In the southwest of Germany, on the corner that fits between Switzerland and France, is one of the most beautiful, best-known and most touristic areas of the entire German country: the Black Forest. A naturally green and leafy region, rich in contrasts, relaxing and dotted with pretty villages with traditional architecture, which could be the perfect plan for a week-long getaway.
From Baden-Baden, in the north, to Freiburg im Breisgau, in the south, we will leave behind forests, lakes, vineyards and mountains as we join small charming towns, where half-timbered houses full of flowers will make us feel in a movie set between rural, romantic and bucolic environments.
Two cities to see in the Black Forest
Perhaps you arrive in the Black Forest looking for villages with typical architecture, or leafy forests, but that does not mean that there are a couple of cities in which it is well worth spending a few hours to compare tradition and future: Baden-Baden and Freiburg im Breisgau.
Baden-Baden, thanks to its airport, could well be the beginning of your route through the Black Forest. It is a small but curious city. It gained great fame in the 19th century thanks to its thermal baths, something that continues to attract a large number of tourists today, and exudes luxury and elegance wherever we pass. The casino can boast of being one of the most beautiful in the world and the Lichtentaler Allee park is an idyllic place to stroll among stately buildings.
In Freiburg there is never a lack of activity, as in a good university city that it is. It is a young and quiet place, with a cozy, cobbled and well-kept historic center, and with a cathedral, that of Brisgovia, monumental and surrounded by a square, the Münsterplatz, which becomes a market when appropriate. Outside the center, it is well worth getting to know Vauban, one of the most ecological and pro-family neighborhoods in the country.
Four charming villages in the Black Forest
The Black Forest villages are one of the main attractions of the entire region. They are so beautiful, and so perfect, that they seem to be taken from a fairy tale. There are many stops that you can make on this trip, but there are four that we recommend you not to miss.
Sasbachwalden is a passing town, but where you definitely have to stop even if it is to take a walk, for example when starting the route in Baden Baden and heading south. It can be a perfect first contact with the traditional architecture of the Black Forest, with beautiful gardens and surrounded by vineyards that reach the town itself.
Triberg is one of the best known towns in the Black Forest, and one of the most touristic too. And not because it is the most beautiful of all precisely, but because it has two elements that have made it especially characteristic. One of them is its waterfall, which with a drop of 163 meters is among the highest in the country. And another is found in its cuckoo clocks, which are characteristic of the entire Black Forest, but here they have an indisputable role, with shops full of hundreds of them and the one that claims to be the largest cuckoo clock in the world.
Gengenbach is indeed one of the most beautiful villages in the Black Forest, if not the most. Its center is a true story, with its traditional half-timbered houses in sight and its balconies full of flowers. It is impossible to miss the Kinzing Tower, at one of the entrances to the old walled area, as well as its town hall, which has more than 200 years of history and a façade that imitates an advent calendar, something that comes true at Christmas .
Schiltach is one of those towns where you feel like wandering aimlessly through its narrow, cobbled central streets. On one side and the other we will leave beautiful facade buildings with their wooden frameworks in sight. Städtle is its medieval old town and in it you will find numerous houses dating from the 16th and 19th centuries. If you are looking for a picturesque option to spend the night, here you will find the old Posada Adler, today converted into the Adler 1604 Boutique Hotel, but which retains a charming and familiar atmosphere, as well as one of the best restaurants in town.
And a bit of nature too
In addition to welcoming cities and pretty villages, another of the great characteristics of the Black Forest is its nature, as its name already says. If we want to enjoy it, just over 30 km from Freiburg is Lake Titisee, one of the favorite holiday destinations for the Germans themselves and, therefore, quite touristy too. But taking a walk around it, crossing the surrounding forests, or renting a boat and going into it, can be a good plan. If you want more tranquility, 15 km from the Titisee there is another lake, the Schluchsee, where you will find fewer people and it is easier to disconnect from everything.
To be aware of the nature that surrounds us in the Black Forest, it is highly recommended to climb Mount Kandel, which with a height of 1,241 meters offers a spectacular panoramic view over the entire region. A perfect final point to start planning a new visit to what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of Germany.