Once a spa resort, always a spa resort. Roman emperors, Prussian queens and even 19th-century celebrities utilized Baden-Baden for its hot spring baths, as well as its horse races, luxury hotels and casinos. Nicknamed the European Summer Capital, Baden-Baden was officially assigned its double name in 1931, to distinguish it from Baden in Switzerland and Baden bei Wien in Austria.
Located on the edge of the Black Forest, its countryside setting is optimal for enjoying a healthy, wholesome break. The town’s two main thermal baths, the Caracalla Spa and Friedrichsbad, are supplied by the hot springs 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) underground. The waters are said to treat all sorts of health problems, including cardiovascular issues, rheumatism and metabolic disorders. Indulge yourself with a visit and try out one of the various spa treatments.
The Lichtentaler Allee park makes for a perfect stroll, with almost two miles (three kilometers) of tree-lined avenues, and is also home to the renowned Museum Frieder Burda. Inside, enjoy some of the biggest names in modern art, with contributions by Picasso and Pollock, among others.
If you like to shop, you won’t be disappointed by the selection of boutiques, labels and jewelry stores. On Kaiserallee, pick up some fine-quality chocolate and enjoy a coffee at Rumpelmayer, before heading to the Kurhaus Casino right next door. Music, gambling, late dinners and balls are just some of the options at Baden-Baden’s most famous casino. If you’re in town at the right time – in spring, late summer or mid-fall – you can also enjoy the Iffezheim horse races.
Before you leave, savor a glass or two of Riesling. Baden-Baden is in Rebland, a popular growing district for this type of white wine, so you can be sure of the highest quality.
With its reputation for excellence, Baden-Baden is a chic destination with health benefits, old-world scenery and many ways to spend your money. In fact, it's so good they named it twice.