This mountainous region in southwestern Germany is known for its luscious forests, picture-perfect villages, cuckoo clocks and delicious cake.
Beyond eating cake, the region offers lots of interesting things to do including visiting the beautiful Triberg waterfall, the Schwarzwaldhöfe (a village of perfect houses from Germany’s past) and nearby Europa Park (the second largest theme park in Europe after Disneyland Paris).
Budget: Double rooms with shared bathrooms cost around €40 whilst dorm beds cost between €20 – €30.
Midrange: Private rooms in small hotels or B&Bs cost around €55 whilst chain hotels cost around €100 in the major cities.
Luxury: Luxury hotels cost anywhere between €150 – €500 but you can get top end hotels for around €250.
Transport: Car rentals are available from €14 a day whilst the bus and train network is free when you sign up to the KONUS Guest Card.
Average cost of food:
Lunch in local cafes will cost between €6 – €10 whilst cheaper options can be found in convenience stores and bakeries.
Dinner ranges between €12 – 20 per person.
Best time to visit Black Forest
The enchanting region can be visited throughout the year, depending on what you are looking for.
I personally think that the best time to visit Black Forest is December, then the charming towns are covered in snow and the region is full of Christmas Markets.
However, if you are looking to hike, then summer is your best time to visit, whilst April to June is a great time to visit for those wanting to see all the sights and save a bit of money.
Where to stay in Black Forest
Gasthaus Sonne is a charming guest house in the village of Vorstetten with private rooms and shared bathroom costing €49 for a couple.
In Freiburg, you’ll find the creatively named Black Forest Hostel with dorm beds costing €20.
Krähenbad Hotel is a country-style hotel with picturesque views of the mountainous region. Private rooms cost €55, complete with a balcony and free WiFi.
Hotel Liberty Offenburg is a stylish hotel in Offenburg with spacious rooms starting at €160 a night.
Hotel Dollenberg is a favourite of mine; in the heart of the Black Forest and overlooking a gorgeous vineyard, this spa hotel is simply perfect. Rooms start at €239 but deals can be found in quieter months.
Save money in Black Forest
Europe is an expensive continent to travel and Germany is certainly no exception . But do not worry, there are ways you can visit the Black Forest region on a budget with these tips.
- Book in Advance – With most European travel, booking in advance will save you money, so book flights, train, bus and hotel tickets as early as you can.
- Compare bus tickets – Using sites like Flixbus, you can make sure you are getting a good deal on those bus tickets; especially if you are travelling across Germany.
- Get lunch from the bakeries – There are some amazing bread and regional dishes in this region. Save on meals by picking up food from the local bakeries.
- Eat at the beer gardens – Germany is known for it’s beer and wine. There are plenty of beer gardens across the region with some affordable local meals, including maultaschen and spätzle. You can also get some Black Forest cake here too.
- Get the tourist card – This region has a few different tourist cards that can help you save money on transportation and attractions in the area. Check out the WelcomeKarte for Freiburg, the HeidelbergCARD for Heidelberg and the Baden-Württemberg-Ticket for this region.
- Use the supermarkets – There are plenty of supermarkets with affordable food and snacks. Make yourself a picnic to enjoy during your day out instead of relying on the cafes in and around the tourist sites.
Best things to do in Black Forest
Quaint cities of Baden
Philosophen Weg (Philosopher’s Path)
Freiburg’s beautiful old town; Bächle
Baden-Baden Spa Town
Schwarzwald National Park
Baden Wine Route
Erdmann Cave in Hasel
House of 1000 clocks, Triberg
The Black Forest Museum
Upper Danube Valley Nature Reserve
How to get to Black Forest
Train – Karlsruhe, Freiburg, Baden-Baden, and Offenburg are all reachable via an extensive train network: timetables and tickets are available here on this website.
Car – Car rental is probably the easiest way to get around the region and driving to the area from major cities is easy and convenient. The main villages/towns are around 1.5 – 2 hours from Stuttgart, around 3.5 – 4 hours from Munich or 2.5 hours from Frankfurt.
How to get around Black Forest
The cities in the Black Forest region are easily reached by bus or train but the best way to travel if you want to visit the area extensively, is to rent a car.
When staying in a hotel or guest house, ask the reception about the Konus guest card. This is a free of charge bus and train serve which takes you around the region – from Karlsruhe to Waldshut and Pforzheim to Basel.
See here for more details on the KONUS Guest Card.
In cities like Heidelberg and Freiburg, you can get day tickets for the train as well as group tickets if you are travelling in a group.
Cycling is a popular choice for both locals and visitors. You can cycle on all the roads and highways but not on the motorway and you can take bikes onto trains, with a septette Fahrradkarte (bicycle ticket).
Alternatively, if you plan on visiting less touristy areas of Germany then you may want to rent a car and try driving in Germany. Black Forest offers many great attractions but the easiest way to get between the sights is to drive.