A playground for aristocrats and creatives

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

Baden-Baden - a playground for aristocrats and creatives, is located on the edge of the Black Forest in Baden Württemberg Germany. Historic spa’s in Neo-Renaissance buildings offer mineral treatments said to cure all ailments, the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra hosts regular concerts and city’s lavish casino rivals those of Monte Carlo. There’s much to see and do, both in Baden-Baden and its surrounding area - here is our guide so you don’t miss a thing!

Enjoy an Invigorating Spa Ritual

Switch off your mobile phone, leave your laptop in the hotel and spend the day at one of Baden-Baden’s famous spas. Since opening in 1877, the old-world style spa of Friedrichsbad has blossomed into a veritable temple of wellbeing – a relaxing, joyful experience utilising methods and traditions stemming back over 140 years. Water in the spa is sourced from the slopes of Florentinerberg and as it contains high mineral content, the liquid has curative properties for bathers. Once happily ensconced inside the spa, make your way around the 17-step circuit of hot and cold baths, enjoy an invigorating soap and brush massage and steam sauna, before taking a refreshing dip in the thermal pools. It’s worth noting that Friedrichsbad spa has a no clothing policy so if you’re shy and retiring, head to nearby Caracalla Therme instead. The thoroughly modern Caracalla spa boasts a combination of indoor and outdoor warm thermal pools, a Roman-style sauna and restaurant serving delicious healthy snacks. 

Visit the Fabergé Museum

This elegant museum tucked away on Sophienstrasse in the heart of Baden-Baden dedicates itself to the life and work of Carl Fabergé. The Russian jeweller and goldsmith became famous throughout the world for his opulent art and enamelling techniques and the Fabergé Museum of Baden-Baden is the only museum in the world which pays homage to the Russian jeweller to the Tsar. The museum’s collection, belonging to Alexander Ivanov, displays 700 pieces, including royal Easter Eggs made for the families of the Tsar and flamboyant decorative eggs made during World War I. One highlight is the Rothschild Egg, said to be worth 12.5 million euros. As an additional bonus, you can also view works from master goldsmiths including Cartier, Boucheron, Sazikov and Falize. A visit to the museum is a must for anyone who admires sophisticated, intricate craftsmanship and those who wish to embark on a fascinating journey of Fabergé’s life during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sample Curative Waters at Trinkhalle

Since Romans stood in Baden-Baden, people have flocked to the city to sample the city’s curative waters. The Trinkhalle, or pump house, offers free entry to those wishing to discover the healing powers of the mineral rich liquid. The structure was built between 1839 and 1842 by Heinrich Hübsch and features a 90-metre arcade adorned with thought-provoking frescos depicting the Baden-Württemberg region. Once you’ve sampled the waters, take a stroll around delightful sculpted gardens or sink back into a leather armchair enjoying a drink or light snack in the on-site café. At neighbouring Kurhaus, you can enjoy summer concerts and open-air performances as you soak up the atmosphere of this stunning location.

Try your Luck at Baden-Baden Casino

The glittering ambiance of the Belle Epoque awaits at Baden-Baden’s Kurhaus Casino. This old-school gaming establishment was once declared ‘the most beautiful casino in the world’ by Hollywood movie star Marlene Dietrich. Stately halls are decorated with palatial frescos and opulent chandeliers illuminate statues and reliefs. As you wander through the casino, you hear the distinctive whirr of a roulette wheel just before the ball lands affirming a winner, the sound of a slot machine paying out a jackpot or a croupier uttering ‘rein ne va plus’ - no more bets. Timeless gaming classics including poker, blackjack and roulette are all in evidence, plus there’s a bar where you can contemplate your next move over a cocktail. Baden-Baden Casino has always been a place for the upwardly mobile. Wealthy composers, actors, politicians and writers would deem it the place in Europe to be seen. Russian author Dostoyevsky even based his novel, ‘The Gambler’ on his visits here. If you don’t wish to gamble but do want to admire the splendid art and architecture of this, Germany’s oldest casino, you can enjoy a private tour if you book in advance.

Stay in a Luxurious City Retreat

Brenners Park Hotel & Spa is the perfect choice for relaxation and rejuvenation during your stay in Baden-Baden. Set inside a private park facing picturesque Lichtentaler Allee, this elegant hotel epitomises a bygone era with the slightest hint of a modern twist. Guest rooms and suites are elegant and refined – a mix of traditional and modern with crisp linens, muted heritage tones and vintage heirlooms. Rooms have scenic views of the gardens and many boast terraces where you can take a leisurely breakfast. When it comes to dining, chic Fritz-Felix Restaurant specialises in dishes with global influences, while timeless Wintergarten focuses on mouth-watering Black Forest menus created with local produce. Relaxation comes courtesy of ‘The House of Wellbeing’, located in Villa Stéphanie adjacent to the hotel. This world-renowned wellness centre includes a 500 square metre sauna, swimming pool, private gym, treatment rooms and offers a range of preventative healthcare treatments undertaken by qualified professionals. If you wish to completely detox from your life during your weekend break in Baden-Baden, you can book a suite in Villa Stéphanie rather than in the main hotel. A range of digital detox rooms and suites are available where you can disconnect from the power supply at the touch of a button!

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