15 Best Things to Do in Baden-Baden, Germany

Baden-Baden, Germany
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Situated in the Baden-Württemberg state, southwest of Germany, and at the foothills of the Black Forest mountain range, Baden-Baden is world-famous for its spa culture due to its abundance of natural thermal springs.

Baden was the town's original name, which came from the German plural form of a bath.

The double name "Baden-Baden" was chosen to set it apart from other European bath towns.

A spa town in itself, Baden-Baden has 12 hot springs, supplying spas with 68-degree spring water from a depth of under 2,000 meters, ideal for those seeking relaxation, wellness, and healing.

This charming town became a part of UNESCO World Heritage’s  “The Great Spa Towns in Europe,” with ten other spa towns located in seven other European countries.

What was once the summer capital of Europe, Baden-Baden has more to it than being a spa town.

With its lush landscapes, historical landmarks, casino, and museums, this exquisite town is a mix of everything modern and history.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Baden-Baden, Germany:

Experience Traditional Bathing Culture at the Friedrichsbad Spa

Exterior of Friedrichsbad Spa
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Have you ever experienced doing a tour at a spa?

Here at the Friedrichsbad Spa, you’ll discover a 140-year old bathing tradition, where you can do both.

Also opened in 1877, located just a few meters away from the Caracalla Spa, the Friedrichsbad Spa boasts a Renaissance-style building and has been one of Baden-Baden’s major landmarks.

Windows of Friedrichsbad Spa
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The special spa tour has a total of 17 stations, including warm air baths, body scrubs, thermal steam baths, thermal baths, cold water baths, and multiple showers in between.

Like most German spas, Freidrichsbad is a “textile-free” spa where clothes are not permitted during the bathing tour.

You might want to reconsider this if you’re a conservative person.

But if you want a full-on experience, this one's for you to try.

Another special feature of the Friedrichsbad Spa is the Roman bath ruins that have been amazingly preserved in their original condition.

Multilingual guides are available for the tour.

Front exterior of Friedrichsbad Spa
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Spend an Afternoon at the Kurhaus

Landscape of Kurhaus
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Are you looking for a chill place to hang out in the afternoon?

If so, then visit the Kurhaus, an architectural landmark with a design reminiscent of the Belle Epoque era and is considered the heart of Baden-Baden.

Colorful flowers in front of Kurhaus
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It was built between 1821 and 1824 by Friedrich Weinbrenner and has served international gatherings, such as chess tournaments, the Olympic Congress, and the NATO summit.

The building has stylish interiors, function rooms, banquets, and suites that serve any occasion.

Enjoy shopping along the colonnades, stroll along the beautiful gardens, and witness the sounds of the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra.

The trinkhalle in Kurhaus
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Spoil Yourself at the Modern Caracalla Spa Thermal Bath

Aerial view of Caracalla Spa Thermal Bath
Gerd Eichmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that thermal baths are known to have healing properties?

This has been around for centuries.

In fact, in Baden-Baden alone, the Romans discovered these hot springs and built spas 2,000 years ago, which is why the town is known as a wellness and pleasure travel destination.

One of the famous spas the town established is the Caracalla Spa Thermal Bath, which opened in 1877.

Here, you can experience a modern take on the traditional bathing culture.

Visible steam of Caracalla Spa Thermal Bath
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The Caracalla Spa offers indoor and outdoor pools and saunas, hot and cold grottoes, sunbathing areas, and a wide range of massages and treatments.

Pool temperatures range from 18-38 degrees for guests to enjoy.

Guests can witness fog rising through the pools during the winter season—a very unique experience for sure.

They also provide guests with a shopping experience at the Caracalla Shop, with its selection of souvenirs, cosmetics, and swimwear.

Feeling hungry? Not a problem since they also have an indoor restaurant with healthy and delectable dishes.

People swimming on the shaded part of Caracalla Spa Thermal Bath
Gerd Eichmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Try Your Luck at Casino Baden-Baden

Name sign of Casino Baden-Baden
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Casino Baden-Baden opens at night and reveals a more lavish and vibrant scene at the Kurhaus.  

Despite being Germany’s oldest casino, it’s still one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, especially for the social elites.

Marlene Deitrich, a German actress, once described the Casino as the most beautiful casino in the world.

With its lavish interiors, the casino has a flair for attracting the rich and the beautiful.

Exterior of Casino Baden-Baden
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Try out your luck and play various games such as roulette, poker, and blackjack.

Apart from gambling, the casino holds events like concerts, shows, and parties, making it the perfect place for guests who want more fun in the evening.

Beautiful interior of Casino Baden-Baden
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Stroll along the Trinkhalle (Pump Room)

Exterior of Trinkhalle
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Situated next to the Kurhaus, the Trinkhalle is undoubtedly one of the most impressive architectures in Baden-Baden.

It has magnificent murals and stone pillars along a 90-meter long hallway.

Its majestic Corinthian pillars will mentally take guests back in time during the Roman Empire.

Side exterior of Trinkhalle
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The Trinkhalle was initially built for “healing” people by drinking thermal water inside the building.

However, it is no longer recommended for consumption as the water is not safe for drinking.

Guests can still enjoy the vicinity of the place through its gorgeous halls and gardens.

Gorgeous hall of Trinkhalle
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Enjoy Classical Music at the Festival Hall

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The Festival Hall, also known as Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, is Germany’s largest opera and concert house, with 2,500 seat capacity.

The original building was built in 1904 as a railway station and served its purpose until its closure in 1977.

The new construction as an opera house was opened in 1998.

Front exterior view of Festival Hall
Gerd Eichmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Festival Hall is considered home to one of the finest classical music in the world.

Magnificent performances of ballet, operas, concerts, and musical shows are held here and have been attracting performers and audiences from all across the globe.

Night lights of Festival Hall
Patrick Pelster, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Theatrical Acts at Baden-Baden Theatre

Front exterior of Baden-Baden Theatre
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In the mood to watch performances in a different setting? Or are you looking for a lovely intimate wedding venue?

The Baden-Baden Theatre got you covered.

The Baden-Baden Theatre is one of the most beautiful theatres in Germany.

It was built between 1859 and 1862 with the Paris Opera as its inspiration.

Grounds in front of Baden-Baden Theatre
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With its Belle Epoch exterior and a modern interior, the theater is indeed an impressive architectural design visitors will remember forever.

The foyer can be rented for intimate weddings and other small events.

View of Baden-Baden Theatre from across the street
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Go for a Walk at the Lichtentaler Allee

Life-sized chess at Lichtentaler Allee
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Immerse yourself in nature and go for a walk at the Lichtentaler Allee park.

What was once a narrow field and pasture has become a world-famous historical park and botanical garden.

The park is excellent for those who want to hang out with family and friends or even those who want to go solo for some peace of mind.

Romantic bridge at Lichtentaler Allee
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Spending time at the park premises under the beautiful oak and lime trees and along the river Oos can be invigorating for the body and soul—not to mention witnessing its beauty any time of the year when different flowers bloom and give visitors a splash of different colors for every season.

The Lichtentaler Park is a true gem within the town’s premises.

River surrounded with trees at Lichtentaler Allee
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Explore Art in the Museum Frieder Burda

Front exterior of Museum Frieder Burda
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Located within the Lichtentaler Park is the Museum Frieder Burda, designed by the world-renowned architect Richard Meier, the man behind of the most famous museums in the world, such as the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, and the Museum of Applied Art in Frankfurt.

Museum Frieder Burda is like a striking jewel in the park with its transparent structure, allowing lots of natural light to pass through the interiors.

This masterpiece was awarded the “New York Chapter Design Award” for its outstanding design and implementation.

Side exterior of Museum Frieder Burda
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A state-run institution mixed with a private initiative by Frieder Burda is a first in Germany.

It’s a personal collection that gathers together the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, including eight works by Picasso.

The collection focuses more on classical modernism and contains around 1,000 paintings, sculptures, and paper works.

Interior of Museum Frieder Burda
Fritz Geller-Grimm, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Wander at the Altstadt Old Town

Are you searching for unique pieces and crafts that you want to take home with you before leaving town?

Situated on a hill just above the hustle and bustle of the main streets is a hidden treasure of antique shops, jewelry shops, cafes, and more.

Take it a little slow and wander the cobbled streets and narrow alleys in this part of town.

Visit the historical market square, Marktplatz, for a beautiful panoramic view of the Old Town, or visit the nearby Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church), the oldest building in the town of Baden-Baden and the resting tomb of the 14 Margraves of Baden.

Take a Carriage Ride for a Tour around Town

People riding a horse carriage around town
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Care to tour around town with a twist?

What could be more lovely than strolling Baden-Baden on a horse-drawn carriage under the Baden-Baden sun?

Horse carriage driver at Baden-Baden
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Yes, you’ve read that right.

There are exclusive tours offering guests to ride horse carriages to roam around town.

So relax as you take a seat and explore around town with this not-so-modern mode of transport.

Where else can you experience this, right?

Witness the Sunset at the Old Castle

Exterior of the Old Castle
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Are you into castles?

If you’re around town, then a trip to the Old Castle is a must!

The Old Castle, also known as Altes Schloss or Hohenbaden Castle, was built in 1102.

It was the home of the Margraves of Baden but was left in ruins after a fire in the late 16th century.

The castle was restored in the 19th century when the town became popular as a spa town.

Snow-covered ground of the Old Castle
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Today, the Old Castle is another favorite tourist destination that offers amazing views of the Black Forest and the Rhine plain.

Watch the sunset and dine at the castle restaurant “Fidelitas” and enjoy the rest of the evening.

View from the window of the Old Castle
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Live in Paradise at the Paradies

Scenic view of Paradies
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How does it feel to live in paradise? At the Paradies, you’ll get to experience what it’s like!

The Paradies, established in 1920, is a residential area and a park in one.

Water fountain of Paradies
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The ornamental gardens stretch far over three streets and are aligned with elegant houses.

At the center is a cascading waterfall, from which you'll see the marvelous view of the town center.

It is thought to be one of the country's first projects and is referred to as “beautiful living.”

Beautiful landscape of Paradies
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Wine Tasting at the Baden-Badener Weinhaus am Mauerberg

Rebland is called the “wine region” in Germany for a reason.

It’s famous for Reisling, a white grape variety, and it’s where most of the beautiful wine varieties grow.

High-quality wine is created by first class vineyard locations, Neuweier Mauerberg and Umweg Stich den Buben.

They have a wide range of selections from Riesling, Pinot Noir, Whites, and Pinot Gris, winegrower's sparkling wine, brandies, wine jelly, to wine vinegar.

They offer wine cellar tours and wine tasting as well.

Seek Extreme Adventure through the Panorama Trail

Arrow sign of Panorama Trail
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This is for those who want to experience Baden-Baden in its full potential.

Referred to as Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail, the award-winning Panorama Trail or “Panoramaweg'' has four stages, a total duration of 12 hours, a distance of 45 kilometers, and a difficulty level of Medium.

The Panorama Trails has been redesigned to offer hikers a fresher, modern, and delightful experience.

It now presents itself as “sightseeing of the intensive kind with a sporty touch.”

Amazing views await you on this trail around Baden-Baden, with a mix of nature, culture, and a whole new level of experience.

If you seek a whole adventure, it may not hurt to add extra days on your Baden-Baden trip to experience this thrill, just in case.

Final Thoughts

Baden-Baden offers a mix of everything and can be enjoyed by every type of person of all ages.

Do you enjoy art and music? Head into the town’s museums and theatres.

Do you prefer a more chill vibe soaked in nature? Visit the town’s nearby parks.

If you’re feeling a bit bolder, then go hiking at trail parks.

Or if you need a pamper session, do so at the town’s famous spas.

This does prove that Baden-Baden has so much to offer other than being a spa town.