Ulm is a very special town, both historically and geographically, and one of Germany’s most under-rated cities.
The Danube river passes right through it – on one side is Ulm, located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, on the other side is Neu-Ulm (New Ulm), located in Bavaria.
It is also mid-point between Stuttgart and Munich and a very nice day trip if you are traveling between those two destinations.
Ulm is one of our favorite German cities and we are taking you on our favorite walking tour. It is the perfect way to see most of historical Ulm with kids.
And we’re giving you a bonus stop on your day’s itinerary, because which family travel day would be complete without a visit to the local playground?!
Start your Ulm walking tour on Münsterplatz. It is the epicenter of the city and there lays the world’s tallest church – the Ulmer Münster.
If you are traveling by train, the Münsterplatz is about a 9-minute walk from the main station (Hauptbahnhof).
If you are driving in, either park your car in the underground parking right underneath the plaza or drive through the surrounding streets in the hope of finding streetside parking.
We are usually lucky and find parking outside but it can take a few minutes.
The Münsterplatz is a nice way to start your day in Ulm. Enjoy the shops around the plaza. If you are there on a Wednesday, you are in luck and will love the large farmers’ market. And if you visit in the winter, the Christmas Market (Ulmer Weinachtsmarkt) is held there and it is our absolute favorite in Germany!
Once you have taken in the feel of the place, it is time to enter the church – the Ulmer Münster.
Your visit to the Ulmer Münster is free, which is amazing given the beauty and size of the church.
Today a Lutheran church, it was originally built as a Catholic church. Many small villages around Ulm now have incredibly valuable art pieces in their Catholic churches, from when the art was taken down from the Münster!
This impressive church took 500 years to complete. It construction started in 1377. It was never built for a bishop, and was financed by the 10,000 citizens who lived in Ulm at the time. There was a 300-year pause in building when the funds ran low and the church was finally finished in 1890.
You will love the tall nave, warm stained glass, two equally impressive aisles, the frescoes above the altar and adjacent chapels.
More recently, a 12,000 Lego tile model of the church was built and can be seen near the entrance of the church!
Climbing The Ulmer Münster
Once you have walked the grounds of the church, head to the church’s store at the back of the church and purchase a ticket to climb the tower.
The prices are very fair for such an incredible experience. When we visited, children until age 6 were free, 7 to 17-year olds were 3.5 EUR and adults, 5 EUR. Check for current prices and hours of operation HERE.
Standing at 161.5 meters tall, it is the highest church tower in the world and you won’t want to leave Ulm without a climb to the best views of the city!
There are 768 steps and 3 different levels to reach the top. Once you reach the second level, which was our favorite for the 360 views and all the space we had to sit and enjoy, the third level is only reachable via a very narrow staircase, just big enough for a single person.
Other than that, the climb up and down are fairly comfortable and you will love the views all the way!
If you can, try to stay up until the bells ring (usually every 15 minutes). The experience is incredible!
Time to continue your Ulm walking tour in my favorite neighborhoods – Fischerviertel – literally fishers’ quarter.
As you come out of the Ulmer Münster, walk around the very modern white building and take Lautenberg all the way until you cross the Blau – a small river taking source just west of Ulm and running into the Danube.
There is a small playground there and the kids really enjoy spending 10 minutes there and letting some steam out after having kept silent inside the church.
Once they are done, walk down the Blau river (remember you have crossed over it, you are on the playground side) keeping the river on your left handside.
That little path will take you straight to Fischersviertel.
That neighborhood is part of the 20% of the medieval town that wasn’t bombed during the war.
Enjoy the river views, half-timbered houses, paved streets, and feel free to stop anywhere for a beer or meal.
Our favorite place to eat in Fischerviertel is the Erstes Pfannkuchenhaus, where you’ll enjoy giant savory or sweet thin pancakes. They’re best enjoyed sitting outside in the sun!!
The Old City Wall
Keep walking through Fischerviertel, down Fischergasse, until you reach the old city wall. There, walk up the stairs to get to the top of the wall.
On a sunny day, this can easily be your favorite part of the Ulm walking tour.
You’ll be walking through the tree tops with the Danube by your side and century-old buildings to your left.
Keep walking until you reach the next stairs, by the butchers’ tower – Metzgerturm – where you will go back down.
From there, feel free to walk under the wall and enjoy the Danube and lawn next to it.
When you are ready, walk back up towards the city until you reach Marktplatz. You can’t miss it, the Ulmer Rathaus (old town hall) sits there and will be one of the most impressive buildings you’ll have ever seen.
A Renaissance-era town hall, the exterior frescoes are unbelievable. Walk a few steps to the right of the building, and enjoy the Ulmer Münster in the background!
Leaving the Rathaus on your right handside, walk all the way down Kronengasse and make a left at the very end of it onto Weinhof.
At the bottom of Weinhof, you will find the Schiefes Haus – crooked house. It is a sight to see and I really recommend walking by for the photo opp.
Best Ice Cream In Ulm
Once you are ready to leave the old town, walk back up towards the Münsterplatz.
If you are up for a sweet treat, I have the best ice cream in Ulm for you. The prices aren’t cheap but you will taste the quality!
My favorite? Bangkok flavor. A mix of fresh pineapple and coconut!
Once you have your ice cream in hand, spend as much time as you’d like roaming the small streets around the Münsterplatz. They are full of small local shops selling high quality merchandise.
If you are craving bigger brands, shop on Hirschstrasse, a wide pedestrian street lined with big label stores.
Family Bonus: Friedrichsau Playground
It wouldn’t be a perfect day of family travel without a visit to the biggest playground in town.
From the the Münsterplatz, the playgound is a 30-minute walk. I personally recommend driving as there is a large free parking right by the park, or taking the Strassen Bahn (tram) and stop at Wohnpark Friedrichsau.
Friedrichsau is a large and beautiful park along the Danube. You will love walking through it, sun bathing by the river, and enjoying its lakes and Biergartens.
Friedrichsau is also home to the small but very nice local aquarium and zoo – Tiergarten Ulm.
Back to the playground, it is amazing for kids and has an adjacent outdoor workout space for older kids and adults. The kids can spend hours playing there and it is the perfect way to end your walking tour of Ulm!