Baden Baden is a place unlike most German cities. Known for its spa culture, the town fuses ancient history with 1700’s class and luxury. It’s no wonder why Baden Baden claims the throne as, “Summer Capital of Europe.” Manicured lawns and colorful rose gardens decorate the town with beauty, but the fall is one of the best times to visit.
Not only will you experience the foliage, but you can better enjoy the spas, cafes and hearty 'badische" meals during the cooler months. Baden Baden, a true wellness town, is a place that is “steeped” deep with history, beauty and fragrant grapes that produce some of the best wines in the world. When in Baden Baden, do as the Romans do and soak up everything wonderful with these seven must do activities.
Also known as the drink hall, history claims that Baden Baden contains healing waters. Be sure to try the water from the ancient-looking pump and the 17,000-year-old Friedrichsbad spring. The prominent building contains Corinthian pillars, which is the perfect spot for newlyweds to take photos. In the left side of the building is the Trinkhalle’s café and bar. If you need to warm your soul, try a heisse schokolade, or hot chocolate, topped with the best whipped cream in Germany. A tourist desk is available onsite to ask any questions in regards to what to do in town.
From Trinkhalle, you can follow the walking paths that meander along the Oosleine (Oos River). The natural space surrounding the leine is a sight to see. You can walk past Gingo Biloba trees and during the fall, deep hues of red, orange and yellow leaves decorate the grass to what looks like a canvas painting. The architecture of the homes and buildings make you feel as if you are walking through an 18th Century English garden. It’s quite different from what you normally see the commi-buildings in Berlin and the half-timbered homes in Bavaria. The surroundings inspire the feelings of wearing a corset dress and a top hat suit while leisurely poking the leaves with a walking cane.
If you follow the trail past the main area of the city you’ll run into a small rose garden and tennis courts.
Adjacent to Friedrichbad are the Roman Bath Ruins. The ruins sit behind a glass case for preservation. Also here are the solider baths. These ruins were found between 1846 to 1900 due to excavation. The Romans were a highly intelligent and advanced culture and the remains of their building efforts prove how advanced they were.
Caracalla is one of the best ways to spend (or waste) time in Baden Baden. This is my favorite of the two spas. Downstairs you have a myriad of choices that include pools, rivers, hot and cold baths, dry saunas, steam rooms and red-light saunas. Water temperatures range between 18-38 degrees Celsius (66- 106* F). This part of the sauna is clothed. If you want to experience something more free, head to the unclothed section for hotter saunas (68* C = 166* F) and cold water whirlpools. This also includes an outdoor area where you can find resting gardens, showers and timber-shacked saunas. I recommend two to three hours. If you can spare the extra three-euros, go for three hours so you can leisurely experience each area without being over rushed. We didn’t realize there was a garden area until the last 30 minutes and rushed in and out of the saunas. You can also purchase massages, body scrubs and beauty products. You will wear a “watch” that times you upon entrance and exit. Anytime spent over the amount that you paid, the staff will charge you for the additional time. Bring a towel!
A restaurant is available onsite. Be sure to check out the walking paths and tombstones nearby to learn more history.
This Roman-Irish bath contains 17 stages to the mind-body relaxation experience. Unlike Caracalla where you can roam from room to room, Friedrichsbad is a bit more militant. Fully unclothed, you have three hours to experience each room, steam bath or pool in sequential order. Toward the end, there is a relaxation room where a staff member wraps you up like a burrito in a blanket so you can take a nap. Optional add-ons include massages and body scrubs. You will wear a “watch” that times you upon entrance and exit. Anytime spent over the amount that you paid, the staff will charge you for the additional time. Bring a towel!
The Rebland Wine region is home to Baden Baden wine. If you love sweet wine, you must try the Riesling. These naturally sweet grapes produce some of the best sweet white wines in Germany. The main grapes in the area produce 54% Riesling, 32% Pinot Noir and 5% Müller-Thurgau.
An interesting fact is that the Romans began making white wine two-thousand years ago. Some Rieslings from the area contain hints of peach and citrus flavors.
From the local beer garden to traditional food to Market Square, there are endless opportunities to explore the rich history and culture of Roman-German traditions. Baden Baden is not the cheapest town for traditional cuisine, but there is something for everyone.
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