Time Zone: GMT+1/UTC
Tipping: Service and VAT is included in prices in restaurants and bars in Germany. However it is typical to round up the amount, usually by adding 5-10% and ensuring the amount ends in a full euro.
The Black Forest is a region of exquisite natural beauty, home to some of Germany's best looking villages not to mention a famed desert and a clock that is often falsely associated with Switzerland. Beyond its gateaux, timber farmhouses and the chiming of cuckoo clocks, the Black Forest presents crystal clear lakes, pine-clad mountains and dramatic forest locations that are equally kind to the senses, making it a top place to visit on a holiday to Germany.
The Black Forest lakes of Schluchsee and Titisee are certainly no exception and are great places in which to sit back and appreciate the scenery or sample a different perspective of the area from the seat of a boat. Black Forest coach holidays allow you to marvel over the spectacular Triberg Waterfalls in the cuckoo clock capital of the world, travel through valleys and over viaducts on the region's railways or drool over high-class cars at museums in Stuttgart.
Black Forest breaks usually incorporate excursions to nearby Alsace with its wine villages and wine trail (Route de Vins). The university city of Freiburg, known as the 'Jewel of the Black Forest' is another favourite for coach holiday itineraries.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in the Black Forest, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Health and Travel Insurance
When visiting Germany you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. It is not a substitute for travel insurance or medical cover, however it does entitle you to state provided medical treatment should it become necessary during your trip. Any treatment which is provided is on the same conditions as German nationals. The EHIC does not cover on-going medical treatment, medical repatriation or non-urgent treatment and so you must make sure you have the correct travel insurance and access to funds which will cover the cost of any treatment and repatriation on medical grounds.
Should you require emergency medical assistance during your visit, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. In the event you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you must contact your insurance company or your medical assistance provider immediately.
Crime levels in Germany are quite similar to those in the UK so common sense prevails. Be sure to take sensible precautions to avoid bag-snatching, mugging and pick pocketing. Always be particularly vigilant at railway stations, airports and Christmas markets. Never leave your valuables unattended. In the event your passport has been stolen, you need to go to the nearest police station and ask for a police report.
When staying for up to three months your passport must be valid for the proposed entire duration of your stay; you don't need an additional period of validity beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted when entering into Germany and also for airside transit and when leaving Germany.
British Citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany. However, if you hold a different type of British nationality it is advisable to check entry requirements with the German Embassy.
Any other nationality looking to visit Germany must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about The Black Forest you can visit the official tourism website at blackforest-tourism.com
In addition to cuckoo clocks and gateaux, here's what to see and do whilst visiting the Black Forest:
Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg is known as the capital of the Black Forest and a great city to visit. The glorious Gothic cathedral located in the town square is surrounded by some beautifully historic buildings. Some notable buildings to visit are the Old and New Town Hall, the Historical Store and the Schwabentor (Swabian Gate).
One of the most well-known tourist destinations in the Black Forest, here you will find the picturesque lake surrounded by the forested mountains. A great way to see the lake and the surrounding countryside is to take a boat trip on the lake itself or the scenic train around it. The town of Titisee-Neustadt is a lovely lakeside resort with a number of tourist shops, restaurants and cafes and is a perfect place to try some local delicacies including black forest gateaux.
Black Forest Open Air Museum
This historical open air museum contains a vast array of farm buildings from the surrounding areas and gives an insight into people's lives in the Black Forest. There are local artisans re-enacting different activities and staff are dressed in regional costumes to add to the atmosphere.
Triberg is home to a number of various attractions, the most popular being the waterfall which is the largest in Germany. This spectacular waterfall cascades several times over 163m and through the forest. If you are looking for a traditional souvenir the House of 1000 Clocks in the town centre has an abundance of fantastic cuckoo clocks and they even have miniature ones to fit in your suitcase!