Tübingen’s stretch of willow-lined Neckar is too shallow for commerce – one factor in the town’s lack of industrialization – but has also formed the basis for one of the quintessential Tübingen activities: poling a Stocherkahn, or punt, up and down the river.

The big event on the river is the annual Tübingen punt race – in May or June – when student fraternities battle it out in front of thousands of spectators. At other times in summer punting down the river with a group of friends, a picnic or crate of beer, seems as popular a student activity as any. Join them by renting a rowing boat, pedalo or canoe – from €9 per hour – from Bootsvermietung Märkle, Eberhardsbrücke 1 (mid-April to Oct; 07071 315 29, bootsvermietung-tuebingen.de), by the tourist office. Or let them do the work by renting the traditional twelve-seater Stocherkahn with a guide for €48 per hour.

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