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The Black Forest region has an excellent tourist infrastructure, and you will find a wide range of accommodation catering to to all tastes and pockets.

Information about hotel accommodation can be obtained in the World Wide Web (some links listed on this site), from German National Tourist Offices in your land of origin or your local travel agent. Extensive lists containing a wider variety of accommodation, such as holiday flats and bed and breakfasts, can be obtained in Germany from local tourist offices. Many of these offices will help arrange your accommodation for you, but not every office will do this over the telephone.

If you do not want to pre-book accommodation while touring the region, simply watch out for the Zimmer frei (vacancies) sign. The advantage of this method, of course, is that you remain flexible and can stay at whatever spot looks nicest. When doing this, however, try and make sure that you start looking before 7pm. This is especially recommended if you want to stay at small private pensions and bed and breakfasts, as in the villages people tend to turn in early for the night. It is usually possible to find a room like this, even at the height of summer. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to book accommodation for the first couple of nights when arriving from abroad – there is nothing worse than hunting for a bed after a long drive or with jet-lag.

Camping Grounds

There are numerous camping grounds (Campingplatz) spread around the the Black Forest, but they are especially common in the southern region. For the most part they are beautifully situated in the countryside, usually outside town. Facilities are good and one can expect to find a restaurant and shop at larger camp sites, as well as facilities for camper vans and caravans.

Camping grounds in Germany are normally open between April and October, but many in the Black Forest are close to winter sports resorts and remain open throughout the year. There are camping grounds at both Freiburg and Karlsruhe, two of the most important entry points to the Black Forest. Camping rough is illegal in Germany.

Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts

Known in Germany as Gasthoefe, Gaestehaeuser, Pensionen or Privatzimmer the range and quality of the accommodation they offer is as varied as the terminology. The common denominator linking all, however they are called, is that one usually gets breakfast included in the price of a room.

Generally speaking a Gasthof or Gaestehaus is a small, privately run hotel or inn and is usually more expensive, but also offers more facilities, than a pension or room in a private house (Privatzimmer ). Apart from breakfast it is often possible to get an evening meal or even full board at these places. Many Gasthoefe have attached restaurants and a few have beautifully furnished rooms and facilities, such as an indoor swimming pool, which would then easily place them in the luxury category. Obviously the price will then be similar to that of a first-class hotel. What distinguishes them from the big hotels is the more personal service and the cosier atmosphere.

Though a pension can also sometimes be in the ‘small hotel’ category the Privatzimmer are always just that; a room in a private house. Once again the standards and prices can vary greatly but they are definitely the cheapest form of accommodation in the Black Forest, apart from camping or the rental of a holiday flat. At the cheaper places you will often have to share bathroom facilities, but there is usually a sink with hot and cold water in the room. Some rooms are equipped with a television set and a fridge, whereas others might even provide a proper kitchen for their guests. Breakfasts can be quite substantial and usually consist of a selection of breads, salami, cheese, jam and of course a pot of coffee or tea. At some places they will also offer fruit or some other kind of cereal, such as muesli.

Many Gasthoefe and Privatzimmer offer reductions for stays of three days or longer. Quite a few also offer reductions for children – usually these reductions apply to children up to 12 years old, but it is best to inquire beforehand. At some places there will be a surcharge for a stay of only one night.

Holiday Flats

A self-catering holiday flat (Ferienwohnung) or a complete holiday home (Ferienhaus) is great value if you want to stay in a place for at least 3 days or longer – some landlords will only rent out flats for a minimum of 7 days. Some of the cheaper flats might cost no more than a Privatzimmer for the equivalent number of days, but once again prices vary quite a lot according to the size of the flat and the facilities it offers. However, all flats are provided with cooking facilities and many are equipped with a television and a private balcony. 

Holidays on Farms

A holiday on a farm (Urlaub auf dem Bauernhof) is great value for families. Many Black Forest farmers supplement their incomes by renting out rooms or holiday flats to guests. In general what applies to Privatzimmer also applies to staying on a farm. The main difference is that you often get fresh farm produce served at breakfast and the children can sometimes lend a hand with farm work.

Addresses for farm holidays are available from German National Tourist Offices overseas or from local tourist offices in the Black Forest. Also visit the web site of the German Agricultural Society (DLG).


All the main holiday resorts in the Black Forest offer a good range of hotels from the simple economy class to international standard first-class and luxury establishments. Some of the very best hotels are found at Baden-Baden, Baiersbronn, Freiburg and Karlsruhe.

If you wish to stay at one of the larger hotels, you should inquire as to possible special offers and holiday packages before leaving home. For instance many of Baden-Baden’s top hotels offer short (2-7 nights) discount holiday packages that might include a candle-lit dinner in an exclusive restaurant, free entry to the casino or one of the town’s luxurious thermal baths.

Internet Hotel Reservation Services

It is possible to book accommodation in the Black Forest (and elsewhere in Germany) at one of the following web sites:

Youth Hostels

There is a good network of hostels in the Black Forest. For detailed information consult the relevant IYH handbook or check out the following web site: www.schwarzwald-online.com/jugendh.htm

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