The Black Forest of Germany

The "Black Forest" is an exceptional mountainous region in southwest Germany, on the border of France. The dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages have made the forest one of the major attractions of the country.

The Black Forest in Germany gets its name from the dense, green trees that create a canopy so thick it seems almost black. This region is famous for its delicious Black Forest cherry cake, which is as rich and inviting as the landscape itself. The scenery looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale, with deep valleys, lush green meadows, dense woods, and traditional farmhouses made of wood.

The walking paths through the Black Forest are just as enchanting. As you wander, you might feel like you’re in a story, half-expecting to encounter a witch or a woodcutter. It’s a good idea to remember your path, though, because it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty and lose your way!

This area is also a treasure trove of cultural traditions. You’ll find intricate cuckoo clocks, charming half-timbered houses, and the romantic ruins of ancient castles. The Black Forest stretches for about 160 kilometers, featuring mountains, lakes, and forests, with the highest peak being Feldberg, which stands at 1,493 meters tall.

The heart of the Black Forest is nestled between the town of Baden-Baden and the Swiss border, with the Rhine River flowing nearby, almost reaching the sea. Whether you’re driving, biking, or taking public transport, the winding roads offer incredible views that are perfect for any traveler looking to experience the stunning landscape of this unique region.

Must See Places in Black Forest


Spa-Town Baden-Baden

A Gothic town dating back to the 13th century, Baden-Baden is a fashionable spa town that is the perfect place to explore the Black Forest and pamper yourself. There are beautiful Victorian-era buildings and old-world luxury in this 19th-century town in the northern forest.

In addition to festivals and exhibitions held throughout the year, Baden-Baden has a vibrant cultural community. The Black Forest National Park is heavily wooded, and you can take a guided tour or an adventure tour or stay in the town center and soak in the thermal waters. Approximately 1810 was the construction year of the baths.

Spa-Town Baden-Baden
Spa-Town Baden-Baden

Bad Wildbad

While Bad Wildbad is not as popular as Baden-Baden, it is an alternative spa town north of the forest and an affordable way to spend a day or two. Through a tunnel, traffic is diverted so that the area feels completely sheltered from the outside world.

This area of Bad Wildbad faces the Enz River Gorge with a beautiful view of endless pine trees. It is also home to thermal baths, which are naturally heated to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Discover the peaceful village of Niederkirchheim and visit the idyllic Lake Wildsee, which is just outside the town center. Bad Wildbad offers several exciting activities to keep the whole family entertained.


Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald

From Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald, one can get an unparalleled perspective of the Black Forest and a chance to connect closely with nature.

Travelers can reach the viewing tower by walking along the 130-foot (40-meter) boardwalk installed and the wooden structure. Finally, travelers make their way to the top of the mountain to witness spectacular views of a dark, impenetrable forest and rolling hills.

Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald
Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald

Funicular Railway at Sommerberg

From Bad Wildbad to the Sommerberg Plateau, the Sommerbergbahn (Sommerberg Funicular Railway) has been transporting travelers since the mid-20s. After a short journey through the lush Black Forest, the Sommerbergbahn reaches the 1,063-foot (324-meter) plateau. People can view panoramic views of the Black Forest; that view from here gives visitors a feel for the natural wonder.


Palais Thermal

The Halles Thermal Palace is one of Germany’s most popular wellness resorts, a haven for visitors who appreciate the superb sauna landscape, relaxing baths, and medical treatments. 

Taking its name from the royal palace, Palais Thermal still provides its guests with an unforgettable royal experience. Choose between an indoor sauna and an outdoor sauna, as well as massages, body treatments, and scrubs.


Vital Therme

Bad Wildbad wouldn’t be Bad Wildbad if there were no luxurious spas. With Health and wellness options galore, Vital Therme melts away all stress, revives the senses, and leaves you feeling radiant.

Whether you’d like to indulge in a relaxing underwater massage or a luxurious mineral mud pack, you have the option of taking a relaxing dip in the warm thermal waters. Vital Therme’s experts will guide you toward the right water therapy option based on any ailment or injury you may have.

Black Forest
The Black Forest, Germany

The Fautsburg

The dense vegetation of the Black Forest towers over the ruin of Foutzsburg Castle, dating back to the 11th century and perched between the Kleine Enz and the Enz rivers. Despite the destruction of residential quarters, walls, moats, gates, and courtyards, it stands proudly as a symbol of power and majesty.

A small castle with a mysterious history, it was once a secret abode and later a quarry. There are marked walking paths from Rehmühle, Hünerberg, and Meistern leading to the Fautsburg.


Hohloh Tower

With Black Forest views made abundant by the Hohloh Tower, the Black Forest offers all the scenic delights you could wish for. It stands just south of Bad Wildbad, close to the village of Kaltenbronn. 

The Hohloh Mountain features an observation tower at a height of 3,320 feet (1,012 meters). There is an uninterrupted view of the Murg Valley, Palatine Forest, Odenwald, and the Swabian Jura from this vantage point. In addition, there is a chance to see the Swiss Alps and the Vosges Mountains in France. Mountain bikes and trekkers can climb the tower via wide, safe pathways.

Hohloh Tower
Hohloh Tower

Bike Park

It’s no wonder that cyclists from all over the world flock to Bad Wildbad’s Bike Park. This mountain biking paradise set in the rolling green hills of the Black Forest offers a multitude of challenging trails that will put your biking skills to the test.

You can sharpen your skills under the watchful eyes of experts if you are new to mountain biking and eager to learn the sport. Bringing your equipment or renting it is an option.



In 1864, 1865, and 1967, the Kurtheater hosted a series of spectacles that drew large audiences and enthralled them. Then, in 1987, the historic theater, which had been neglected for more than 20 years, got a new lease on life.

Today, the magnificent interiors of the building host concerts and world-famous opera performances every year and draw a classy crowd to the venues. Thus, an excursion to Bad Wildbad is often incomplete without catching an account at the Kurtheater.


Summer Sports

Sporty travelers have an abundance of choices when it comes to summer sports. Try your skills on a mountain bike or electric bike in the Nagoldtal Valley or the Enztal Valley, or take an excursion on a segway to explore the town.

There is a lovely moor between the Sommerberg mountains and the Kaltenbronn mountains, which is great for rambling, and the Enztal Valley makes a wonderful spot for Nordic walking. When you’re in Bad Wildbad, the skies are the limit since you’ll also have the chance to experience paragliding in the clouds.


Winter Sports

When the snow falls in Bad Wildbad, athletes will be able to indulge in thrilling winter sports activities. The most popular ski resorts in this area are Sommerberg, Kaltenbronn, and Aichelberg. In addition to their many snowshoeing trails, the Aichelberg and Meistern regions offer some excellent skiing at Sommerberg and Kaltenbronn.

Winter Sports in Black Forest
Winter Sports in Black Forest


Calw, on the northern end of the Black Forest, is considered one of its most attractive towns. Calw was the birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning N, Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), who wrote, among other works, Siddhartha. Museums and statues honor famous authors in the town. 

Start your tour of the city at the picturesque market square. With its half-timbered homes, this Black Forest square is the definition of an ideal town square. Many new nightclubs, shops, and ice cream parlors have opened lately for tourists to serve them.



Baiersbronn lies in the breathtaking Bavarian Alps, in a region made up of nine different villages. The recent opening of high-end hotels and bed and breakfasts serving world-class cuisine has put this mountain resort on the map. The area is home to three three-star restaurants and one two-star restaurant, giving it an incredible eight Michelin stars in total. 

Fine dining is available in plenty here, so you won’t have trouble finding something to suit your palate. Aside from enjoying outstanding cuisine and long walks through conifer forests, visitors to this region can also enjoy skiing and golfing. Don’t neglect the nearby ruins of the Allerheiligen monastery, hidden away in a secluded valley from the rest of the world.

Baiersbronn in Black Forest
Baiersbronn in Black Forest

Badische Weinstrasse

Known as the Badische Weinstrasse, this 99-mile (160-kilometer) route runs along the foothills of the Black Forest. Specifically built in 1954, the Weinstrasse follows the Winegrowing Regions of the Black Forest to the border town of Weil am Rhein.

Instead of boring motorway sights, drivers will pass historic castle ruins and idyllic landscapes along the way to Freiburg from Baden-Baden. Vineyards with a peaceful atmosphere.

A visit to Durbacher Winzergenossenschaft offers a superb selection of locally produced wines at a competitive price.



A university town in the southern Black Forest, Freiburg offers a good starting point for exploring the area. This colorful town lies in the Black Forest, surrounded by woods and vineyards, and it has gabled, half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets. 

There is a vibrant nightlife scene thanks to the student population, but anyone can also enjoy the beer gardens located on the canal. According to the German Climate Association, Freiburg boasts Germany’s warmest climate and the longest days of sunshine. In this way, it has become one of the world’s leading centers for solar energy.

Enjoy stunning views of the city as you hike up the Schlossberg mountain or ride the cable car to the spire of Münster cathedral, which you can see from the lookout tower, which is at the top of the Schlossberg mountain.

Freiburg in Black Forest
Freiburg, Black Forest

Titisee Lake

Many people visit this lake during their vacations in the area’s southern part, where glaciers carved the lake. A natural lake is the largest in the Black Forest and stretches for around two kilometers (two miles) in length and one kilometer (one mile) in width.

Good weather for swimming, sailing, and windsurfing draws tourists to Titisee. There are times when the lake will freeze enough to let you skate on it during the winter. 

It is enjoyable to stroll along the lakeside throughout the year, including the 5-mile (8-kilometer) Hochfirst Mountain trail around the lake. Titisee Lake sits amid dense pine forests amidst low, rolling mountains, offering a romantic destination.


Triberg Falls

This waterfall drops 513.5 feet (163.0 meters) down the mountain’s side into Triberg Valley, Germany’s highest. The Gutach Falls is an impressive waterfall formed by the Gutach River at the head of the Gutach and Kinzig valleys. 

By standing at the foot of these falls, you can enjoy the stunning natural scenery. When the falls are at their best (and loudest), go after heavy rain or snowmelt. 

Triberg is a tourist town with quite a few cuckoo clock shops, and there is a central location for accessing the museums. It looks beautiful at night with the illuminated waters; also, the snowy Triberg Falls are gorgeous in the winter.

Falls in the Black Forest
Falls in the Black Forest

Kinzig and Gutach Valley

From Baden-Baden, you can travel through the Black Forest on the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse for a scenic drive and see the Black Forest’s charming towns. 

A large area of Kinzig and Gutach Valley is heavily forested, and many traditional Black Forest customs originated there, such as the cuckoo clock and the Bollenhut, a red pom-pom-adorned ladies’ hat. Guests will sense the magical and mysterious nature of the Black Forest as they stroll along these sleepy villages.

If you are in the region, be sure to stop at the beer town of Alpirsbach, and the city of Schiltach has classic timber house examples that brim with character.



German romanticism is reflected in Heidelberg, a town on the Neckar. Heidelberg is filled with majestic cityscapes and a sense of history and is the home of The University of Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university. 

As a red-hued castle built on the northern slopes of Königstuhl mountain, this castle has many Gothic and Renaissance styles, the result of being destroyed and rebuilt for hundreds of years. Take in the city’s breathtaking views from the castle gardens. 

View the ancient 1780 stone bridge as you stroll through the baroque-style Old Town. You may also want to traverse Philosophers’ Walk, a famous ramble along the Neckar where Heidelberg’s philosophers and professors pondered their high-minded ideals.

Heidelberg in Germany
Heidelberg in Germany

Triberg Waterfalls

Almost all Black Forest tourists visit the small town of Triberg. It’s worth stopping for a photo at the Erste weltgrößte Kuckucksuhr giant cuckoo clock and Schwarzwaldmuseum of Black Forest culture, but everything else in Triberg falls short.

Located nearby is a pathway that affords views of these falls, the tallest in all of Germany. Following the trail into the mountains after taking pictures of the falls is a great alternative to turning around and returning.



While Titisee-Neustadt is a small town, it is a very popular destination for visitors, thanks to its relaxed promenade on the Seestraße and easy access to hiking trails. If you wish to enjoy a moment of solitude on Titisee’s glacial lake, you can row out to its center and cast a line. 

Take a walk around the lake for 90 minutes or hike Hochfirst Mountain for a bird’s eye view to see the lake from every angle. Do you find too many lakes to your taste? Then, ride your bike over more than 8,000 kilometers (4,971 miles) of mountain trails until you can once again see the beauty of the water.

Titisee-Neustadt, Germany

Baden-Baden Thermal Baths

Baden-Baden has been a spa town for more than two thousand years since the Romans built its first thermal baths. Bathe in one of two thermal bathhouses in Baden-Baden. 

In the Spa Caracalla, a rock cave, a current channel, and grass. Meanwhile, the Friedrichsbad, an ancient Roman-Irish bathing temple that harnesses the power of water to transform body, mind, and spirit. Regardless of how you spend your day, be sure to explore the preserved ruins and check out how the Romans rocked their spa sessions.



The Black Forest attracts hikers, while Schluchsee is a favorite spot for those who would rather spend a bit more time outdoors, far from the crowded spa towns. 

Located in the village of Schluchsee, it is the country’s highest reservoir formed from a glacial lake. Schluchsee in the summer is a superb place to swim, ride a catamaran, and have picnics on the shoreline. Kids will love the Aqua Fun water park and the amusement park Spass Park Hochschwarzwald.

Schluchsee, Germany


The pristine Lake Mummelsee is located on the Black Forest High Road just below the Hornisgrinde Mountain. Mermaids are said to live in these waters, though you’re more likely to find tourists enjoying their morning cup of coffee as they take the Hornisgrinde trail.

For warm weather, renting a pedal is a great activity. Why not visit the area when it turns into a winter wonderland? A walk around the lake will allow you to catch a glimpse of the snow-capped mountains.


Freiburger Münster

A cathedral isn’t all that the Freiburger Münster is. In Freiburg im Breisgau, a nearly millennia-old cathedral has survived destruction over the last two centuries and bombings during World War II. Throughout the generations, the museum will continue to collect and store the stories of generations of Black Forest folks. 

No matter if one climbs to the lookout or enjoys its 300-year construction effort from the farmers’ market outside its doors, a visit to the Freiburger Münster engenders awe and reverence.

Freiburger Münster
Freiburger Münster

Museums & Galleries


House of 1,000 Clocks, Triberg

What about stopping by one of Triberg’s famous shops? It won’t take you long to find a moment to spare once you’ve stepped foot inside the House of 1,000 Clocks. 

You can slowly pass the minutes by admiring the fine details carved into each of the cuckoo clocks adorning the walls of this fifth-generation family business. Triberg, the ideal place in the area to buy a cuckoo clock, is the place to discover the Black Forest’s quintessential souvenir: the cuckoo clock.x


The Black Forest Museum, Triberg

Grimm’s Fairy Tales may paint a picture of the Black Forest, but the Black Forest Museum offers an in-depth look at this beautiful part of Germany’s history, culture, and way of life. 

Discover the Black Forest’s mining history, discover its traditional customs and costumes, and be fascinated by the magic of cuckoo clocks among the many handcrafted products offered here.

Black Forest Museum
Black Forest Museum

Dorotheenhütte Glassworks

Creating a Black Forest souvenir is a challenge for Dorothyhütte Glassworks. In this museum and workspace, you can see the history as well as the art of glassblowing. There is even the opportunity for visitors to blow their glass vases to take home. 

Of course, you won’t have to blow endless vases for gift giving – instead, drop by the Dorotheenhütte Christmas Village year-round and pick up a few stocking stuffers that won’t exhaust your wallet or your lungs.


German Clock Museum

A visit to the German Clock Museum makes time appear more intriguing. Das Deutsche Uhrenmuseum celebrates timekeeping and clockmaking in its chronological exhibitions. 

Its location in Baden-Württemberg makes it ideal to see an uncanny collection of old clocks, such as cuckoo clocks from the 18th century. This landmark in the Black Forest will delight any timepiece enthusiast with traditional pocket watches alongside atomic clocks and Stone Age calendars.


A German bakery is hard to resist. So it is no surprise that the home of the delicious dessert, Black Forest cake, has its share of amazing pastry shops. Those who are unfamiliar with Black Forest cake must prepare it as soon as possible so that they can experience its layers of chocolate and cherry liqueur.

Nearly all Black Forest bakeries carry this slice of heaven, but we recommend Cafe Schwarzwaldmaidle in Feldberg or Schöpflins Backhaus in Freiburg im Breisgau as excellent spots to find it.

Gorgeous German National Parks

The Black Forest is not the only green part of Germany. Those who look for natural beauties and animal kinds in Germany know that the Black Forest is a part of a huge ecosystem. The best recommendation for nature lovers is to book a tour to see all the amazing national parks of Germany. To make it easier to choose and compare, we made a shortlist of the most beautiful national parks in Germany. Search about them to find out more and more about your next destination:

Eifel National Park

The long, narrow expanse of Beech and Ash trees, dark blue volcanic lakes, and wildflower-strewn plateaus stretch across 27,000 acres (11,000 ha) in the far west of Germany, near Belgium. Unfortunately, there are not many untouched areas left in Germany today. 

Eifel National Park
Eifel National Park

Harz National Park

The Harz National Park covers over 62,000 acres (25,000 hectares) of forested land, rivers, and mountains in north-central Germany. Some of the woods date back over 250 years, and there is no better example of a virgin European forest than this. There are a small number of lynx and European wildcats that roam these woods (like a domestic cat, but a bit larger and with a bushy tail), as well as roe and red deer. 

Berchtesgaden National Park

An unreal experience awaits you: a vast, 52,000-acre (21,000ha) swathe of rugged limestone peaks towering over a radiantly blue glacial lake. It is extremely rare to see them unless you are in the glass-walled National Park Center or if you’re on a tour of the park with an on-site ranger. 

Berchtesgaden National Park
Berchtesgaden National Park

Jasmund National Park

The natural beauty of the Jasmund National Park has probably struck you if you are familiar with the works by German artist Caspar David Friedrich. This painting of the Königsstuhl chalk cliffs in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in the far north-east of Germany, may be his most famous. 

Saxon Switzerland National Park

At Germany’s easternmost corner, the Saxon Switzerland National Park sprawls over more than 89,000 acres (36,000ha) of eroded geological formations dating back to the Cretaceous Period, covered in more than 89,000 acres of vegetation. Landscapes are incomparable, from sandstone cliffs to deeply carved valleys, table mountain ranges, and river canyons. 

saxon switzerland national park
Saxon Switzerland National Park

Lower Oder Valley National Park

The area provides excellent places for birds to rest and winter, so twitchers and wildlife lovers come here in droves year after year. It is an unforgettable experience to see more than 13,000 cranes descend to the roosts that they prepare for their migration each year.

Wildlife & Animals

Black Forest forests are known for their dense forestry and picturesque views. Several native trees grow in the southwestern German region, including pine, linden, and many others. Additionally, it is known as the home of the cuckoo clock. 

The Black Forest once had entire communities dedicated to building cuckoo clocks by hand, and even today, a watch produced there is considered the top of the line in terms of quality and function.

It is not just complicated mechanisms and fine craftsmanship that make cuckoo clocks. History, compassion, and nostalgia are all part of them. Moreover, as symbols of family and togetherness, they serve a dual purpose of aesthetically pleasing and serving their primary function.

Several of the cuckoo clocks are adorned with animals that are native to the Black Forest region in Germany. Different animals bring different energies and significance to each timepiece.

The Cuckoo Bird

Cuckoo clocks are not all built upon the cuckoo bird, as is popularly thought because of its popularity in the Black Forest region. The popularity of the cuckoo bird might lead people to believe that it’s a popular bird, but it’s actually shy and rarely travels in groups. 

Around the globe, cuckoo clocks are known for their distinct call. Two wooden bellows are used in watches with a cuckoo bird to make the “cuckoo” sound. The bellows force air out quickly, each creating a “coo” or a “koo” noise.

The Eagle

Cuckoo clocks are usually adorned with white-tailed eagles. The Eagle symbolizes wisdom, strength, and freedom as it perches high up in the treetops. Hunting in treetops is the norm for these large birds. 

With a wingspan of 7.2 feet, they possess the largest wingspan of all eagles. It is not uncommon for cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest region to have a cuckoo atop the casing as a protector, provider, and in some cases, a predator.

White Tale Eagle

The Brown Bear

Brown bears top the list of animals most commonly depicted in cuckoo clock designs. Although the brown bear no longer tends to be common in Germany, it is frequently featured in modern cuckoo clocks due to its iconic whimsy. 

Almost as if they were from a fairytale. Collectors of clocks and enthusiasts continue to choose cuckoo clocks featuring brown bears as a popular option.

The Rabbit

In Cuckoo Clocks, the rabbit represents innocence and wonder, one of many reasons for its inclusion in the Black Forest. It is not unusual to see rabbits included in cuckoo clock designs, which brings an extra element of whimsy to the piece. 

But wherever a rabbit is present, there is a predator as well. For example, a cuckoo clock frequently depicts rabbits and eagles at odds; the rabbit is oblivious below as the Eagle stands above.


The way you explore the Black Forest determines the quality of your journey through it. Don’t go for a simple jungle with tall trees and special animals. In the Black Forest, you will see a combination of natural wonders and cultural treasures. This mixture is exactly attracting tourists from around the world for many years. Here you can encounter a community with centuries of cultural background. Never miss this unique opportunity.


What is the Black Forest famous for?

The Black Forest, known as Schwarzwald in German, is renowned for its dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages. It is famous for being the inspiration for many of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, its traditional cuckoo clocks, beautiful wood carvings, and the delicious Black Forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). The region also boasts several thermal spas, and it is a haven for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and skiing.

When is the best time to visit the Black Forest in Germany?

The Black Forest is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on the activities you’re interested in. For hiking and enjoying the scenery, late spring (May and June) to early autumn (September and October) offers pleasant weather and fewer tourists. For winter sports, December through March is the ideal period as the region receives a good amount of snowfall.

Are there any unique cultural experiences in the Black Forest?

Yes, the Black Forest is rich in cultural experiences. Visitors can enjoy traditional festivals like the Fastnacht (Carnival) in February, where locals wear hand-carved wooden masks in processions. Museums like the Black Forest Open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof showcase the region’s rural history. Additionally, tourists can watch artisans at work creating the iconic cuckoo clocks, taste authentic Black Forest ham during a culinary tour, or visit a local distillery to sample Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy typical of the area.

What are the best hiking trails in the Black Forest?

The Black Forest offers numerous hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers. The Westweg Trail is one of the oldest and most famous long-distance trails, spanning over 280 kilometers. For less arduous hikes, the Triberg Waterfalls offer a series of trails with stunning views of Germany’s highest waterfalls. The Feldberg, the highest peak in the Black Forest, also provides various trails with panoramic vistas.

What are the recommended traditional foods to try in the Black Forest?

Traditional Black Forest cuisine is hearty and flavorful. You should try the Black Forest cake, made with chocolate sponge layers, whipped cream, cherries, and distinctive cherry schnapps. Other regional specialties include Maultaschen (Swabian ravioli), Schwarzwälder Schinken (smoked ham), Flädlesuppe (pancake soup), and Spätzle (German egg noodles). Many restaurants in the region offer these traditional dishes.

How do I get around the Black Forest region?

The Black Forest is well-connected by public transportation. Visitors can use the efficient network of trains and buses to get around. The KONUS card, which tourists receive when staying in certain accommodations, allows for free travel on public transport throughout the Black Forest. For those who prefer driving, renting a car provides flexibility to explore more remote areas. Cycling is also a popular and eco-friendly way to see the region, with many rental shops offering bikes for visitors.

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