Enter the majestic pinewoods of the Black Forest, relax in spa towns, explore romantic castles and visit busy university towns in this lush southwestern region.
Baden-Wuerttemberg is a picturesque state that upholds some of Germany’s most famous traditions. The region is home to breathtaking scenes of spire-topped churches, mighty castles, wild forests and tranquil lakes. Tour historic theaters and watch a world-class opera, visit lively university towns and follow the route of the world’s first long-distance automobile journey.
The state’s capital, Stuttgart, is a green city that features the renowned Staatstheater and a gallery of modern art. Attend a performance at Germany’s Nationaltheater in the city of Mannheim and see one of the world’s tallest churches in Ulm. The historic university buildings and castle are highlights in Heidelberg, which is situated in the unforgettable Neckar Valley.
To the east of the Rhine Valley you’ll find the magnificent Black Forest. This beautiful woodland contains the renowned 19th-century spa town of Baden-Baden, as well as numerous hiking and biking trails through its gently sloping forests. Ride a riverboat along the Rhine or explore the region’s ski resorts. The Schwäbische Alb features limestone outcrops and beautiful blue lakes. Head to the border with Switzerland to reach Lake Constance (Bodensee), a popular spot with hikers and cyclists. Tour the castles of Wuerttemberg’s dukes and kings and visit the historic manor of the Hohenzollerns.
If you have an interest in automobile history, follow the Bertha Benz Memorial Route, which loops Heidelberg, Odenwald, the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley from Mannheim. First undertaken in 1888, the route spans 120 miles (194 kilometers).
Be sure to stop by the wine-growing region in Kaiserstuhl in Baden to sample the state’s fine wines on a wine-tasting train ride. Try fruit brandies or Black Forest cherry schnapps. Watch expert artisans at the numerous workshops that display the region’s traditional woodcarving mastery.
Baden-Wuerttemberg is easily navigable by train and bus. The rail network is extensive and efficient. The closest international airport is in Frankfurt, which is over 2 hours north from Stuttgart by intercity train. Alternatively, rent a car and explore the region’s well-maintained scenic touring routes.