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12 Best Things To Do In the Black Forest, Germany

black forest germany

In the southwest corner of Germany, the Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, is a picturesque region brimming with deep forests, serene lakes, and quaint villages. This area is a treasure trove for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. 

When exploring this enchanting area, there are numerous experiences and sights not to be missed. Here are the top things to do in the Black Forest, accompanied by practical travel tips to enhance your journey.

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Hike the Black Forest National Park

the black forest germany

Encompassing rolling hills, dense fir forests, and serene lakes, the National Park is a hiker’s paradise. This vast expanse offers trails that meander through dense forests, past serene lakes, and over gentle hills.

The Feldberg trail, leading to the highest peak, promises panoramic views that are especially breathtaking in the early morning light. Pack a picnic to enjoy beside one of the park’s pristine lakes.

For another unforgettable experience, tackle the Westweg Trail, one of the Black Forest’s premier long-distance hiking trails, stretching over 280 kilometers and offering varied terrains and spectacular vistas. Along the way, look out for the unique flora and fauna that inhabit the area, including lynxes, which have been successfully reintroduced to the region.

Black Forest Open-Air Museum

Black Forest Open Air Museum

The open-air museum brings the Black Forest’s rural history to life through original farmhouses dating back centuries, demonstrations of traditional crafts. 

You’ll see times gone by with weaving, blacksmithing, and seasonal events that showcase the customs and traditions of the region. The interactive nature of the museum makes it an engaging visit for all ages.

Triberg Waterfalls

triberg waterfalls germany

Triberg Waterfalls are the highest in Germany at over 500 feet in a series of tiered cascades. The waterfalls are not just a natural spectacle but also the center of a network of trails that offer insights into the region’s ecology and geology.

For photography enthusiasts, the falls provide a dynamic subject throughout the year, from the lush greenery of summer to the icy tendrils of winter. Stand in awe of Germany’s highest waterfalls, beautifully illuminated at night.

Drive the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse

The Black Forest High Road is one of the oldest themed drives in Germany. This scenic route not only offers majestic views but is also dotted with attractions such as the Lotharpfad, a fascinating nature trail through a forest area recovering from a storm. 

Stop at the Bühlerhöhe Castle to enjoy a panoramic view that extends across the Rhine Valley to the Vosges Mountains in France. 

The road is particularly beautiful in autumn when the foliage turns the landscape into a mosaic of colors.

Visit Freiburg

freiburg germany

Known for its sunny demeanor and medieval architecture, Freiburg is the perfect urban complement to your Black Forest adventure.

The city’s medieval cathedral, Freiburg Minster, features a towering spire that offers views over the city and the surrounding area. The city’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its many green spaces and the Vauban district, a model of eco-friendly living.

Tip: Freiburg is an excellent base from which to explore the wider Black Forest region, with great hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. 

Explore Lake Titisee

lake titisee germany

This glacial lake is a hub for water sports, including windsurfing, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The promenade around the lake is perfect for leisurely walks, with numerous cafes and shops offering local crafts. 

For a unique view of the lake and surrounding forest, take a cruise on one of the traditional boats that ply the waters, providing a serene way to enjoy the beauty of the area.

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Savor Black Forest Cuisine and Drink

black forest food germany

Enjoy the world-famous Black Forest cake, and delve into regional specialties like Schwarzwälder Schinken (smoked ham), Flammkuchen, a local version of thin-crust pizza, and of course racelete, a seasoned melted cheese usually served with potatoes.

Breweries and distilleries are also a major draw in the Black Forest. Visit the Rothaus, a famous brewery founded in 1791, or enjoy a local distillery to sample Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy used in the black forest cake. Many restaurants in the area offer these dishes and drinks with a side of breathtaking views.

Visit Cuckoo Clock Factories

coo coo clock black forest germany

In towns like Triberg, discover the artistry behind the Black Forest’s iconic cuckoo clocks. A visit to the House of 1000 Clocks offers not just shopping opportunities but a glimpse into the craft’s history.

In addition to seeing these intricate timepieces, learn about the history and craftsmanship behind them. Many factories offer workshops where you can see artisans at work, meticulously assembling and decorating each clock by hand. 

This is also an excellent opportunity to purchase a genuine Black Forest cuckoo clock directly from the source, ensuring authenticity and quality.

—> Read More: Best Time To Visit Germany

Relax in the Thermal Baths of Baden-Baden

Baden Paradies Schwarzwal

For a day of luxury, the thermal baths in Baden-Baden offer rejuvenating waters in stunning settings. These baths are not just about relaxation but also about embracing a centuries-old tradition of wellness.

The Friedrichsbad combines Roman and Irish bathing traditions in a 17-step ritual that takes visitors through a series of hot and cold baths, steam rooms, and relaxation areas. The Caracalla Spa offers more modern amenities, with whirlpools, saunas, and a lazy river, set amidst beautiful gardens.

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Attend a Traditional Black Forest Festival

To truly immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of the Black Forest, attending a traditional festival offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Towns across the Black Forest come alive with colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and ancient rituals that date back centuries. 

One of the most vibrant examples is the Fastnacht (Carnival), celebrated in February or March before Lent. The Narrensprung (Jester’s Leap) in Rottweil is particularly famous, showcasing intricate wooden masks and historic costumes.

Day Trip to Strasbourg

strasbourg france

Just across the border in France, Strasbourg offers a blend of French and German cultures. The city’s highlight, the Strasbourg Cathedral, astounds with its Gothic architecture. 

Wander through the Petite France district for half-timbered houses and canal views. Strasbourg is also home to the European Parliament, which offers guided tours providing insights into European politics.

Walk Up Feldberg’s Summit

feldberg germany

Standing about 4,900 feet, Feldberg is the highest peak in the Black Forest and offers unparalleled views. For those seeking adventure, the hike to Feldberg offers rewarding views and a sense of accomplishment.

The lookout tower at the summit offers a 360-degree view of the Black Forest’s carpeted hills, and on clear days, the Swiss Alps are visible in the distance. 

The area is also a biodiversity hotspot, home to rare plants and animals like the black grouse.

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