How to Spend a Weekend in Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden’s old quarter is a beautiful step back in time.

There are myriad places to visit in Germany, which means that sometimes Baden-Baden gets overlooked. It can’t compete with Berlin for population. It can’t compete with Cochem for relaxation. It can’t compete with Cologne for culture. Yet if you’re after a holiday that delivers on all three, Baden-Baden can’t be beaten by any other German destination. This picturesque city lies on the outskirts of the Black Forest and boasts its own thermal spas. It is home to historical architecture and cultural gems galore. It’s centre feels like a true city break. Baden-Baden is Germany’s ultimate all-rounder. Here’s how to spend your weekend there.

Start With the Spa

Travelling can really take it out of you, so one of the most enjoyable ways to rejuvenate is with a morning of pampering. Make your way to one of Baden-Baden’s famous spas — Friedrichsbad or Caracalla Spa. These spas have some real history behind them, with incredible figures such as Napoleon III, Victor Hugo and even Queen Victoria having visited to sample the healing waters.

The first of the two spas is strictly no clothes, in the traditional style and offers rejuvenating massages. Bear in mind that these really are not for the faint-hearted and whilst less than enjoyable at the time, your muscles will thank you for it a couple of hours later. Those who fancy something a little less rigorous should choose the Caracalla Spa where you can enjoy warm waters with your swimming costume on. You’re bound to leave ready to make the most of an evening out on the town.

Casino Baden-Baden

Even those with a passing interest in casinos will experience a jaw-drop moment when they enter Casino Baden-Baden. In the same way online casino titles capture the excitement of a physical one employing clever techniques to build tension and create atmosphere, the same feeling of excitement is palpable when you walk into this casino. The building itself is also beautiful, the interior accented with lush red velvet and crystal chandeliers. 

Those who enjoyed learning about the visitors to the spas will be intrigued to hear that this very casino was the setting for Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous novel ‘The Gambler’. If you’d like to soak up some of the atmosphere then dress for the occasion. Men are required to wear suit jackets and ladies should probably don something a little special to avoid standing out. Unlike many of the world’s casinos, entry to the table games room is charged. However, at 5 euros, it is worth every single cent.

Sample Some Local Fare

 Be sure to make time to really take in the architecture as you make your way around the city.

If your night at the casino turned into a late one, then you’ll want to pick up something filling for lunch. Like almost every other city in Europe, Baden-Baden has caught on to the fact that tourists want everything to be as Baden-Baden as possible.This means that you will have to sift through quite a lot of chaff, before you find the wheat. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the restaurants where the staff wear exclusively Lederhosen. Once you’ve managed that, menus with pictures are probably best avoided too. What you’ll hopefully be left with is a pleasantly large choice of restaurants that won’t cost a fortune and will provide you with a delicious, hearty meal.

Restaurant Nigrum is one that shouldn’t be missed. Here they offer fine dining in a fairly relaxed atmosphere. The food is delicious, plated beautifully and provides a more refined take on the local cuisine. Their five-course tasting menu comes in at just under €100 and provides a well rounded view of seasonal, local produce. Although simple, the baked egg with truffles is truly divine for those who are after just a small taste of luxury.

Those after simpler food should try Rebenhof. This charming little restaurant sits on the outskirts of town and looks out over acres of vineyards. The romantic setting would be enough of a selling point alone, but the food here is also delicious. Simple, fresh grilled meat and fish are accompanied by generous crisp salads and of course, potatoes aplenty. An evening watching the sun set over the fields here is an evening you’re sure to remember.

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