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A Family Trip to Germany and Alsace

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Discover the perfect blend of history, culture, and delightful attractions in Germany and the scenic French region of Alsace, making them an ideal destination for an unforgettable family vacation. Below is a recommended 9-day itinerary designed to include the most outstanding and memorable family-friendly highlights of the region.

Popular itinerary for a Family Trip to Germany and Alsace:

Day 1: BaselSchaffhausen – Rhine Falls – Titisee

From Basel, head eastward approximately 56 miles to the Swiss city of Schaffhausen, situated north of the Rhine River near the German border. Explore the rich history, stunning architecture, and scenic landscapes of this lovely city. The old town of Schaffhausen is home to delightful medieval architecture, featuring well-preserved buildings and quaint, narrow streets ideal for leisurely walks. The Munot fortress, a Schaffhausen icon, dominates the landscape, providing sweeping panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings.

Rhine Falls

The Rhine Falls, the largest waterfalls in Europe, are located just below the city. With a width of about 492 feet and a height of over 98 feet, their majestic appearance is truly awe-inspiring, showcasing the impressive force of nature. Experience the falls from various observation points, or take a boat ride that approaches the base of the falls, allowing for a climb up stairs to a rocky vantage point at the center of the falls. There are plenty of amenities in the falls area, including parking, facilities, a restaurant, cafes, food stalls, ice cream, and souvenir shops.

After visiting the falls, travel into the Black Forest on roads 27 and 31, a distance of about 43 miles, toward Titisee-Neustadt to spend the night.

Day 2: Titisee – German Clock Museum in Furtwangen – Triberg Waterfalls

Titisee is a stunning natural lake nestled in the heart of the beautiful Black Forest. Its crystal-clear waters are surrounded by picturesque forests and rolling hills, offering opportunities for a variety of leisure activities. The lake is a paradise for water sports fans, inviting you to swim, paddle, and windsurf against the backdrop of the beautiful landscape. Along the spacious lakeside parking area, you’ll find a lively promenade with a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, and stalls extending along the lake’s edge.

Take Road No. 31 to Road No. 500, famously known as Schwarzwaldhochstraße or Black Forest High Road. After a drive of about 19 miles, you’ll reach the town of Furtwangen, where the impressive German Clock Museum is located. This museum displays centuries of clock manufacturing, from intricately crafted cuckoo clocks to precisely engineered modern wristwatches. The museum’s exhibitions offer a fascinating journey through the history of clock making, detailing the art, technological advancements, and historical significance of clock production in the Black Forest.

Continue on Highway 500 for about 12 miles to the Triberg Waterfalls, known as Triberger Wasserfälle, located within the stunning landscapes of the Black Forest. The falls dive amidst lush vegetation and rocks covered in moss, displaying the awesome power of nature. You can follow a trail leading to the higher waterfalls, which cascade in sequence one after the other. This area is enchanting, and you can explore different perspectives from the various viewing platforms. The waterfalls have a higher entrance point, but it is recommended to start from the lower point and ascend the path along the stream first.

The town of Triberg im Schwarzwald is charming, with restaurants, cafes, and lovely shops amidst an impressive mountainous backdrop.

Spend the night in the Triberg area.

Day 3: Triberg – “The Big Clock” – House of 1000 Clocks – Gutach Toboggan Slides – Sommerrodelbahn Gutach Offenburg

Depart from Triberg on Highway 500 heading north, and after a few minutes, you will see a building with the world’s largest cuckoo clock. A few miles further, you will come across a shop named “House of 1000 Clocks,” which houses an extensive collection of cuckoo clocks in various sizes, grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and other timepieces. This shop chronicles the rich heritage of the clock industry in the Black Forest.

The world’s largest cuckoo clock, Triberg, Germany

Approximately 9 miles to the north lies the Sommerrodelbahn Gutach, an exhilarating attraction inviting visitors to enjoy an exciting ride down a winding track on a toboggan-like carriage. This adventure promises thrill and fun for individuals of all ages, featuring twists, turns, and captivating curves set against a backdrop of stunning scenery.

A 25 mile drive along Highway 531 will bring you to the lovely city of Offenburg, where we recommend you spend the next two nights.

Day 4: Offenburg – Europa-Park – Offenburg

Situated about 25 miles along Highway 5, Europa-Park, one of the largest and most renowned amusement parks in Europe, awaits. Boasting over 100 attractions, including approximately 13 different roller coasters, the park is a vibrant tapestry of themed areas, each named after a different European country. In addition to these areas, the park is divided into three distinct worlds: Children’s World, Fairytale World, and Adventure World. Beyond the thrill of roller coasters, you’ll find children’s playgrounds, boat rides, restaurants, live performances, exhibitions, movies, and much more.

Following an enjoyable day at the park, return to Offenburg to spend the night.

Day 5: Offenburg – Baden-Baden – Mummelsee – Baden-Baden

Today’s journey will take you on a picturesque route along Highway 28 to the higher region of the Black Forest. After driving about 31 miles, you will again meet the Black Forest High Road, Highway 500. Continue on this scenic route, winding through the scenic landscapes of the Black Forest and enjoying the breathtaking views.

After a drive of about 12 miles on Highway 500, you will reach Lake Mummelsee, a beautiful glacial lake and one of the outstanding natural jewels of the region. Park your car and take a short walk to the enchanting lake, which is surrounded by dense forests and rolling hills and steeped in folklore and local legends.

Lake Mummelsee

After enjoying the lake, continue on the winding and beautiful road for 25 miles to reach the spa town of Baden-Baden. The historic city, featuring baths dating back to Roman times, attracts millions of visitors each year with its charm and beauty as well as its thermal baths, impressive architecture, luxurious hotels, and abundant parks.

Spend the night in the Baden-Baden area.

Day 6: Baden-Baden – Roppenheim, The Style Outlets – Heidelberg

A 9 mile drive from Baden-Baden on Highway 500, near the border with France, will bring you to a giant outlet mall, Roppenheim the Style Outlets. This mall contains a vast selection of designer brands and premium products, including fashion, accessories, and home goods.

After departing from the outlet mall, follow Highways 61, 6, and 5 for a 25-mile drive leading to the city of Heidelberg. Steeped in a rich history of academic excellence and significant milestones, Heidelberg, situated along the Neckar River and over 800 years old, has witnessed the rise and fall of empires. Its renowned institution, Heidelberg University, established in 1386, is one of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious universities, educating intellectuals, and drawing researchers from across the globe. The old town, characterized by narrow streets and historic structures, reveals the city’s medieval legacy. Notable landmarks like the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Old Bridge, adorned with sculptures, embody Heidelberg’s cultural heritage.

Above the city stands the majestic Heidelberg Castle, accessible by car, on foot, or by the funicular near the cathedral. The castle, a magnificent symbol of the city’s history, resilience, and architectural grandeur, overlooks the city and the Neckar River. Initially built in the 13th century, it served as the electors’ residence for over five centuries. The castle’s architecture, blending elements of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, is a testament to its illustrious past, and notable structures like the Friedrich Building, the colossal wine barrel, and Elizabeth’s Gate add to its architectural splendor. Despite fires, wars, and lightning strikes in the 18th century that left parts of the castle in ruins, it only added to its romantic and picturesque charm.

Today, visitors can explore the castle and visit the Apothecary Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of tools, devices, and furniture used by German pharmacists in the past.

Spend the night in Heidelberg.

Day 7: Heidelberg – The Speyer Technik Museum

Today, drive along Highway 35E for about 43 miles to the city of Speyer. Speyer is home to one of the most impressive aviation and space museums in Europe – Speyer Technik Museum.

The museum contains a diverse and impressive collection of exhibitions, including antique cars, motorcycles, airplanes, tanks, and even spacecraft. The museum’s most outstanding exhibits are historical aircraft, including the Boeing 747 and the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner. Another highlight of the museum is the IMAX cinema, where spectacular films can be enjoyed on a giant, immersive screen.

The heart of Speyer’s old town is dominated by an impressive cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most significant Romanesque buildings in Germany. This breathtaking cathedral, with its impressive architecture and centuries-old history, is a testament to the city’s religious and cultural significance. From the cathedral to the city gate, the streets are lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and stalls.

Spend the night in the Speyer area.

Day 8: Speyer – Wine Route – Landau – Haguenau

From Speyer, head towards the German Wine Route, starting in the town of Neustadt am der Weinstrasse, approximately 18.5 miles from Speyer along Highway 39. Climb up to Hambach Castle for a magnificent view and a tour of the local heritage museum. Among the displays is the German flag in black-red-gold, first flown here at the 1832 festival.

Heading south, travel on roads parallel to Highway 65 to enjoy the local wine villages. In the central city of the Wine Route, Landau, there is an impressive museum that focuses on desert wildlife called The Reptilium Terrarien- und Wüstenzoo GmbH in Landau. The collection showcases a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and desert animals in environments that mimic their natural habitats.

Proceed south to the next stop: Bad Bergzabern. Immerse yourself in the medieval ambiance of this town, and don’t miss the chance to explore the remarkable 16th-century structure, Gasthaus Zum Engel, located on Konigstrasse Street. A brief drive along Highway 38 will bring you to the town of Schweigen Rechtenbach. Here, a visit to the “Wine Gate” known as Deutschen Weintor is highly recommended, followed by a leisurely pedestrian tour along the circular Weinlehrpfades, which features informative stations about vine cultivation. The path is well-marked, and the stroll typically takes around one to one and a half hours. Along the route, you’ll see several wineries as well as food and drink stalls.

Gasthaus Zum Engel, Bad Bergzabern

From Bad Bergzabern, you’ll cross the border and arrive in the town of Wissembourg in the French region of Alsace. This picturesque town boasts a remarkable local history, known for being the site of the first battle in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. In this conflict, the German army reached the gates of Paris and annexed the Alsace region. Notably, Napoleon III, the French Emperor and nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, fell into captivity as a German prisoner of war.

Continue about 18 miles to the town of Haguenau for an overnight stay.

Day 9: Alsace Region – La Volerie des Aigles Kintzheim – Mulhouse – Automobile Museum – Basel

The Alsace region is home to beautiful landscapes and is dotted with charming villages, towns, vineyards, and orchards. From Haguenau, travel about 50 miles to the town of Kintzheim. On the way up to the fortress, there is an ancient complex called La Volerie des Aigles (The Eagle’s Nest), serving as a home to birds of prey like eagles, vultures, and hawks. There are fascinating bird shows and feeding sessions, but it’s advisable to check the show availability in advance.

Continue another 43 miles to the city of Mulhouse, where the Musée National de l’Automobile is located. It is recognized as one of the most outstanding automobile museums in the world, featuring an impressive collection of over 450 well-preserved and meticulously maintained cars.

Concluding your journey, travel approximately 25 miles to reach the Basel airport or spend the night in Basel.

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