So I’ve been living in Germany for a decent amount of time now and yet the country is still surprising me. As it turns out, Germany is more than just beer and bratwurst! In the small town of Baden Baden, I found a pocket of luxury and subtle beauty. Actually, this town seems to have strived off a reputation of luxury. It was once THE luxury retreat for visitors from across Europe—even the Romans used to visit way back in the day.
Today the town feels a bit like a spa resort living off its past laurels. Granted, the spas in Baden-Baden today are still pretty spectacular. I visited the legendary Friedrichsbad Spa—a place Mark Twain once visited and noted on its ability to make one forget about the world. That was quite the experience…especially the naked wash-down I got as part of my spa package. (And it was cheap too! 35€ with the soap & brush massage.)
TRAVEL TIP: If you visit the Friedrichsbad Spa, there’s no need for a swimsuit! It’s a full nude spa in typical German tradition ;)
Getting to Baden-Baden
The city is located just 15km from the border with France, in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg. It’s easily accessible via train from Stuttgart (It takes about an hour). In fact, when I visited, we connected via train through the city of Karlsruhe and when we had missed our connection, the Deutsche Bahn attendant, Hilgar, kindly informed us we could even connect via S-bahn (commuter rail trains) from Karlsruhe instead of waiting an extra hour for our connection.
The Baden Baden railway station is a 10 to 15-minute bus ride away from the city center. You’ll have to take the Bus 201 from the station to the town center and get off at Leopoldplatz. If you don’t speak German, it shouldn’t be a problem as this is a mostly touristic town with visitors from across Europe.
TRAVEL TIP: Baden Baden is a heavily touristic town and pretty much everyone you run into will speak English (and probably French or Italian). If you want to pick up a few easy-to-use German travel words, try out the new FREE Rosetta Stone German Travel App.
Photos of Baden Baden
Rather than expound on the various things to do in Baden Baden, I’ll just share some pretty photos to give you a first impression of the spa city. It’s really quite lovely and on my one day trip there, I pretty much just took in the sights… Here’s what I saw: