When planning a Germany itinerary, the beautiful and iconic Black Forest is at the top of most people’s bucket lists. This Black Forest itinerary will include everything you need to know to have the perfect 3 days in the Black Forest.
In German, the forest is called der Schwarzwald, which references the pine trees’ deep dark green colour, making the forest look almost black.
If you are a fan of the Brother Grimm fairytales, Harry Potter or just love traditional German towns, this destination will deliver in making your wildest dreams come true.
How Many Days in the Black Forest?
As you may well know, the Black Forest is located in Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, spanning the cities of Baden-Baden, Freiburg and Pforzheim. You will also find the Rhine river, which reaches other popular cities like Frankfurt and Heidelberg, in the south and west of the forest.
Since the forest’s region is so massive, you might be contemplating how many days to spend in Black Forest. Well do not worry any longer, we have you covered.
Some people only take a day trip to the forest to get a quick feel for the area, but I would recommend spending at least 2 days in the Black Forest and even then you can expect your days to be packed and might not get to experience all of the attractions.
However, if you do have an extra day, you will find that 3 days in the Black Forest does give you more time to breathe and enjoy the forest to the fullest. You can even venture outside the area to explore other nearby cities.
Although the forest is magical all year round, the best time to visit the Black Forest is during the warmer seasons to ensure you can do all the outdoor activities.
Getting To & Around the Black Forest
You will be happy to hear that it is quite easy to get to and around the Black Forest, whether your preferred mode of transportation is by car, train or other methods.
If you are flying in, you will find that the closest airport depends on where you start your journey. For example, near the French/Swiss/German three-way border, you will have the Basel Airport which has great access from big cities like Frankfurt, Amsterdam and London.
You can also find the smaller Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport on the western side of the forest. The third and probably best option is the Stuttgart Airport, which is the largest of the three and also serves some discount airline carriers.
For those who wish to plan your Black Forest itinerary by car, you can rent one at the airport or other available locations, just be sure to reserve in advance.
It’s also a great idea if you want to go beyond the Black Forest and embark on a greater Germany road trip. You can browse rental car options here.
Although exploring by car might be a convenient option, you can also complete your Black Forest itinerary by train. You can take a direct train from many of Germany’s major cities and it’s also quite accessible from neighbouring countries.
With train routes running alongside the forest, you can explore the different areas on foot and hop on The Black Forest Railway or other railway links to get around the grand forest. You can view schedules here.
Travellers on holiday can receive a free KONUS Guest Card at most resorts, just be sure to register with your host beforehand. This card allows for unlimited access to public transportation in the area.
If you are not eligible for a KONUS card, you can also purchase a SchwarzwaldCard that not only provides bus and train rides but also gives you access to 200 attractions. With this card, you can choose any three days to use it which is perfect for your 3 days in Black Forest trip.
3-Day Black Forest Itinerary
Often, when people imagine a traditional German trip, they might think of the wooden Grimm houses, cuckoo clocks and neverending lush green forest.
All of that, including cute red hats, delicious meat cuts, Black Forest cake and so much more can be found in your Black Forest itinerary. If you are in search of something mystical, you will be sure to find it – whether it be through the magical food or sights.
Day 1 – Klotser Maulbronn, Calw & Baden-Baden
Assuming you are starting your 3 days in Black Forest in the Northern Black Forest, you will begin your journey just outside of Pforzheim, the city that is nicknamed “Goldstadt” or “Golden City.” Should a start in the south be more convenient (e.g. by flying into Basel airport), you can simply reverse the order of the days.
Kloster Maulbronn and Calw
Just a twenty-minute drive from Pforzheim, you will come across Maulbronn where you can visit a historic UNESCO World Heritage Site and well-preserved monastery from 1147 known as Kloster Maulbronn or Maulbronn Monastery.
Over the years it has seen its fair share of success and hardship, but today you can find the town’s police station, town hall and other offices on the grounds.
Make your way down to Pforzheim, where its watchmaking and jewellery history is rich since these businesses date back to 1767.
Now that you are officially in the Black Forest, you will travel deeper into the forest until you reach Calw, which is a tiny town in the northern part of the forest. Here you can see some of the most beautiful medieval houses framed with timber that look just like what you would imagine a typical Black Forest village to look like.
Your next stop, at the Treetop Walk, will give you a lovely walkway where you will have the tops of the evergreen trees at eye level and you will see the forest from above.
The walkway will lead you to the observation tower where you will have a great view of the Black Forest and feel closer to nature than ever.
Baden-Baden Spas and Wine Route
After your treetop adventures, it’s time to head to Baden-Baden where you will get a chance to enjoy the calm side of the forest. If you have ever wondered what it was like to pamper yourself with a relaxing day at a spa during your trip to the Black Forest, well then you can find that out here.
You will also see that although Baden is the name of the region, the word also translates to bathing and the area takes its name seriously.
Baden-Baden is a great place to end your first day. You can check with your accommodations whether they have a spa you can enjoy or you can book a time with a spa nearby, like Caracalla Therme, to take a drink from the Fountain of Youth. The town is famous for its thermal water springs which have attracted visitors for centuries.
However, before calling it a day you can indulge a bit more at the Baden Wine Route. Here you can learn all about the vineyards and delicious wine growing in the area. With most vineyards offering wine tastings, you can find out what wine in this part of Germany is all about.
Now that you have charged up, it’s time to continue the Black Forest route.
Day 2 – Freiburg & Titisee
On the second day of your Black Forest road trip itinerary, you will drive south, passing the town of Gengenbach. Depending on the time of year you are visiting the area, you might be able to catch the town’s Fasnacht or carnival festivities where people celebrate with parades and wear costumes.
Black Forest Open Air Museum
The next stop is the Black Forest Open Air Museum in Gutach, where you will learn the history of the town’s iconic wooden farmhouses dating back to the 16th century.
In the immersive experience, you will also get a taste of what life was like in the Black Forest. When you are done at the museum, get back into your car or get the next train towards Freiburg am Breisgau.
Once you reach Freiburg, you will follow the alluring church bell chimes beaconing you to the Freiburg Cathedral. To match the mystical and gothic atmosphere enjoy a great view of the city and forest from the top of the cathedral.
During the winter in December, you can find joyous Christmas markets to add some extra magic to your trip. If you are visiting in February you can enjoy the town’s carnival or if you go a few months later you can experience the fun wine festivals.
Just outside of Freiburg, you can also find the Schauinsland cable car which will give you incredible views of the mountains and the forest.
Titisee-Neustadt and Lake
After Freiburg, you will head southeast to discover the stunning Titisee-Neustadt area. On the way to Titisee, you will drive by the Ravenna Gorge, which is a valley carved by the Ravenna river where you will see an extraordinary bridge.
You will continue down the Black Forest route until you come across a charming town with all the authentic Cuckoo clocks you have heard of, along with the region’s most mouthwatering cheese and meat cuts in the shops lining the lake in the city centre of Titisee-Neustadt.
No matter the time of year, you can enjoy the glorious Titisee lake and the various activities surrounding it. In the warm times, you can swim in it, picnic near the shore or stroll around. In colder times, if the lake freezes, you can even ice skate on it.
You will end your second day strolling the street of Titisee-Neustadt, exploring the region’s delicacies and preparing for the final day of your Black Forest itinerary.
Day 3 – Triberg Waterfalls, Hohenzollern Castle, Europa Park & More
To end your 3 days in this enchanted forest with a bang, you will have a few options to choose from. There are plenty of activities to do in the forest for those who enjoy hiking, roaming the wildlife park and outdoor fun things but there are also many day trip adventures nearby.
For travellers looking to spend more time in nature, you can head north from Titisee to Triberg to continue your Black Forest road trip itinerary.
In the middle of the forest, after a leisurely hike, you will come across the Triberg Waterfalls. If the weather allows it when you reach the falls, you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip into the water and enjoy the impressive waterfalls.
After Triberg, just about an hour northeast you will find the magnificent Hohenzollern Castle that comes straight out of a fairytale and is a fantastic place to visit when planning to explore the Black Forest.
While this castle is extremely impressive, you will find it interesting to learn that there were actually two other castles built on Mount Hohenzollern before the current castle. The construction of the first castle dates back to the 11th century and reconstruction for the third castle started around 1850.
Visitors can now tour the castle and imagine themselves as royalty when strolling the rooms and grounds.
Danube River Source
From Titisee, you can travel 30 minutes east to the Danube River in Donaueschingen. The river flows through 10 countries and has become a significant landmark in European history.
If you wish to continue exploring Germany or other countries, you can easily do so on a river cruise on the Danube.
In Donaueschingen, you will also find what is known as the source of the Danube as well as the Fürstenberg brewery.
For those with kids or who are young at heart, you can spend the day in Rust at the amusement park Europa Park.
The theme park is the largest in Germany and after Disneyland Paris the second most popular in Europe. The diverse themes within the park are meant to give most European countries a representation.
No matter where your third day takes you, you will be sure to have a great last day in German’s wonderful Black Forest.
Where to Stay in the Black Forest
Huber’s Hotel – This 3-star hotel in Baden-Baden is an excellent base for mid-range travellers in the Black Forest. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms on offer, parking is included on-site and there is breakfast available in the mornings. Click here to check availability
Hotel Rebenhof – Located about 10 kilometres from the centre of Baden-Baden and overlooking the beautiful wine region, this luxe hotel is an excellent base for those looking for a high-end escape in the Black Forest. They have countless lovely rooms on offer and a number of wonderful amenities to ensure you have the perfect stay. Click here to check availability
limehome Baden-Baden Bäderstraße – If you’d like to return to your own apartment after a long day of exploring the Black Forest region, then you’re sure to love this aparthotel in Baden-Baden. They have a range of flats on offer that are fully furnished with everything you may need. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Black Forest hotels!/
The Black Forest is sure to enchant all those who get to visit. Now that you’ve planned out what to do in this beautiful area, you can sit back and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Cuckoo clocks while digging into a delicious cherry torte in the mystifying forest.
Are you planning to visit the Black Forest? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!
hello Paola, we will be in Vishofen and have 4 days to explore on our own after that. We would like to see picturesque scenery and small towns, not really interested in large cities. The romantic road? the Black Forest? someplace else? Are either of those possible in 4 days by car? Should we take a train to get closer, then rent a car? We need to end up near an international airport to fly to or towards the USA on the 5th day.
I wish we knew someone personally that has been to this part of the world, but we do not. Any help would be greatly appreciated!