The Ultimate Black Forest Itinerary: How to Spend Your Time

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Village of Muenstertal, Germany in the Black Forest

A tour of Germany is never complete without venturing into the Black Forest. Arm yourself with a Black Forest itinerary and prepare for an epic adventure. You can drive or take the train.

The Black Forest is one of Germany’s most beautiful and popular attractions. Today, we invite you to join Sam Walton as he takes you on a private tour of the Black Forest community and shows you some things to see and do there.

Covering an area of 6000km and stretching over 160km long, the Black Forest is a phenomenal mountain range with a thick forest in the southwest state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

Today, it’s one of the most incredible tourist destinations in Germany, receiving over 35 million visitors annually from all over the world. You can always find a great Black Forest itinerary during your visit.

What is in the Black Forest?

black forest itinerary

When many hear of the Black Forest, it mainly invokes images of magic, wizards, and some dark, enchanted forest. Well, the myths about the forest don’t suggest anything different. Legend has it that these woods were once full of mystical creatures amid the dark, dense overgrowth of trees, casting a gloomy shadow on these lands.

Originally, the forest comprised pines and various huge deciduous trees, which, coupled with the dense undergrowth, made even penetration impossible. Also, the sun’s rays rarely reach the forest floor.

black forest, germany tour

It is believed that the first Romans to venture into these lands coined the name the Black Forest to the region. However, today, almost every trip to Germany is incomplete without a tour of this place.  If you are also planning to take a detour to these magnificent lands, this Black Forest itinerary will guide you through.

How Long Should You Stay Here?

Beautiful Black Forest Landscape in Summertime
Hofmann / Adobe Stock

The Black Forest has more to offer than you can imagine. Therefore, how long you stay here will depend on how fast you can visit the available sites.

If time is a constraint, even a single day or a 3-day trip would allow you to explore some of the best sites in the area. And if you have time, a week or so would be best.

One Day in the German Black Forest

Black Forest Map | Black Forest Itinerary

You only have one day to visit parts of southwest Germany. What should you include in your Black Forest itinerary?

Right from the start, as you prepare your plans for the day trip. You know you need to get to the location. You need to head north from Frankfurt International Airport, the biggest in Germany.

Admittedly the best means of transport to use is the train. It takes 90 minutes to reach the North of the forest, where you can start your visit. However, you can choose to head there by bus. Compare the prices and see which one suits you best.

Additionally, you can hire a car at the airport as part of your Black Forest driving itinerary. You can use a car, train, or bus to head to any city bordering the German Black Forest.

But, for train and bus services, early bookings are the best. Since it’s a day trip, you don’t need to book a place to stay. So once you get there, head in and see what’s in the Black Forest. Among things you can do in one day include:

1. Visit the Triberg Falls

Triberg Falls in Black Forest region, Germany
Mira Drozdowski / Adobe Stock

The forest is all about amazing sights and sounds like the grand Triberg Falls. Therefore, wear your hiking shoes and be ready to hike across them. The Triberg Falls are an impressive sight since they are the longest in the area.

In terms of location, the falls are smack in the middle of the forest. You can add them to your one-day Black Forest itinerary. That way, you can create lovely memories. However, you can plan a more extended trip and catch many more things to see within the forest.

See RelatedBest German Gifts

2. Touring Lake Titisee

Lake Titisee

Inside the German Black forest rests the calm Lake Titisee. Visitors can hire boats to sail across it, taking in the fantastic views. The lake is magnificent and one of the most beautiful parts of Germany.

Spring and summer visitors can take a dip in its crystal clear waters. However, you can visit during winter and enjoy ice skating in the frozen waters. It’s an all-year-round Black Forest Germany destination.

See Related: Best Lakes in Germany

3. Freiburg Cathedral

View from below on the main cathedral in the old town of Freiburg, Germany
rh2010 / Adobe Stock

Freiburg lies at the edge of the Black Forest and can be a fantastic starting point for your trip. Here, you can learn more about what’s in the Black Forest. That way, you can see what you missed on your list before venturing inside.

Before you leave Freiburg, remember to tour the Freiburg Cathedral. Its gothic architectural design stands out. On top of that, it has a tall bell tower that offers an impressive view of the whole area. Climb to the top and see it for yourself.

See Related: Is Germany Safe to Visit?

The Ultimate Black Forest 3-Day Itinerary

Panorama landscape view over black forest Germany
Willequet Manuel / Adobe Stock

Imagine spending three glorious days taking in all that the Black Forest has to offer. As you ask yourself how long you should spend visiting the Black Forest, consider the different things to do.

That way, you can allocate ample time. In 3 days, you have time to make as many memories as possible. Fly into the Frankfurt International Airport or choose smaller flights. The smaller flights head to Basel-Mulhouse and Karlsruhe-Baden Baden.

While booking the flights, be sure to check out places to stay as part of your Black Forest itinerary. You have two choices. You can stay inside the forest or in the towns that border it. Some amazing places to stay in the Black Forest include:

Getting to the forest is via train or bus once you land at the airport. As part of your Black Forest train itinerary, you can enjoy amazing sights from Frankfurt.

Once at the forest’s edge, hire a car and drive to the hotel. Visitors flock here all year round. Among things to do during the Black Forest 3-day itinerary are:

1. Baden Baden Spa

baden baden spa
Image by baden-baden.com

How about spending some time in a spa in a forest? As part of your Black Forest driving itinerary, be sure to pass by the Baden Baden spa. It’s one of the loveliest places you’ll visit during your vacation.

A day at the spa means bathing in hot water, getting a massage, or sweating in the sauna. It’s the best start to your visit, especially during winter. The waters have holistic properties that help rejuvenate your body.

See RelatedHow to Find Cheap Flights to Germany

2. Dinabauch Spring

As the debate about the source of the Brigach River rages on, pass by the Dinabauch Spring. Recently, Baden-Wurttemberg declared it as the source of this mighty river.

However, add the shrine of this crucial spring as part of your Black Forest itinerary. The spring is inside the Schlosspark, enshrined with stonework and a surrounding grill. Such fortification signifies how critical the spring is to the well-being of the German Black Forest.

3. Schwarzwalder Freilichtmuseum

Black Forest Open Air Museum Building
Mira Drozdowski / Shutterstock

Picture a museum inside a forest! Yes, part of your Black Forest itinerary can include a tour of the open-air museum inside the forest. The setting is typical of many other houses dotting the grand landscape.

The open-air museum exterior has a giant roof sloping from top to bottom. The design is that of a multi-storied ancient farmhouse dating as far back as the 1600s. Despite meshing with the surrounding area, the museum wasn’t originally here.

4. Kloster Maulbronn

Kloster Maulbronn houses
Sina Ettmer / Adobe Stock

Have you ever wanted to visit a monastery? As part of your Black Forest itinerary, drive north to Maulbronn. Here, you can stop by the Kloster Maulbronn monastery. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The abbey is among the best preserved in Europe, hence a great tourist attraction inside the Black Forest. Its doors opened in 1147 as part of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

During the 12th century, it played a crucial role in the area’s political and economic growth and expansion.

See RelatedCommon Misconceptions of Germany

One Week Black Forest Germany Itinerary

Endless wide scenic view on black forest landscape with blue sky and small village far away
Simon / Adobe Stock

While you can see plenty in one or three days, having ample time helps you view much more. So, plan your Black Forest itinerary for one week. You can travel alone or with friends and family for an epic time.

Driving through the forest helps you cover more ground, though you can opt to hike. Getting to the forest depends on your favorite mode of transport – you can drive, take the bus or the train.

Another option is to fly to one of the smaller airports near the Black Forest and then get a car from there. For seven nights, you need a place to stay. Some great places near and inside the Black Forest include:

  • City Hotel Freiburg
  • Colombi Hotel
  • Hotel Oberkirch
  • Central Hotel Freiburg
  • Hotel Lamm
  • Vier Jahreszeiten am Schluchsee
  • Hotel Der Kleine Prinz
  • Aqua Aurelia Suitenhotel
  • Hotel Engel Obertal

For the seven days, you can tour different parts of this area and see what’s in the Black Forest. Part of your Black Forest itinerary can have visits to:

1. Lake Mummelsee

Lake Mummelsee, Black Forest

Did you know part of your Black Forest itinerary can include catching sight of the famous mermaids? Well, maybe not, but Lake Mummelsee has long been rumored to be the home of these amazing mythical creatures.

The 17-meter deep lake is west of the Hornisgrinde Mountain and north of the Black Forest, Germany. Legend has it that this is the official home of the King of Mummelsee. It’s fitting because it’s the largest of the seven lakes in the German Black Forest.

See Related: Top Tourist Destinations in the World

2. Cuckoo Clocks

Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks Triberg, Germany
harshavardhan / Adobe Stock

A visit to the cuckoo clocks is a great addition to your travel itinerary. You can see a different representation of impressive craftsmanship all over the forest. The farmers back then created exceptional masterpieces, including cuckoo clocks.

The cuckoo clocks are pretty grand, and all have movable parts. Since the local farmers couldn’t afford metallic clocks, so they made some wood. Living in a forest meant they could never run out of timber to curve.

What started as a necessity to tell time soon became what the area was known for! The carved clocks were in high demand, which transformed the lives of the once-poor peasant farmers.

See RelatedDay Trips from Nuremberg

3. Fine Dining Inside the German Black Forest

Weihnachtsgans German Dish
mARTensen / Shutterstock

How long should you spend visiting the Black Forest? The trip duration depends on how many places you want to see. One area you shouldn’t miss out on is the town of Baiersbronn.

Picture this: you can enjoy some fine dining inside a forest. The three restaurants in this quaint little town have won numerous Michelin stars for excellent local cuisine.

Eight stars are shared among them, plus the town has lots of other activities to do.

4. The Town of Gengenbach

Gengenbach town

West of the Black Forest is the picturesque town of Gengenbach. Here, you can walk around and see the numerous half-timber houses. It’s a great addition to your Black Forest itinerary.

The quaint town has more than 11000 locals and attracts thousands of visitors annually. It’s famous for a traditional carnival (Fasnatcht) during which people dress up in costumes.

As you plan your Black Forest itinerary and want to catch the festival, visit in December. The town is in full-blown celebration for 24 days from the start of the month.

See RelatedThings to do in Leipzig

5. The German Clock Museum

Inside the German Clock Museum
tipwam / Shutterstock.com

Clockmaking is an activity that’s been taking place in Germany for centuries, particularly cuckoo clocks. Therefore, part of your Black Forest Itinerary must be a visit to the German Clock Museum. You can find this fascinating place in the town of Furtwangen im Scvhwarzwald.

The town is well-known for clock-making expertise. Every year, some temporary exhibits about keeping time are on display from all over the world. Moreover, there are some permanent ones that you can miss during your visit.

Learn how the concept of timekeeping has evolved over the centuries. Also, see why this part of the country is famous for expert clock-making and craftsmanship.

6. Schaunisland

Mesmerising shot of the Schauinsland mountain under the cloudy sky
Kay Fritsch/Wirestock / Adoeb Stock

Did you know you can have a Black Forest itinerary that includes a ride on a cable car? Scale this mountain inside the Black Forest using the longest German cable cab loop.

The views that await you at the top are breathtaking, and you’ll wish you didn’t get down. The best time to tour this part of the Forest is during summer when greenery surrounds you.  Here you can have a picnic and play some sports.

7. The Ravenna Gorge

Traditional christmas market in the Ravenna gorge,
Olga / Adobe Stock

No Black Forest itinerary is complete without a drive to the Ravenna Gorge. The gorge hosts the Ravenna stream that flows through it on the narrower part of the Hollental valley. The gorge is long, extending from the valley to the Breitnau village.

One way to make this an exceptional part of your German Black Forest itinerary is to walk the trail that cuts through it. Additionally, you can spend time in the fall emanating from the Ravenna brook. It creates a waterfall in the gorge, with the most prolonged fall reaching 16m in height.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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