One of the best places to visit in Germany is the Black Forest and this guide to things to do in the Black Forest is going to convince you to visit and give you a great itinerary!
Ever wondered where fairytales come from? Think about a place with deep woods, old castles on hills, and small towns that look like they’re from a story. That’s the Black Forest in Germany. It’s a mix of nature, old stories, and cool places to see. It offers a diverse range of activities: from historic castles to charming towns, natural wonders, and, of course, culinary delights.
This guide is going to tell you about the best spots in the Black Forest, ensuring you make the most of your visit to Black Forest. From places most people don’t know about to the really popular ones, we’ve got it all here. Ready to explore? Let’s dive in!
Things To Do in the Black Forest, Germany
Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or culinary enthusiast, this guide outlines the top activities and spots to explore in this iconic region.
How to Get to the Black Forest?
If you’re flying in, think about landing in Stuttgart. It’s the closest big city to the Black Forest. You can also fly to Strasbourg in France or Basel in Switzerland.
From these places, you can take a train or get a rental car to go to the Black Forest. Cars give you more freedom, but they’re a pricier option compared to trains which can save you money.
I always use Rental Cars as they search all the top car rental companies for the best availability and price!
How to get the best flights??
I use Skyscanner to book all of my flights! I’m a huge fan of Skyscanner because I love how easy it is to compare different destinations and different dates for the best price and route!
For example, I type in ‘everywhere’ in the destination if I have fixed dates and want to find the best flights on those dates on Skyscanner.
And if I have a set destination I’ll look at the ‘month view’ to check the cheapest days to fly in that month!
1. Black Forest Highlands
This area is probably what I have always thought of the Black Forest to be. Described on the Tourism for Black Forest website as ‘Ranging 700 m to 1,500 m, the Black Forest Highlands offer a healing climate and pure air among untouched nature year-round. This vacation region is perfect for discovering romantic villages with lively traditions, untouched countryside, and a versatile range of recreational activities.’
If you love hiking and walking like I do and love fairytale-looking villages visiting the Black Forest Highlands and hiking in them is one of the things to do in the Black Forest!
2. Discover Castle Hohenzollern
Right next to the Black Forest, you’ll find the awe-inspiring Castle Hohenzollern which is one of the best things to do in Black Forest. This place is more than just bricks and stones; it’s a journey through a thousand years of history. If you’re planning a trip to Germany, put this at the top of your list.
Not only is it a sightseeing favourite, but the stories behind its walls are legendary. Imagine walking the same halls as German emperors, the big shots who helped shape Germany’s story. This isn’t just a castle; it’s a deep dive into a fascinating past. Don’t miss it when planning your Black Forest Germany itinerary!
3. Castle Lichtenstein
Just a stone’s throw away from the famed Castle Hohenzollern, you’ll stumble upon the enchanting 19th-century Castle Lichtenstein and it is one of the must things to do in Black Forest. Perched dramatically on a cliff edge, it serves up some seriously insta-worthy views of the lush countryside.
It’s been in the same family’s hands since its first stone was laid! They’ve lovingly renovated it throughout the years, ensuring it remains the picturesque wonder that it is today.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out its dreamy courtyard and gardens. Whether you’re unpacking a picnic or just fancy a relaxed walk, this spot’s got you covered. Do yourself a favour and add Castle Lichtenstein to your list of ‘places to go in the Black Forest‘. You won’t regret it!
4. Try Tasty Meals in Baiersbronn
Tucked away in Germany is the little town of Baiersbronn, made up of nine beautiful hamlets. While it might seem like a quiet and unassuming place at first glance, it has an impressive secret. This town is a hotspot for those who love fine dining. Why? Well, three of its local restaurants hold a total of eight Michelin stars among them. That’s pretty amazing!
Let’s talk about these restaurants for a moment. The Schwarzwaldstube in Hotel Traube Tonbach, Restaurant Bareiss, and Restaurant Schlossberg have become major attractions in Baiersbronn. Each one has earned its stars by offering incredible food and top-notch service. So, if you’re a food lover, this place should definitely be on your list of places to go in Black Forest.
But Baiersbronn isn’t just about food. For those interested in history, there’s the Kloster Allerheiligen or the Monastery of All Saints. This place has a rich but somewhat tragic history. Since it was founded in 1192, it faced several devastating fires and even got hit by lightning in 1804.
If you’re more into nature, Baiersbronn has got you covered. A peaceful trail just southwest of the town will take you to the impressive Sankenbach Waterfalls. Standing at a height of 60 meters, they’re a sight to behold.
Tucked away in Germany’s scenic landscapes, Freudenstadt is a treasure waiting to be discovered when you visit the Black Forest Germany.
Centred around its sprawling market square – the largest market square in the country – the town is a vibrant mix of quaint shops, bustling cafes, and eateries that tempt you with local specialities like the iconic Black Forest cake. For those looking to stretch their legs, the nearby Kurpark offers a tranquil space for leisurely walks.
And if unwinding is on your agenda, the town’s rejuvenating spas are a haven of relaxation. No visit to Freudenstadt would be complete without marvelling at the architectural splendour of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and taking in the panoramic views from the Friedrichsturm (Frederick’s Tower). Dive in and let Freudenstadt’s charms captivate you!
6. Baden-Baden: A Spa Town with Centuries of Luxury
Tucked into the foothills of the Black Forest in southwestern Germany, Baden-Baden gleams as a beacon of relaxation, luxury, and cultural sophistication and is a must-visit spot in Black Forest. While its world-renowned spas draw most of the attention, there’s far more to this elegant town than just its thermal waters.
The allure of Baden-Baden’s springs can be traced back to the Roman era. Ancient Roman ruins in the area showcase the remnants of bathhouses, displaying the long-standing tradition of using these warm waters for relaxation and rejuvenation. The town’s name itself, when translated, means ‘Baths’, emphasizing its primary attraction.
7. A Day at the Black Forest Open Air Museum
If you’re near Gutach, you’ve got to check out the Black Forest Open Air Museum. It’s the first one in the Black Forest and is super popular—it gets around 250,000 visitors every year! At this place, you can see what life was like in the old Black Forest.
From old-timey houses to cool crafts, it’s all there. Plus, there are animals to see and fun stuff to do, especially for kids. Oh, and there’s a restaurant where you can grab some tasty Black Forest cake. It’s a cool spot to hang out for a day!
Have you booked your flight yet??
I use Skyscanner to book all of my flights! I’m a huge fan of Skyscanner because I love how easy it is to compare different dates and routes to help me find the best flight at the best price! Open Skyscanner by clicking here and search for the best flights as you read this post.
8. Visit Europa Park in Rust
Europa Park is this super big theme park in Germany, right between Freiburg in Breisgau and Strasbourg in France. It’s got 18 different themed areas and 13 roller coasters. If you’re into milder rides, there’s one called Alpenexpress Enzian which takes you through a pretend diamond mine.
But if you’re into really fast rides, you should try the Silver Star.
Besides the rides, there’s a bunch of stuff to do inside like shows, parades, and even a 4D movie theatre. If you’re planning on staying, they’ve got a resort with six hotels and a campground. So, if you’re around, it’s a cool place to spend the day or even longer!
Europa Park is one of the great things to do in the Black Forest with kids to keep them entertained on the trip whilst you take in all the nature and pretty villages!
9. The Charm of Triberg in Schwarzwald
In the heart of the Black Forest region lies the scenic town of Triberg in Schwarzwald. Renowned for its captivating natural beauty and deep-rooted cultural stories, it has earned the admiration of travellers worldwide. As they wander its charming streets, many are enchanted by the iconic cuckoo clocks, often taking one home as a cherished souvenir.
But beyond its intricate timepieces, Triberg is also home to the stunning Triberg waterfalls.
These magnificent falls tumble down in seven layers, ranking among Germany’s highest. For those who wish to immerse themselves in its beauty, scenic trails snake through the dense, green forests, offering mesmerizing views of the cascading waters.
The town’s allure doesn’t stop at nature; it extends to its rich history. A variety of museums stand ready to take visitors on a journey through time, with sites like the traditional Black Forest farmstead providing a peek into the region’s rural life from days gone by.
10. Black Forest Spa Route
The Black Forest is full of spa and spa hotels so staying at one of them for one of the things to do in the Black Forest! There is even something called the Black Forest Spa Route or Schwarzwald-Bäderstraße because wellness is a longstanding tradition in the Black Forest.
11. Exploring Staufen
Staufen is a charming town that beautifully blends history with natural beauty which makes it one of the places to visit in Black Forest. As you walk through its streets, you’ll immediately notice the well-preserved buildings and the lively market square that often hosts local festivals.
One can’t miss the impressive castle situated on a hill, offering a panoramic view of the entire town below. For those who prefer a more active experience, Staufen doesn’t disappoint. Surrounding the town are numerous hiking trails that lead to picturesque spots, showcasing breathtaking views of the landscape.
12. Exploring Feldberg & Schauinsland
Just a short drive from the city of Freiburg in Breisgau, you’ll find two awesome places: Feldberg and Schauinsland.
Feldberg is super tall – it’s the highest mountain in the Black Forest and even the tallest in Germany if you don’t count the Alps. If you do the hike like this or take a cable car up to the top, you’ll see some really cool views of the whole area.
When winter comes, this place looks like a snowy postcard and is great for skiing so it’s one of the perfect things to do in the Black Forest in winter.
Now, Schauinsland is right outside Freiburg. You can easily get there by car or public buses and trains. It’s a fun spot for a day trip. There are lots of trails to walk or hike, and you get to see some amazing views from there too. Just like Feldberg, in the winter, there’s also skiing here because of the ski places in the area.
13. A Day at Lake Titisee
Located right in the middle of Germany’s Black Forest, Lake Titisee is a real gem and one of the best things to see in the Black Forest. The water is super clear and the views are just amazing. It’s a pretty easy trip from Freiburg, so lots of people, both locals and tourists like to visit.
If you want to see the lake up close, you can walk all the way around it. The walk is about 6 kilometres and as you go, you get some great views of the nearby mountains and woods. There are also some cool places to eat along the way where you can grab a bite or just chill with a coffee. And if it gets really hot, you can always jump in the lake to cool off. It’s definitely a must-visit spot!
14. Hidden Gem of Calw
Calw is a cool, little town hidden in the northern part of the Black Forest. A lot of tourists don’t know about it, but it’s worth a visit, it’s one of the hidden gems in the Black Forest.
Walking around, you’ll see old-looking houses made of wood, twisty streets, and cool fountains. The whole vibe of the place is chill and relaxed.
Plus, if you’re into books, you might find it neat that a famous writer named Hermann Hesse was born here in 1877. They even turned his old house into a museum about his life and books. So, if you’re curious about German writers or just want to see a different part of the country, Calw is a great place to check out!
15. Eat Black Forest Gateau
Lastly, yes, Black Forest Gateau does come from the Black Forest so eating plenty of it should be on your list of things to do in the Black Forest!
I attended a cooking event a few years ago where we made a Black Forest Cake with a baker called Fritz who has a bakery in the Black Forest called- Bäckerei Cafe Konditorei so I recommend going to his bakery on your trip!
I hope this list of things to do in the Black Forest Germany has helped convince you to visit and helped you plan a trip!