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"Salü" and welcome to the capital of Saarland! Saarbrücken is so close to France that you can board a tram at the main train station and get off it in Sarreguemines, France. That has added a relaxed French flair to the city that you won't find anywhere else in Germany. Sitting in a café on the St. Johann market square on a nice day, you might just as well be in Metz or Nancy, the French cities closest to you.
The denizens of Saarbrücken meet at the marketplace in the shadow of the St. Johann Cathedral. Around the marketplace, picturesque lanes take you through the historic district of Saarbrücken. The castle of Saarbrücken is the baroque successor to a Renaissance enclosure, the underground portion of which can still be toured. The area has been inhabited since the Celts, and the Romans, too, have left clear traces. In the region surrounding Saarbrücken is the huge circular rampart of Otzenhausen, the most well-preserved Celtic monument in Germany. The Roman Villa Rustica in Perl-Borg has been perfectly restored and offers a peek at the life of wealthy Romans. The Roman mosaic floor of Nennig, at more than 160 m² the largest and best-preserved mosaic floor north of the Alps, illustrates this wealth.
Saarland is a popular day-trip destination for hiking enthusiasts. Half of greater Saarbrücken is wooded. In front of the city is a protected forest area set aside to grow until it becomes a virgin forest. Mettlach is a popular destination for excursions. It has a canopy pathway that ends in an observation deck. From there, you can see the Saar Loop, where the river doubles back on itself. If you're hungry after a long hike and breathing in the fresh forest air, you will look forward to Saarbrücken's wide selection of restaurants. There, too, you will know just how close you are to France, because fine dining is important to the people of Saarbrücken. GästeHaus Klaus Erfort boasts three whole Michelin stars, but there are plenty of other restaurants in the city that will delight your inner gourmet as well. Enjoy Saarbrücken!