It may be a plain town by Swiss standards, but Fribourg is modest for a reason: it’s preference for simplicity is what makes it attractive. Thirty minutes south of Switzerland’s capital city of Bern, it has a modest population of 40,000 and a reputation as a place for people to take a break from the hurried pace of modern life. Ease your way into the tranquil setting; allow your lungs to inhale fresh air while your taste buds enjoy a jolt. With its medieval architecture and bordering farmlands, Fribourg seamlessly blends the best aspects of urban and rural life. And the same can be said of its cuisine. Take for example a piece of aged Gruyère or a traditional peasant dish of smoked ham (jambon de la borne).
Museums, artisan food and pastoral retreats are easily within reach. Stroll through charming medieval streets, stop into a twelfth-century pub to dance and drink a craft beer, light a candle in a thirteenth-century monastery or buy some convent-made redcurrant jam. In the nearby countryside, let the magic of the many old and new legends enthral you: fairies and chocolate entrepreneurs, sprites and cow shepherds.