, since the 1990s it has been stabilized as much as possible and operated as a hotel.
Believe it or not, the most expensive rooms at the hotel are the ones that are the most crooked!
I mentioned in the beginning that one of Ulm’s claims to fame is that the city is the birthplace of physicist Albert Einstein. So what’s there to see relating to good old Albert?
While he was born here in 1879, his parents moved the family to Munich the next year and there isn’t definitive proof that Einstein ever made it back to Ulm. And the building he was born in was bombed out in World War II. So besides some monuments, cafes, and streets named after the famous thinker, there isn’t much else.
Have I convinced you that Ulm is worth exploring? If you like churches and charm it certainly is. The city is great for a day trip full of history and low on crowds.
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