Experience Germany's fall colors around Bavaria and Stuttgart

Experience Germany's fall colors around Bavaria and Stuttgart

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

Grab your pumpkin-spice latte and Banana Republic scarf because it is the season that gives us the reason to live: fall.

Jokes aside, what we love about Germany in spring and summer, its lush green vegetation, is why we fall in love all over again come September. The temperature starts to drop, the air becomes crisper and the leaves evolve into new hues. There really isn’t a bad view in Germany during autumn, but there are a few key places to snap that Instagram-worthy photo of all those bright #fallcolors.

Schwangau

This adorable Bavarian village never disappoints as it fills with fantastic fall colors every year. The town is most famous for the castle that towers over it, the Neuschwanstein Castle. This 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace is the castle on so many Bavarian postcards. The castle itself provides panoramic views of the mountains, rivers, lakes and the kaleidoscope of colors from the changing trees below. If you want that iconic shot of the castle sitting on the hilltop with the wide array of fall colors behind it, head to Marienbrüke, or Marien Bridge. Crossing the bridge is free and a great place to take in the view.

If you time your visit just right, you can witness something that is quintessential Bavaria: an Alpine cattle drive. Celebrations are held in late September or early October, but only if herdsmen return with the cattle without any accidents along the way. There is music, dancing and parades complete with cows adorned with elaborate floral headdresses. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to wear your Dirndl or Lederhosen!

Baden-Baden

We could easily say, “Go to the Black Forest to see fall colors,” but considering the Black Forest is more than 6,000 square kilometers (and much of it evergreen trees), we’ll narrow it down for you. A popular forest village that has everything a fall-watcher would want is the town so nice they named it twice, Baden Baden.

Baden-Baden is a fairytale village that transforms into an autumn paradise, bursting with a sea of orange, red and even purple vegetation. The great thing about Baden-Baden is you don’t have to go very far to experience this parade of color. The forest not only encircles the town but also weaves through it. You can walk down the city streets and be surrounded by a cascade of falling orange and yellow leaves. If you need a little extra R&R, Baden-Baden is an incredible spa town with healing thermal baths.

An honorable-mention spot is just a 40-minute drive south of Baden-Baden. The city of Kehl, along the German-French border, is a prime spot for Rhine River cruises. Sipping fine Germany wine on a crisp fall day while taking in the theater of chromaticity before you will be one of your favorite memories. 

Berchtesgaden National Park

I know we feature Berchtesgaden National Park a lot but for good reason. It is by far one of the best national parks in Europe. In autumn, it transforms into something truly magical. Thanks to the diversity of its forest, you can witness an incredible mix of leaves changing into a colorful gold menagerie while the evergreens remain their shade of hunter green.

Berchtesgaden offers some of the best hiking Germany has to offer with trails that range from stroller-friendly to advanced. There are incredible walking paths around Lake Königsee, which provides a photographer’s dream. That same symphony of color reflects off the bright blue water, along with a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Alps. When you snap this picture make sure to tag it #nofilter because beauty this pristine will never need one.

Good to know:

Autumn officially starts on September 22nd. Fall colors are usually at their peak around mid-October. While out admiring all the colors, make sure to have a jacket and an umbrella handy. Germany’s weather can be very unpredictable in the fall

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