Biking Burg to Bourg Cycle trip coming in July!

Biking Burg to Bourg


Cycle study tour to Strasbourg and Freiburg with the Young Urbanists

  • Are you interested in architecture and urban planning?
  • Do you fancy a long weekend in France and Germany
  • Can you ride a bicycle?

If the answers to the above questions are “yes” then please read on!

The Academy of Urbanism Young Urbanist Network (AoUYU) invites you to join a transport-and-urbanism cycling study tour. Over the weekend of 6-9 July 2018 we will ride from Freiburg to Strasbourg. Places are open to all but priority and preferential pricing will be given to Young Urbanists. Non-urbanists/significant others are welcome. Places are limited.


This year’s tour  provides the opportunity for Young Urbanists to visit two historic European cities that made a conscious decision to develop in a sustainable fashion and which are now reaping the rewards.


Freiburg is The Academy of Urbanism’s European City of the Year 2010. Freiburg has positioned itself as a ‘green city’ which seeks to be a model for sustainable development across the globe. Under the leadership of Dr Dieter Salomon, the Lord Mayor, who represents the Green Party, the city is run by a coalition of parties committed to this vision and philosophy which has underpinned the development of the city for the last 30 years. The car-free neighbourhood of Vauban is its most famous contribution to urbanism, but there is much more to Freiburg’s story than this.


Strasbourg is arguably the pan-European city; located on the Rhine, with bridges to Germany and linked to Paris with France’s fastest TGV line. Faced with perpetual traffic jams in the 1980s, Strasbourg set about developing a car-free city, with the development of new tramways, seamlessly integrated into the historic centre. Strasbourg is arguably the best city for cycling in France, with the highest cycle modal share (14%) and ranking 4 on the 2015 Copenhagenize to 2015. Strasbourg’s experience has been highly influential in urban transport and public realm thinking in France and overseas.


This study tour will be an opportunity to experience the quality of life that comes from well-thought out urban planning. Not only will we experience two urban centres, we will also get to see how they fit into their surroundings.


The plan is to travel to Freiburg.  We will then cycle west, to Strasbourg. All stops will include city tours, exploration further afield and a healthy balance between guided tours and free time. Tour guidance will be provided by local contacts in each city.


Last year we went to Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2016 we went to Copenhagen and Malmö and in 2015 we went to the Netherlands.

Photographs from the 2017 Dutch/Belgian trip here, 2016 Scandinavian trip here and write-up of 2015 Dutch trip here.

Proposed schedule

  • Thursday 5 July: Travel

Leave UK in afternoon/evening. Travel to Freiburg by air or rail.. Check into city-centre accommodation.

  • Friday 6 July: Freiburg

Tour of Freiburg, including Vauban, Riesenfeld and historic city centre.

  • Saturday 7 July: Cycle Freiburg to Strasbourg

Following breakfast we will turn our bikes west and cycle to Strasbourg. We will break the journey with stops for lunch, beer and ice-cream, such as may be required. Journey time: 6 hours (80 kilometers) on a gently sloping trail.

  • Sunday 8 July: Strasbourg

City tour including: Visit of Neudorf cultural quarter, ECOlogis housing project, Petit Strasbourg historic city centre.

  • Monday 9 July: Final day

The final tour in Strasbourg will include a visit of the European Parliament and the City Council. The tour will end at around 15:00 and delegates should book homeward travel on this basis.


This schedule is designed to minimise the amount of annual leave required. A four-day cycling holiday/study tour can take place with only two days of holiday. It also allows considerable flexibility between travelling and sightseeing, depending on people’s interests.


We will stay in high quality hostels (‘poshtels’) or hotels, depending on availability. Costs are around £35 – £45 per night. Bookings will be made on the basis of price, location and Tripadvisor rating.


Filming and photography

Please bring a camera and be prepared to take lots of photographs! If you are a film-maker and would be interested in making a video of the tour, please get in touch with us directly.


Total cost

We estimate approximately £260 for travel and accommodation. Food and drink are in addition and provided at your own expense. Total trip cost approximately £400-500 per person, all in.


Sounds great! How do I sign up?

To express interest in cycling from Freiburg to Strasboug in July please get in contact with Julie Plichon at as soon as possible. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!


Please sign up by Friday 18 May 2018 and once deposit is paid, we recommend you book your travel as soon as possible to take advantage of affordable pricing. More details about suggested transport options will be made available to participants once the deposit is paid.


Please note, a £100 deposit will be required to secure your place (payable via PayPal or Credit/Debit card), with the balance due in instalments at the end of May and June. This should allow you to spread the cost of the trip over a series of payments.




How should I get to Freiburg?


There are two main ways to do this:

  • Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Strasbourg, local train to Freiburg via Karlsruhe
  • Fly to Basel, then catch train to Freiburg


Other options will be available and you are free to travel in any way you like. Please find an option that suits you best and ensure that you arrive in Freiburg by Thursday evening for an early start on Friday morning. Return transport should not be booked before 15.00hrs on Monday 9 July.


Any questions?


Please contact Julie Plichon at / 07724 312 874




A list of the most likely questions is below – if you have any further queries, please contact either:


Julie Plichon 07724312874



How far will we by cycling per day?

The longest distance will be Freiburg-Strasbourg. This is 80km, mainly along canals and rivers.


Is this some kind of competitive event?

No! It is a study tour. We are more interested in getting to see things than in getting there at the maximum rate.


Should I bring my own bicycle?

For this trip, we will be arranging bike hire in Strasbourg and the cost of the hire will be included in the total cost of the tour.

If you really want to bring your own bicycle, please get it serviced before travelling.


I have a really great idea for something that we should see/do in Strasbourg/Freiburg nearby!

Please share it with Julie. We want everyone to get as much out of the tour as possible. If you have background knowledge which you think would be useful, please e-mail us and we can see about adding it to the itinerary.


What about insurance?

Please ensure that you have purchased adequate travel insurance. The Academy of Urbanism does not take responsibility for any injuries or accidents that occur on the trip, so only you will be responsible for your health and safety.


Is this event for charity?

It is not a charity event.


What should I bring?

The following list should suffice:

  • Clothes that are comfortable for cycling (bring sufficient clothes for four days)
  • Bike panniers
  • Bungee cords
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Euros
  • Passport
  • Raincoat
  • Water bottle
  • Small rucksack for day-trips
  • Swimming trunks
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Any medications that you require


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