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The most beautiful destinations in Ulm - Panorama of the Old Town

21. May 2022 - Alexander Schmidt

15 Excursion Destinations in Ulm and Around Ulm That Are Absolutely Worth Seeing – Must-Sees and Insider Tips


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In Ulm and around Ulm Ulm there is so much to discover, which makes a visit to the picturesque university town absolutely worthwhile! Here I present my top 15 destinations in Ulm – from classic sights to insider tips..

The medieval old town, the scenic location in the Swabian Alb and on the banks of the Danube, and not least the world-famous cathedral with the still highest church tower in the world make Ulm one of the most attractive cities in Baden-WĂĽrttemberg for tourists.

With approx. 125,000 inhabitants, it is currently the seventh largest city in the federal state, roughly on a par with Heilbronn and Pforzheim. But together with the Bavarian Neu-Ulm just on the other (eastern) side of the Danube, Ulm forms a so-called two-country city. This metropolitan area has almost 200,000 inhabitants, which implies a wide cultural offer. In addition, the status as a university city and the attractiveness for tourists from near and far by the cathedral, the old town and many other attractions.

Last but not least, the city of Ulm is also closely interwoven with the lives of some great personalities, first and foremost Albert Einstein, who was born here in 1879. But Hildegard Knef was also born in Ulm. And although the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl were not born in the city, they grew up in Ulm and also began their commitment against National Socialism there.

Top 10 Excursion Destinations in Ulm

Ulm offers today’s visitors a variety of attractive sights: there is something for every taste and every weather. This city wants to be discovered and explored!

By the way, the order of these destinations in Ulm does not represent a ranking list. However, it is roughly divided from well-known or obvious sights to those that may rather be considered an insider tip.

1. The Ulm Cathedral

"Excursion destinations in Ulm: Ulm Minster clearly occupies 1st place"

Excursion destinations in Ulm: Ulm Minster clearly occupies 1st place

The steeple of Ulm’s Gothic cathedral rises 161.5 meters high, making it the tallest church tower in the world! Due to this record, the cathedral is also the most famous landmark of Ulm and a naturally an absolute must for every visitor. By the way, it also holds the record as the largest Protestant church in Germany.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1377; however, it was not completed until over 500 years later in 1890. The reason: in 1543, the money ran out. Today, the cathedral towers triumphantly over the old town of Ulm and is visible from almost everywhere. From a viewing platform at a height of 143 m, one also has a fabulous view of the entire city. The way there leads over no less than 768 steps.

On MĂĽnsterplatz, medieval and contemporary architecture meet and create an urban meeting space. Incidentally, the house where the Scholl siblings were born is also located here, and today houses a bank. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, a weekly market from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ensures hustle and bustle on the square.

2. the fishermen’s quarter

Excursion destinations in Ulm: The Fischerviertel is a must-see!

Whoever enters Ulm’s Fischerviertel will unexpectedly enter an enchanted world. In picturesque alleyways, enchantingly crooked half-timbered houses nestle together here and give off a whiff of times long past. In those times, by the way, not only fishermen lived and worked here, but also other craftsmen whose trades were connected with water, such as millers, tanners or soap boilers.

The blue of the water glistens between ivy-covered gables, tanner’s houses and dripping mill wheels. Or also: the water of the blue – because that is the name of the small river whose two arms meander through the fishermen’s quarter to finally flow into the Danube.

Tip: This is the ideal place for lunch, as today there are many good restaurants in the fishing district where you can enjoy the idyllic view while eating.

3. crooked house

"The Leaning House in Ulm is one of the most famous sights of the city."

The Leaning House in Ulm is also the most leaning hotel in the world!

The Fischerviertel is also home to the so-called “Leaning House”, a – as the name suggests – particularly crooked late Gothic half-timbered house. The Leaning House is located at the foot of the Staufer Wall directly on the water. It can look back on a proud age, since it was already built in the 14th century.

The impressive-looking inclination of almost 10 degrees is due to the enormously wide, diagonally braced cantilever over the water of the Blau. In the 17th century, however, the “Leaning House” was in danger of collapsing because of this, which was averted by reconstruction measures.

If you want, you can even spend the night in the “Leaning House” today, because it has been accommodating guests as a hotel for about 20 years.

4th Ulm City Hall

"One of the most beautiful destinations in Ulm is with out doubt the Ulm City Hall with its astronomical clock."

Ulm City Hall with its magnificent Renaissance facade

With its magnificent early Renaissance exterior painting, Ulm’s City Hall quickly draws the attention of visitors to the city. Originally built in 1370 as a “new merchant’s house”, it was first referred to as the town hall in 1419.

A particularly eye-catching detail is the richly decorated astronomical clock, which was placed on the front of the town hall around 1520.

"The astronomical clock at Ulm City Hall is a masterpiece of engineering of its time."

The astronomical clock at Ulm City Hall is a masterpiece of engineering of its time.

At the same time, the opulent painting of the facade was extended to the old building. It shows allegorical representations of virtues, commandments and vices. Unfortunately, it had already been badly damaged by weathering in the 19th century and was therefore restored as far as possible or recreated where necessary in 1900.

Despite a fire as a result of the bombing in World War 2, most of the town hall was preserved.

In the stairwell you can admire a replica of the flying machine of Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, the legendary “tailor of Ulm”.

5. Berblinger Tower

"The Berblinger Tower is one of the most extraordinary destinations in Ulm&.quot;

This tower is a tribute to the Ulm aviation pioneer Berblinger

Which makes me no. 5 of the most beautiful destinations in Ulm, the Berblinger Tower. This was built in honor of these legendary “Schneiders von Ulm”. Behind it lies the unbelievable but true story of an early aviation pioneer. Although a master tailor by trade, Berblinger’s great passion was mechanics and as an inventor he developed early prosthetic legs. His greatest achievement, however, was a flying machine, a kind of hang glider, which he secretly tested in the vineyards of the Michelsberg in Ulm.

Most people, however, had only mockery for the visionary and urged him to publicly prove the airworthiness of his device. In 1811, he launched a flight test from the Adlerbastei, where a 20-meter-high platform was erected – the goal: to sail like a bird over the Danube to the other bank. Due to unfavorable weather conditions and falling winds, however, this turned out to be a disaster: Berblinger crashed his apparatus into the Danube. Although he was rescued, he was now the laughing stock of the people and was known as a fraud.

"The Berblinger Tower is one of the most extraordinary destinations in Ulm"

The climb up the Berblinger Tower is quite dizzying...

Today, the people of Ulm are proud of their misunderstood genius and have erected said Berblinger Tower for him at the former jumping-off point. Here, at an angle inclined by 10°, a dizzying spiral staircase spirals upward, step by step. Six loudspeakers attached to the tower also turn the climb into a special listening experience. From the top you have a great view, but you should definitely be free of giddiness for this experience, especially since the metal steps are translucent…

6th Einstein Fountain

"The Einstein Fountain is one of the sights in Ulm that can be considered more of an insider tip."

A monument in honor of Ulm's most famous man: the Einstein Fountain

While Berblinger remained unrecognized during his lifetime, another genius son of Ulm achieved world fame: we are talking about none other than Albert Einstein, who was born here. Although the Einstein family moved to Munich shortly after Albert’s birth, he still felt a connection to his native city and wrote to the Ulm Abendpost in 1929 on the occasion of his 50th birthday:

“The city of birth is attached to life as something as unique as the origin from the biological mother. We also owe a part of our being to the city of birth. So I remember Ulm with gratitude, as it combines noble artistic tradition with simple and healthy nature.“

In his honor, the city of Ulm has created an absolutely unique monument in the form of the whimsically designed Einstein Fountain. The Einstein Fountain stands in front of the city’s historic old armory and, strictly speaking, is not a fountain at all, since no water flows here. In the fascinating sculpture by sculptor Jürgen Goertz, a snail shell grows out of a rocket stump, from which in turn Albert Einstein sticks out his head and mischievously his tongue, just like in what is probably the physicist’s most famous photo.

7th Ulm Museum

The Museum Ulm houses numerous art objects, as well as utilitarian objects and historical relics from numerous eras, literally from the Ice Age to the present. The Archaeological Collection alone spans a period from the time of the Neanderthal man, through Ulm in the Middle Ages, to the early modern era. The highlight of this collection is the Ice Age “Lion Man”, which I will discuss in a moment due to its significance.

"The Museum Ulm gathers art from the ice age to the modern age"

The Museum Ulm gathers art from the ice age to the modern age

But also the collection “Old Art” and the graphic collection, which alone contains approx. 25,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries alone are worth a visit. In addition, the museum curates ever-changing exhibitions and offers innovative cultural events such as a “smell tour”.

8. the lion man

The largest preserved sculpture of Ice Age art, the oldest plastic representation of a mythical creature, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017… – The Lion Man of Ulm is such an exceptional exhibit of the Ulm Museum that it deserves to be treated as a sight in its own right!

The Lion Man is a scuplture made of mammoth ivory, just over 30 cm tall, depicting an upright standing human with the limbs of a lion. In 1939, its fragments were discovered by archaeologists in the caves of the Swabian Alb – a sensational find, of all things, on the last day of the excavations, which were abandoned due to the outbreak of World War 2.

Since then, the mysterious 40,000-year-old relic has fascinated not only scientists and stimulated the imagination of viewers. Does it represent a god? A shaman? A transformation of man? The Lion Man of Ulm leads the thoughts back to the origins of art and culture, to the beginnings of human thought, spiritual experience and creativity.

9. Weishaupt Art Gallery

Those who are particularly interested in modern and contemporary art will find an absolutely top-class collection of works of art at the Weishaupt Art Gallery. This private museum was donated by the entrepreneur Siegfried Weishaupt and his wife.

In ever-changing constellations, this cubic temple of art made of steel and glass presents European and American classics of 20th and 21st century art, from Rothko and De Kooning to Warhol and Lichtenstein.

10th Wilblingen Monastery

"The baroque monastery Wilblingen is one of the most beautiful destinations in Ulm"

The baroque monastery Wilblingen is one of the most beautiful destinations in Ulm

About 6 km south of the city center of Ulm lies the Wilblingen Monastery, a magnificent and historically significant Benedictine abbey. Founded in 1093, it was rebuilt and reconstructed several times and secularized in 1806. From that time on, the monastery no longer housed monks, but was first used as a castle, and later as barracks. Nowadays, it houses departments of the Ulm University Hospital and an academy for advanced medical training.

The majestic complex, as it can be admired today, dates back to the 18th century and presents itself to the visitor as an impressive Baroque ensemble. Particularly noteworthy highlights are the interior of the monastery church and the library hall in the style of the Rococo.

11 Friedrichsau

"Excursion destinations in Ulm: The Friedrichsau Park on the Danube"

In the park Friedrichsau you can relax and recharge your batteries

If you want to take a breather in between exploring the sights and destinations in Ulm, a visit to the Friedrichsau park is recommended. On the gently curving paths along the Danube and around the idyllic Aug gardens and lakes, walkers can find peace and relaxation and recharge their batteries.

As the largest green space in Ulm and Neu-Ulm, the Friedrichsau is a popular recreation area for Ulm residents of all generations as well as for all visitors to the city. The Augärten are also a great place to stop for a bite to eat. These cozy beer gardens are a remnant of 19th century club life. But the range of possible leisure activities in the Friedrichsau also includes beach volleyball, climbing on a climbing wall, a tree nature trail or simply sitting comfortably on the banks of the Danube.

12th Zoo and Danube Aquarium

In addition, the Animal Garden Ulm, which also includes a tropical house as well as an aquarium, is also located in Friedrichsau. The visit is a good contrast to the cultural program of most other destinations in Ulm and is worthwhile for all animal-loving people, but especially for families with children.

A highlight here is also a glass tunnel that leads under the Danube and in which you can study the underwater world of the river up close. All in all, you can admire a variety of about 500 swimming, crawling, running, fluttering, screeching, squeaking and other animal species in the Ulm zoo – from native to completely exotic.

13 New Synagogue

"The New Synagogue in Ulm bears witness to the return of Jewish life to the city."

Insider tip: the New Synagogue at the Weinhof

In 2012, a good 70 years after the horrific events of the Reichsprogromnacht on November 9. November 1938, in which Ulm’s old synagogue fell victim to the state terror organized by the Nazis, Ulm’s New Synagogue was inaugurated on the same site. As a modern, architecturally high-quality and interesting building, it bears witness to the return of Jewish life to the city of Ulm, whose Jewish community today numbers just under 500 members.

The building closes off the Weinhof to the north and adds a modern architectural accent to the surrounding stately town houses, including the particularly striking “Schwörhaus”.

14th Federal Fort

"The Wilhelmsburg is the impressive citadel of the federal fortress of Ulm."

The Wilhelmsburg is the impressive citadel of the federal fortress of Ulm.

What hardly anyone knows: the largest fortification in Europe is located in Ulm! Under the impression of the Napoleonic wars, the “German Confederation” (a confederation of the numerous small German states at that time, as well as Prussia and Austria) invested in 5 so-called federal fortresses for better defense. The largest of these was built in 1842-1859 in Ulm or rather around Ulm.

"The Federal Fortress is one of the most interesting sights near Ulm."

Part of the federal fortress near the University of Ulm

This monumental fortification made Ulm a garrison city. Along the fortress walls a green belt was created, which today encloses both Ulms (Ulm and Neu-Ulm). As a tourist, you can explore the impressive federal fortress in different ways. You can hike along the fortress path and get a feel for the gigantic scale of the complex. Or you can visit individual parts of the fortress, such as the Wilhelmsburg and Fort Oberer Kuhberg; guided tours are also offered. The latter fort also houses the fortress museum.

15. the blue pot

"One of the most beautiful destinations in and around Ulm for nature lovers is the Blautopf."

Insider tip for nature lovers: The Blautopf not far from Ulm

Nearly 20 km west of Ulm, near the small town of Blaubeuren springs Germany’s second-wateriest karst spring, the Blautopf, from which the Blau winds its way to Ulm, where it flows into the Danube. The name comes not by chance, because depending on the light conditions more or less intense, the water in the Blautopf but always has a distinct blue color. This is produced by the light scattering on special lime particles in the water and ensures an almost mystical blue glow of the spring.

It is hardly surprising that the Blautopf, located on the eastern edge of the Swabian Alb, is surrounded by legends and myths. In popular belief, the Blautopf was even considered bottomless and inhabited by mermaids. The best way to explore this natural wonder is on the 400-meter-long circular hiking trail that leads around the spring. This only takes 20 minutes, but those who would like to hike more will find further beautiful hiking routes through picturesque landscapes, such as the Blaubeurer Felsenstieg and the Eiszeitjägerpfad.

Have fun exploring these destinations in Ulm and around Ulm!

For Escape Game fans, it is also worth visiting the provider TeamEscape in Ulm, where there is, for example, the exciting Escape Room Biohazard, which I have already tested.

Are you interested in more destinations in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern? Then browse a little on our regional pages for these states! You’ll also find tips for Berlin and Brandenburg, as well as numerous leisure tips for location-independent activities with friends, for couples and for families.

You want to stay up to date about our latest tips? Then follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! 🙂

*This article contains so-called affiliate links. This means that if you order a product through it, we will receive a small commission without the product becoming even a cent more expensive.


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