Are you planning to visit Triberg in Germany? Are you wondering what Triberg is known for? Or do you want to know where is the best place to see cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest? Join us as we explore Triberg… finding the largest cuckoo clocks in the world and visit Germany’s highest waterfall amongst our best things to do in Triberg…
Triberg is a small town with a big personality! Home to World’s largest and smallest cuckoo clocks, the World’s most exclusive cuckoo clock, and for something a little different… Germany’s highest waterfall!
After having made our own cuckoo clocks at the German Clock Museum in nearby Furtwangen, we’re now on the hunt for more cuckoo clocks, and Triberg is the perfect place to start…
Shop at the House of 1,000 Clocks
In the centre of town is Haus der 1,000 Uhren, or House of 1,000 Clocks.
A family run business with a rich heritage for over 100 years, it is one of the best places to see and buy cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest, with probably the best selection too!
The building itself is like a giant cuckoo clock… with mechanical bears climbing, playing on a swing, and clock making on the front, and a cuckoo clock coming out every hour.
But inside is the real treat. 2 stories of walls filled with cuckoo clocks, normal clocks, watches, and pretty much every other type of souvenir you could think of!
We explore the shop admiring the variety of clocks on show. Lots of traditional clocks designed in the wooden chalet style. Lots of modern clocks with more minimalist designs. Wall art combing clocks into the paintings. And even the World’s most exclusive (expensive??) cuckoo clock… over 600 Swarovski stones, Swarovski Pandas, 24-carot gold bears... it took over 200 hours to make, and costs €19,900!! Maybe a little out of our budget for a souvenir, but it’s really cool to see!
At the back of the shop there’s even a small carving section, where cuckoo clock faces similar to those we used yesterday to build our own clock are being carved.
For more info... The House of 1,000 Clocks Website
Make Your Own Cuckoo Clock at The German Clock Museum!
Ok, so this one isn't quite in Triberg, but the experience is so good we have to mention it!
20 minutes from Triberg is the town of Furtwangen, and the home of cuckoo clocks... the German Clock Museum (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum). Not only do they have an amazing collection of cuckoo clocks, but they also have a fun do-it-yourself experience where you can make your own cuckoo clock to take home! And, the whole experience costs less than similar clocks are on sale for at the House of 1,000 Clocks!
For more info... The German Clock Museum Website
Be Amazed by the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock
While we were at the German Clock Museum, we saw a map of the area and the 3 largest cuckoo clocks in the World!
The World’s largest cuckoo, recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records since 1997, is a 5-minute drive from Triberg in Schonachbach.
The clock followed the traditional Black Forest craftmanship for making cuckoo clocks, but at a much larger scale… the clock is 15 feet / 4.5m tall, with a 150kg cuckoo bird and 26 feet / 8m swinging pendulum!
We see the clock at the side of the main road and stop at the few parking spaces there are. We weren’t quite sure what to expect from the World’s largest cuckoo clock… but it is a giant cuckoo clock!
The whole building has been transformed, with a clock face on the front, the pendulum swinging underneath, and a door for the cuckoo to come at the top!
For €2 we go in and have a look at how it works inside, seeing the cogs and mechanism, and the counterweight for the pendulum. And, above our heads, we can just see the giant cuckoo bird waiting patiently for the next hour to strike to pop-out and sing his song!
There’s also quite a large souvenir shop (so guess where we spend the most time!), with the prices being quite good in comparison to some of the bigger shops in Triberg and Munich to pick up some gifts. Paul gets a limited edition Oktoberfest beer tankard as a memento of celebrating his birthday at Oktoberfest (read our blog here… Oktoberfest… the World’s Biggest Folk & Beer Festival), and Sneha picks up a mug decorated with a deer wearing the traditional Black Forest Bollenhut hat.
Go Back in Time to the World’s First Largest Cuckoo Clock
The next clock we go to see is the World’s first largest cuckoo clock. Built in 1980 and recognised in 1984 as the world’s largest clock, it has since been beaten by the clock we visited earlier!
This clock is in Schonach im Schwarzwald, around 10-minutes from the now largest clock.
We have to drive back through Triberg to get to this one, and it’s off the main road in a small village but has a much larger car park than the first.
Again, there’s a €2 charge to go inside the clock, but this time it’s required to actually see the clock… as the clock face is on the rear of the building in an enclosed garden. We realise we don’t have any change on us though, so have to make do with seeing the clock from a distance from the main road!
The garden also has an art sculpture of a Bollenhut hat, which Sneha tries to pose under to get a photo!
There is a third largest cuckoo clock in the area, but we’re unable to go and see this one due to the road being closed for building work.
Hunt for The Smallest Cuckoo Clock in the world…
The smallest Cuckoo Clock in the world is so small we can’t find it! Having read online that the clock is on show in Hubert Herr’s souvenir shop, we have no luck in finding it.
The building doesn’t look much like a shop and isn’t open, Google says it’s permanently closed, and none of the other websites or blogs we see about the clock have pictures either. Does it actually exist??
Explore Triberg Falls... Germany's Highest Waterfall
Taking a break from our cuckoo clock journey, Triberg Falls is a must-see attraction when in the Black Forest.
They are Germany’s highest waterfall at over 160m high, with the river Gutach plunging down from the mountains above Triberg to the valley below and flowing through the town.
We visit early in the morning just as the sun is starting to get high enough to break through the dense trees and forest as we walk from the entrance towards the falls.
There are 2 routes to take… one quite steep and short route, or a longer but easier walk. We opt for the short and steep one, and it’s not too difficult, with the paths being well paved and easy to manage.
After a few minutes of walking through the trees, the sound of the roaring water is getting louder and louder, until we round one corner and get our first sight of the waterfall.
The water is crashing down the rocks, splitting off into different directions as it makes it way down to the valley floor.
We take some photos from a distance, trying to get to full waterfall in but it’s too high and has too many steps. One for the drone when we get back to the car maybe…
As we get closer, we can feel the spray of the water on our faces, and as we take a seat on the viewing bench, we realise too late that the water has sprayed there too!
There are some walking routes to take so you can climb further up the waterfall and stand on top of it too. But as well as being on a cuckoo clock trail, we’re also chasing waterfalls, and so we head off to our next destination…
Read our blog visiting Europe’s largest waterfall… Standing on Top of Rhein Falls… The Largest Waterfall in Europe!
For more info... Triberg Falls Website
Visit the Maria in der Tanne Church
Our final stop in Triberg is at one of the lesser known and more surprising places on our list.
Sneha read about a small church in the hills above the town and wanted to visit, so as we’re leaving Triberg ,we head there for a stop first.
Local legends from 1644 say that a young girl was cured from an eye disease by the water of a nearby spring, and within a year a local tailor cured his leprosy by washing in the same spring. The thankful tailor placed a small statue of Mary in a fir tree, for it then to be discovered around 1700. From this, a small wooden chapel was then built, which has since been developed into the stone church standing here today.
We almost miss the turning from the main road it’s so small, looking more like a little track heading up the hill. And as we drive up, we see what looks like a fairly small and ordinary looking church.
When we step inside though, we see that the church is anything but ordinary! The walls are bright white under a wooden patterned roof, matching the wooden pews aligned towards the front of the church.
But it’s the altar at the far end which catches our eyes straight away. It’s huge, filling the whole end of the church. Statues, paintings, gold and candles adorn the Baroque altar, and it’s absolutely stunning!
To each side there are huge artworks in gold frames, and on the left wall is a staired pulpit, just as intricately decorated as the altar.
After paying our respects and admiring the beauty for a while, we turn to leave and see the last surprise… the huge organ above the entrance.
We’re not sure we’ve ever been to a church which looked so plain from the outside but is so beautiful on the inside!
Eat Black Forest Gateau / Cake
We can’t have a ‘best things to do in Triberg’ blog, or the Black Forest, without mentioning the Black Forest Cake!
On our first night in Triberg, as we’re finishing our main meal, the waiter walks past and casually says there’s 1 slice of cake left if we want it for dessert. Paul says yes immediately, knowing he means Black Forest Cake, but Sneha doesn’t hear what happens.
When the cake comes Sneha has a taste and says “Oh My God!! This brings back childhood memories! I get it now… this is THE Black Forest Cake I loved as a child!” The cake tastes so good, and she says she always loved it, her birthday cake most years was Black Forest bought from a pastry shop in India called Monginis. But she never realised that the cake was actually from a particular place and thought it was just named after the flavour!
And, as a coincidence, Black Forest Cake was also Paul’s favourite as a child! But he knew it originated from here, and so had been looking forward to trying it ever since we booked the trip!
For those who don’t know what Black Forest Cake is, it’s a layered chocolate sponge cake with cream and topped with cherries. It looks quite like the traditional Bollenhut hat from the Black Forest!
The next day we get some Black Forest Cake with lunch at a café in town. And then, as it's Paul's birthday today, we get ANOTHER slice from Hotel-Café Adler which has a huge cake selection... and we think this one is the best yet!
Where to eat in Triberg… Hotel & Restaurant Pffaf
One thing to say about eating in Triberg is you need to be quite early… we headed out at 8pm and struggled to find anywhere still open!
After trying a couple of places with no luck, we went to the Hotel & Restaurant Pfaff, opposite Triberg falls. As we walked in they said they’d stopped serving food, but double checked with the chef and he kindly said it was ok and he would serve us… thank you!
We go for the House Speciality “Poacher Style” Deer Skewer, served with chanterelles and a homemade game sauce with pear and cranberries. And Black Forest Sausages, with a chips and salad. While the sausages are nice and tasty, it’s definitely the house speciality which is the better of the two dishes!
For more info and bookings... Hotel & Restaurant Pfaff Website
Where to stay in Triberg… daHeim Indoorcamping
There are quite a few hotels in Triberg, but we decided to go for one of the more unique stays in the town!
daHeim Indoorcamping is a cross between a hostel and a campsite. A warehouse has been converted, with 16 themed caravans providing the accommodation!
We pick the glitz and glam Black Forest themed van (what else?!), decorated with bright colours and a girl wearing the traditional Bollenhut hat. But you can choose from a more traditional winter sports themed van, a US Route 66 themed van, a jungle or an Xmas van, and even a submarine!
With an attached pub and separate toilet and shower facilities, there’s everything you need for a short stay. And although it’s not the most luxurious, it certainly provided great value for money with the night only costing €70!
For more info and bookings... daHeim Indoorcamping Website