Baden Baden Germany is known to many as the summer capital of Europe. This spa town has a name that literally means "bathing bathing," and is a stylish vacation spot for the rich and beautiful. More down-to-earth types will also enjoy Baden Baden spas, however, and will appreciate the opportunity to visit a 2,000-year-old Roman bath, as well as to bathe in the area's thermal water themselves. Medieval castles, ancient churches, gardens and parks, as well as a 250-year-old casino, await visitors to Baden Baden Germany, as do plenty of lovely hotels.
Baden Baden has been known for its thermal waters since Roman times, and the Roman Emperor Caracalla is said to have once bathed in Baden Baden. Nestled in the foothills of the Black Forest, the town has a beautiful location in a valley between the green hills, and various churches and the ruins of castles dot the surrounding countryside. The main attraction of Baden Baden are the baths, and tourists can visit a 2000 year-old Roman bath, complete with ancient sculptures and carefully excavated steam baths. There are guided tours available as well as an informative video of this ancient spa. Admission costs a small, very affordable fee.
After visiting the Roman baths, many people like to take a dip in the thermal waters themselves, and there are several Baden Baden spas available for this purpose. One of the most popular spas here is Friedrichsbad, a Roman-Irish bath where you bathe in a sixteen-step ritual among beautiful frescoes and classically decorated rooms in this 125-year-old spa. Bathing at Friedrichsbad is quite an experience—in the spa, visitors bathe nude, and on three days of the week, in mixed-gender rooms. Visitors follow a set of steps, from steam baths, to dipping in pools of various temperatures, to massage, and to a relaxation room where they are wrapped in blankets. You'll emerge feeling rejuvenated and purified. For a less regimented experience, you may wish to try Caracalla Spa, where visitors bathe with swimsuits on, and where there is a multitude of hot tubs, saunas, pools and other treatments available.
In addition to bathing in the Baden Baden spas, visitors to the town may want to visit Baden Baden Casino, the oldest casino in Germany. It is located at the Baden Baden Kurhaus, a colonnaded Neo-classical cultural building where you can see symphony performances and concerts, attend glittering balls and dinners, and stroll among the gardens. The Baden Baden Casino is more than 250 years old, and features gorgeous interiors as well as many casino games. It’s historically a popular destination too; Marlene Dietrich said it was the most beautiful casino in the world.
For history buffs, a visit to the Old Castle, officially named Hohenbaden Castle, is a definite must. The ruins of this Medieval structure are located on a beautiful lookout point where you can get a picture-perfect view of the Black Forest, and the town of Baden Baden in the valley. The castle ruins are very extensive, and you can explore the dungeons, the main keep, the Hall of Knights, and many other rooms of the ancient fortress. There is also a small restaurant if you'd like to dine in these historic surroundings.
Many other trails and walks abound in the area around Baden Baden Germany, and a stop at a local tourist office is a good idea, as you can receive a map of the walking tours around town. Strolling around Baden Baden's streets and admiring the historic buildings of the town center is a charming way to spend an afternoon. Don't miss Medieval edifices like Lichtenthal Abbey, the Byzantine Russian Church and the Gothic Stiftskirche, Baden Baden's first parish church.