When is the Best Time to Visit Black Forest Germany (Weather, Activities+More!)

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When is the best time to visit the Black Forest Germany?  While my answer is slightly similar to the more generalized question of “When is the Best Time to Visit Germany?” I wanted to get into a bit more specifics with the Black Forest because it truly has something to offer in every season!  So, in this article, I’m going to discuss the Black Forest Germany Weather for every season, activities, and what to do in the summer, fall, winter, and spring!

 

 

 

Where is the Black Forest Germany

pictures of black forest germany

The Black Forest in Germany (Schwarzwald) is more of a generalized area which is located in the South Germany state of Baden Württemberg.  The forest borders both Switzerland and France.

The area is actually quite large, as you can see in my Map of Germany (Black Forest) below with an area of about 6,009 km².

One of the things that affect the weather in the Black Forest Germany is the fact the Black Forest Mountains are a part of the Vosges mountain range.  While this mountainous region isn’t as high as, say, the Alps in Germany, its highest point (Feldberg) reaches 4,897 feet (1,493 meters) which does impact the temperatures, snowfall, and weather. 

Black Forest Germany Maps

 

Germany Black Forest Weather 

Germany experiences all four seasons, and due to the Black Forest’s location and being in the mountains, you can expect a wide range of temperatures here.  

Not surprisingly, the hottest months in the Black forest are July and August (but June can be quite warm as well).  While December and January are cold, the coldest month actually tends to be February. 

To coincide with weather trends (and when Germans/ Europeans also take their own holidays) you can expect August and September to be the most crowded/ Touristy time to visit as well as May, when it is usually pretty busy. You can expect a reflection of that in hotel and lodging prices as well. 

I think the best way to break this down is to look at each season to understand when the best time to visit the Black Forest would be.

Summer

black forest weather summer

Summer is one of the most popular times mostly because the weather in Black Forest Germany is fantastic for outdoor activities. 

While these are considered the “hotter” months, because some areas of the Black Forest are at higher elevations, it is still quite temperate compared to many other summer tourist destinations.  For example, the average in August (its warmest month) is still only in the mid to upper 70s°F/23-26°C (granted, with Global warming, we are seeing more and more days in the 80s/27-20°C as well)

If you ask me, that is absolutely PERFECT weather for hiking and enjoying all the outdoor activities the area has to offer!

Granted, in the summer months, you might also find daily (sometimes heavy) thunderstorms, often in the afternoon or evening.  Despite them occurring often, they are usually pretty short.

Autumn

waterfall in black forest

The fall is arguably my favorite time to visit the Black Forest.  The changing colors are simply stunning, it’s not nearly as busy with tourists, and the Black Forest weather can still be really enjoyable, although maybe a bit unpredictable.

For example, when we were there in November, we had some nice days, plenty of rainy days, and we even already saw snow at the higher elevations! 

September can still have really pleasant temperatures in the 50s and 60s°F (11-16°C) but by November, expect much cooler days (upper 30s and into the 40s/ 3-7°C) but typically not below freezing, unless, again, you are at the higher elevations or at night.

Winter

triberg winter waterfall
waterfall triberg” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Läberkäs

The Black Forest Germany in winter is a shockingly great time to visit.  While the temperatures do start to dip, they aren’t as cold as one might expect.  During the days, it’s common for the temperatures to hover in the mid 30s/ 2°C but can go below freezing at night, causing icy conditions on the roads, especially in the frosty mornings.

At the beginning of winter in the Black Forest, you actually won’t see a TON of precipitation surprisingly.  When it does, whether or not it is snow will largely depend on WHERE you are in the Black Forest and its elevation.  For example, Freiburg Germany weather will tend to be more rain (as it is at a lower elevation) compared to places like Triberg and Feldberg, which are higher in the mountain range.

However, by the end of January and through February, the snowfall picks up and that makes it the ideal time to do some skiing or winter sports.

Get my Winter in Germany Packing List Here

Spring

spring weather black forest germany

Spring is definitely the rainy season in the Black Forest, where you’ve got about a 50% chance of it raining every day. You can still expect the hills to be covered in snow in March, rain a lot of days in April, and by May, showing much more promise of nicer days. 

While the temperatures start out in the upper 30s/ 3°C in April, by late May, they’ve jumped up to low 50s/ 11°C.

Karlsruhe Germany Weather Right Now

KARLSRUHE WEATHER
 

Things to Do in the Black Forest For Every Season

Summer in the Black Forest

what to do in the black forest

Summer is the high tourist time because it is a pretty ideal time to visit. If you are wondering what to do in the Black Forest in the summer, look no further than outside!

Hiking

There are ENDLESS hiking options in the Black Forest! Obviously, I can’t list them all, but here are some popular ones to start your research.

Baden-Baden

  • The beautiful Panaramaweg
  • Merker BergBahn: You can either take the train car up or just follow the signs for the “Wanderweg” 

Near Triberg

Freiburg

While there are numerous hikes in the area, the ZweiTälerSteig is a long distance (difficult) hike that covers mountains, villages, and waterfalls!

Ravenna Gorge

The Ravenna Gorge, in the central Black Forest, is the perfect place for a hike and even a waterfall.

Feldberg

Feldberg is the tallest peak in the Black Forest, so expect plenty of hiking options here!

Visit the Lakes

Whether you want to go for a dip (watch out, the waters can be chilly!) or go for a boat ride, several lakes in the Black Forest are great in the summer months.  

Take the “Three Lakes Railway” (Dreiseenbahn) Train Ride

The Dreiseenbahn is a scenic railway tour that gets you to the following popular lakes in the Black Forest:

Schluchsee:

  • Swim
  • Hike
  • You can even go SCUBA Diving in the lake!!!

Titisee

Windgfällweiher Lake

Zipline and Ropes Courses

The lush forest is the perfect place for riding the longest Zipline in Germany or swinging in a Klettersteig (Ropes Course)

Rodelbahns

Rodelbahns (often called Alpine Coasters) are toboggan style sleds on a track that zip you down beautiful Black Forest Hills.  Two of the most popular Rodelbahns in the Black Forest are: 

Autumn in the Black Forest

autumn weather black forest germany

Fall Foliage Drive

Just simply take a drive through any parts of the rolling hills in the Black Forest in mid- late October for stunning fall foliage!

Hiking

The fall is still the optimal time for the same hikes above, arguably even better (if it’s not raining) to see the beautiful fall colors!

Other Outdoor Activities

  • Mountain Biking
  • Nordic Walking

Wine Festivals

While Baden Württemberg as a whole is a popular wine region, there are plenty of wine festivals in the Black Forest such as in the villages of:

  • Zell-Weierbach
  • Rammersweier
  • Fessenbach
  • Offenburg

Wine Hikes

One of the most popular wine hikes is the Ortenau Wine Hike which winds you through vineyard after vineyard and through the orchards of the area as well (and yes, you can stop for some sipping!!!)

While you can do this hike anytime, there are specific days in September when the hike turns into a guided hike with others that often coincides with some festivals.

The total length of the Ortenau Hike is about 120 km long, you obviously don’t need to do the whole thing.   

Here’s a detailed pamphlet about all the areas on the Ortenau Wine Hike 

Winter in the Black Forest

things to do in the black forest in winter

Black Forest Germany winter activities are plentiful!  Obviously, a lot of these will be centered around winter sports.

Skiing

  • Feldberg: Being the tallest peak in the Black Forest, this is the most popular place to ski, with 28 lifts
  • Todtnauberg: Smaller but can also toboggan here and has the Rodelbahn which is open in the winter
  • Belchen: Small lift, great for beginners or young families

Ski Jumping

Just above every twist and turn as you are in the higher elevations brings you face to face with another Ski Jump! They are plentiful in the Black Forest

Snow Shoeing

If you love hiking, try some snow shoeing through the Black Forest for some winter wonderland magic

Other Outdoor Activities in the Winter in the Black Forest:

  • Annual Dog Sledding Races in January
  • Ice Skating on the Lakes

Weihnachtmarkts

Some of the Best Christmas Markets in Germany are right here in the Black Forest! Just about every town and village will have its own but here are some of the most famous:

  • Ravenna Gorge (Weihnachtsmarkt in der Ravennaschlucht)
  • Triberg Winterzauber (Winter Magic)
  • Gengenbach (world’s largest Advent Calendar)
  • Baden-Baden Christkindlmarkt 

Go to a German Spa

When it’s cold outside, why not heat up inside!? The German Spas are the absolute perfect winter activity to get out of the cold! 

I personally love the Baden Baden Spas (Friedrichsbad and Caracalla Therme).

Not sure what all a German Spa entails? Here’s my Ultimate Guide To German Spas

Spring

black forest weather germany

Early spring is a hard time to visit the Black Forest.  It rains a lot and not a lot of the tourist attractions are open yet.  As the spring continues on though, the flowering fields begin to bloom and it can be a beautiful time in the area.

If you want to get out of the rain, the spas are good in the spring.

Visit the Actual Towns and Cities

Visiting the actual towns and cities is a good thing to do in the spring since you won’t have to deal with muddy paths and you can always dip into a cafe, restaurant, church, or museum to get out of any rain that is too bad. 

  • Freiburg
  • Baden-Baden
  • Gengenbach

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