Saarbrücken, the state capital, is a rather charming little town. Its name means "bridges over the Saar River" -- that describes it quite nicely. The city, with its plentiful, old-style houses, is basically split in half by the Saar, connected only by bridges making for a picturesque setting.
Apart from all the classic sights you will find in and around pretty much any German city, such as churches, classic architecture, and castles, Saarbrücken also has been a center of the mining and steel industry, with plenty of industrial remnants still scattered around the city and the vicinity. This also includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Völklinger Hütte, a stunningly impressive former metallurgic plant.
But those are by far not the only advantages the city has to offer. The surroundings are ideal for spending time outdoors, with lush green hills and medium-sized rock formations. Plus France and Luxembourg are so close, they are easily reached on daytrips. Being that close to those two neighbouring countries is also said to be the reason for the existence of surprisingly many top restaurants in Saarbrücken -- many of them Michelin-star decorated (apparently you have to dig deep in your pockets though to afford those!).
With all this said, you may wonder why hardly any backpackers make it to Saarbrücken! Judging by the many university students in Saarbrücken, it's not a bad place for young people at all. But it is still off the beaten path for travelers, thus the choice of hostels in Saarbrücken is extremely limited and what exists will be government run. This type of hostel is very reliable and generally well kept, but may be lacking charm and atmosphere though, so it is always worth checking to see if there has been a recent surge in independent Saarbrücken hostel openings.
A reason for the lack of backpacking going on in the city might be the slightly isolated location almost on the border of Germany, which leads to, for example, fewer train connections than in many other places. That being said, it is still easy enough to make it to Saarbrücken and getting around when there is best done on foot or with local bus lines.
Hi, I'm gagalichen,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Saarbrücken hostels. Welcome.