12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Baden-Baden
Thanks to its mild climate and hot springs, Baden-Baden is one of the world's best-known spa towns. No trip to beautiful Baden-Baden would be complete without taking in its wonderful spas, a tradition that has existed since Roman times. It's also a popular destination for sports enthusiasts, with many golf and tennis clubs, as well as equestrian sports such as horse racing. In summer, it's a haven for hiking, while in winter, it attracts both Nordic and downhill skiers. The Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse tourist route skirts the extensive forests within the municipal boundaries, resulting in Baden-Baden being a perfect place from which to explore the beautiful Black Forest.
See also: Where to Stay in Baden-Baden
1 The Kurgarten (Spa Garden)
Whatever your reason for visiting Baden-Baden - whether for its sports facilities, lovely scenery, or splendid spas - a good place to begin your adventure is in the trendy Kurgarten or Spa Garden. The hub of the town's cultural life, Kurgarten is surrounded by many of Baden-Baden's best attractions and is where you'll find numerous boutiques, galleries, cafés, and restaurants. It's also where many events and festivals are held, including concerts in the Bandshell, as well as pop festivals and a Christmas Market. Also here is the spectacular Kurhaus, Baden-Baden's oldest and best-known resort establishment, built between 1821-24 in the style of a French chateau. The pleasant gardens in Kurpark are also worth a visit and include interesting buildings such as the Trinkhalle or Pump Room and the Greek-Romanian Chapel built in 1863-66 with its interesting tombs.
Address: Kaiserallee 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
2 Lichtentaler Allee
Lovely Lichtentaler Allee, a park and arboretum in the heart of Baden-Baden, is one of the prettiest places in a very pretty city. A highlight is its nearly two-and-half-kilometer-long avenue on the west bank of the Oos river. Following an old footpath dating back to the mid-17th-century, it's a delightful place for a stroll, boasting more than 300 varieties of trees such as chestnuts, magnolias, limes, oaks, and maples. Other highlights include the Gönneranlage, a lovely Art Nouveau garden with more than 400 different types of roses; the Cistercian Abbey of Lichtental, founded in 1245 and home to the Princes' Chapel; and the interesting Museum of 19th Century Art and Technology with exhibits focusing on the life of Berlin painter Lesser Ury.
Address: Ludwig-Wilhelm-Straße, 76530 Baden-Baden
3 Editor's Pick Fabergé Museum
The Fabergé Museum, one of Baden-Baden's newest attractions, is devoted to the famous Russian jeweler. Boasting more than 700 unique pieces, the highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the Rothschild Fabergé Egg, made in 1902 and estimated to be worth in excess of €11 million. Other items of note include the very last Fabergé Egg ever produced and the 1917 Karelian Birch Egg, made of birch wood and gold and encrusted with diamonds. Another must-see is an exhibition called "Gold of the World" with more than 100 artifacts from across the globe dating from the 6th century.
Address: Sophienstraße 30, 76530 Baden-Baden
4 Caracalla Baths
This modern 4,000-square-meter bathing and therapy center boasts two circular pools and a large central fountain. All told, the spa is fed by 12 natural springs rising up more than 1,900 meters from under the Florentiner Mountain at temperatures of 69°C. Other features include hot and cold rock grottos, whirlpools, swimming pools, saunas, and water jets. Another excellent spa attraction is Friedrichsbad, the Roman-Irish Bath attached to Caracalla Baths with its luxurious 17-step spa treatment program in a beautiful 170-year-old Roman-style setting.
Address: Römerplatz 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
5 Old Town
The densely packed old town of Baden-Baden has many worthwhile sites. Wandering the town's quaint alleys and laneways is a perfect way to explore its Baroque-influenced architecture, as well as its many small jewelry and antique shops, galleries, and cafés. Other highlights include the Gothic Stiftskirche containing the tomb of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm, known as Türkenlouis, who died here in 1707, and a sandstone crucifix dating from 1467. The 17th-century Convent of the Holy Sepulchre is also worth checking out.
6 Roman Bath Ruins
Baden-Baden - once known as Aquae Aureliae - has been a popular spa destination for more than 2,000 years, and much evidence of the Roman presence can still be seen at the well-preserved Roman Bath Ruins. The best example is the Soldiers' Bath under the present day Friedrichsbad spa with its ancient floor and wall heating systems. Another highlight is the two-meter-high Roman wall. Guided tours of the facility and audio tours are available.
Address: Römerplatz 1, 76530 Baden-Baden
7 Brahms House
Brahms House in Baden-Baden is where Johannes Brahms spent his summer months between 1865 and 1874. The highlight of this historic house at number eight Lichtental is the Blue Room, a living room left just as it would have been in the composer's time and where he wrote many of his most famous arrangements. Every two years, the excellent Brahms Days festival is organized by the Baden-Baden Brahms Society featuring a number of performances and events at various locations around town.
Address: Maximilianstraße 85, 76530 Baden-Baden
8 The Opera House (Festspielhaus)
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is widely known throughout Germany, not just for its size - at 2,500 seats, it's the country's largest opera house - but for its eclectic programming. Built in 1998, this marvelously designed concert hall hosts numerous performances from September through July, including many world premier operas, and is a regular stop for highly-acclaimed orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as the top orchestras from Britain and North America. Frequently ranking as one of the best such facilities in Europe (and often boasting sell out performances), the Festspielhaus remains one of the biggest draws to Baden-Baden and is often included in tour packages and excursions.
Address: Beim Alten Bahnhof 2, D-76530 Baden-Baden
9 The Baden-Baden Museum
An excellent place to spend a few hours learning about the town's fascinating and rich past, the Baden-Baden Museum (Stadtmuseum) includes impressive displays and exhibits dealing with Roman interest in the area through to the 19th century. Numerous artifacts relating to its reputation as a health spa are included among its collections, as well as a display of large stone monuments, artwork, and sculptures. It's also home to a fine collection of antique toys and games. Another excellent museum - this one dedicated to modern art - is the Museum Frieder Burda with a collection of works by such greats as Jackson Pollock in a very fetching modern gallery.
Address: Lichtentaler Allee 10, 76530 Baden-Baden
10 Altes Schloss Hohenbaden
Built in 1102, Hohenbaden Castle - often called Altes Schloss, or the Old Castle - offers commanding views over Baden-Baden and the surrounding countryside. Famous as the home of the Margraves from the 11th to the 15th centuries, it's a wonderful place to explore as you try to envisage the castle as it would have been during its heyday. Although now largely ruins, visitors can still see the old dungeons and visit its tall towers overlooking the Black Forest and the beautiful Rhine Valley.
Address: Alter Schloßweg 10, 76530 Baden-Baden
11 The Paradies Cascade
The Paradies in Baden-Baden's old town is a complex of fountains and cascades constructed in 1925 and thought to be one of Germany's very first such projects. A highlight of the Paradies is its lovely ornamental garden encompassing a large section of the town's bigger homes and mansions. The cascade itself is served by an underground spring, its waters falling an impressive 40 meters. Accessible by foot or public transport from the town center, the cascade affords fine views of Baden-Baden and the surrounding countryside.
12 New Castle (Neues Schloss)
In the Florentine mountains on the edge of the Black Forest, Baden-Baden's historic New Castle (Neues Schloss) was built by Margrave Christoph I in 1479 and was occasionally used as a residence by the former grand-ducal family. Purchased by a private group in 2010, it's currently under development as a luxury hotel under the Hyatt name. Once it's reopened, it will certainly be worth a visit for its interesting architecture and fine views.
Where to Stay in Baden-Baden for Sightseeing
The narrow streets of Baden-Baden's Old Town and its elegant parks are designed for leisurely strolls, and most of the top tourist attractions are relatively close. Hotels in all price ranges are scattered throughout this central area and along the main artery leading to the train station, which is quite a distance from the old center. These highly-rated hotels in Baden-Baden are all conveniently located for sightseeing:
- Luxury Hotels: A showpiece of Baden-Baden, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa is an old-world, grand hotel, with superior service, a pool, and classic rooms overlooking a park. Equally well-located near the Kurhaus and park, Dorint Maison Messmer has a pool and a small spa with a sauna and steam room. Set in its own garden in the heart of the old town, Hotel Belle Epoque exudes charm and includes breakfast and afternoon tea.
- Mid-Range Hotels: On a quiet street near the Caracalla Baths, Aqua Aurelia Suitenhotel has spacious suites and convenient parking, a five-minute walk from the pedestrian district. Heliopark Bad Hotel zum Hirsch is near the Kurgarten park, with well-furnished rooms, thermal waters in the bathtubs, and complimentary breakfast. Right in the center, opposite the Kurhaus, Atlantic Parkhotel is a traditional hotel with spacious, modern rooms; balconies; free breakfast; and a café overlooking the river.
- Budget Hotels: Near the Festival Hall on the main route into town, a 10-minute walk from the center, Holiday Inn Express Baden-Baden offers parking and free breakfast. Hotel Alte Laterne has smallish comfortable rooms in an elegant little building with a sidewalk café, in the pedestrian area of Baden-Baden's historic center. Rooms are spacious at Hotel-Cafe Lohr and only a few steps from a park and the main street of shops and restaurants, but there is no elevator.