- Flight time from London: 1 hour 5 min
- Luxembourg Findel Airport: 107km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 10 min
- Nearest railway station: Saarbrücken Hauptbahnhof
- Currency: Euro
Saarbrücken, the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany, was once a thriving industrial city producing steel, sugar, beer, pottery and other materials. Although the emphasis on industrial production has dwindled over the last ten years, it is no less a fascinating city. Its beautiful scenery and historical buildings in the old part of town make it both an attractive and interesting destination for visitors. A city of bridges, Saarbrücken's proximity to France also means that it has retained a certain French influence in its lifestyle and culture.
Saarbrücken is framed by its three prettiest squares, which give the city a historical and sociable feel. St Johanner Market square is filled with bars, cafes and restaurants and relaxing here, in the heart of the Old Town, is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The Saarbrücken Palace is an eclectic mix of baroque and modern architecture at the centre of which is an avant-garde structure. Open air concerts are held in the palace gardens in summer.
Known to be one of the most beautiful Protestant baroque churches in Germany, Ludwigskirche church was once the residence of the aristocrats. Along with the Ludwigsplatz square, it is a stunning example of baroque architecture and of the architect Stengel's work.
Saarbrücken also has an array of interesting museums. The Saar Historical Museum informs on the history of the Saarland in the 20th century. Exhibitions of the First World War and of the Nazi period also exist and it is even possible to view a cell once used by the Gestapo. Another fascinating museum is the Saarland Museumwhich has an Old Gallery exhibiting works from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, and a Modern Gallery which has a collection of German and French impressionism from 1950 onwards.
Being so close to the border with France, French influence can be seen particularly in the cuisine of Saarbrücken. Restaurants such as Forsthaus Neuhaus feature a predominately German and French menu. This particular restaurant will offer a unique dining experience in Saarbrücken. Located in the heart of a forest, which was formerly a hunting ground, the interior of the restaurant is surprisingly modern and spacious and at the back is a beer garden.
Owned by Klau Erfort, who was voted the chef of the year in 2008, Gästehaus Erfort is the most famous restaurant in Saarbrücken and has been rated one of the top 10 in Germany. This is because the food served is some of the most creative and delicious in all of Germany. Many of the dishes on offer are traditional but they are served with such innovative gusto that it makes this restaurant an absolute must-try.
Bio Live, offering live music and reasonably priced food, is a firm favourite with locals. Serving a range of cuisines from French to Mediterranean to Euro-Asian, there is something here to suit all tastes and palates.
El Sombrero serves Mexican food and has a buzzing atmosphere. The décor is appropriate to the menu and is popular with families due to discounts on Fridays. Serving traditional Mexican tacos, burritos and nachos, the food is excellent and this is a very popular choice.
Shopping in Saarbrücken is a diverse experience with as many as 200 shops on offer. The very chic St Johanner Market Place, with its narrow streets and courtyards, is home to exclusive boutiques, art galleries and small shops.
The Old Town of Saarbrücken also boasts a charming shopping experience, combining the cobbled streets and historic buildings with boutiques.
The Chinese quarter, as it is affectionately called, is the most vibrant and up and coming district in Saarbrücken. More alternative products can be purchased here, such as organic food, clothes and second-hand goods. The Chinese quarter is also home to some trendy bars.
Described as having the most diverse nightlife in Europe, Saarbrücken has so much to offer both locals and visitors. Nightclubs in this city are of a very high standard and promise a great night to all who venture inside.
The most popular is the appropriately named Club No.1 where most of the student population flocks. Its range of music and trendy atmosphere make it a firm favourite and it also hosts special events throughout the year.
S-Club is less of a night club and more of a relaxing bar for those who prefer to talk and unwind rather than dance the night away. The chilled music and friendly staff mean it is the perfect place to go grab a drink with friends.
Blau Night Club is one of the most impressive clubs in Saarbrücken. It has two main dance floors each with its own theme. The Flamingo Lounge is decorated with Flamingos and the Theatre has LCD lights. Another club for dance fanatics is the Canossa which plays all types of music including house, hip-hop, soul and funk.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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