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Exploring Switzerland: Fribourg & l’Île d’Ogoz

Dernière mise à jour : 16 mars

It’s been a while since I did a piece on one of Switzerland’s 26 cantons. Therefore, as I went to explore yet another one a few months ago, it’s time I share my discoveries with you! Keep reading if you fancy finding out more about the canton of… Fribourg!

The canton of Fribourg is based in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (although, it’s also considered a bilingual canton/county, both French and German speaking). It’s not my first time exploring this canton, but it’s my first time going to its capital-city also named Fribourg, and to another very mysterious place…

1. Fribourg city

The city has about 39’000 inhabitants. It’s a small and quaint medieval town, bordering the Sarine river, where there are plenty of things to see and do. It is the perfect size to be discovered by foot and, if you get tired there is an adorable funicular to take you back from the old town to the more modern part of the city.

White façade of Fribourg's funicular entrance hall

Fribourg consists of three main districts:

  1. Bourg;

  2. Vieille Ville;

  3. Rue de Lausanne/Gare (modern part of the city)

Old building façade in Fribourg's Bourg district
View of Fribourg taken from a bridge overlooking houses and facing the gothic cathedral tower.

Musing around you’ll stumble upon museums, nice restaurants and cafés. Some with a stunning view on the old city and the river Sarine. Not to mention some boutiques that have nothing to envy to Paris or Milan! I had a giant crush on Carèle B., a dreamy concept store where I could have literally bought everything! I wish there was a similar store in Lausanne…

Woody bistrot chairs and tables on gravels, next to a large chestnut and overlooking a river.
Picture of the inside of an interior design store, ficturing various decor items.

Fribourg’s key landmark is the spectacular Saint-Nicolas Cathedral. Built in the 13th century in a Gothic architectural style, my favourite feature is its eye-catching stained glass windows. Ranging from deep blue to ruby red and bright yellow, they display all the colours of the rainbow.

2. Île d’Ogoz My one bucket list item when in Fribourg was “l’Île d’Ogoz”.

What is “l’Île d’Ogoz” you might ask? It’s a tiny mini island located on Lake Gruyère which is accessible by foot from November till April or by boat from May to October.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always noticed this island when travelling to the Swiss-German part of Switzerland or even to Ticino (Italian-speaking part). I always wondered if this island was accessible to people. And thanks to the lovelies Julia and Audrey I happily found out it was!

After a 20 minutes car ride from Fribourg city and a 15 minutes boat ride on Lake Gruyère you reach “l’Île d’Ogoz”. Wandering on the island the atmosphere is quite surreal. From its pocket-size white chapel to the remains of what used to be a medieval castle.

Picture of female blogger heidigoestravelling looking at a small white chapel, next to a log and standing on grass.

TIP: The island is even available for rent for weddings! The chapel can host up to 80 guests.

When booking one of the boat tour to go to the island, you not only visit the actual island but also other hidden secrets of lake Gruyère such as the mysterious “elephant head”

And with a gorgeous weather like we had, cruising on the lake seems like being in the Caribbean, the water changing from dark green to deep blue and even turquoise.

So, if you fancy exploring Fribourg city and the tropical island of “Ogoz”, don’t hesitate! It’s an enjoyable destination for a day trip. And if you go, I’d love to get your feedback in the comments below 🙂


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