Most tourists will hardly ever explore Freiberg outside the old town, so walking is fine. The University campus is also only a 10 minutes walk north of the old town. However, if you plan to go to the outskirts, or it rains hard (like during one of my latest visits), you may want to hop on one of the city buses that take you to your destination or back to the old town - or to the railway station.
Be forewarned, the city buses run on odd routes. It seems that each bus covers a third of the city. I took bus C from the University campus back to the central bus station - which is just a 15 minutes walk, but in the rain ... well. It turned out to be quite a city tour. First the bus ran to the western outskirts to pick up school kids, then back closer to the city centre to a shopping mall. And then to a residential area from the communist era, off to another shopping mall even beyond the city limits, back through another, older residential area to the central bus station ... it took about 40 minutes! So, better check in advance, which route the bus takes. See the link below for the bus network map.
To be fair, it was a pleasant ride. The bus was super clean and convenient, the driver very friendly and even reminded me not to leave my camera in the bus, and seeing Freiberg off the beaten path was quite interesting.
A single trip ticket is 1.90 Euro (in 2014) and valid for an hour, changes possible.
- Budget Travel
Freiberg is a stop on the train route Dresden - Chemnitz - Hof (- Nürnberg). Trains run frequently from early morning till late at night.
Please note that there are different types of trains on this route: IRE trains stop only in the bigger cities like Freiberg and Chemnitz, RE trains stop more often and RB and S3 trains stop at each and every small station - thus they are slow. Fares are the same, though.
Last time I took the RE train coming from Zwickau back to Dresden and to my shock I noticed they are these old double-deckers that earlier ran as commuter trains in Dresden - shabby, run down and no A/C. So better avoid these. Same goes for the S3 trains as far as I know.
The fare Dresden-Freiberg is 7.90 Euro at the moment (in 2014). Please note that if you have a ticket for the VVO (Dresden and surroundings) or VMS (in which Freiberg is located) public transportation network and take the train crossing from one network into the other you have to pay the fare for the whole distance - the network tickets are not valid in this case. This is particularly annoying for those (like me) who have a monthly pass for the VVO (or others for VMS) and want to travel to the other network. Talk about Deutsche Bahn ripping off their passengers ...
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
The streets in Freiberg's old town are narrow, it's a rather flat area, parking is rare and not free, so many locals seem to prefer cycling over driving when going to the town's centre. Pedestrian zones are free for cycling.
The only problem IMO is that the streets in the old town are cobbled - cyclers prefer asphalt, or at least even ground. However, when they reconstructed the old town in the past years they made sure to replace the big cobblestones with smaller ones, so it's not too bad.
Freiberg is also a University town and the students' favourite way to get around seems to be bicycle. I noticed that the busy main roads with lots of traffic have separate cycling lanes, especially around the University campus (see pic 5).
There is a network of cycling trails around Freiberg, too. You can do cycling trips to neighbouring towns and villages, but also along the Mulde river - the Mulde cycling trail is very popular. A train runs up the river valley to the Erzgebirge mountains (Holzhau), from there it is a relaxing two- or three-hours cycling trip back.
- Budget Travel
Bus to Freiberg
For getting to Freiberg an alternative to the train is the bus. The line #400 serves the route Dresden Hauptbahnhof - Freiberg - Annaberg-Buchholz. There are only a few running each day but the one that leaves Dresden 10.10 am is quite convenient. Travel time is one hour, the fare is 5 Euro, so a bit less than for the train.
These buses are comfortable with A/C. The route is quite scenic via Freital, Tharandt and Grillenburg castle. The advantage is that you arrive at the central bus stop right next to the old town while the train station is a 5-10 minutes walk away.
There is another option by bus: #333 from Dresden to Hetzdorf, there you can change to bus #770 to Freiberg. The whole trip takes about 1:45 h, of which you spend about an hour on the #333, wait only 3 minutes and ride the #770 for about 40 minutes - if the #333 is not late. If it is, you'll miss the #770 and you must wait about a half hour for the next one. This option is only for those who have plenty of time and want to see a bit of the countryside. Hetzdorf, btw, is a cute village with a sanatorium, beautiful little park and nice cafe. It's not too bad spending an hour here.
Update: Since 2012 the #400 bus takes a different route. It's still scenic in parts, but runs via villages and tiny towns like Mohorn, Hetzdorf to Freiberg. VVO tickets are not accepted anymore, VMS tickets are. The fare Dresden - Freiberg is 5.70 Euro. The bus runs once in late morning (dep. 10.31 am at Dresden Hbf) and takes an hour to Freiberg (arr. 11.29 am), twice in the afternoon. In the other direction the buses run twice in the a.m. (8.05 and 11.20) and once in the afternoon (15.40).
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Driving to Freiberg is easy. The next exit from the motorway A4 (Frankfurt/Main - Dresden - Görlitz) is only a few km away. From southern Germany you take A72 Hof - Chemnitz, from there A4. From northwest Germany it's A 14 via Leipzig, from the North it's A13 via Berlin - Dresden, then A4 direction Chemnitz.
More scenic is the major road B173 Chemnitz - Freiberg - Dresden. Actually, from Chemnitz or Dresden I recommend driving B173, it is more of a hassle to get from either city to the motorway A4 than driving the slower B173.
From south (Czech Republic) the fastest way is via A17 Prague - Dresden, then A4. The Erzgebirge mountains are the reason that the other major roads are still curvy, with steep ascents/descents, and the road conditions are often tricky in winter. However, if you have enough time and prefer a scenic route, then you might drive via Teplice - Altenberg - Frauenstein or Karlovy Vary - Annaberg-Buchholz to Freiberg.
Parking is very limited in Freiberg's old town. And if you find a spot then you have to pay. Pic 1 shows Untermarkt square which is very central. Good luck there, though :-) Pic 2 shows my favourite parking lot at the corner Hornstraße/Eherne Schlange. It's just outside the old town and free. Pics 3 and 4 have a view of Poststraße, also outside the old town, but you must pay here, too.
- Road Trip