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Day trip to Black Forest

Hello-

If staying in Strasbourg what town(s) in Black Forest would be easily accessible via train, and also good stops to visit to enjoy some dining and shopping for day trips? I am assuming no hiking would be easily accessed. We will not have a car.

Season of travel- summer
People- middle aged adults (active)
Interests- food, scenic towns, history

Posted by
18465 posts

A lot of people recommend Gengenbach as a place to stay in the Black Forest not far from Strasbourg, but since you are just looking for a place to visit, not to stay in, I would recommend you go further east.

Just outside of Hausach, near Gutach, is the Black Forest Open Air Museum, a collection of houses from all over the Black Forest. From there you can go south along the scenic Schwarzwaldbahn, along the Gutach river to Triberg, the cuckoo clock town. Farther SW is Donaueschingen, the headwaters of the Danube River. Or you could even go as far as Bodensee.

Or take the Kinzig river north to Alpirsbach, or even farther to Freudenstadt, often called the capital of the northern Black Forest. Freudenstadt has a huge arcade town square and a traditional Black Forest "Therme" (spa).

Posted by
5654 posts

Both Gengenbach (walled town with towers and half-timbered buildings) and the excellent Black Forest Open Air Museum are good destinations within a reasonable travel radius of Strasbourg. A couple of G'bach's restaurants can be found in Michelin's dining directory. Figure one hour to Gengenbach, 1.3 hrs. to the Museum. You could combine both destinations on a single day trip.

Strasbourg > Schiltach, another especially attractive town, puts you at just over 1.5 hours from your base. Alpirsbach is close to 2 hours, Freudenstadt and Donaueschingen are 2+ hours away. So your choices may depend on how much time you want to spend on the train. That said, an uncomfortably hot summer day can make the scenic train ride along the Schwarzwaldbahn (Black Forest Railway) a good alternative to outdoor sightseeing.

Posted by
1265 posts

Mary, a good day can be had if you leave early and go to the open air museum, catch Gengenbach on the way back.

"I am assuming no hiking would be easily accessed." - Hiking is easily accessed most places in Germany. If you enjoy a long hike, the museum can be left for another time. There is an easy walking path by the Kinzig river in Gengenbach. For more hiking in and around Gengenbach: https://www.gengenbach.info/gengenbach-entdecken/aktiv-fit/wandern

If you have more than one day to spare in the Black Forest, Baden-Baden is about an hour away. Baden-Baden gets a bit of flak on this forum but I enjoyed my last visit there a few years ago, despite it being teeming with Russians. There are spas, ritzy stores, trails, a lovely stretch of a garden, and nice residential areas.

A third day to spare? I haven't done this but there's a scenic train ride from Offenburg to Freiburg, via a change at Donaueschingen.

Slightly off topic but try and make it to Wissembourg in Alsace. It's an attractive and little visited village, slightly out of range of the usual Alsace itinerary.

Posted by
165 posts

Thank you these are all so helpful- and I appreciate it all. We prefer a home base for more days, deeper explore an area Vs moving hotels too often we find it gives us more flexibility in exploring and planning our days.

Posted by
1526 posts

Mary, I stayed in Gengenbach for 4 nights this year and loved it - there was a lot to see and do. I did not do that much hiking (at least the rigorous kind) but did enjoy some walks around the town and on walking paths in the countryside. And there is a lot of hiking available. As Russ mentioned, the restaurants are very good - I had some of my best meals in Germany in this town.

It's an easy train trip from Strasbourg - in fact, I went to Strasbourg on a day trip while I was staying here (I also loved Strasbourg!). There are some fun shops in town and the town itself is very charming - I've heard it referred to as a "chocolate box" town, and that fits. If you would like to read see some photos and read my online journal about my time in Gengenbach, look for days 10, 11 and 12. Day 13 is Strasbourg.

I also visited the Vogstbauerhof (open air museum) that was a delight. I am so glad I went here - it was fascinating and beautiful and easily accessible by train. I spent hours here and really enjoyed it.

Regardless of where you go, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time!

Posted by
1834 posts

Use the Europass 24H . I no longer can find the English version of the brochure but a Google Translate seems good.

Gengenbach, Open air museum are good stops. Alpine coaster near the museum is fun. An easy hike to the chapel above Gengenbach gives a nice view