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  1. Jennifer
    November 11, 2019 @ 3:48 pm

    Hello again. I have done more reading and I am thinking that with four full days in Germany (flying into Frankfurt) that the best thing to do is the Black Forest. Can you suggest an itinerary?

    • Ali Garland
      November 12, 2019 @ 9:55 am

      Hi Jennifer! I usually recommend Freiburg as a base for a few days. It’s a cute town with easy access to the forest but enough things in town so you don’t feel too remote. The old town is pretty, and you can take the train to Titisee (nearby lake) to get a feel for the Black Forest. I also love Schauinsland, which you can reach by public transportation, plus a cable car, and it gives you beautiful views of the forest. Heidelberg is also really pretty and has a great castle in ruins to check out. It’s not technically in the Black Forest, but it’s close and a worthwhile city to visit. With 4 days, I think you could split your time between Freiburg and Heidelberg and have great time before meeting your son in Frankfurt.

  2. Antigoni
    October 6, 2019 @ 11:59 pm

    Hi Andy/Ali!
    I am coming with my husband and 2 kids aged 6 at Basel airport on 28th December 2019 for a week until 4 January 2010.
    I dont have much travelling experience and I would like your advice.
    We would like to ski at the black forest and see also a couple of cities.
    Could you please help us with your suggestions on how to plan this itinerary!
    We need to do 3 days ski and then see more places. Do you recommend be based in one place or keep moving?
    Do you recommend rent a car(is the weather safe?) or train with kids is better?

    Thanking you in advance,

    • Ali Garland
      October 7, 2019 @ 5:16 pm

      Hi Antigoni! Check out Feldberg, it’s the highest mountain in the Black Forest and has lots of skiing. (Info about Feldberg skiing here.) It’s also not far from Freiburg, so you can go there for some city time. Baden Baden is also a good city if you want some spa experiences. If you want to spend 3 days skiing, I’d recommend staying in Feldberg at one of the ski resorts for the whole time, that way you’re not going back and forth every day. I’m not a skier, so I’m not sure where else might be good in the area, but I’ve always heard good things about Feldberg. You could also look at a nearby village if you don’t want to stay right at Feldberg. Titisee is a cute Black Forest village that’s pretty close to Feldberg.

      For most situations, I think it’s pretty easy to get around in Germany with the trains and buses, but I also don’t have kids, so with a group of 4, you might want to compare costs to see if it’s worth renting a car or taking trains. I also think it’s worth contacting a few ski resorts/hotels in the Feldberg area and ask them about the transportation situation. If they’re close enough to the slopes to walk or if they have a shuttle or if the ski place has a shuttle or if the town has a bus that runs often, it might not be worth renting a car. If you’ve never driven in snow or if you aren’t familiar with European driving rules, I wouldn’t recommend renting a car.

      There’s an airport bus from the Basel Airport to Freiburg (more info here in German but it’s just the pricelist) and I think it picks up from the French side of the airport, not the Swiss side. So you could take the airport bus to Freiburg, and then get the train to Feldberg and stay there for a few days. Then you could go back to Freiburg for a day or two and then maybe Baden Baden if you have time. Here’s the Deutsche Bahn website in English. There are various group tickets you can get that will save you some money for travel within the region.

      If you do decide to rent a car, it’s probably worth looking at where the rental places are in relation to the airport. Something on the French side might be cheaper than the Swiss side, plus it might be more practical for taking the car into Germany. And make sure you specify that you’ll be taking the car into Germany in case they have any restrictions. (It’s probably fine, but it’s worth mentioning just in case.) Make sure you read up on German driving laws if you’re not familiar.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Cary
    August 4, 2019 @ 5:23 pm

    Hi Ali!

    This looks like a great itinerary! My husband and I are going to Germany and Austria in September and we are still trying to figure out a route that works for us. We are only there for 15 days and plan to rent a car. We fly in to Frankfurt on Sept. 19th and have to be in Innsbruck on the 21st. We were thinking of staying in Freiburg the first night and then from there we aren’t exactly sure where to stay to get us closer to Innsbruck on the 21st. Do you have any suggestions? We thought about going in to Switzerland and then over, but not if we have enough time. We love hiking, biking, nature, and we are really interested in exploring the smaller bavarian towns.

    Also, after we leave Austria (last two nights in Salzburg) we are heading to Munich and staying there for a couple of nights. We thought the area south of Munich would be worth checking out and then we were thinking of taking the romantic road back up north. We fly out of Amsterdam on Oct. 3rd, so we are just looking for a route to explore in Germany that would make sense. If you have any suggestions for us, we would love to hear them! Thanks!

    • Ali Garland
      August 5, 2019 @ 12:19 pm

      Hi Cary! Sounds like a fun trip! If you’re arriving on September 19th and you need to be in Innsbruck on the 21st, I’d probably stay in Freiburg both nights, the 19th and 20th. My thinking is that you’ll probably land in Frankfurt in the morning (assuming you’re coming from the US) and then it takes about 3 hours or so to drive from Frankfurt to Freiburg, so it’ll be afternoon by the time you get there. And you’ll be exhausted and jet lagged. So if you only stay one night, you aren’t really giving yourself time to see and do anything in Freiburg. And it’s a long drive from there to Innsbruck. If you’re trying to break up the drive between Freiburg and Innsbruck, I guess it might make some sense to spend the night of the 20th somewhere else, just know that you aren’t giving yourself much time to see those places. Maybe Zurich or Lucerne?

      I’ve heard good things about Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Bavaria, but I haven’t been there yet. Same with the Romantic Road, definitely a gorgeous area to explore, especially if you have a car. Nuremberg and Bamberg are nice cities in Bavaria. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also really cute and not too far from Nuremberg. Heidelberg is nice, might make a good stop towards the end if you’re returning the car in Frankfurt since it’s up that direction.

      If you’re flying out of Amsterdam, are you dropping the car in Frankfurt (where I assume you’re picking it up) and then taking the train to Amsterdam? That might be the most time efficient way of doing it. Otherwise, if you’re driving to Amsterdam, again make sure the car rental company knows which countries you’re driving through. Maybe look at the Rhine Valley, there are lots of great castles in that area.

      It’s probably worth mapping things out on Google maps to see what it all looks like, and always give yourself a little more time than what Google says to account for traffic, gas stops, and other unknowns. Make sure you’re not trying to squeeze in so many places that you hardly get to see the places you’re going to. If there are a few towns within an hour or two of each other, it might be worth picking a city to base yourself in for a few days and take day trips, that way you’re not constantly checking out of your hotel.

      Another thing to keep in mind if you’re renting a car is to make sure you read up on the driving laws. Some things are different in Europe than in the US, and it might not always seem intuitive. Also, Austria and Switzerland have rules about some kind of pass or permit you need for the car, which isn’t required in Germany, so you need to make sure your car rental company knows you’re taking the car to those countries. They might be able to get you the pass/permit, or you might have to buy it at the border.

  4. geetanjali
    January 6, 2019 @ 7:43 am

    Hi Andy/Ali,
    Does hosts in Freiburg provide konuscard as I have heard it gives free acess to all public transport in the black forest area and we won’t be driving so that’s preferable.
    Thanks a lot in anticipation of your reply.

    • Ali Garland
      January 6, 2019 @ 12:10 pm

      Hi, check out the Black Forest Tourism site for more info about the KONUS card. It sounds like it’s up to each individual hotel to decide if they want to give them out, so you’ll want to check with your hotel to be sure.

  5. Erica
    August 27, 2018 @ 5:59 am


    I am planning a trip to the Black Forest over Christmas time. We want to stay at the town closest to hiking trials so we do not have to drive to hike and such. What town would you suggest?

    • Ali Garland
      August 29, 2018 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Erica! First, make sure you’re prepared to be hiking in snowy conditions. I used to live in Freiburg, so that’s the area I usually recommend to people. If you want to stay in a bigger town, Freiburg has lots of accommodation and restaurant options. If you’re looking for something smaller, Titisee and Schluchsee are lake towns (See means lake in German) not too far from Freiburg. It might be better to go the other direction – decide what hiking trails/areas you’re interested in, and then look for nearby towns. The Black Forest tourism site has some info about hiking that might be a good starting point.

  6. Grace Wong
    July 28, 2018 @ 5:36 pm

    Hi. This guide is really helpful. I would like to make a 10-days stay in Germany and black forest will be the focus.

    Just wonder whether public transport is convenient to travel around the black forest region. I will very likely be travel solo and without a car.

    • Ali Garland
      August 1, 2018 @ 10:49 am

      Hi Grace! You can get to most places with trains, and then just about every town has trams and/or buses. Here’s the Deutsche Bahn site in English so you can search for your routes and see how long it takes and if there are connections. I find Germany pretty easy to get around in without a car, so I think you’ll be fine!

    July 25, 2018 @ 3:53 am

    Hi Ali, thanks for your note, I will review the weather information as well as the travel dates.

    July 23, 2018 @ 2:28 am

    We are planning a trip for 1 week to the Black Forest, end of September. How is the weather like? Better to go earlier? Rain?
    Carlos Sosa

    • Ali Garland
      July 23, 2018 @ 7:52 pm

      Hi Carlos! It can really vary that time of year. It might be gorgeous and warm, but it could also be cool and rainy some days. You could look up historical weather info and see if it fits with what you’re hoping for. I don’t think late September is a bad time to go though, you just have to keep in mind that there is always the possibility of rain. Probably the earlier in the month you can go, the better your chances of not getting cooler or rainy weather. But chances are it won’t be overly hot, so that’s good. Sorry I can’t give you a definite answer on this one!

  9. Ritu Nanda
    February 2, 2018 @ 9:31 pm

    Hi Ali,
    My husband and I are planning a week in the Black Forest area in the end of March 2018. The main reason why we chose this area is because we want to get away from the maddening crowd and keep our holiday close to nature.
    What do you suggest we do ideally we would want to have a mix of the following –
    What do you suggest should be our base town something that seems equidistant to many Sights /towns over the week where we can check in and travel to and fro for sightseeing on day trips ;
    Easy Treks ( nothing like the mountain Everest please);
    Places that you recommend for Great German food and drink;
    Fun things to do other than seeing museums /shopping /hanging around large cities.
    Memorable experiences that we could try our hand at.
    Regards and thanks,

    • Andy
      February 12, 2018 @ 9:20 am

      Hi Ritu, I have more experience in the area than Ali, so I will give you my thoughts. She might chime in if I miss anything.

      the Black Forest is actually a pretty big area. It stretches from the Swiss border all the way up to near Karlsruhe and then as far east as Stuttgart. If you are planning to spend only a week and want mostly a relaxing time, then I would suggest to pick only one or two cities to base yourselves in and do daytrips. If you are comfortable driving, you will have more flexibility than using the trains, thous trains through the mountains are fun.
      We know Freiburg the best because we used to live there. It is located in the south western end of the forest and makes a pretty good base. It will give you good access to most of the southern and western half of the region and access to France and Switzerland as well. Since it is a university town, things are going on nearly all the time and although a small city, there are plenty of food options in the center. This is usually my recommendation when talking about the area.
      Easy Treks – You can hike a number of different hills around the area. The easiest for example is up Schlossberg right in the center of town, which is more of an upward stroll than a hike. Walking along the Dreisam river in either direction is fairly flat and can give you a long distance goal. I had friends who would regularly hike/mountain bike up around Kandel and Notschrei, though I never tried that. Your best bet is probably to get a hiking map either at the tourism office or a book store and pick something that feels reasonable to you. Feldberg is the tallest mountain in the area and is mostly sking in the winter, but there bound to be trails there too. Be aware that late March is likely to still be pretty cold, especially high in the forest. So bring warm clothing and check weather as you get closer for rain gear needs.
      German Food – In Freiburg… check out Feierling Brewery for super local beer. Tacheles in a basement on Grunwalderstrasse for good Schnitzels in town. For a bit out of the center, Schutzten (around the MariaHilf Kirche tram stop) has really great food in a German tavern atmosphere. Make sure you hit the Cathedral Square around noon Monday-Saturday at least once. The market runs from early in the morning until about 1pm. Hunt out the row of trucks and get a sausage in a roll. The local one is called “lange rote” and is a long reddish pork sausage.
      Fun Things – Take the Schauinsland cable car. It is a short tram right from the center + a bus to the base of the cable car which is a great ride on a sunny day. From the top you can walk to an observation tower for even better views.
      The whole area is a spa area. Heated mineral springs feed a number of spas and it is nice, especially in the cold days, to soak in the hot water. Eulen-Keidel Bad is on the edge of town and pretty good local place. There are certainly others around the region. Be aware that sauna areas are almost always naked required and some spas even require it for the whole place.
      Titisee and Schluchsee are lakes up in the forest easily reachable from Freiburg via train. Titisee town is almost a resort with kitschy souvenirs and such, but worth a walk around. Schluchsee is bigger and more quiet, also a nice hike around.
      There are several small abandoned castles in surrounding towns. This is Ali’s post on her personal blog about one near Waldkirch. There are a few bigger better kept castles in the forest, but more toward Stuttgart than Freiburg. But if you have a car and a day to burn, look at Lichtenstain Castle, Hohernzollern Castle near Stuttgart or Hautkonigsberg over the river in France. Definitely get yourself a map/GPS if you try this.

      Not sure I have much in the way of “memorable experiences to try” that I can think of. The region is really based on nature and such.

      Hope this helps and enjoy your week.

      • Ritu Nanda
        February 12, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

        Dear Andy
        Thank you for your message and thoughts. Your suggestions are exactly what I was looking for ! I am already excited about this trip thanks to you .

  10. Silvia Paisley
    January 22, 2018 @ 11:18 pm

    Thanks for your blog as it was very helpful. We think we will be there in the Black Forest in early September so was wondering what you think the weather will be like then?

    • Ali Garland
      January 25, 2018 @ 12:17 pm

      Hi Silvia! The weather should be nice in early September. That time of year it can still feel like summer (but remember summer there rarely gets *really* hot) or it could feel like fall. It’s worth packing layers so you can wear short sleeves if you get warm or throw on a long sleeve and a jacket if it gets cool. I would expect the weather to be pleasant that time of year, sounds like a great time for a trip to the Black Forest!

  11. Darshna
    August 4, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

    Hey Ali .. this is Darshna from India. I am so glad I found your blog post on pinterest. It’s super helpful!
    Anyone reading this will benefit from it.
    And most of all … I want to say a big heartfelt thank you because you took the time to read and answer my emails!
    Cheers and thanks ?

    • Ali Garland
      August 5, 2017 @ 3:42 pm

      I’m so glad I was able to help! I hope you have an amazing time in the Black Forest and the rest of your trip!

  12. David
    May 31, 2016 @ 5:12 am

    What a romantic looking place … I love to tour this part of Europe with my partner!