Germany is home to some of the most underrated small cities and towns! The town of Baden-Baden, located at the edge of the Black Forest in Germany is a wonderful example of this statement. So what’s special about Baden-Baden? The hint is in the name itself! Baden-Baden is derived from Baden meaning bathing or Bad meaning bath. This spa town is surrounded by thermal springs that give way to some amazing baths around the city. While these thermal springs and bathing rituals date back to Roman times, today, Baden-Baden is considered to be one of the “Great Spa Towns of Europe”. This post covers how to plan a visit to this spa city and the best things to do in Baden-Baden.
How to Plan a Visit to Baden-Baden
I think one full day with a night’s stay is more than enough to cover the general sites within the city. Add an extra day if you want to visit the museums or visit some of the sites away from the city center (more details below). The best way to spend one day in Baden-Baden is to spend the first half of the day visiting the sites of the city and then the rest of the day/evening indulging at the thermal baths. It’s an easy going city, so take it easy and enjoy!
How to Get Around Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is very walkable. Almost everything on this list can be visited walking. However, there is also a good bus system that connects various parts of the city.
One thing to note is that the actual city is a little further away from the train station. If you are coming by train, expect to either take a bus or taxi to the city center. Uber didn’t work there so you may have to catch a regular taxi if you are going that route.
Best things to do in Baden-Baden
For this best things to do in Baden-Baden list, I am going to start with the city sites first and end with talking about the Baths. As mentioned above, this is exactly how I am suggesting to plan your trip.
The Russian Orthodox Church
Starting with the attraction that is furthest away on this list (at least from my starting point which was my hotel). This orthodox church was built in 1882 and is relatively small but intricately decorated. Worth the small stroll up the hill.
One of the well known buildings in Baden-Baden. This salmon pink ornate colonnade was built in the 1830-40’s and is filled with frescos depicting regional scenes. It’s used as the pump house for the Kurhaus spa complex (where the casino is located).
Visit the Casino
Perhaps the second famous attraction in Baden-Baden after the spas is the casino. They offer tours that you can check out HERE. You must dress nicely to enter.
Rosengarten auf dem Beutig
Where do I begin to describe this rose garden? I’ll start by saying it was nothing like I’ve ever seen before! It’s a bit of a steep climb uphill from near the casino but SO worth it! This garden was full of colorful roses of every variety and size. The rows after row of arches overflowing with roses is truly a sight to behold! Wear something pretty and prepare to take a ton of pictures! This is the stuff profile pictures are made of!
Another beautiful and well manicured garden with roses, fountains and statues. Take a seat and enjoy the view.
Stroll along the Lichtentaler Allee
The Lichtentaler Allee is a historic park and arboretum that runs along the river Oos. There’s something very quaint about this 2.3 km long stroll. Perhaps it is the greenery and trees that line the area or it’s the clear and shallow waters of the river. Either way definitely don’t forget to check this trail out.
Wander Around the City Center
As I mentioned above, the city center is relatively small and revolves around a few main streets lined with shops and restuarants. It’s colorful and compact and is easily doable in a few minutes.
Enjoy the Baths of Baden-Baden
There are 2 main baths that you can visit in Baden-Baden. They are Caracalla Spa and Friedrichsbad. These two baths are almost next to each other. What’s the difference between the two and which one is better? Read all about this HERE.
Where to Stay
I stayed at Hotel Römerhof. This hotel was conveniently located near the baths and main shopping streets. The staff were super friendly and kind. I even got a small discount coupon for the baths. Check out this hotel HERE.
What to Eat
I opted for two regional/German favorites currywurst and Spätzle smothered in SO.MUCH.CHEESE (not that I’m complaining!)
With Extra Time in Baden-Baden
Visit the City’s Museums
- Stadtmuseum Baden-Baden – details the history of the region
- Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden – houses contemporary art
- Museum Frieder Burda – houses modern art by collector Frieder Burda
Hohenbaden Castle Ruins
Offers panoramic view of the city with the Black Forest in the background. Learn more HERE
Merkur Funicular Railway
The Merkur funicular railway is Europe’s steepest funicular railway. It takes passengers to the peak of Merkur mountain for some great views of the city. There is also a the tower, cafe, and gardens there. You can either walk or take the funicular both ways or walk one way and take the funicular the other.
Geroldsau is a small waterfall best visited if you have a car. This may be for you if you like nature as you have to walk through a forest to get there.
Where to go from Baden-Baden?
My top pick is to visit the fairy-tale villages and towns of the Alsace Wine Route! It’s one of my favorite regions in the world and is a stone’s throw away from Baden-Baden. See below for more details!
If you are looking to stay within Germany and love the small town feel, check out Cochem! Situated in another one of my favorite regions in the world!
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