The Black Forest is one of the most alluring parts of Germany, proving that the country is not only full of fantastic, historical cities but also captivating areas of natural beauty. Stretching for over 2,000 square miles, it is sandwiched between the Rhine River to the west and south and the Neckar River to the north and east.
When visiting this charming region, you made find it easier to stay in a larger town or city and then travel to the smaller places from there. There are many great destinations in which you can base yourself, making use of public transport or car hire in order to see some of the natural sights and pretty villages.
Here are just five of the best places to stay.
The spa town of Baden-Baden is a great option if you are looking to relax whilst you are away. The soothing waters of the Caracalla baths will give you somewhere to soak just like the Romans did and the calendar of cultural events means there’s likely to be something exciting happening whilst you are there. The city also has some great green spaces, including the serene Lichtentaler Allee and the peaceful Rose Society Garden, both of which are perfect for romantic walks.
Then, on your doorstep, you have the quintessential Black Forest town of Calw. This is the birthplace of author and Nobel Prize winner Herman Hesse and is characterised by cute half-timbered houses lining the river bank. Plus, if you’re not all spa-d out, Bad Wildbad offers a more isolated alternative to Baden-Baden. There’s a picturesque lake just outside of the town and wonderful views from the River Enz.
Further south, you can choose to base yourself amongst the beautiful surroundings of Freiburg. Home to a gothic cathedral and irrigation channels that run through the city like veins, a stay in Freiburg will put you close to some of the Black Forest’s most popular attractions. Just 40 minutes’ drive away, you’ll find the quiet spa town of Titisee-Neustadt. Its defining feature is the region’s largest natural lake where people come to relax, try water sports and walk the surrounding hiking trails.
Also close by is the town of Triberg, the setting for Germany’s highest waterfall. Triberg Falls is a fantastic sight and is easily reached from the town centre via a hiking trail. When you return, spend some time in some of the quaint shops selling cuckoo clocks and other Black Forest specialities.
If you would prefer to stay in a big city and enjoy all of the restaurants, shopping opportunities and historical attractions that come with it, Stuttgart is a great choice. This Swabian powerhouse will definitely appeal to petrol heads, as it is the home of both Porsche and Mercedes and has museums dedicated to both brands. There are also cultural highlights, though, including the Staatsgalerie and the opera house.
Venture out of the city for the day and you could find yourself exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kloster Maulbronn in less than an hour. This is one of the most alluring monasteries still surviving in Germany today and has a stunning central courtyard. Also in easy reach is the town of Pforzheim, famous for jewellery and its talented goldsmiths. You’ll find the starting point for some of the best Black Forest hiking trails along with some great Roman ruins.
When enjoying a trip to the Black Forest, there’s no reason why you have to stay in Germany if you don’t want to. The region’s position on the borders with France and Switzerland means there are options in both of these countries that will allow you to experience two different cultures in one trip. If France is your preferred choice then Strasbourg is a great option. Not only will you be close to Freudenstadt, home to the largest market square in Germany, you will also get to explore one of Europe’s prettiest city break destinations.
Charming half-timbered houses line the serene canals in the capital of Alsace and the city presents clear characteristics of which the people living here are immensely proud. A fantastic place to see on foot, you can wander between Petite France and Grande-Île whilst admiring sights like the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame and Barrage Vauban.
If you would rather sample a slice of Swiss life, head south to Basel and put yourself at the border triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France. This excellent city has an amazing range of museums, focussing on everything from modern art to children’s toys, as well as an interesting münster and town hall.
From Basel, it is easy to reach the ‘Bath Triangle’, a group of spa towns consisting of Badenweiler, Bad Krozingen and Bad Bellingen. You can also travel a little further afield to visit the Feldberg, the tallest peak in the Black Forest. A cable car will take you up to the viewpoint, from which you can see for miles in every direction. Inside the lookout tower (Feldbergturm) there is also a museum detailing the production of one of the region’s most beloved delicacies – Black Forest ham.
If you would like to plan a holiday in the Black Forest for 2019, we can tailor-make your trip to include whatever you like. Call us on 0800 988 3369 or contact us through the website today.