Being situated at the heart of the Baden-Württemberg state, Tübingen is the perfect gateway to explore all the gems the region has to offer. From dreamy castles to sprawling palaces and enchanted villages and cosmopolitan hubs, here are our ideas for the best day trips to take from Tübingen.
The state capital of Baden-Württemberg is only 45 kilometres (28 miles) north of Tübingen, and its attractions easily fill a day’s worth of sightseeing. The New Palace, St. John’s Church and the State Library are must-sees, while art fans should also put the Staatsgalerie on the list. A sightseeing trip of downtown Stuttgart and can be combined with a detour to either the Mercedes or the Porsche museum, each featuring vintage cars, past designs and concept cars in their dedicated exhibitions.
You might think of cake, cuckoo clocks and funny hats, but there’s more to Germany’s renowned woodlands. Extensive hiking trails, wellness retreats and fantastic restaurants make the Black Forest region a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, spa lovers and foodies alike, and the best part is, you can get to some of the hotspots within an hour to 90 minutes from Tübingen. Depending on what you’re after, you can head to Titisee Neustadt water-based activities, go for a hike around Freudenstadt or have a gourmet dinner in Baiersbronn.
Known for the sprawling Ludwigsburg Palace, Ludwigsburg is one of the major tourists draws of the region. Inside, the Baroque masterpiece is decked out with lavish decor and furniture. You can tour the lavish chambers, the royal theatre and palace chapel, and take a stroll through the vast parks and gardens. Aside from the palace, Ludwigsburg offers a number of other attractions, including the Evangelical city church, Monrepos and the Favorite Palace. You can reach Ludwigsburg within an hour from Tübingen.
Esslingen is situated a mere 45-minute drive north from Tübingen and lures with an old town that oozes medieval charm. The Neckar River and several canals cut through the old town of half-timbered houses and create picture-perfect vistas for your holiday snaps. In the warmer months, locals decorate their houses with fresh flowers, even adding to the idyllic charm of the town. Once there, you can explore Esslingen on foot or rent a paddle board to sail down the waterways.
If you’re into fairytale castles (who isn’t?), this one should take the number one spot of your list of priorities. Perched on a hilltop 30 minutes south of Tübingen, the beautiful castle emerges from the canopy and towers above a picturesque valley below. The interior is best explores as part of a guided tour which takes you around the lavishly decorated royal chambers, the armoury, chapel, tavern and the large knight’s hall.
Nestled at the foothills of the Swabian Alps, Bad Urach is a popular spa town is known for its mineral thermal waters and stunning town centre, and you can get there within 40 minutes from Tübingen. With an old town largely composed of well-preserved half-timbered houses, the small town is a popular spot along Germany’s Timber-Frame Road. Combine a stroll around town with an easy hike through the nearby woodlands – there are castle ruins and a waterfall to discover.
More magical bliss is brought about by Lichtenstein Castle. When you first catch a glimpse of it, you might feel as if you’re about to enter a Disney film. You’re not alone – the serene setting has lured German filmmakers to the site before, who shot a remake of Sleeping Beauty here. Some of the highlights are the 15th and 16th-century glass art in the castle chapel, the weaponry and the royal chambers which are decorated with colourful murals.