The Black Forest and Lake Constance, cities like Heidelberg, Baden-Baden and Stuttgart: these are all jewels in the crown of SouthWest Germany. Bordered by France, Switzerland and Austria, this sunny state in the very heart of Europe is called Baden-Württemberg in German.
The State Tourist Board Baden-Württemberg is the official visitor organization for the region and we are always at your service, ready to help you anytime. SouthWest Germany and its marketing representatives offer worldwide assistance to tour operators and travel agents.
This includes: photographic support, information on all aspects of SouthWest Germany, itinerary planning and technical assistance, travel agent training, individual and fam tour assistance, brochures, maps, and press kits.
SouthWest Germany can look back on a long and eventful history which has contributed a great deal to the region’s cultural diversity. Mighty castles, magnificent palaces, grand churches and abbeys, medieval towns, UNESCO World heritage sites, architectural and cultural masterpieces, fascinating, at times surprising museums and breathtaking natural spectacles – the list of attractions in SouthWest Germany just keeps on going.
What makes SouthWest Germany special is the region’s mix of glorious countryside, dotted with some of Europe’s most vibrant and romantic cities and towns. Visitors remark on the warm welcome, as well as the buzz that comes from students at some of Germany’s finest – and oldest – universities. And, whatever season you visit, there is a real sense of place, thanks to black-and-white timber houses, cobbled streets and cheerful markets that look like illustrations in a fairy tale.
From jazz festivals and classical concerts to film festivals, exhibitions and theatre performances, you will find art and culture of the highest standard throughout this region. In the summer guests are enchanted by the famous open-air plays performed against atmospheric backdrops, on romantic natural stages and in magnificent castle courtyards. You will find museums that are already fascinating by their architecture and that exhibit an almost unlimited range of subjects, such as the State Gallery in Stuttgart, the ZKM Center of Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe or the Burda Museum in Baden-Baden. History can be experienced firsthand in the numerous open-air museums such as the Vogtsbauernhöfe in the Black Forest with impressive 16th – 19th century farmhouses.
The automobile and SouthWest Germany go hand in hand. Two of the most famous names in the auto industry were born here: Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Not to be missed are the two spectacular automobile museums in Stuttgart with their outstanding architecture: the Mercedes-Benz Museum, which rolls back the years through automotive history across nine different floors and the Porsche Museum that presents the legendary icons of the sports manufacturer like the Porsche 911 and 917 at close quarters.
Visitors who are interested in history will find a variety of historical sites and monuments. As for castles and palaces, some of the most beautiful places are Heidelberg Castle, Hohenzollern Castle and the baroque palaces in Ludwigsburg and Schwetzingen.
SouthWest Germany’s calendar is filled with festivals, though the most famous must be the Christmas Markets during Advent. In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, under a frosting of snow, the landscape looks like a Christmas card come to life: pine trees and Christmas decorations, carols and Bratwurst (hot sausages), Glühwein (mulled wine) and sugary treats. Known locally as the Cannstatter Wasen, the Stuttgart Beer Festival is much more authentic than the Munich event. In late September/mid-October, the lord mayor “taps the barrel”, to kick off the Cannstatter Wasen (fair). Expect tradition all the way, from oompah bands to folk costumes, sauerkraut to crispy pork knuckles … and Stein after Stein of the specially-brewed Festbier (festival beer). The tents seat 5,000; alongside is a massive fairground, with Ferris wheels and rides.
Spas, Wellness and Health resorts
In Europe, SouthWest Germany is known for its high quality spas and health resorts. As early as the 19th century, royalty and nobility flocked to the region to “take the waters”. Now there are some 60 health resorts and spas – and they are open to all. In the past, European spas were used for medically-oriented health cures rather than pampering. Today, most spas and health resorts offer “Wellness” programs: everything from special cosmetic treatments and aromatherapy to relaxing massages and a variety of saunas. More unusual choices include: Ayurveda techniques, hydrotherapy, Qi Gong and thalasso treatments, algae and mud packs. The medical side of spa treatments is still very important. On a special health and spa holiday in SouthWest Germany, programs are designed to, for example, regain fitness after an operation or lose weight carefully. The leading spa resorts and spa destinations in the region are rated by the rigorous Wellness Stars initiative. But, perhaps the most important element in all of SouthWest Germany’s spas is the highly-trained, qualified staff.
GREAT SPA EXPERIENCES
As well as traditional hot spring water, this modern spa on Lake Constance has the latest treatments: waterfalls with underwater music, herbal saunas, wellness programs as well as a beautiful view of the lake.
Welcome to SouthWest Germany! Summers are hot and fall is delightful – the perfect incentive for getting out and doing something active. And the scenery cannot be beaten. In summer, the meadows, valleys and low, heavily forested mountains are lush, green and warm; in fall/autumn, the blue skies and crisp evenings are perfect for that overnight stay in a country inn, with a roaring log fire. And, of course, fall is grape-harvesting time. SouthWest Germany has long been a destination for active vacationers from all over Europe. In summer, visitors love to hike, cycle and go mountain biking in the Black Forest or the Swabian Mountains, or to sail and windsurf on Lake Constance.
The Black Forest
Famous for its cuckoo clocks and cake/gateau, the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is also an outdoor playground. This low range of mountains includes valleys with bubbling streams, open moorland, thickly wooded hillsides and lakes. The highest point is the Feldberg (4,898 ft/1,493 m); hikers can take a cable car to the top for invigorating walks and fabulous views.
Framed by the Alps and surrounded by orchards and vineyards, this is Germany’s Riviera: sunny, pretty, laid back. A must for visitors for centuries, Lake Constance (Bodensee) is dotted with islands, such as Reichenau, with its monastery, and Mainau, world-famous for its gardens. Around the lake are attractive charming baroque towns, such as Meersburg
MICE in SouthWest Germany
The varied choice of MICE venues (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) in SouthWest Germany reflects the diverse appeal of the region as a whole. Each venue has its own particular focus but all can claim several features in common: modern facilities, superb transport links, comprehensive services and a welcoming atmosphere.
Aside from the wide range of modern facilities and services for events of all description, SouthWest Germany boasts high-quality catering arrangements, first-class hotels and exceptional opportunities for recreational itineraries. All in all, it is perfect for the MICE sector.
The region has established itself as a major convention and conference centre in Europe, with more than 80 venues offering an individually tailored service.
Conference, event and exhibition venues
Stuttgart – New Trade Fair Centre. One of Germany’s most modern exhibition halls and convention centres, next to Stuttgart International Airport. (105,200 square metres of exhibition space)
Mannheim – the Congress Centre Rosengarten, one of Europe’s most talked about conference destinations.
Freiburg – Congress Centre Concert Hall (Konzerthaus), flooded with sunlight, hosts a variety of events.
Europa-Park – Germany’s largest theme park, is the perfect place for a more unconventional meeting, conference or event.
SouthWest Germany (Baden-Württemberg) is special:
grand cities and fairytale castles, picture postcard villages and traditional festivals, great museums and jolly Christmas markets. Wherever and whenever you choose to go, you are always close to a major attraction, so distances are short … and your clients are happy!
The Black Forest: vineyards, valleys, peaceful woods
Magical visit to the Kaiserstuhl vineyards and Breisach am Rhein, with wine tasting and a snack in the vineyards. Carry on to Freiburg, then through the beautiful Black Forest to Titisee and Schluchsee (lakes). Cross into France (Alsace) for a city tour in Colmar. Package includes 2 nights’ accommodation incl. breakfast, 2 evening meals, 1 wine tasting, trip in a comfortable 3-star bus. Available year-round.
Rates on request. www.eberhardt-reisen.de, email@example.com
SouthWest Germany’s fascinating cities
Every city in SouthWest Germany has something special to offer, from Stuttgartt, Baden-Baden, and Heidelberg to Karlsruhe, Tübingen, and Freiburg. Some have great shopping or buzz with student life. Others are great bases for art and culture. Available year-round.
Rates on request. www.spillmann.de, firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone loves this “flower island”, with one of the world’s great sub-tropical gardens: tulips in spring, roses in summer, dahlias in fall. Mainau is today the largest tourist attraction on Lake Constance.
Rates for guided tours on request. www.mainau.de, email@example.com
Barrier-free Travel / Accessibility
Although many towns, buildings and attractions are historic, great care is taken to make them as accessible as possible to those with special needs. That’s why SouthWest Germany offers a variety of accessible accommodations, attractions and sightseeing. These have all been checked out by seasoned travellers in wheelchairs.
Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Bosch and Hugo Boss are just some of the global brands that are based in SouthWest Germany.
The region offers extensive and exclusive shopping opportunities which are surprisingly different and refreshingly individual: aside from the options in the attractive city centres – with their traffic-free zones, shopping arcades, department stores and boutiques – SouthWest Germany has two leading destinations for outlet shopping, Outletcity Metzingen and Wertheim Village.
Even the most discerning, well-travelled shopper will find something to bring back home from SouthWest Germany. Regional specialities include traditional Black Forest clocks, gold and silver from Pforzheim, Steiff teddy bears from Giengen and Ritter Sport chocolate with its delicious flavours and distinctive square packaging.
Families are spoilt for choice in SouthWest Germany. There are theme parks such as Europa-Park, Tripsdrill Adventure Park and Ravensburger Spieleland as well as a host of museums such as the Chocoexhibition at the Ritter Sport factory telling the story of chocolate and the Steiff museum covering 130 years of teddy bears.
Great Culinary Destination
In SouthWest Germany, eating and drinking well is part of everyday life. At the top level, the restaurants are among the world's best, representing about a quarter of German's Michelin-starred establishments (some 60). That's more than any other region! But, there are good places to eat at all price levels. Add in some of Europe's finest wines and beers and you can see why locals enjoy meeting up in taverns, cafés and restaurants.
How to get there
Situated in the heart of Europe, SouthWest Germany has an excellent transport infrastructure which includes the international airports in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Friedrichshafen, excellent domestic flight connections and an extensive road and rail network.
Stuttgart Airport welcomes direct flights on both a daily and weekly basis from various countries around the world and offers convenient onward train services to Frankfurt and Munich airports.
Can you talk to your clients with confidence about the Black Forest, Lake Constance and more destinations in SouthWest Germany?
The State Tourist Board is here to help. We want travel professionals to boost their knowledge of SouthWest Germany, and to grow their sales to one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. And it’s all free of charge.
Details at: www.going-cuckoo.com
Sales Guide SouthWest Germany
The Sales Guide SouthWest Germany is available to travel sellers packaging and selling SouthWest Germany and to those who are planning to package and sell the region. This free-of-charge Sales Guide is available as a print as well as an online version with all the information and contact data you need to facilitate your sales and planning. All the entries have internet-IDs enabling direct access to the internet www.tourism-bw.com/salesguide, ensuring the offers are always up-to-date.