Named after the black fir trees that cover the landscape, the Black Forest is one of the most popular natural attractions in Germany. This mountainous region is home to spectacular scenery, quaint villages and an indulgent culinary scene. The lakes and spa towns are also a must-visit, with many of them dating back to the Roman era.
Since this vast region is packed with cities, towns and villages of all shapes and sizes, it can be a confusing place to make your way around. Each destination offers something a little different, so it’s important to get your bearings beforehand. The best place for you really depends on what you want to get out of your stay.
Which is where we come in! Combining our personal experience with advice from locals and travel experts, we’ve figured out the three best places to stay in the Black Forest. Whether you’re here for scenic panoramas, cute villages or bustling spa towns – we’ve got you covered.
So let’s kick things off!
- Where to Stay in the Black Forest
- Black Forest Neighborhood Guide
- Top 3 Places to Stay in Black Forest
- 1. Freiburg im Breisgau– Best Place to Stay in the Black Forest on a First Visit
- 2. Baden-Baden – Where to Stay in the Black Forest on a Budget
- 3. Bonndorf im Schwarzwald – Best Area in the Black Forest for Families
Where to Stay in the Black Forest
Beautiful Loft in the Black Forest – Historic Barn
Airbnb Plus properties are hand selected for their stylish interiors, ideal locations and next-level guest service. This stunning barn conversion is just that, and sits just outside Freiburg in the heart of the iconic Black Forest.
The modern interiors enjoy traditional architecture and provide a comfortable and contemporary home. It’s a bit of a splurge, but worth every penny.
Budget Backpackers in the Black Forest – Gastehaus Kaiserpassage
The Black Forest is one of the most expensive regions in Germany, but backpackers can save some cash with this hostel. Gästehaus Kaiserpassage is a popular hostel in Germany, offering a good balance between social spaces and peaceful areas. It’s located in Baden-Baden, close to some great attractions and restaurants.
Spa Hotel in the Black Forest – Mohringers Schwarzwald Hotel
The 4-star Möhringers Schwarzwald Hotel offers a subtle luxury that you can enjoy without having to splurge too much. The hotel comes with its own spa; fed by the waters of Bonndorf im Schwarzwald. The rooms are spacious and inviting, with luxury ensuites and gorgeous views of the Black Forest. Breakfast is offered every morning and features local delicacies.
Freiburg im Breisgau is often considered the Jewel of the Black Forest. For many visitors, this is the main gateway into this stunning region. The historic city centre is like a microcosm of the vast cultural delights that await you across the region.
Baden-Baden is a major spa town in the heart of Baden Würtemmberg. Dating back to the Roman era, the city is actually known for its luxury baths and casinos that attract some of the wealthiest tourists in the world.
Bonndorf im Schwarzwald
We could go on for days about the stunning villages that are dotted around the Black Forest, and it really took us some time to choose the best. In the end, however, Bonndorf im Schwarzwald won it for us.
Top 3 Places to Stay in Black Forest
The Black Forest is a truly eclectic destination that has something to offer everyone travelling through Germany. You’ve probably already heard of Black Forest Gateau, and the region’s culinary scene will certainly exceed your expectations. The mountains provide a gorgeous landscape popular among travel photographers and nature enthusiasts, and villages offer historic and cultural attractions.
Freiburg is the most popular destination in the region, as it sits right in the heart of the forest, and has plenty of excursions available. For this reason, it is our top pick for first-time visitors heading to the area.
Baden-Baden gets its name from its status as a historic spa town. With attractions dating back to the Roman era, you’ll also find plenty of spaces to relax. It’s the largest city in the Black Forest, so you’ll be guaranteed to find some great budget dining and accommodation picks throughout.
Bonndorf im Schwarzwald is our final area. There are so many great villages in the Black Forest, but Bonndorf encapsulates everything that makes the region so popular. With spas, scenery and stories, there’s plenty waiting to be discovered. The peaceful atmosphere makes it a great spot for families in the region.
Still undecided? We’ve included more extensive guides to each area below, as well as our top accommodation and activity picks for each!
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Known as the Jewel of the Black Forest, Freiburg is our top area for first-time visitors. The city centre is like a microcosm of the entire region, offering access to the most popular attractions on offer. If you’re visiting for the first time there are numerous tour operators based in the town to help you out.
Freiburg is close to the border between Germany, France and Switzerland, and benefits from numerous transport links. Locals are known to spend much of their time in either of the two other countries. Strasbourg is just a few minutes across the border, and Basel is only a short drive away.
Rustic Conversion in Freiburg – Historic Barn
This charming barn conversion is a few minutes away by car and public transport. The property sleeps two guests in one-bedrooms, making it perfect for couples visiting the area. It’s in a secluded location, but close enough to local amenities.
Romantic Hideaway near Freiburg – Landgut Stockenhof
This secluded gem is a little more affordable. Sleeping up to two guests, this is our top pick for couples in the Black Forest. The studio sleeps two guests and is located on a working farm. You’ll also be next door to your hosts, so they’ll be on hand for anything you need.
Luxury Hotel in Freiburg – Colombi Hotel
Experience the Black Forest in luxury with this stunning 5-star hotel in the heart of Freiburg. Named after the Colombi Park that lies just across from the hotel, and is a great place for a stroll. There are three restaurants on-site, two of which serve fine dining, and the third offering typical Black Forest cuisine.
Things to See and Do in Freiburg
- Take in the beautiful natural attractions with this epic cycling excursion through the heart of the Black Forest.
- Learn more about the burgeoning viticulture scene in this fascinating wine tour and tasting experience.
- Münster Cathedral sits in the city center – make sure to look out for the gothic gargoyles that loom over the main square.
- Schlossberg is the large hill on the outskirts of the town and offers views across the Black Forest.
2. Baden-Baden – Where to Stay in the Black Forest on a Budget
Baden-Baden is a major spa town in the heart of Baden-Würtemmberg. Dating back to the Roman era, the city is known for its luxury casinos that attract some of the world’s wealthiest travellers. It really is a city of contrasts and is an excellent destination for those travelling on a budget.
Despite being considered a playground for the rich, Baden-Baden is actually one of the most affordable destinations in the region. As the largest city in the region, you’ll find some great accommodation deals, including hostels and budget hotels. As long as you avoid the casinos, you can easily enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site to-be on a shoestring.
Peaceful Apartment in Baden-Baden – Central Baden-Baden
Kick back and relax in this charming little apartment in the outskirts of Baden-Baden. Regular public transport provides a quick ride to the city centre, and there are some fantastic hikes outside the property.
The apartment sleeps two guests and offers free parking outside.
Lively Hostel near Baden-Baden – Gastehaus Kaiserpassage
This vibrant hostel is right in the heart of Baden-Baden. You will find a wide array of bars, restaurants and cafés just around the corner. The hostel hosts regular social events where you can mingle with other guests, but the rooms are kept separate to ensure quiet sleeping spaces. It’s one of the best Black Forest hostels for sure.
Stylish Hotel in Baden-Baden – Huber’s Hotel
This quaint little hotel lets you stay in the heart of Baden-Baden without breaking the bank. There is a complimentary breakfast offered every morning, and budget-friendly cocktails in the evenings. The central location means you’ll be close to everything the city has to offer.
Things to See and Do in Baden-Baden
- The River Oos winds through the heart of the city, providing a peaceful walk
- Put on your hiking boots and enjoy one of the numerous hillside hikes in the area
- The thermal baths are a must visit for guests in the city – Römerplatz is the main hub for local spas.
- The Frieder Burda Museum is a must visit for creatives – it houses an exquisite collection of German Expressionist art
- The Black Forest is a major culinary centre in Germany – head to Rathausglöckel for some of the best traditional cuisine
3. Bonndorf im Schwarzwald – Best Area in the Black Forest for Families
We could go on for days about the stunning villages that are dotted around the Black Forest, however Bonndorf im Schwarzwald won it for us in the end. Known as Bonndorf amongst locals, this village offers a tasteof everything on offer in the wider Black Forest region.
The village is surrounded by stunning scenery, so you can enjoy plenty of hikes right on your doorstep. It also comes with thermal spas at a fraction of the cost of the more famous facilities found in Baden-Baden. Best of all, Bonndorf im Schwarzwald enjoys a calm atmosphere and is a very safe area of Germany, makeing it a great pick for families.
Peaceful Maisonette near Bonndorf – Sonnenseite
This stunning Airbnb Plus property is located in Titisee, about a 30 minute drive from Bonndorf. This location is a little more secluded, letting you connect directly with the infectious charm of the Black Forest. The property sleeps up to 4 guests in 2 bedrooms, and has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Cozy Apartment in Bonndorf – Schwarzwaldperle
If you’re on a budget, Schwarzwaldperle is a fantastic option. There’s only one bedroom, however additional sleeping spaces in the lounge mean it can sleep up to five people. Owned by a local family, you’ll be able to ask for some hints and tips at check in. Plus, you’ll only be a two minute walk away from the centre of Bonndorf.
Historic Hotel in Bonndorf – Mohringers Schwarzwald Hotel
The Möhringers Schwarzwald Hotel is best known for it’s on-site spa, which uses the waters of this historic spa town. A wide selection of holistic therapies are also on offer, which are mostly complimentary to guests. Just outside you will discover the idyllic centre of Bonndorf, with some great local restaurants and bars.
Things to See and Do in Bonndorf
- Bonndorfer Schloss is the fairytale manor house right in the heart of the town and offers stunning views across the Black Forest.
- Wutachschlucht is located just outside the town – it is a large gorge with some great hiking opportunities nearby
- Black Forest ham is a delicacy in the region – Adler are known across the country for their tasty meat products
- Keen hikers should try the Rundweg Nr. 13 Ganterwegle, a 4.5 round-hike covering 15 kilometres.
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Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in the Black Forest
The Black Forest is a magical destination that must be seen to be believed. Its mesmerising forests and quaint villages will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a classic German fairytale.
If we had to pick the area that really stands out to us, it would have to be Freiburg. Its central location benefits from great connections to the rest of Baden-Württemberg, as well as onward to Switzerland.
That being said, the best place for you really depends on what you want to get out of your stay. If you prefer a more urban vibe you can’t go wrong with Baden-Baden, whilst Bonndorf offers a calmer experience. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip to the Black Forest.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.
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Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
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