Thanks to its mild climate and hot springs, Baden-Baden is one of the world’s most famous spas. No trip to beautiful Baden-Baden would be complete without taking in its wonderful spas, a tradition that has been around since Roman times. It is also a popular destination for sports enthusiasts, with many golf and tennis clubs, as well as equestrian sports such as horse racing. In summer it is a paradise for hiking, while in winter it attracts both Nordic and downhill skiers. The Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse The scenic route winds through the vast forests within the municipal boundaries, making Baden-Baden a perfect place from which to explore the beautiful Black Forest.
1 The Kurgarten (Spa Garden)
Whatever your reason for visiting Baden-Baden – be it sports facilities, beautiful scenery or wonderful spas – a good place to start your adventure is in the trendy Kurgarten or Spa Garden. Kurgarten is the center of the city’s cultural life and is surrounded by many of Baden-Baden’s best attractions. Here you will find numerous boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants. It is also home to many events and festivals, including concerts at the Bandshell, as well as pop festivals and a Christmas market. Also here is the spectacular Kurhaus , Baden-Baden’s oldest and most famous holiday resort, built between 1821-24 in the style of a French chateau. The pleasant gardens in Kurpark are also worth a visit and include interesting buildings such as theTrinkhalle or Pump Room and the Greco-Romanian Chapel built in 1863-66 with its interesting tombs.
Address: Kaiserallee 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
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2 Lichtentaler Allee
Beautiful Lichtentaler Allee, a park and arboretum in the heart of Baden-Baden, is one of the most beautiful places in a very beautiful city. A highlight is the almost two and a half kilometer long avenue on the west bank of the river Oos. Following an old footpath dating back to the mid-17th century, it’s a lovely place for a stroll, with over 300 species of trees, including chestnuts, magnolias, limes, oaks and maples. Other highlights include the Gönneranlage , a lovely Art Nouveau garden with over 400 different varieties of roses; the Cistercian Abbey of Lichtental , founded in 1245 and home to the Princes’ Chapel; and the interesting Museum of 19th century art and technologywith exhibitions focusing on the life of the Berlin painter Lesser Ury.
Address: Ludwig-Wilhelm-Strasse, 76530 Baden-Baden
3 Editor’s Pick Fabergé Museum
The Fabergé Museum, one of Baden-Baden’s newest attractions, is dedicated to the famous Russian jeweler. With over 700 unique pieces, the highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the Rothschild Fabergé Egg, created in 1902 and estimated to be worth more than €11 million. Other points of interest include the very last Fabergé Egg ever produced and the 1917 Karelian Birch Egg, made of birch wood and gold and set with diamonds. Another must-see is an exhibit called “Gold of the World” featuring over 100 artifacts from around the world dating back to the 6th century.
Address: Sophienstraße 30, 76530 Baden-Baden
Official site: www.faberge-museum.de/index.php?lang=en
4 Caracalla Baths
This 4,000-square-foot modern swimming and therapy center features two lap pools and a large central fountain. In total, the spa is fed by 12 natural springs that rise at temperatures of 69 ° C more than 1900 meters from under the Florentiner mountain. Other features include hot and cold rock caves, whirlpools, pools, saunas and water jets. Another outstanding spa attraction is Friedrichsbad , the Roman-Irish bath associated with Caracalla Baths with its luxurious 17-step spa treatment program in a beautiful 170-year-old Roman style.
Address: Römerplatz 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
Official site: www.carasana.de/en/caracalla-spa/home/
5 Old Town
The tightly packed old town of Baden-Baden has many interesting sights. Wandering the town’s quaint lanes and alleyways is a perfect way to explore its Baroque-influenced architecture, as well as its many small jewelry and antique shops, galleries, and cafes. Other highlights include the Gothic Stiftskirche containing the tomb of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm, known as Türkenlouis, who died here in 1707, and a sandstone crucifix from 1467. The 17th century Monastery of the Holy Sepulcher is also worth seeing.
6 Roman bath ruins
Baden-Baden – once known as Aquae Aureliae – has been a popular spa destination for over 2,000 years and much evidence of the Roman presence can still be seen in the well-preserved Roman bath ruins. The best example is the Soldiersbad below the contemporary spa Friedrichsbad with its old floor and wall heating systems. Another highlight is the two meter high Roman wall. Guided tours of the facility and audio tours are available.
Address: Römerplatz 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
Official site: www.carasana.de/en/roman-bath-ruins/
7 Brahms House
Brahms House in Baden-Baden is where Johannes Brahms spent his summer months between 1865 and 1874. The highlight of this historic house at number eight Lichtental is the Blue Hall, a living room left just as it was in the composer’s day and in which he wrote many of his most famous arrangements. Every two years, the excellent Brahms Days festival is organized by the Baden-Baden Brahms Society with a number of performances and events at various locations in the city.
Address: Maximilianstraße 85, 76530 Baden-Baden
8 The Opera House (Festspielhaus)
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is widely known throughout Germany not only for its size – with 2,500 seats, it is the largest opera house in the country – but also for its eclectic programming. Built in 1998, this beautifully designed concert hall hosts numerous performances from September through July, including many world premiere operas, and is a regular stop for acclaimed orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as the top orchestras from Britain and North America . The Festspielhaus is often ranked as one of the best facilities in Europe (and often hosts sold-out performances). It is still one of the biggest attractions in Baden-Baden and is often included in tour packages and excursions.
Address: Bei Alten Bahnhof 2, D-76530 Baden-Baden
Official site: www.festspielhaus.de/en/news/
9 The Museum of Baden-Baden
An excellent place to spend a few hours learning about the city’s fascinating and rich past, the Baden-Baden Museum (Stadtmuseum) contains impressive displays and exhibits detailing Roman interest in the area up to the 19th century. Numerous artifacts relating to its reputation as a spa town are included in the collections, as well as a display of large stone monuments, works of art and sculptures. It is also home to a fine collection of antique toys and games. Another excellent museum – this one dedicated to modern art – is the Museum Frieder Burda with a collection of works by greats like Jackson Pollock in a very modern gallery.
Address: Lichtentaler Allee 10, 76530 Baden-Baden
10 Hohenbaden Old Castle
Built in 1102, Hohenbaden Castle – also called Altes Schloss or Old Castle – offers impressive views over Baden-Baden and the surrounding countryside. Famous as the home of the Margraves from the 11th to 15th centuries, it’s a wonderful place to explore as you try to see the castle as it would have been in its heyday. Although now mostly ruins, visitors can still see the old dungeons and visit the high towers overlooking the Black Forest and the beautiful Rhine Valley.
Address: Alter Schloßweg 10, 76530 Baden-Baden
11 The Paradise Cascade
The Paradies in the old town of Baden-Baden is a complex of fountains and waterfalls built in 1925 and considered one of Germany’s first such projects. A highlight of the Paradies is the beautiful ornamental garden that encompasses much of the city’s larger homes and mansions. The waterfall itself is served by an underground spring, the water of which falls as much as 40 meters. The cascade can be reached on foot or by public transport from the city center and offers beautiful views of Baden-Baden and the surrounding countryside.
12 Nieuw kasteel (New Castle)
In the Florentine mountains on the edge of the Black Forest, the historic New Castle of Baden-Baden (Neues Schloss) was built by Margrave Christoph I in 1479 and was occasionally used as a residence by the former Grand Ducal family. Bought by a private group in 2010, it is currently under development as a luxury hotel under the Hyatt name. Once it reopens it will be well worth a visit for its interesting architecture and scenic views.
Where to Stay in Baden-Baden for Sightseeing
The narrow streets of Baden-Baden’s old town and elegant parks are designed for leisurely strolling, and most of the major tourist attractions are relatively close by. Hotels in all price ranges are scattered around this central area and along the main artery leading to the train station, which is quite a distance from the old town. These highly-rated hotels in Baden-Baden are all well located for sightseeing:
- Luxury Hotels : A calling card of Baden-Baden, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa is an old-fashioned grand hotel, with superior service, a swimming pool and classic rooms overlooking a park. Dorint Maison Messmer is well located near the Kurhaus and park and has a swimming pool and a small spa area with a sauna and a steam bath. Set in its own garden in the heart of the old town, Hotel Belle Epoque exudes charm and includes breakfast and afternoon tea.
- Mid-Range Hotels: Aqua Aurelia Suitenhotel is located on a quiet street near the Caracalla Baths. It has spacious suites and convenient parking, five minutes’ walk from the pedestrian area. Heliopark Bad Hotel zum Hirsch is located near the Kurgarten park, with well-appointed rooms, thermal water in the baths and a free breakfast. Atlantic Parkhotel is a traditional hotel with spacious, modern rooms in the center opposite the Kurhaus. balconies; free breakfast; and a cafe overlooking the river.
- Budget Hotels: Holiday Inn Express Baden-Baden is close to the festival hall on the main route into town, a 10-minute walk from the center. It offers parking and a free breakfast. Hotel Alte Laterne offers small, comfortable rooms in an elegant small building with a terrace, in the pedestrian zone of the historic center of Baden-Baden. main street with shops and restaurants, but there is no elevator.