Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Where to stay in the southern Black Forest?

Where to stay in the southern Black Forest?

Oct 21st, 2012, 04:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Where to stay in the southern Black Forest?

I'm planning a 7-night "heritage tour" in Germany for the week of April 21-28, 2013, part of which takes me to Sissach, Switzerland, which is right over the southern border from the Black Forest, east of Basel. We will have a car for our journey.

We want to spend the day driving from the Maulbronn/Baden-Baden area south through the Black Forest. The next day we want to drive to Sissach and back, crossing at Rheinfelds. The following day we will move on to Lake Constance.

So we are looking for a hotel/B&B somewhere in the southern Black Forest/Switzerland area, that will give us fairly easy accessibility to where we want to go. We're more interested in history and architecture, than the "outdoors" and wildlife (we live in the mountains), so we were thinking of a little town somewhere, but not so little that we can't find somewhere to eat after dark. A hotel/B&B that offers a half-board would be great! Priced €100, or under. Any suggestions?

artstuff is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
How about Freiburg? Beautiful little city, great market on the cathedral square.
tom18 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 30
I agree, Freiburg or nearby villages (we stayed in Oberrimsingen, half the cost for a self-catering apt than Freiburg). Make sure you arrange for parking in Fburg ... usually a costly nightmare there. Rheinfels?
truenorth is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,833
If you want to stay towards Rheinfels and Sissach, then staying at the small German town Lörrach or Weil am Rhein may fit your budget and allows easy access to visit Basel. Years ago I took the regional train from Basel to Weil am Rhein and Lörrach, not much there but a few stuebe to eat. We went there to relax and picnic along the Rhein. There's one decent hotel below the castle:

If you want to stay cheap on the expensive Swiss side of the border to be close to Sissach and Basel, you should check out the nice B&B Euler (VIP studio for about $100) in the village of Riehen (never been there but I knew someone who hated living there).
DAX is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
Freiburg would mean quite a bit of backtracking and does not exactly qualify as "little town". I'd pick one of the small towns along the Hochrhein valley. Bad Säckingen, for example.

I assume you mean Rheinfelden? The Swiss part has a lovely old town, worth a stop. Also, I'd recommend the ancient Roman site of Augusta Raurica in Kaiseraugst.
quokka is offline  
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thanks everyone for your replys.

We had been looking at staying in Freiburg, but were actually leaning towards a smaller town. Lörrach, with the castle, sounds real interesting. We like castles! I will check out all the suggestions.

Has anyone stayed in, or are familiar with Staufen? I have discovered that this town also has a castle in it's backyard, and seems to be much smaller than Freiburg.

quokka - Yes, I meant Rheinfelden. The Roman site sounds interesting. It's right down the road from Sissach, so if we have time we will definately drive over to check it out. I was glad to see your response. You helped me out alot with planning our last trip to Germany in 2007.

I appreciate everyones suggestions. Now I'm off to do some research. Other ideas are still welcome.

artstuff is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 01:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,668
Yes, I have been to Staufen several times for day visits-LOVE the town. Not sure about nightlife, but there are a good number of small shops (cheese, pottery, etc) and cafes to visit by day, and the castle RUINS above town make a nice lookout point.
There is also a famous schnapps outlet (very small) in town.
mokka4 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,668
Not sure where Gengenbach lies on the map within your travels, but I stayed there for 7 nights in an apt and made numerous daytrips...might check their website--I really liked this town too.
mokka4 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Staufen isn't much IMO but OK for overnight. Gengenbach is a fabulous old town but not close enough to the area you've chosen. Bad Säckingen is well-located for you and really quite nice - but hardly a Black Forest town. You might look into the High Black Forest region southeast of Freiburg...


Löffingen has a handsome town center. I stayed there for several nights and made outings around the BF.


St. Blasien (not indicated on above map but just south of Schluchsee) is renowned for its cathedral:




Russ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,008
Robyn, we stayed in Staufen in Sept 2009 and really enjoyed it. Small but some nice shops and the castle ruin on the hill. We did a day trip to Freiburg while there. It was perfect for us.

FYI, we stayed at the Hotel zum Hirschen:


Here is an excerpt from my trip report about Staufen:

Arrived in Staufen around lunchtime, found our way to the Hirschen Hotel and Room #4. Nice room with a little balcony. We have a partial view of the Staufen Ruin on the hill. Staufen is a colorful little town with tidy pastel colored buildings dotting the Hauptstrasse. We decide to have lunch at our hotel before exploring the town. David totally enjoyed his bratwurst with sauerkraut and my potato soup was tasty. As we walked around town, we realized that quite a lot of Staufen’s old town suffered damage during WW2. There are plaques with before and after photos all over town.

For dinner, we decided to try the restaurant at the Hotel Sonne. I had read some good things about their hotel and restaurant and figured we would try it out. We each had a green salad and split a pizza. With a large beer for David and a small wine for me, it all came to around 22 E. It was all good.

Hope this helps!
bettyk is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 138
I stayed in Staufen in the Spring of 2006 at the Die Krone hotel. Highly recommend this little village as a base for visiting the Black Forest. Below is my review of the hotel that I posted in Trip Advisor:

My husband and I stayed at Die Krone for 4 nights in May of 2006. For the price (75 euro/night, breakfast included) you cannot beat the value.

We had a room in the back with a balcony that provided a view of the castle ruins on the hill just outside the village. Wonderful to enjoy a drink there in the evenings watching the sun set!

The room was a fairly good size by European standards, and was extremely clean and well-kept. Great bed, very comfortable, and decent bathroom (shower, no bathtub).

The staff were very friendly and helpful, and the breakfast was taditionally german with breads, fruit, granola and cereal, cheeses and deli meats. Fabulous coffee!

The restaurant on the first floor of the hotel was excellent. A little pricey, but worth the splurge. We enjoyed a very nice meal there our first night. Since it was spring, we were there during "spargel" season (large white asparagus) and they had wonderful appetizers, as well as main meals, which focused on this special asparagus. It was delicious!

The village is quaint and interesting to walk around. I would recommend taking the relatively easy hike to the castle ruins. You'll have a great view of the surrounding countryside. Staufen is a wonderful location to explore Germany's Black Forest or take a day trip into the Alsace region of France.

I would definitely stay at this hotel again and highly recommend it!

Diane is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 07:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thanks, Russ, for all the new suggestions. I will be sure to check out all your links.

I also appreciate the feedback on Staufen from mokka, bettyk & Diane. I checked out the other towns (Lörrach, Weil am Rhein, Oberrimsingen, etc.) and I keep coming back to Staufen. I think it's the small, medievel castle look to the town that appeals to me. My husband was sold on Staufen when he found out he could get pizza and beer there. But I'll have to check out Russ's suggestions, and any other ones, before I make a decision.

And then there's Gengenbach... We were definately going to do a stop and walk-about on our drive through the BF, but now I'm trying to figure out a way to spend a night there. I need to sit down and draw up another itinerary, probably my 15th to 20th one so far for this trip. But then, that's part of the fun of travelling - research & planning.

Thanks again everyone, for taking the time to post.

artstuff is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
Hi Robyn, sure I remember you!

Staufen is a cute little place indeed, and worth seeing now before it crumbles... They are having some problems there with the ground rising thanks to geothermic experiments, you will see the cracks in the houses. Let's hope they find a solution to save the old houses.

Pizza and beer will be available just like almost everywhere. While your husband feasts on those, I'd recommend you to try the wines of Markgräfler Land (Gutedel is the local speciality) and the local cuisine. ;-)
By the way - just beyond Staufen there is the beautiful Münster valley with the baroque abbey church of St. Trudpert, and by the entrance to the abbey grounds there is Café zum Kreuz which does the best Black Forest gateau I've ever tasted...
quokka is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
P.S. Late April is asparagus season and a Gutedel from Markgräfler Land goes perfectly with it. You will find asparagus dishes on the menus of any German restaurant in the area.
quokka is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2012, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,668
My trip report to Gengenbach and environs Fall 2004...sorry, didn't have the technology to post pix then....http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-september.cfm!
mokka4 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2012, 07:44 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,810
I loved Staufen. It's a sweet little down with a great main street. Freiburg is attractive, too, and much larger, but Staufen is still my favorite.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thanks, all, for the additional replys.

That's very interesting news, quokka, that Staufen is rising. My husband is in the heating business, and one of our friends installs geothermal systems, so this information really peaked my husband's interest. It looks like we are definately staying in Staufen.

I'm really looking forward to Spargel season. The last time we travelled to Germany was in the fall, so I'm glad we're going in the spring this time. Thanks for the tip on the Gutedel. I will be sure to try a glass (at least).

Is Black Forest gateau the same as Schwarzwalder Kirsche Torte? If not, could you explain the difference?

mokka - Thanks for your trip report link. Reading your report has given me an idea of what we can do, time wise. And hooray! I've squeezed a night in Gengenbach into our itinerary.

Peg - Freiburg was our first choice for staying in the Black Forest, so we do want to check it out. We're planning a day trip to the town, taking the train from Titisee, through the Hollental, and back.

I just hope there will be enough time to do everything that we are discovering in our research.

artstuff is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
>Is Black Forest gateau the same as Schwarzwalder Kirsche Torte? If not, could you explain the difference?
It is. I should have used the German term. Sorry I underestimated you ;-)

For your husband: Staufen's town website has some info on the trouble caused by the drillings. The English website has just a summary: http://www.staufen.de/en/news/ while the German page is a lot more detailed: http://www.staufen.de/aktuelles-nach.../hebungsrisse/
quokka is offline  
Oct 28th, 2012, 05:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thanks for the links, quokka. It's a very interesting phenomenom - water from drilling mixes with anhydrite (dehydrated gypsum) causing expansion of the ground. I guess we'll be spending some time in Staufen investigating this geothermal accident, well, at least my husband will.

I also discovered, in my research, that there is a "bathroom museum" located in Schiltach. We now have that on our list of things to see in the Black Forest!

artstuff is offline  
Oct 28th, 2012, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
Schiultach is the seat of a big company (Hansgrohe) that produces bathroom stuff (taps, basins, tubs etc.) and this is the company's museum. I've never been, but could be interesting, especially the exhibition about the history of bathing.
quokka is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:50 AM.