The University of Iowa

A trip to Titisee

September 25th, 2019

Pictured Below: Myself arriving at the lake (the one with the Hawkeye backpack) and several other American students studying at Freiburg through the AYF, academic year at Freiburg program.
Arriving at the lake (I'm the one with the Hawkeye backpack) with several other American students studying at Freiburg through the Academic Year at Freiburg program

Freiburg im Breisgau is an idyllic and beautiful city in southwestern Germany located near many towns and landmarks. Last weekend I went on a day trip with a few other Americans to visit a lake only an hour away from Freiburg, Titisee.

Traveling to Titisee is incredibly easy. The trip consists of an hour-long train ride, free with the purchase of a month or semester-long regional ticket pass, which the University of Freiburg gave us for our first month in Germany. The train we took was smooth, comfortable, and fast, as well. One can relax and look out the window gazing upon mountains in the distance shrouded by the trees of the Black Forest, one of Germany’s largest forests. The train even goes through some tunnels that cut through the mountainside!

The lake is surrounded by a pleasant little town called Titisee-Neustadt, home to many resorts, hotels, and saunas, and only about five minutes away from the train station. Waking up in the morning, I could see the Titisee sitting in the shadow of a mountain, covered in small rental boats and larger barges that offer tours of the lake.

The weather was nice, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and soon we all wanted to get into the water. It was not until getting in the water with a few of my friends that I realized how cold a lake located high up in the mountains would be. I’ve been swimming in cold lakes before (or so I thought), but this lake was easily the coldest body of water I had ever stepped foot in. Titisee is a glacial lake formed thousands of years ago by glaciers from the nearby Alps.


Thankfully, after a little bit, we adjusted to the water. We swam around the lakeside as boats in the distance moved across the lake. The water, other than being frigid, was rather clean and clear. Eventually, we got out and then spent the rest of the afternoon sitting by the lakeside, having a German picnic eating Brötchen (bread rolls) and Bergkäse (mountain cheese) among other things. Trains leaving Titisee back to our home destination of Freiburg leave every 30 minutes, so we lounged until about 5 o'clock when we caught a train back to Freiburg.

Being able to travel to an idyllic glacial lake in an afternoon is one of the many advantages of being able to study abroad in Freiburg, Germany. Traveling is incredibly easy with both a friendly public transportation system as well as many nearby destinations. I would highly recommend Titisee to anyone in the Freiburg region.

Me (second from the left) with fellow American students from various universities studying at Freiburg through the AYF, Academic Year at Freiburg, program.


Roman Ebert, a third-year German and history major from River Forest, Illinois, is studying in Germany on the Academic Year in Freiburg program.