Most scenic Autumn road trip – Black Forest

My favorite travel destination of Autumn – the Black Forest or, what they call it in German, Schwarzwald.

It’s one of the most beautiful places to admire the Autumn colors of nature!

Going to Black Forest means not to stay at one place but lots of drive. Drive through picturesque serpentines of mountain roads of German Alps, pass romantic castles touching the sky and admire spectacular views!

I always dreamt about going to Black Forest, but when the time came I realized that it’s quite tricky to plan the route. It’s a gorgeous area but it’s very big for heading just to one place.. Thus I had to do quite a lot of research to come up with a beautiful travel route:)

To help you with planning your Black Forest trip I’m sharing here with you a full roadtrip plan for Black Forest based on personal experience and adjusted for seeing more beautiful places with less rush:)

So, Let’s hit the road!

Day 1:  Setup the medieval & colorful mood in beautiful Koblenz!

As I live in Amsterdam, here is where I start my trip:) And my very first destination is Koblenz – a beautiful medieval town right at the meeting point of two romantic and scenic rivers: Rhine and Mosel.

It takes about 4 hours (360 km / 224 miles) to reach from Amsterdam to Koblenz and the Autumn road is beautiful:)

I have been to Koblenz many times. In fact we come here almost every Spring for scenic hikings between lovely Middle Ages castles (They are here literally every other kilometer:) ), for wine tasting and having fun at Medieval festivals.

Thus we had just a short stop-over at Deutsches Eck (German Corner)  – the place, where River and Mosel river meet. Here we enjoyed nice coffee with a beautiful view over Ehrenbreitstein Fortress towering on the top of the rock on the other side of Rhine river. By the way, be careful with finding a parking spot – you can’t park just at the Eck.

Haven’t been to Koblenz yet? I definitely recommend you to stay here for one day at least:

  • First go to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. It’s a huge fortress located on a top of a big rock above Koblenz. From the Fortress you’ll have a great view over the land around. Here you’ll find a very interesting museum that will give you light on regional history from pre-historic times. Additionally there are special exhibitions and war memorials. This fortress constantly holds various events & festivals making them very atmospheric. Medieval festivals where you can try medieval food and experience medieval fun activities, open- air concerts, various performances.. It’s a full day fun:)
  • Take a funicular down to Deutsches Eck. Enjoy the views not only through windows but also through glass floor.
  • At the Deutsches Eck you can walk by Mosel and Rhine rivers. Square around the Deutsches Eck often hosts various big fairs and festivals, which also happens in collaboration with Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Of course, a must picture – at the grand statue of local commandry of the Teutonic Order.

Have more time in Koblenz? Visit the nearby castles:

  • Middle Rhine castle is where you can enjoy gorgeous views, wine festivals and scenic hiking in the hills and vineyards around.
  • Just 10 km (6 miles) down to Rhine river you’ll find a picturesque hilltop Lahneck It inspired Goethe to write a poem “Geistesgruss”. Who knows what it will inspire you for..:)

Though we moved to next city the very same day, I’d recommend you to stay the night in Koblenz so that you can enjoy the city in full and set up a mood!:)

View over the Deutsches Eck from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

Day 2: Chill out in the spa-town of Baden Baden.

Just 2.5 hours drive (242 km / 150 miles) from Koblenz and you are in the famous resort town of Baden Baden.

This is a place where you will charge up for the next days of your roadtrip.

  • Start your day with Spa: Relax at hot springs of Caracalla Spa. Learn how romans chilled out at Roman Bath ruins.
  • Please your eyes at Faberge museum. It’s a privately-owned museum, dedicated to items made by the Russian jewellery firm Fabergé. The museum was opened by Russian art collector Alexander Ivanov on 15 May 2009.
  • Try some traditional Bavarian food in the Old Town and then walk towards Kurhaus. You will see an impressive fresco-lined arcade building. It’s Trinkhalle – literally, Drink hall. Get in and try local water!
  • Take a lazy walk through a beautiful Lichtentaler Allee – 2.3 km of a historic park avenue along the west bank of the river Oos.
  • Finish the day in a fancy style – go to Baden Baden Casino!

Have more time?

  • Hike to ruins of Old Castle Hohenbaden
  • See provoking and sensitive arts at museum of Frida Kahlo
  • There are beautiful castles nearby Baden Baden:
    • Splendid 17th century Baroque palace & gardens of Schloss Rastatt with lavish, fresco-lined interiors & a military history museum.
    • Lavish Baroque palace – Schloss Favorite. It’s a 17th century summer palace & formal gardens with ornate baroque interiors & a vast collection of porcelain. 
Autumn in Baden Baden..

Day 3: Start the colorful nature & history drive

This day you’ll have a lot of driving. But very beautiful and scenic drives which show you the beauty of Black Forest.

  • Take one hour of scenic ride to Freudenstadt. Get up to viewing point of Aussichtsplattform Ellbachseeblick. Admire the spectacular panoramic views!
Black Forest road trip
  • 40 minutes more and you are in a gorgeous Hohenschramberg castle.
  • 20 minutes of a beautiful drive will bring you to mysterious Ruins Ramstein. Sense the spirit of times..
  • Now another half an hour drive and you have reached the middle of Black Forest – Triberg.

Spend the rest of the day in Triberg:

  • Hike to one of Germany’s highest waterfalls.
  • Do some clock shopping and see the world biggest kuckuck They say this style of clock was developed here, in Triberg.
  • Learn more about Black Forest at the Schwarzwald museum.
Kuckuck clocks shop in Triberg

Day 4: Spectacular drive to the Free city.

  • You’ll need one hour of a very beautiful scenic drive via Waldenkirch to reach Freiburg Frei in German means Free:)
  • Spend your day in Freiburg and its surroundings
    • Come to Schlossberg – a tree-covered hill of 456 metres located directly to the east of Freiburg’s Old Town. Enjoy spectacular views over the Black Forest!
      • Take a cable car to reach Schlossberg.
      • Or drive to the top of the mountain. This will be a beautiful serpentine road with gorgeous autumn colors and cable cars flying above:)
    • Freiburg is a very atmospheric town. You feel spirit of medieval times, values of freedom and beauty of nature – all in one place!
      • Visit the Freiburg Cathedral (Freiburg Minster). Its construction was started around 12th century in romanesque style and a few decades later it was continued in Gothic style. Very interesting fusion.
      • One of the most outstanding buildings of Freiburg – the Historical Merchants’ Hall. It stands out due to its dominant red façade.
      • Like any medieval town, Freiburg has big fortified gates to control the entrance to the city: Martinstor and Schwabentor. Both are located in the city center.
      • In a rebuilt monastery church you’ll find an art museum – Augustinger museum.

Freiburg hosts one of the biggest regional universities. Thus despite being a very old historic city, Freiburg feels very young and dynamic.

There are many interesting things to do around Freiburg:

  • Germans are well known for their love for punctuality. No wonder they love watches. Visit German Clock Museum near Furtwangen – it’s a historic center of clockmaking. Museum features permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of timekeeping.
  • Come to Europa park for a full day family fun. It’s an expansive amusement park with thrill & family rides in themed areas, plus live shows. Open from April to January.
  • Thrill yourself at Hasenhorn Roller coaster
Above Freiburg. Above Black Forest..

Day 5:  Cross three countries in one day!

Today we are moving to borders of the Black Forest. We are going to see lots of water!:)

  • Drive for 1,5 hours (100km) towards Europe’s largest waterfalls – the Rhine Falls. By the way, you are in Switzerland now:)
    • Take a boattrip under the waterfall to experience the Rhine Falls in the most impressive way.
    • Enjoy delicious lunch with a waterfall view.
    • Feel the vibrating roar and power of waterfall from above – from a Laufen castle.
      • How to get to Rhine Falls: Put into your GPS: Nohlstrasse 142, 8212 Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland. It’s already a parking lot just 10 minutes walk from the tourist shop at waterfalls.
    • Next stop after Rhine Waterfalls is a lake Constance. If you drive along this lake you will cross three countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But this time I suggest just to stop over somewhere at German or Austrian part, e.g. German Friedrichshaven (87 km / 1:15 hours away from Rhine Falls) or Austrian Bregenz. The lake is huge and reminds a sea. It’s beautiful. And German & Austrian sides are definitely cheaper than Switzerland. Thus, have your late lunch / early dinner with a spectacular lake views!
    • From Constance lake we are going to drive for almost 1.5 hours through a very winding mountain road. It might take even longer if you drive late and it’s dark and misty. It’s a certain experience to drive mountain roads! We are going to one of the smallest but richest countries of the world – Liechtenstein!


Rhine Falls
Constance Lake, Friedrichshaven

Day 6: See the snow in Autumn mountains!

Liechtenstein is a super small country: You can see a full country from the top of the mountain!

Additionally, being a small country Liechtenstein has limited number of hotels and all are quite pricy. But! For these money you have luxurious experience, better than in many more expensive and 5-star hotels! I’d love to come back and to enjoy beautiful life there!:)

Though a small country Liechtenstein has a lot of things to do: Skiing, spa, culture and wines.

This day we do only a few of many things possible in Liechtenstein:

  • Drive to Vaduz castle – Hilltop castle serving as prince’s family residence, with scenic city views from adjacent grounds.
  • We continue driving down to the capital of Liechtenstein – Vaduz. There are plenty of museums and lots of open-air arts. But our main destination is the Vaduz vineyard of Hofkellerei – Winecellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein. It’s amazing to see grapes growing so high in the mountains which are covered by snow even in summer! And did you know that there are over 100 winegrowers in Liechtenstein?:)
  • In the mountains surrounding Vaduz you can see ruins of Schalun castle. Can you imagine how they were building it many centuries ago?

IMG_20151021_151624383Vineyard in Vaduz, Lichtenstein

From Liechtenstein we move to Austria’s best skiing resort town – St. Anton. It’s 82 km (51 miles) but the road goes through stiff and rocky mountains. So it takes us around 1.5 hours to reach St. Anton.

  • There isn’t much to do in St.Anton in Autumn, when the skiing season is off and funiculars are not open.
  • We came here not for sightseeing but for experiencing snow! In the mountains above St. Anton it feels like a true winter. Get your gloves and play snowballs and roll a snowman!

IMG_20151021_130500586Austrian Alps in October

Now we are ready to move back to Black Forest. We are going to Neuschwanstein castle! It’s 109 km (68 miles) drive which we hope to make within 2 hours.

I strongly recommend you to ensure that you do this drive during the light hours. In the evening, when the sun comes down, it’s very difficult to drive there! These are serpentine roads and they are very dark! Additionally, there is a lot of mist in Autumn. Be careful on the road!

Day 7: Live the Fairytale in Neuschwanstein castle!

The pinnacle of our Black Forest roadtrip is the Neuschwanstein castle.

It’s a beautiful and very romantic castle on the top of mountains of Black Forest. You’ll walk a very colorful trail to the castle. You’ll have fantastic panoramic views from Castle windows.. This nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace is so beautiful that it has inspired the Disney castle. It’s truly a fairytale.

NB: There are less crowds in Autumn. Still, it will take at least half an hour to get the tickets. Stay warm and patient!

Neuschwanstein castle, here we go!

Day 8: From Castle to Castle on the way home

We’ve seen the Neuschwanstein castle. Now we can go back home!

  • First, we drive 3 hours through beautiful Black Forest. Another beautiful castle will highlight this day – the Hohenzollern castle.
    • It’s one of the prettiest German castles. Like many of them it is a top-hill castle with gorgeous views.
    • Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. Swabian counts and princes, the kings of Prussia and even the German emperors have their roots here at Hohenzollern Castle!
  • 40 minutes away from Hohenzollern castle we’ll see a beautiful hilltop Lichtenstein castle. Built in romantic style it touches the sky with its sharp spiers..
  • Finally we start moving to Stuttgart. One hour on the road and we can relax after the long drive!
Lichtenstein Castle

Day 9: Beautiful cars and beautiful castles

  • Are you fancy for good cars? Then you ought to visit the Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart! You know, Stuttgart hosts the head-quarters of Mercedes Benz, so it’s obvious that they can show a lot here..:)
  • Our next destination is a breathtaking Heidelberg castle, which is in around 2 hours away from Stuttgart. This is one of the most important renaissance structures North of Alps. We come here for its astonishing architecture and mindblowing views!
  • Do you still have energy for 2 more hours of drive for tasting Mosel wines? It’s 172 km (107 miles till Traben-Trarbarch in Mosel valley.
    • It’s a beautiful romantic town sitting on both sides of Mosel river.
    • This region is famous for its wines and there are plenty of wine festivals and of course wine tasting cellars.
    • From November 24 till 1st of January Traben-Trarbach hosts a Mosel Wine Night market. Organized in 16th century wine cellars this festival will put you into beautiful Christmas mood with local wines and delicacies!
Heidelberg Castle

Day 10: The last day of the Black Forest roadtrip

Enjoy relaxing drive along the Mosel river:

  • Count castles on your way, stop for wine tasting and wine shopping..
  • Check for more attractions, incl. wine fairs and wine hosts at
  • Stop over for brunch at Weinhaus Fries in Kattenes – their food is amazing! People from other towns come to this place to dine out:)
  • Koblenz is just in one hour away from Traben-Trarbach. By the way there is a very nice Indian restaurant in Koblenz with delicious and authentic food:)
Driving along Mosel river, near Kattenes

Well, now it’s finally time to go back home. Another 350 km (217 miles) and we are back to Amsterdam.

Wish you to enjoy the beautiful roadtrip in Black Forest!


Get more Travel inspirations for Autumn:


Earn 15 euros when booking an accommodation at Use this link: . I’ve got this offer because I have done lots of bookings for my Balkans Travel marathon: 8 countries in 15 days:)


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