Black Forest in Germany: The Things That Make It Special

Misty, panoramic, and pristine – the Black Forest in Germany is undoubtedly one of the most scenic places in Europe. Being home to both natural spectacles and charming towns, the Black Forests never fails to attract countless visitors all year round.

Yet, some people are not totally pleased by their visit here.

“It has been so commercialized,” they complain. Most tell the Black Forest is a tourist trap. A famous Youtube Vlogger with more than a million followers even agrees.

Black Forest, Germany

“Tourist trap” might be valid in some parts, but the Black Forest is just too big to make a quick judgment. It spans more than 600-thousand hectares, and absolutely, everyone can have their own spot to enjoy! 🙂

I’ve been following Michael Corona’s Instagram for a while now… And in his gallery, I saw that there are almost infinite places to go in the Black Forest that are truly awe-inspiring – away from the crowd, tourist trap not.

Belchen, Black Forest, Germany
At the summit of Belchen

But, what is it that really makes the Black Forest special? Is it the Black Forest’s natural attractions? The folklores and fairytales? Maybe the charming town?

Oh! Or is it the Black Forest cakes that make the Black Forest a special place? 😀

Discover it all down below!

But before anything, let me first introduce to you the Black Forest well.

Introduction to Germany’s Black Forest

Forests are magical places. Not because there are mystical creatures in the forest or it is a source of folklore, but it gives us almost unexplainable health benefits when we visit one.

The forest helps us improve almost all our well-being: body, mind, and soul. That’s especially when you hike around and tap the most serene parts of it. You can check the list of the benefits of hiking in this article.

In Germany, one of the natural areas you can visit to feel better is the Black Forest. It is a protected mountainous region, not just a forest, having many beautiful places and things to discover.

Facts about the Black Forest

There are almost endless forested mountains to hike in the Black Forest; each peak has an elevation of 200-1500 meters (650-4900 feet) above sea level. The highest point in the Black Forest is in the town of Feldberg, reaching an altitude of 1493 meters (4898 ft).

Feldberg

The town of Feldberg is a scenic place known as “the Jewel of the Black Forest,” packed with ski resorts. If you’d be here by chance, you must go to the summit and visit the Feldberg Tower.

In the Feldberg Tower, you will see panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys covered by thick forest and patches of verdant meadows. It is a place that will help you understand why the black forest is called the black forest.

I’d bet while you’re in Feldberg Tower you’ll be nodding, saying to yourself: “Ah, that’s why!” haha!

Feldberg,Black Forest, Germany
Feldberg Tower

Feldberg is the highest place in all of Germany outside the Alps. It’s a place to visit to make a check on your bucket list. Here is the location of the Feldberg:

Spruce

While you are exploring the Black Forest, you might notice that it seems almost all the trees in the Black forest are the same: spruce trees. Well, it has to do something about what the Black Forest was in history.

Back in the day, Black Forest has mixed species of trees, primarily deciduous and firs. There are spruce trees, too; they were only found in higher elevated parts of the forest.

Industries like mining and intensive forestry came, and they have deforested the Black Forest much. In efforts of the people and government to heal the land, Black Forest was replanted, mostly with spruce monocultures.

Spruce Trees, Black Forest, Germany
Spruce Trees

Today, we see the reforestation done. Intended or not, I think the spruces monocultures made the Black Forest looks even more beautiful… picturesque it is, don’t you agree?

Titisee

Speaking of picturesque locations in the Black Forest in Germany, you should not miss seeing Lake Titi (Titisee in German).

Titisee is the largest lake in the Black Forest that covers 1.3 square kilometers or 320 acres. It is also a glacial lake in the mountains, with a surface level reaching 840 meters (2760 feet) above sea level.

Since Titisee lies at an altitude that levels with the clouds, it usually appears with mist drifting right above its surface. Especially during calm mornings, you will see it so enchanting like you’re on a real fairytale!

Lake Titisee, Morning, Black Forest, Germany
Mornings in Lake Titisee

However, Titisee is also one of the most known tourist destinations in the Black Forest. It would look ordinary and “tourist trap” during peak hours/season. Come at the right time to see its real beauty! 🙂

Titisee is located in the laid-back town of Titisee-Neustadt at the southern portion of the Black Forest. Here is the exact location of the lake in case you would want to visit:

Triberg Falls

When you go to mountainous areas like the Black Forest, another body of water that you can expect to see are the roaring waterfalls.

In the Black Forest, what you can visit is not just an ordinary waterfall. It is one of the highest waterfalls in whole Germany, and it is called Triberg Falls. The waterfall descends and graciously cascades 7 times down into a plunge pool from a height of 163 meters (535 feet).

Triberg Falls is one of the attractions in this region that make the Black Forest special.

Triberg Falls, Black Forest, Germany
Triberg Falls

If you’re an enthusiast of photography, you’ll be thrilled to take a long exposure shot of Triberg Falls.

Triberg Falls is located in the middle portion of the Black Forest, just on the outskirts of the town of Triberg. Here are the coordinates where you’ll find Triberg Falls:

The Feldberg, Titisee, and Triberg are just the “tip of the iceberg” when talking about the Black Forest. To go deep further, we must first know first where the Black Forest is.

Where is the Black Forest?

We can find the Black Forest at the southwestmost portion of Germany, near the German-French and German-Swiss borders. In the maps, we can see it encompasses several towns and villages in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Later in this article, you will discover the 7 towns within the Black Forest that are best to visit. In that section, you will see the highlights of each, helping you to pick which town is to go to. Anyhow, whatever town you visit, it is sure that you will experience the things that the Black Forest is known for.

What is the Black Forest known for?

Based on what the people say in Google Maps and other travel forums, the cuckoo clocks, the watchmaking industry, and the fairytale experiences are what the Black Forest is known for. Though not directly mentioned, the Black Forest is also admired for having countless scenic views and picturesque, quaint medieval villages.

Cuckoo Clocks, Black Forest, Germany
Cuckoo clocks on display

Why is the Black Forest so famous?

The Black Forest is so famous because of the things it is known for and the things that make it a special place. Cultural-wise, there is no other place in the world you can find as many cuckoo clocks as the Black Forest has. Most importantly, tourism-wise, the Black Forest is just a great package deal. Not only do you see natural wonders, but also you get to have many adventurous things to do and charming towns to visit too.

Meadows, Black Forest, Germany
Meadows in the Black Forest

You will also find world-class thermal spas and the Europa-Park (the second most popular theme park in Europe next to Disneyland Paris) in the Black Forest.

Aside from that, the Black Forest has an enchanting charm amplified by the fairytales inspired by the region. Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince, Rapunzel, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarfs are the most famous fairytales related to the Black Forest.

Yes, they are all German fairytales, and all of them are written by the Brothers Grimm. Germany is just the Land of The Poets, indeed?

Why is the Black Forest called the Black Forest?

If it’s the first time you hear the “Black Forest,” and you learned that it was the origin of several German lore, myths, and fairytales, it may seem you already know the reason why it is called the “Black Forest.”

The first time I did, I thought there was sorcery going in there. Seriously! HAHA! Knowing Europe to have a history about witches, I really do so. But, after reading this article from Britannica.com about the Black Forest, I learned that it is actually the trees in the Black Forest which gave it the name “Black Forest.”

Black Forest Highest Point, Feldberg, Germany
View From Feldberg – highest point in the Black Forest

The trees (dark-colored pines) grew so densely together in this mountainous region that the sunlight seldom reaches the ground. That’s why when you are either within the forest or looking at it from afar, you would see that it’s relatively dark or black – hence it was named the “Black Forest.”

As mentioned earlier, one place in the Black Forest to clearly see why it is named the “Black Forest” is Feldberg, the region’s highest spot.

Special Things about The Black Forest in Germany

What makes a place special are the unique characteristics and experiences it can give to the visitors. In the case of the Black Forest, we can look upon these four things:

  • Cuckoo Clocks
  • Black Forest Cakes
  • Black Forest’s Forest and Roads
  • Black Forest’s Culture and Tradition

Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo clocks are the first thing people can think of why the Black Forest is special.

Traditional Cuckoo clock, Black Forest, Germany
Traditional Cuckoo Clock

The origin of the cuckoo clock is rumored to be in Bavaria, but it is here in the Black Forest they were massively produced. When you come to the Black Forest, you can see thousands of them! You will just be amazed by hundreds of rows of exquisitely designed cuckoos in galleries and shops.

Try to find the different types of cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest:

  • Traditional-Style – The cuckoo clocks that are carved out of wood depicting the nature and wildlife in the Black Forest.
  • Chalet-Style – The type of cuckoo clocks that involves animated characters such as woodchoppers, mill wheels, bell ringers etc.
  • Modern-Style – The battery operated cuckoo clocks.

The world’s largest cuckoo clock is also here in the Black Forest! Later in the “unique things to do in the Black Forest” section, you will know where and what it looks like.

Black Forest Cake

In the Black Forest, visitors get to taste an authentic Black Forest Cake – the symbol of the Black Forest’s kitchen. Historians believe that in this region in the 16th century, the Black Forest Cake was first served in a meal.

A slice of Black Forest Cake from Black Forest, Germany
Black Forest Gateau / Cake

Give your taste buds one of the most delicious cakes with layers of chocolates and cream with cherries in between!

The Black Forest cakes from the Black Forest have a secret ingredient, which, by the way, is the reason why they are special. They come with a Kirsch, a brandy distilled from the fermented juice of the black morello cherry.

Kirsch brandies are made only in the Black Forest and some surrounding regions in France and Switzerland. They are a bit special, too, as these liquors are produced in traditional methods unique to the locals.

Forest and Roads

The forest area of the Black Forest feels enchanting, especially when you come on a misty morning. Also, thanks to the Black-Forest-inspired fairytales, they make the visitors’ imaginative thinking work. Active imagination while traveling gives people a totally new experience in their journeys!

Hollental, Black Forest, Germany
Hollental

Primarily, the Black Forest is just scenic and picturesque. You will definitely enjoy driving along the winding roads of the place. When you go out of your car, you then breathe the freshest air you will ever have in your entire life!

Black Forest most scenic drive

There are hundreds of kilometers of roads you can take in the Black Forest. But among these, the Black Forest High Road is considered the most scenic drive. It stretches 60 kilometers of jaw-dropping sights starting from Baden-Baden from the north to the beautiful town of Freudenstadt to the south. See Google Maps below:

The Black Forest High Road is also considered the oldest in the Black Forest, constructed in the 1930s. The road passes through the “eyegasmic” Baden-Baden mountain range ridge. Be sure to keep your sight balanced on the road and on the sceneries around!

Black Forest Scenic Road
Scenic Road in the Black Forest

Black Forest famous drone shot

The forest and the roads of the Black Forest are two of the drone pilot’s favorite things to capture from the sky in Baden-Württemberg. It would not be hard to understand why when you see the mesmerizing pattern that the spruce trees make from above.

If you are looking for a really Instagrammable drone shot of the Black Forest’s roads, I suggest that you visit the 360-degree road “Hairpin Turn” in Höllental. In Google Maps, it is labeled Kreuzfelsenkurve, and it is just an 8-minute drive from Titisee. See a sample shot below and its location on Maps:

Hairpin Turn, Black Forest, Germany
Hairpin Turn

Culture and Tradition

Everywhere you travel, it is will always be the culture and tradition that always sets one destination apart from others. In the case of the Black Forest, here are the things you can discover:

  • Bollenhut – A traditional had with pompoms on top used by the ladies of the Black Forest, specifically in Gutach, Wolfach-Kirnbach, and Hornberg-Reichenbach. Single women use Bollenhut with red pompoms, and married women use Bollenhut with black pompoms.
  • The Black Forest’s traditional wooden houses – The kind of house in the Black Forest characterized externally by a long hipped or half-hipped roof that descends to the height of the ground floor. You can see a lot of these in the Black Forest Open Air Museum
  • Night Watchman (Nachtwacht) – In Wolfach, you can meet Night Watchman that can tour your around town. A Nachtwacht is a character in German culture that carries a candle, axe-like blade weapon, massive bull’s horn, and dressed in traditional clothings.
Bollenhut, Traditional House, Nightwatchman statue, Black Forest, Germany
Bollenhut, Traditional House, Nightwatchman statue

Visiting The Black Forest

Do you want to visit the Black Forest already?

The following sections should help you plan your journey in the Black Forest. I lay down the best towns to visit within the Black Forest, as well as the unique things you can do around.

There is also information on how to move around the Black Forest, safety, and other things to help you have a successful trip.

Best Towns to Visit in Black Forest

Among the dozens of towns and villages, here are the 7 special places you should include in your journey in the Black Forest:

  • Baden-Baden
  • Baiersbronn
  • Calw
  • Gengenbach
  • Heidelberg
  • Schiltach
  • Triberg

See the map below to see where the Black Forest is, as well as the 7 beautiful towns mentioned above:

Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is a town located in the northern portion of the Black Forest. It is known for having the world’s best spa and thermal baths.

Just recently, Baden-Baden became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site, belonging to the Great Spa Towns of Europe. If you want to relax and receive utmost pampering while in the Black Forest, Baden-Baden is the place you need to go to!

Baden Baden, Black Forest, Germany
Baden-Baden Town Highlights
  1. Friedrichsbad Spa – A beautiful renaissance style bath house where you can experience Roman and Irish bathing traditions. It has an awe-inspiring dome which has fresco paintings to give you more memorable insights into centuries-old bathing traditions.
  2. The Casino – Do you wonder how was the life of a rich European from the 19th-20th century? This is the place to be. See slot machines, poker, roulette, blackjack, and other old-school games reminiscent of the luxurious Belle Epoque era.
  3. Caracalla Spa – Experience just relaxation and extensive pampering in one of the largest spa in Baden Baden. Dip into attractive pools, enter a roman-style sauna complex, and have a leisurely walk around the picturesque castle gardens!

Baiersbronn

At the north-central portion of the Black Forest, one can find Baiersbronn – an idyllic town and the center of haute cuisine in Germany. It is here we can see the majority of the Michelin starred restaurants of Germany. If you are a food lover, Baiersbronn place in the Black Forest you need to visit!

Baiersbronn, Black Forest, Germany
Baiersbronn Town Highlights
  1. Eat on a Michelin starred Restaurants – According to guide.michelin.com, there are 9 restaurants in Baiersbronn, two of them has 1 Michelin star (Asian-influenced, creative, classic and modern cuisine) and another two has 3 Michelin star (Classic french, creative and modern cuisine).
  2. All Saints’ Abbey – An 12th-century monastic structure now in ruins after it was set on fire by a powerful lightning. Entering the ruins feels like you are a character of a video game like Zelda or Final Fantasy.
  3. Sankenbach Waterfalls – It is a 40-meter tall waterfall controlled by a wooded lever. You can play around and adjust the lever to regulate the volume of water that drops in the falls. Be amazed how cool the mechanism is!

Calw

Calw is the town in the northeastern tip of the Black Forest, home to the picturesque Timber Framed houses. Its town center was not much affected by war, so you’ll see mostly the authentic and original structures that are already more than 500-600 years old by now.

If you love wandering around charming houses or are an enthusiast culture discoverer, Calw is the place in the Black Forest for you to see!

Calw, Black Forest, Germany
Calw Town Highlights
  1. Discover the Music Culture – Calw loves music and it attracts not only full blooded wanderers but also music lovers. From boy’s choirs to Jazz musical artists, you can find diverse music in Calw. There are concerts and street performers to watch every now and then, happening mostly during evenings.
  2. Hirsau Monastery – A complex built in the 11th and 12th century, and once one of the most important Benedictine abbeys of Germany. Some parts of it are in ruins, but indeed it’s a lovely place to explore. It gives a wanderish-nostalgic sensation to anyone who visits. If you are lucky, you can witness some medieval festival occuring.
  3. Learn about Hermann Hesse (Join a tour) – Hermann Hesse is one of the most notable German Author of the 20th century, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. He has a very deep connection with Calw. Join a tour to learn more about Calw and this writer together at the same time.

Gengenbach

Like Calw, Gengenbach is also a charming town filled with postcard-perfect houses and cobblestone streets, which looks like a scene out of a fairy tale! Actually, it was shown in movie theaters already. Gengenbach was inaccurately referred to as Dusseldorf in the 2005 film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, though.

Gengenbach is located in the mid-west section of the Black Forest. It is in Gengenbach’s quaint, medieval old town you can find the world’s biggest advent calendar. It is a must-visit destination during Christmas! Nevertheless, it’s a lovely place to go to all year round.

Gengenbach, Black Forest, Germany
Gengenbach Town Highlights
  1. Stadtkirche Sankt Marien – See the beautiful church with jaw-dropping murals on the church’s walls and ceiling. It has a lovely garden just behind the church for a leisurely walk or for some quiet moment.
  2. Narrenmuseum Niggelturm – A museum inside a tower that tells the stories of the witch burning in Gengenbach. In the museum, you can see many fascinating, but slightly creepy carnival costumes and horror masks.
  3. A stroll in the town – the ultimate highlight of the visit in Gengenbach is actually the simple stroll in its old town. It is the part of the Black Forest so charming that people visiting it wonders if it is real or made by Disney.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg is the town at the very north of the Black Forest, considered an epitome of German romanticism. It attracts more than approximately 12 million visitors every year!

It is because this town is for everyone to visit. Heidelberg has natural attractions, historical places, and lots of enjoyable things to do. You’ll never get bored here.

Heidelberg is also Germany’s cradle for knowledge. In this town lies the country’s one the oldest educational institutions: Heidelberg University. Heidelberg is not a scientific hub, by the way. This town also houses countless works of art and literature created throughout the centuries.

Because of that, UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network has designated Heidelberg as the “City of Literature.”

Heidelberg, Black Forest, Germany
Heidelberg Town Highlights

There are literally almost a hundred enjoyable activities you can find in Heidelberg. Here are the three highly rated and most famous things to do in Heidelberg:

  1. Heidelberg Palace – This castle is an early 13th-century structure in the hills above Heidelberg, considered as one of the most spectacular Renaissance structures located north of the Alps. You will be awe-filled by the palace, especially by its Ottheinrich building, Barrel building, and by the ancestral portrait gallery.
  2. Old Bridge – A beautiful spot in sightseeing Heidelberg. A stroll in the Old bridge of Heidelberg will let you see the skyline of Heidelberg. By facing south, you view the towering structures of Heidelberg, an impressive gate, picturesque timber-framed houses, and the Heidelberg Palace on the top of a hill.
  3. Schwetzingen Castle – A castle famous for its spacious and ornate gardens, theater with mixed “French” and “Italian” layout, and a “Turkish” style mosque. This castle is one of the most Instagrammable place in Heidelberg, or probably, in all of the Black Forest.

Schiltach

Schiltach is an 11th-century town located on the eastern central portion of the Black Forest, full of restored but picturesque half-timbered houses. Definitely, it’s a charming place to transport you back in time.

You will never get tired of taking photos and wandering around in Schiltach. But in case you need to reenergize, the town has tiny cafes where you can buy drinks partnered with authentic Black Forest cakes.

It’s a town perfect for a chill date with your loved partner, especially that it is not a touristy place compared to other locations in the Black Forest.

Schiltach, Black Forest, Germany
Schiltach Town Highlights
  1. Historische Altstadt – A visit to Schiltach will not be complete if you don’t visit its historic old town. Walk over the cobbled streets in between the charming timber-framed houses. Do not forget to visit the riverside and the flower embellished bridge!
  2. Schüttesäge Museum – This is the museum where you will learn the about the livelihood of the of the town’s ancestors. See objects used in their forestry economy, timber rafting, and tanning.
  3. Schenkenburg – Hike to the ruins of a 13th-century castle and see a view of Schiltach Town.

Triberg

At the south-central part of the Black Forest, we find the Triberg, a town where the biggest cuckoo clock in the world is. From this town also we can start hiking to one of the largest waterfalls in Germany, the Triberg Falls. Triberg is called the Cuckoo capital of the Black Forest, though still unofficial.

Come here to get an experience of what the Black Forest is best known for.

Aside from the biggest cuckoo clock in the world, here in Triberg, we can find the two best and most famous cuckoo clockmakers: Oli’s Schnitzstube and House of 1000 Clocks. They make quality cuckoo clocks manually, by hand!

Triberg, Black Forest, Germany
Triberg Town Highlights
  1. Erste weltgrößte Kuckucksuhr – The largest cuckoo clock in the world! You can enter inside and see the giant clock mechanism move precisely and accurately with your watch/digital timer. It has a gift shop for souvenirs, etc.
  2. Schwarzwaldmuseum – See an exhibit of cuckoos, things used by the locals, traditional costumes and many more depicting the culture of the Black Forest. There are also mechanical musical instruments in working order you can play by giving in a euro or two.
  3. Triberg Waterfalls – From the town center, you can follow a trail heading to the tallest waterfall in Germany, the Triberg Falls Within around 20 minutes, you can arrive in the waterfall area and wander around in the wooden boardwalk.

All the unique things to do in the Black Forest

Like what I’ve mentioned earlier, a destination is special if it has unique things to show. Again, in the case of the Black Forest, yes, it is indeed special as there are experiences that are only found here nowhere else in the world.

Here are the 7 unique things to experience in the Black Forest:

  1. Treetop Walk
  2. WildLine Hanging Bridge
  3. Largest Cuckoo Clock
  4. The Black Forest Open Air Museum
  5. Freiburg Minster
  6. Europa Park
  7. Vitra Design Museum

Here is the map of the locations of the activities listed above:

Climb the Treetop Walk

There’s nothing that can make the Black Forest special other than its thick, dense forest.

If you are looking for a fantastic lookout where you can feed your eyes with really scenic views of the Black Forest’s forest, the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald (Treetop Walk Black Forest) is the place to be.

It is a very picturesque lookout (not only the view but the structure itself), which you will for sure post on your Instagram.

Treetop Walk, Black Forest, Germany
View from halfway center

The Treetop Walk is an observation boardwalk and tower, with a 1250-meter long ramp that goes up and up until you reach 40-meters high above the forest ground. The ramp is unique as it is made from wood, spiral in shape.

Climbing the 40 meter-high tower seems tiring. It’s equivalent to a 12-story building!

But don’t you worry. It is not stairs, and the ramp has an inclination of only about 6 degrees. Just stroll, enjoy the view. You will not break a sweat.

The fun never stops, even you reach the top of the tower. There, you will be able to see the forest, faraway places such as Kraichgau, Stuttgart, and the Swabian Alb. Down halfway, you can take a shortcut back to the ground with a 55-meter metal tunnel (1 ride = 2EUR).

You can check the opening hours and buy tickets on the official website of Treetop Walk. See where the Treetop Walk is on the Maps at the start of this section.

Walk over WildLine Hängebrücke

Add a thrill to the experience you get from the Treetop Walk with the WildLine Hangebruke, located south, a few minutes away from the first-mentioned tourist attraction.

WildLine Hangebruke is a suspension bridge, an architectural and engineering marvel in the middle of the forest. This 380-meter suspension bridge hangs almost 60 meters above the ground.

Wildline Hangebruke, Black Forest, Germany

WildLine Hangebruke isn’t like the usual suspension bridge. While traditional hanging bridges sag, creating a curve that opens upward, WildLine Hangebruke does the opposite.

That’s why before you make your first step on the bridge, you would not see the other end, but you see the middle instead. As you start walking through the bridge, you get better views of the verdant meadows.

You also see spruce trees point up to you, which is a pretty amusing thing to see.

The entrance fee to WildLine Hangebruke is 9 EUR for adults and 7 for kids. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (4 p.m. during the winter season). You can check the official website of WildLine for more information. You can check the exact location of WildLine Hangebruke on the map posted a while ago.

Go Inside the Largest Cuckoo Clock

Indeed, visiting the Largest Cuckoo Clock is one of the special things visitors do in the Black Forest. It is so big that you can walk inside.

The largest cuckoo clock is a masterpiece of traditional craftsmanship. It has a cuckoo that’s 4.5 meters tall and a pendulum 8 meters long. It’s taller than most of us, impressive, eh?

Largest Cuckoo Clock, Black Forest, Germany

Millennials, and Generation X readers, have you ever wondered how our mechanical watches work? (GenZ-ers won’t relate! Just kidding, LOL) Going inside the largest cuckoo clock will show you how a clockwork operates. What’s even more fantastic is, you’ll feel that you are the Antman!

The clockwork of the largest cuckoo clock in the world is said to work by purely mechanical force. Your knowledge in science will be challenged: if it is not powered by battery/electricity, is perpetual motion even possible?

See in person how it works!

You can check the exact location of the biggest cuckoo clock on the map given at the beginning of this section.

Discover the Black Forest Open Air Museum

Again, if there is something that will make a place very much distinct from another, it would be the towns/city/region’s culture and tradition. For the Black Forest, you can learn much of it in the Black Forest Open Air Museum.

The Black Forest Open Air Museum is a recreated village farm that transports visitors back to the18th-century Black Forest and earlier. It showcases different buildings constructed during that time, as well as the Black Forest tradition that flourished back in the day.

Open Air Museum, Black Forest, Germany

One of the most notable structures you can find here is the 600-year-old country manor, also called the Little Castle of Effringen. If you have been to Japan, you can somehow notice the similarity of the houses in Shirakawa-go to some of the reconstructed traditional Black Forest houses like the Vogstbauernhof, Lorenzenhof, and few others.

There are also mills, chapels, and storehouses in the open-air museum that describes the lives of the early inhabitants of the Black Forest. In some parts of the day, people dressed in the Black Forest traditional costumes walk around the museum. It will be your chance to see ladies wearing Bollenhut!

The Black Forest Open Air Museum offers tours and workshops too. If you already have kids, they will love the activities that teach the crafts of the medieval Black Forest inhabitants.

You can visit the Open Air Museum from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Tuesday, Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday. The entry fee for adults is 10 EUR, kids 5.50 EUR, and free for children younger than 5 years old. Double-check the opening hours if they were updated from the museum’s official website.

You can check the exact location of the Black Forest Open Air Museum on the Map posted at the start of this section.

Come to the iconic Freiburg Minster

The culture of the Black Forest goes along with Christianity that also shaped the history of the region. In all of the Black Forest, you can observe the pinnacle of Christianity in a cathedral in Freiburg: the Freiburg Minster.

Though most churches are everywhere in Europe, they will never ever be the same, don’t you agree? Freiburg Minster contributes and will always be adding up to the uniqueness of the Black Forest, no matter how little the essence may be.

It’s worth visiting, anyway. Architecture-wise, Freiburg Minster is a marvel that will surely drop your jaw:

Freiburg Minster, Black Forest, Germany

Freiburg Minster is an early 13th-century cathedral located in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, famous for its iconic spire. The tower of this church is recognized by the Swiss Historian Jacob Burckhardt as the “Most beautiful spire on earth.”

You will be deeply mesmerized by the spire, especially when you look at it from the inside, directly under the tip of the tower.

The Freiburg Minster houses 19 bells, which, if combined into a single bell, would weigh 25 tonnes. These bells compose one of the biggest peals in Germany.

Freiburg Minster is just a culmination of art and religion in the Black Forest, definitely not to be missed when you visit. You can check the exact location of the Freiburg Minster on the map posted at the beginning of this section.

Enjoy the Europa Park

Just north of Freiburg im Breisgau lies Europe’s second-largest theme park: The Europa Park… and yes, this is also a destination in the Black Forest that makes the region special.

There are numerous theme parks in Europe, but what separates Europa Park from the others? Well, it’s because Europa Park is all about Europe. It is the fantasy version of the continent, as per theGuardian.com. The park has 15 areas representing different countries in Europe.

The park is too immense and has a lot of fantastic features to tell in this post. But, absolutely, Europa Park is one of the most recommended places to visit in the Black Forest, with hundreds of thousands of recommendations posted online.

You can learn more from this Europa Park 2021 Review (Is Europa Park worth visiting?).

See its location on the map at the start of this section.

See Vitra Design Museum

Last but not least:

At the very tip of Germany’s southwestern territory, near the point where the German, Swiss, and French borders meet, we can find a very Intragrammable place called Vitra Design Museum.

It is the twist in the journey in the Black Forest, you should seek, or try at least, especially if you love architecture and design. Stylish and minimalist homeowners can call this heaven.

Actually, inside the complex, It has a factory design too good to be just a factory. You’ll be surprised!

Vitra Design Museum, Black Forest, Germany

Vitra Design Museum is a large exhibit focused on furniture and interior design created by contemporary architects. They mostly do rotating exhibitions. Do not forget to check first Vitra Design’s website to know what to see before you visit.

Check Vitra Design Museum’s location on the Maps at the start of this section.

Transportation in the Black Forest

There are three ways you can explore the Black Forest:

  1. Private Car – To go freely wherever you want
  2. Bus and Trains – Best for intertown travel
  3. Bicycle – for shorter distances

Private Car

Driving a car and/or getting a private car tour are the easiest and most efficient ways to explore the Black Forest. These are your best options, especially if you are on a time budget and want to visit many places far from the towns or not reached by public transportation.

You can also hire a driver who is very familiar with the Black Forest. They will surely help you maximize and enjoy your trip in the Black Forest. You can ask for a recommendation and be answered immediately.

Renting a car and driving it by yourself is okay, too, as you get total freedom! You do not have to worry if you will get lost. GPS should work unless you go underground or come across a magnetic field that is significantly less unlikely.

You can easily find your way as long as you have a smartphone and know how to navigate, at least using Google Maps.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in the Black Forest is excellent; everyone who visited the region can attest to that! Almost all towns in this region are linked with railways, though smaller villages are served by buses.

A part of the train network in the Black Forest you should try at least once is the Scenic Black Forest Railway. It passes through the most spectacular sceneries you would ever see from a train in Germany:

  • Offenburg – Donaueschingen – Konstanz
  • Freiburg – Seebrugg

You can book a train ride from bahn.de.

If you can have a KONUS card given by some holiday locations for FREE, you can access all public transportation in the Black Forest as many times as you want without paying even a single cent. This is why the Black Forest is so special! LOL!

KONUS Card and the public transportation in the Black Forest is probably the best choice you can have if you are on budget constrict. You can learn more about the KONUS card using this KONUS card PDF Flyer.

Cycling

If you plan to use public transportation instead of renting/driving a car, riding a bicycle is your option (aside from hiking) to visit relatively far tourist attractions from the towns. You can ask the local tourism offices in the Black Forest to give you a list of bicycle rental shops.

The cycling paths in the black forests are well marked, even in most parts of the forest. You won’t get lost, especially if you will use technology such as Google Maps and so on. However, it is suggested that you still get a traditional map from the tourism office if you encounter some technical difficulties.

Most of the cycling routes run along the local train lines, by the way.

Since the cycling routes run parallel with the railways, you can shortcut your path to your destination through a train ride (in case you get tired from cycling). Train operators in the Black Forest allow the bicycles to be transported in a train, yet they are charged at the adult rate.

Is the Black Forest in Germany Worth a Visit?

Many think of the Black Forest as a tourist trap and sees it as just an ordinary place. However, with the things that make the Black Forest special, it is easy to understand that the Black Forest is still a beautiful destination worth a visit. For me, the question should be, “which attractions/towns in the Black Forest are worth a visit and which are not?”

Photos to make you want visit Black Forest

In case you want to see more photos of things that make the Black Forest special, I got some for you! Let these photos inspire you to visit the Black Forest:

Save it on Pinterest.

Black Forest, Germany
Black Forest, Germany

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