Many people ask me if it is a good idea to visit the Black Forest in winter. Is it safe visiting in winter? Will it be cold? Is there anything to do during winter? Will we be able to drive in the mountains? Will there be snow? The answer if you should or should not visit in winter is easy: it all depends. Currently the Black Forest is covered in snow and it is an absolute dream to be here. Within minutes you can walk in the snow, go on a snowshoeing tour, rent skies or sit in one of the hot thermal baths surrounded by snow. Usually the streets are being cleared off from snow in the mornings and if you are used to drive in winter conditions you should not have a problem driving here. It is often a good idea to carry along some snow chains if you are driving in the mountains. Alternatively you can also take the train to get up into the mountains. This is the easiest and most often fastest way to get to the top of the Black Forest and its ski areas.
Do you want to visit some of the local attractions? For example take a boat ride on a lake, explore the area by bicycle, go for a hike or climb up a sightseeing tower? In those cases you need to be aware of the fact that many attractions are closed in winter. For example there are several museums which are being shut down between November and March. Boat rides are not possible since often the lakes are frozen. Many cafes are closed on certain days as well. People here often use the winter times to do some remodeling, go on a vacation themselves, or get ready for the busy touring season, which usually starts around Easter. If you want to make sure all attractions are open during your visit I recommend visiting during spring, summer or fall, roughly from April to October.
Many visitors don’t realize that it gets dark very early in winter. Often it gets dark by 4 PM – which means you only have a certain amount of hours you can tour during winter times. Getting on the road by 10 AM and returning to your hotel by 4 Pm is probably a good plan to have.
Personally winter is one of my favorite times in the Black Forest. Especially if you have sunny days, blue skies and lots of snow like we had last week. There is plenty to do if you dress warm – go for a hike in the snow (or rather – a walk!), rent some snowshoes or skies, visit a christmas market and have a hot mulled wine to warm up (only in December). And at the end of a winter day head to one of the local restaurants over a hearty plate of German food.
If you are still not certain if visiting the Black Forest in winter is a good idea send me an email! I am happy to make a recommendation. And if I don’t see you in winter I sure hope to see you in spring, summer or fall!
Warm Greetings from the Black Forest,