When deciding your next big adventure to Europe, Southwest Germany should be on your bucket list. There are plenty of things to do for the entire family no matter what time of year you go. During the spring and summer, outdoor adventures abound. During the winter months, Christmas Markets take over the area giving tourists a magical experience unlike any other. In order to help you create the perfect trip to Southwest Germany, we have created the ultimate itinerary to make sure you hit all the best spots this holiday season.
This itinerary will start you off in the Black Forest region of Southwest Germany. The Black Forest is known for its attractions for tourists in both natural landscape and holiday excursions in its over 10,000 hectares of the Black Forest National Park. Then we will head to Stuttgart, a well-known region of Germany known for its museums, art galleries, and metropolis feel amid traditional architecture of Germany.
Check out our bucket list of things to do, places to stay, and meals to enjoy during your trip to Southwest Germany.
Day 1: Arrive to Schluschee in Southwest Germany
Accommodations in Southwest Germany
For the first few days of your stay in Southwest Germany, make yourself feel as if you are home with accommodations at Kuckucknester Apartments in Schluschsee. These apartments are large enough for full families to feel comfortable during their stay instead of being in cramped hotel rooms. There are three apartments accommodating up to 6 people in each.
Each apartment comes equipped with the following amenities to make sure your stay is more like home (Pro-Tip: You will have to ask for bed linens and towels):
- Studio couch
In addition to making sure you feel as comfortable as possible, accommodations with Kuckucknester Apartments comes with the Red Inclusive Card. The Red Inclusive Card allows you to have free or extremely discounted offers for different excursions around the Black Forest Region. The card can be purchased in addition to certain accommodations or comes complementary with some hotels in the area.
Ravenaa Gorge in Southwest Germany
One of the most captivating things about visiting Southwest Germany during the holiday season are the Christmas Markets. During your first day there, head to the Ravenna Gorge for your first experience in the magic that is German Christmas Markets. Although smaller in size than some of the other markets, this market doesn't disappoint. The entire gorge is lit up with traditional decorations and lights, giving you the chance to enjoy hot cocoa, local crafters, and delicious foods.
If you're looking to really get into the spirit of things, head over to the market's ice-skating rink, Eistraum. Eistraum is located in the center of the market and adds to the excitement of the holiday season. To top off your evening, enjoy local foods and drinks for dinner before heading back to your apartment at Kuckucknester Apartments.
Day 2: Sledging and Swimming in Southwest Germany
Sledging in Southwest Germany
Day 2 during your holiday in the Black Forest region of Southwest Germany is made for fun. One of the traditional activities of the region is sledging or snow-tubing. There are several different options available for riding down the snow covered hills:
- Feldberg-Altglashütten- With a hill of 100m long and 28m high, this fast-paced sledging hill is perfect for the entire family. Entry is included with your Red Inclusive Card.
- Hasenhorn- A larger hill that is 3500m long and 356m high. Entry and a one person ride up the chairlift is included with your Red Inclusive Card.
- Lenzkirch-Saig- Slide down their huge snow tube hill in a large truck tire! Entry is included with your Red Inclusive Card.
Swimming in Southwest Germany
If sledging or snow tubing isn't your thing, you can head over to Badeparadies Schwarzwald. This indoor water park, also known as Galaxy Schwarzwald, has over 20 water slides and a wave pool. A 1.5 hour excursion is included with your Red Inclusive Card.
St. Blaisen Christmas Market
After your fun-filled day sledging or sliding down water slides, head over to the Christmas Market at St. Blaisen. The market is located in front of the cathedral, and it serves as the centerpiece for crafters and magical holiday decor.
Dinner at Hotel Schiffe
Head over for dinner at Gastronomie at the Hotel Schiffe for a delicious meal of traditional Swabian Black Forest cuisine overlooking gorgeous views.
Day 3 Skiing and Trampolines in Southwest Germany
Skiing in Southwest Germany
After a peaceful night's rest at the Kuckucknester Apartments, head out for another adventure-filled day of skiing at Feldberg. A ski pass is included with your Red Inclusive Card. You can ski, snowboard, or even have your kids take ski lessons with ON SNOW while you hit the slopes.
Fundorena Indoor Park
If the weather isn't great or it's just too cold for your liking, head over to Fundorena, an indoor trampoline and ice-skating rink where you can still have fun, and be active, but also stay warm! With your Red Inclusive Card, you get 45 minutes at each park.
Dinner at Sternen, Schluchsee
After a day of skiing or snowboarding, your exhausted body needs some nourishment. Head to dinner at Sternen in Schluchsee. Enjoy some delicious traditional German food or head for the comforts of international cuisine you know and love. Make sure you fill up because you have a long day of traveling ahead of you tomorrow!
Day 4: Castles and Cars in Southwest Germany
Travel to Stuttgart
In the morning enjoy a cup of coffee while looking over the valley and pack up. Jump in the car for a scenic drive through the winding roads of the black forest. Just a couple hours away is the city of Stuttgart. This beautiful city is the capital of Southwest Germany and is the fourth largest city in Germany.
On your way to Stuttgart it's worth a stop at the Hohenzollern Castle.
The castle sits high on a hill and can be seen for miles around. It is a true sign of power and dominance that can even be felt in modern times when viewing the castle from afar. A medieval Christmas market and tours of the castle can both be enjoyed during the German holidays. The Christmas market is set up right in the courtyard of the Hohenzollern Castle making you feel like you’ve traveled back into the middle ages.
Check-in to V8 Hotel in Stuttgart, Southwest Germany
For your stay in Stuttgart, which is known for the automobile district within it's city limits, the V8 Hotel is a special treat. Auto enthusiasts will love staying in this unique hotel which sports themed rooms and an auto museum directly inside the hotel. No two rooms are alike, with each having its own furniture and a variety of decor made out of real vehicles. An on-site restaurant, and fitness and wellness center gives you everything you could possibly need during your stay.
"StuttCard" offers you more fun!
Much like the Black Forest, you can get an exclusive city card that provides you discounts and free entries to different excursions, activities, and events around the city. The StuttCard offers you free admission to all the city's museums, unlimited free travel on the city's travel system called VVS, and reduced pricing on shops and restaurants around the city.
Guided City Tour in Stuttgart, Southwest Germany
Start your day off with a guided city tour where you are able to explore everything Stuttgart has to offer. This gives you a great way to see the entire city and decide what you would like to do during your stay. Ask for an english speaking guide Ms. Andrea Nuding at Tourist Information, Königstraße 1 a.
Stuttgart Christmas Market
After you have experienced the city as a whole, head over to the Stuttgart's Christmas Market for a delicious lunch of local cuisine. The Christmas Market in Stuttgart has been a staple in traditional German holiday markets for over 300 years. It has 290 vendors that sell hand-crafted items, traditional foods, and more.
Mercedes Benz Museum
After lunch and some shopping head over to Motorworld to visit the infamous Mercedes Benz Museum. This museum is filled with the oldest automobiles in Mercedes Benz history and features an open exhibit where tourists can get up close and personal with the cars they have known and loved. There are kids workspaces, special kids guided tours, and even free kids meals available in the museum restaurant. Entry is free with your StuttCard.
Junges Schloss Children's Museum
Make sure to check out the Junges Schloss Children's Museum. This museum introduces children to the history of Young Palace in an interesting and engaging way. With your StuttCard you get free entry into the museum. This museum is very hands on and interactive for kids. There are attendants who organize the kids into groups and teach them things through letting them interact with the displays. They even have costumes to dress up in and reenact certain historical events and feel what it was like to wear clothes and armor from centuries ago.
Down in the basement you can see the foundations of ancient buildings and castles. This area has been turned into a temperature and light controlled viewing chamber for relics of the old world. Priceless, one of a kind items are on display here. These possessions of royalty and privilege instill a sense of wonder and amazement with their beauty and craftsmanship.
Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
After you have enjoyed the Children's Museum, head out to the Ludwigsburg Residential Palace at the side of King Friedrich for a guided tour. You will experience three courtyards and 452 rooms in 18 buildings, set in a park 32 hectares in size, seeing the oldest palace still in its original condition in German history. The Residential Palace is one of the largest surviving Baroque palaces in Europe and was formerly the royal residence of the dukes and kings of Württemberg.
Dinner at Alte Kanzlei
For dinner, enjoy one of the many places available in and around Stuttgart. Some of the best restaurants in the area for you to choose from include:
Day 5: Stuttgart, Southwest Germany
Today is your last day in Stuttgart, but depending on your time of departure you may have time to visit some of the other wonderful places in and around Stuttgart. Here are some of the places you may enjoy during your last days in Germany:
Market Hall- The Market Hall is a must visit. It is kind of like an indoor Christmas market any time of year! It is home to hundreds of permanent vendors all under one roof. It’s a great place to buy gifts or try all kinds of fresh local foods.
Palace Square- This stunning square will transform you back in time to the grand era of castles and palaces. Surrounded by three palaces, it is hard to see so you may pass through it heading to other attractions.
Television Tower- This tower was built over 60 years ago and is the first landmark of the area. At 450 feet tall it over-looks the entire region. You will get a bird's-eye view of Stuttgart, the Christmas markets, all the attractions you can visit, and the beautiful landscape.
Germany is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, but the holiday season is a special time to visit. The magic of Christmas can be felt on every corner, and to play in the snow with sledging, skiing, and outdoor activities makes it that much more fun. You are able to experience so much in Southwest Germany in such little time with this itinerary, but there are many attractions you can add on to make it unique to you and your family.