The Black Forest is one of the most attractive destinations in Germany, especially for people who want to be in direct contact with nature or who travel with children like us. To say that we came back in love with your places is an understatement. As the days go by, you gradually fall in love with its charming little villages, the intense green of its forests of very tall trees or those huge lakes where the mountains and impressive valleys are reflected as if they were a mirror. If you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, you will draw some landscapes that seem to be taken from the pages of the most endearing stories of the Brothers Grimm… but without witches or stepmothers.
If you’re planning a trip to Germany in 2020, we’d like to give you a heads-up, so we strongly recommend a visit to this mountainous region. Take note of these ten tips for traveling to the Black Forest with or without children:
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Tips for preparing your trip to the Black Forest
It’s impossible not to find some corner of this huge forest that captivates you. If you travel with children, they can roll around in a green meadow while watching the cows, look at the Alps from Mount Feldberg, have fun while throwing stones into a river or bathing in a lake. Take note of our 10 tips for preparing your trip to the Black Forest:
The best airports to land in the Black Forest
The first thing you’ll think about is which airport should I land at to travel to the Black Forest? There are many options, as the area is surrounded by many international airports, so it will depend on the price of the tickets, whether or not you have a direct flight from your departure city, or how much or how little you want to drive. We land at Frankfurt International Airport, but the Black Forest is only a few hours’ drive from airfields such as Stuttgart and Munich in Germany, Zurich and Basel in Switzerland or Strasbourg in France. Some low-cost airlines also fly to the small airport of Karlsruhe-Baden Baden, which can be a good option if you stay in the northern Black Forest.
Find cheap flights to the Black Forest
At least one week of travel in the Black Forest
The first trip to Germany we made with the children had two parts. The first one was designed to enjoy some amusement parks and cities like Nuremberg or Ulm, while the second one had the southern Black Forest as its main attraction. We are in this area because when we traveled with the children we did not want to beat ourselves up in the car to go at a slower pace and enjoy the days we spent in this beautiful German corner. If you want to see the north and the south, you will need at least a week of travel, although better if you have ten days to discover the Black Forest.
Save on your trip to Selva Negra with this card
Getting around in a rental car in the Black Forest
You know we’re not too keen on getting beaten up while driving, but the best way to get around in the Black Forest is to rent a car. A vehicle gives you a lot of freedom of movement, allows you to stop where and when you want and enjoy the spectacular landscapes you will find along the way. The roads in Germany are excellent and driving through the valleys of the Black Forest and its winding roads is a real treat for the eye. On many occasions your heart and head will ask you to stop and enjoy some dreamy panoramas and take lots of pictures. To make it easy for you, you can book your rental car to move around the Black Forest here.
Where to sleep in Selva Negra as a family
Where to sleep in the Black Forest? This is one of the questions you ask us the most as you prepare for your journey. During the trip to the Black Forest it is interesting to have two bases of operations, one in the south and one in the north. In cities such as Freiburg or Baden-Baden there are hotels of all kinds and in the countryside there are more rural houses, even farms. We liked very much the experience of being in a family hotel called Pension Waldwinkel in the charming little village of Lenzkirch. We stayed in an attic with its own bathroom, a room with a big bed and another bed for Teo in the same room. No luxuries, but very cozy. Besides, the owner Manfred had a baby the same age as ours and he left us everything we needed to make Oriol feel at home. Another plus point is that Manfred is a top chef who used to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal for us every night. However, if you are considering other options you can look here for the best accommodation for the Black Forest.
The Black Forest classics are a little disappointing, don’t be discouraged
The high expectations with the great Black Forest resorts disappointed us a little. This is what happened to us with Lake Titisee or the town of Triberg. They are really beautiful areas, but so crowded in the summer that you might not want to see them just trying to find a parking space. If you manage to do so, you will have to fight with elbows to make way for cuckoo clock shops and tourists looking for their place in the typical photo.
If you’re going with a lot of time, Lake Titisee and Triberg are worth a stop, but the Black Forest is full of other lovely spots and many attractions. We are looking forward to discovering the classics in another time of the year where they surely have much more charm and the atmosphere is quieter.
Find your fairytale town in the Black Forest
I’m sure that if you ask for advice from people who have travelled to the Black Forest, they will tell you about some incredible little village, very well looked after, where they used to eat at the cinema and with fantastic views. Baden-Baden, Bad Wildbad, Calw, Baiersbronn, Heidelberg … we could cite many towns but honestly it is worth talking to the locals and get advice until you find your fairytale town. The same goes for the cities, although the centre of Freiburg is a must.
If you have a sweet tooth, try the Black Forest cake
If you have a sweet tooth, you probably know the name Black Forest from a cake named after him. We don’t really like sweets with liquor in them, but you can’t leave without trying a piece of this famous cake. Surprisingly, the taste has nothing to do with the appearance, incredibly light in the mouth for the dimensions of the dessert. If you get the chance, try it at the legendary Cafe Schäfer in Triberg, where Claus Schäfer keeps the original recipe for his famous sweet that was passed down to him by Josef Keller in 1905.
Children’s amusement parks in Selva Negra
The itinerary of our trip to Germany consisted of two stops in Nuremberg and Ulm with the aim of travelling with the children to the Playmobil FunPark and Legoland. However, in the Black Forest there are other huge fun places for the whole family such as Europa Park or the small Steinwasen Park. The latter is located in the middle of nature so it combines attractions for children with animal observation in a magnificent setting. It’s not much, but you can have a fun morning.
Save time and money on entry to Legoland Germany
Dare to travel to Lake Constance
Although it is outside of what would be considered the Black Forest, it is worth visiting Lake Constance, less than three hours drive from Freiburg. We did it on a hot day and the atmosphere is just right for a day on one of the Mediterranean beaches. The city of Konstanz itself or towns like the medieval Meersburg are fascinating places to lose yourself in the streets and enjoy the sights.
Get out of the way, there’s a lot to discover in the Black Forest
You can listen to all of the above or simply ignore it and improvise. It’s impossible not to find some corner of the Black Forest that makes you fall in love. From wallowing in a green meadow while watching cows, to scouting the Alps from Mount Feldberg or finding potato-worthy domed cathedrals in St. Blasien. Improvisation is almost a must to enjoy this incredible region of Germany.
We never travel without travel insurance
We never travel without travel insurance… especially when the little ones are coming. It is always convenient to be protected by what may happen and more so in a destination where private health care is so expensive. We recommend that you travel to Germany with a policy that covers you at your destination in case of accidents, hospitalization due to illness or setbacks that could result in an extra cost in your travel budget (please note that hospitalization or private medical care in Germany is extremely expensive). We use the travel insurance of IATI Seguros because it has a coverage above average and always offer a personalized and fast. You can hire here the Travel Insurance of IATI Seguros and only for being a reader of the Pachinko apply directly a 5% discount. Even if you have the European Health Insurance Card, the care and quality offered by the private clinics that are included in the insurance is much better.
I hope you found our advice useful in preparing your trip to the Black Forest. Would you like to discover this beautiful destination in Germany? Have you been there before? Tell us about it in the comments.