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The Central Black Forest region contains all the charming culture and stunning wilderness that makes the wider Black Forest area such a popular destination. Discover its combination of time-honored craftsmanship, hilltop walks and idyllic towns. Although it is relatively small, Central Black Forest packs in so many museums, heritage sites and hiking trails that you never need to leave the region during your visit to southwestern Germany.
Start your exploration in the Black Forest Open Air Museum. Here, centuries of culture are preserved in a series of farmhouses and cottages that show how local families and communities used to live. Watch costumed actors, often wearing the bobble-covered Bollenhut hat, demonstrate traditional handicrafts.
Head to one of the towns to see half-timbered houses and medieval churches. Wander the old town of Gengenbach to soak up a typical Black Forest atmosphere. Look for the symmetrical pink façade of the Town Hall, which turns into a building-sized advent calendar in December.
Tour the other towns in the region. Shop for local produce in the markets of busy Offenburg and buy a cuckoo clock in Triberg im Schwarzwald. In Villingen-Schwenningen, the Black Forest’s proud history meets Germany’s more modern side. Find trendy shopping venues and cool cafés across the city.
No trip to Central Black Forest is complete without spending time in the countryside. Experience the magic of the Triberg Waterfalls and explore the ruins of Hochburg Castle. Trek along walking routes leading up Kandel, an accessible mountain summit, and through the fields of the Kinzig Valley.
Rent a car for the most convenient way to explore the compact region. Offenburg and Freudenstadt in the north and Waldkirch and Villingen-Schwenningen in the south are the most convenient towns to use as gateways.
Central Black Forest can be visited at any time of year, with peak season in the summer months of July and August. Visit in winter, when the town squares are lit up with the festive twinkling lights of Christmas markets.
Located in the heart of Freiburg, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Freiburg Botanical Garden, Messe Freiburg and Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics. Colombischlossle and Bachle are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from Goethe Institute, Freiburg Concert Hall and Blue Bridge. Freiburg Theater and University of Freiburg are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Freiburg, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Blue Bridge, Freiburg Concert Hall and Goethe Institute. Freiburg Theater and University of Freiburg are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Freiburg, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The Whale House, Muensterplatz and St. Martin Freiburg. Freiburg Main Cathedral and Bachle are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from Freiburg Concert Hall and Blue Bridge. Goethe Institute and Freiburg Theater are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Muensterplatz, Historical Merchants' Hall and The Whale House. St. Martin Freiburg and Stadtgarten are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in Winden im Elztal, this hotel is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Hörnleberg and within 9 miles (15 km) of Golfclub Guetermann Gutach and Elztalmuseum. Black Forest Costume Museum and Kandel are also within 12 miles (20 km).
Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from St. Martin Freiburg, The Whale House and Bachle. Old Town Hall and Rathausplatz are also within 5 minutes.