The Black Forest, which is called in German Schwarzwald, is a tourist destination and also a very known scenery in myths and folktales. It is said that the people living in the area believed that dwarfs, witches, and fairies lived in the forest.
The Black Forest is one of the most fascinating, colorful and diverse forests in the world. The forest that is divided by wide valleys and narrow canyons, is filled with rivers, springs, and lakes. The Black Forest is one of the most beautiful travel destinations if you want to explore the rural and least urban side of Europe.
The Black Forest is especially suited for families, mainly because of the high level of tourist services, the ease of traveling by a rental car on the good roads, the variety of vacation apartments and the many attractions. For more ideas and inspiration you can read our post: The Black Forest and more: a 7 days itinerary.
Here are the 12 best things to do in the black forest, Germany.
Lake Titisee is one of the most beautiful scenic spots in the Black Forest area and a must-see during your stay the southern part of the forest. Titisee-Neustadt, a large tourist attraction, has a variety of accommodation, beautiful promenades, a tourist office, and other services. Although the lake is not too big, you will find plenty of attractions there. A popular option is to embark on an organized boat ride of about half an hour in a large boat. Other options are to rent paddle boats or an independent sailing. You can also rent a bike and cycle around the lake.
2) Challenge your senses at The Park Mit Allen Sinnen
This park was opened in 2004 and offers an interesting hiking experience. The trail, 2.1 km long, allows you to walk barefoot on sand, gravel, mud, sawdust, grass and pine cones, and all this while strolling through the enchanting scenery of the black forest. There are also pavilion stations where you can see, hear, smell and touch different things from nature. Along the trail, there are resting areas with relaxing music. At the entrance, you will get a key to the locker where you can store your shoes. If someone doesn’t feel like walking barefoot that’s fine, there is a regular parallel trail. At the end, there is a washing area where you can clean your feet.
3) Hike at least once
The Black Forest is filled with thousands of hiking trails, at all levels and in different lengths. Most of them are properly marked with proper signs and information which makes it easy to go hiking. In a small part of the trails, artists and others have created sculptures and experiential objects that give your hike in nature another interesting dimension.
Most of these trials are not too long and suitable for families with children. An example of a nice one is the Little Folk’s Trail in Feldberg Village. By the way – if you are looking for online information to plan the routes ahead, then two of my favorite sources of information are Outdooractive site, which includes the world’s most popular hiking trails, and the Komoot app (Android, iPhone).
4) Stroll around the old city of Freiburg
The Black Forest region is famous for its natural landscape, but when you want a city break between one nature site and another it is very worthwhile to visit Freiburg, the capital of the Black Forest. It is located in the south of the region and its ancient and beautiful old city is surrounded by green mountainous landscapes with impressive buildings, cobblestone streets and small canals crossing it.
The Freiburg cathedral is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful ones. It is visible from every corner of the city so it’s no coincidence that this is the first place that most tourists arrive to in the city. The narrow water channels are the famous symbols of the ancient city of Freiburg.
It is a pleasure strolling through the streets of the old town of Freiburg. They are packed with cafes, restaurants, and shops. It is worth paying attention to the mosaics that decorate the sidewalks at the entrance to the shops, pointing to the type of business. You can also read about Freiburg in our 7 days itinerary in the Black Forest.
5) Recreation at the spa
The Black Forest is packed with hot springs and spas. One of the most successful spa resorts in the area is Keidel Mineral-Thermalbad in Freiburg. This is a large and cozy spa with lots of treats for the whole family: eight indoor and outdoor pools of different sizes, with spring water at various temperatures, some bubbling, some have waterfalls that massage the shoulders and others have benches in the water. There are also various types of saunas, a natural lake for bathing, as well as additional treatments. A paradise for water lovers.
6) Don’t miss Europa Park
Some would say this is the best attractions park in Europe. The park is located in the town of Rust and is built so that each area represents another country in Europe, with all the buildings and monuments that characterize it. In the park, you will find many types of amusement facilities, extreme shows, restaurants, activities for all ages and lots of investment in every detail. Prepare at least a full day for the Europa Park. For more information about Europa Park click here.
7) Slide fast with the mountain coaster of Todtnau
The mountain coaster of Todtnau, Hasenhorn, is among one of the leading family attractions of the South area of the Black Forest. Go up the mountain on a cable car and slide your way down the mountain about 3 km of magnificent views. Afterward, it is recommended to visit the lovely Todtnau waterfalls.
8) Be impressed by the Triberg waterfalls
The Triberg Falls are one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Black Forest. They are near the town of Triberg, in the center of the Black Forest, and are considered to be the highest in Germany. The Triberg Falls are divided into two parts, the upper and lower waterfalls. The falls fall in from a height of about 163 meters until they reach the Gotach River. If you have time you can check the fun climbing park just near the waterfalls.
9) Go back in time at the open museum
The Schwarzwalder Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof offers a 400-year-old return in time and a glimpse into the life of the Black Forest once. At the entrance you will find the museum’s map, which offers a route that goes through all the museum’s sites and begins to wander back in time between authentic old farmhouses (brought here from their original location in the Black Forest) with traditional furniture, workshops with various demonstrations, agricultural areas and animals that revolve freely.
Each mini-village represents the architecture and economy of its region and thus allows you to get to know the characteristics of all areas of the Black Forest. Among other things, you will watch power stations powered by water, the church, the vegetable and spice garden, an olive press, carriages, cuckoo clocks and more. There is a playground for children and also a restaurant, picnic area, and souvenir shop.
10) Have a fun day at Badeparadies
An amazing indoor water park in the Black Forest containing three complexes: The Galaxy which has 20 different attractions, The Palm Oasis for adults over the age of 16 with a warm internal and external pool, and the Wellness Oasis, also from the age of 16 only. In each of the compounds, there is a restaurant. This park was so much fun we wished we had more time to go there twice.
11) Eat the famous Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte)
This is a delicious cake made up of layers of whipped cream, cherries and cherry liqueur. The name of the cake is originated from the Black Forest which is known for its picky cherries, and Kirsch – the Black Forest’s famous cherry liqueur.
Of course you will have to search for the real good authentic one. Some say you can find a good black forest cake at cafe Schaefer in Triberg, but you’ll have to try it yourself to decide.
12) Buy a cuckoo clock And Other Souvenirs
The German cuckoo clocks are among the most recognizable symbols of the Black Forest. The residents began to produce the clocks for personal use from the 1840s, but only later, around the 1970s, did the industrial production of the watches begin. According to local legends, the world’s oldest clocks factory is located in the town of Schwenningen and in this factory the first cuckoo clock was invented in 1773. This is definitely the best souvenir you can bring for your family and friends.
You can also buy the adorable black forest’s hats, they’re great reaminder for the so much fun we had there.