Baden-Baden is the spa town so nice, they named it twice—and so exceptional it was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside 10 other standout European spa towns. Should you find yourself commuting through Frankfurt on your next pass through Europe—or spending extended time in Germany—this Black Forest beacon should be on any dedicated sybarite’s secret hideaway list. Who comes to Baden-Baden looking to escape and relax? Presidents, shahs, high-end honeymooners, and anyone else who recognizes this town by its enduring tagline: Baden-Baden is the good-good life.
Tucked in southwestern Germany, Baden-Baden has been keeping vacationers young for two millennia. The Romans built their baths atop a predestined luxury getaway outfitted with nearly thirty natural springs. The main tree-lined promenade—Lichtentaler Allee—hugs a babbling brook that is the River Oos. Neoclassical and Belle Époque masterpieces rise up beyond the foliage. A night out can include Michelin-starred dining and high-rolling at the stately and storied Casino Baden-Baden, followed by days of peacefully luxuriating in gorgeous resorts, at famed spa facilities, on scenic leafy hikes, and through a historic town that’s always been about unplugging and recharging.
Planning Your Trip to Baden-Baden
Set aside at least a few days to properly indulge in the town’s myriad offerings. Baden-Baden is compact enough to explore on foot, but renting a car lets you spend a day out in the Black Forest and explore nearby towns at your own relaxed pace—including a quick border hop to Strasbourg, France, a mere 38 miles away.
Baden-Baden is about 100 miles from Frankfurt (the hub for Lufthansa) and 160 miles from to Zurich (SwissAir). The town’s train station runs quick 20-minute trips to neighboring Karlsruhe, which then connects you to the rest of Germany. From here, either Berlin or Hamburg is an easy six-hour train ride.