At a Glance:
- Easy Day Trip (this would be a great first experience when you move here)
- Family Friendly
- Cuckoo Clocks, Waterfalls, the Black Forest Museum, and Cake
- Bring Small Change (1 and 2 Euro) for Misc. Experiences at Sights
If you are currently living in Southern Germany, you must take a day trip over to Triberg. Triberg is a charming little town that lies in the center of the Black Forest. Here, you can experience such extremes as seeing the world’s biggest cuckoo clock, walking up one of Germany’s tallest waterfalls, and tasting Germany’s Black Forest Cake. My husband and I decided to visit on one particularly cloudy, cold, and rainy Saturday with a mission. We were going to do it all and find the best Black Forest cake in the area.
Our first stop was the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. If you go, try to get there close to an hour mark so you can hear the cuckoo call. Next to the clock pendulum there is an entrance (different from the shop entrance). For a few Euro you can enter and see the inside of the clock. There is a mannequin standing there and for another 1 or 2 Euro you can push the button and he will tell you all about the history of the clock and how it was built (in the language of your choice).
After you explore the inside of the clock, the path takes you to the gift shop. At the entrance is another mannequin encouraging you to taste some of the local wine. This gift shop is one of the best in the area that we found. It had everything from gorgeous grandfather clocks, to German witches, to walls of cuckoo clocks. There were a wide variety of trinkets and clocks at every price point. You are sure to find great gifts for family and friends at this shop.
As I previously mentioned, the waterfall in Triberg is one of Germany’s tallest with a vertical drop of 496 feet. What makes this waterfall popular is its easy public access. You can stand on the street and see a pretty view, or you can pay a small entrance fee and enter the park. When you enter, you get a nice map outlining a few different trails. Not only are the trails marked clearly on the map (along with their difficulty level), they are also posted along the walkways. The falls offer exquisite views!
All the walking made us ready for our next adventure: finding the best Black Forest cake in the Black Forest (rough life, right?). Next to the waterfall there is a large restaurant with German and English menus. The dessert display looked fantastic so we stopped in.
Lunch consisted of typical German dishes and was quite good. We were curious how it would be considering it was directly next to many of the tourist sights, but we were pleasantly surprised! My husband ordered the venison with cranberry sauce while I went for the vegetable strudel. This was some of the best German food I’ve tasted since we have been here. We made sure to save a little room for dessert.
Contrary to popular belief, Black Forest Cake isn’t named after the Black Forest. It’s named from the liquor called Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) which is the regional specialty (distilled from tart cherries) that gives the cake its flavor. The layers of cake, cherries, and cream work together to create this dessert. At this particular restaurant, the Kirschwasser was overpowering. It was still good but if you do not like the taste of alcohol, you would not like this cake.
Satisfied (and perhaps slightly buzzed from cake), we walked up the street to the Black Forest Museum. This is an incredibly interesting and fun museum. Be sure to bring many Euro coins with you so you can bring a few of the exhibits to life. They have replicas of traditional scenes from Back Forest history and the famous Orchestrations and clocks from the 1800’s.
I had two favorites:
1. This video (click here) has a fun little tune and you can see the airplane flying through the top of the clouds in the box.
2. This video (click here) shows one of the later Orchestrations from the Black Forest. We thought this one was hysterical.
If you or someone in your family loves model trains, this museum is a must-see. Towards the end of the exhibit area, there is an entire wall with trains that go through a replica of the Black Forest. It has tunnels, villages, and all of the traditional area sights. Again, a few more Euro coins can make the train circle quite a few times.
After spending a long time in the museum, we decided we were ready for taste test number two. We went to the charming hotel across the street from the waterfall to see how their cake compared.
This cake was by far superior to cake number one. What made this one so much better was that the alcohol flavor was not overpowering, the whipped cream was a touch sweeter, and the cherries were embedded in the middle layer. This was the best!
Although satisfied, we couldn’t pass up the traditional apple strudel. It was amazing. If you go to Triberg, stop by the hotel across from the waterfall to get dessert. It will be well worth your time and money. If you have more time, be sure to go around the corner from the hotel and stop in to the House of 1,000 Clocks. It is full of clocks and other trinkets and souvenirs.
Triberg is such an easy and nice day trip from Stuttgart, whether you are traveling alone or with your family. It is easy to navigate, has ample parking, good food, and quite a few fun things to see. This would also be a great place to bring any visitors from the states who are looking for an authentic taste of Germany.
Have you been to Triberg? What were your favorite sights? What did we miss? Please leave a comment to share your experience!