The Pumphouse in Baden Baden

Hotels in Baden Baden, Germany

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A southwest German spa town that dates back to the Roman times, Baden Baden attracted the royalty and literary and musical luminaries of 150 years ago as it attracts today’s movers and shakers, screen sirens and Europe’s high-rollers. Famed for its delightful mix of casino, culture and curative waters, Baden Baden has earned accolades from Emperor Caracalla who often came to ease his arthritis, to Queen Victoria and Wilhelm I, to Fyodor Dosyoyevsky who conceived “The Gambler” – and his first-born – here and to former US President Clinton who said that Baden Baden is “So nice that you have to name it twice.”

Where to stay in Baden Baden

Despite its reputation as the haunt of the royalty, Baden Baden is nonetheless very friendly to tourists in jeans; affordable bed and breakfast in Baden Baden, Germany attests to that. The marble-and-brass Friedrichsbad or the Roman-Irish Bath may be for the most discerning visitor who would not mind going nude, but the more modern Caracalla Spa and well-appointed hotels in Baden Baden, Germany are surprisingly within reach of the middle class. You can of course go casual while strolling the 1.5 mile lane Lichtentaler Allee, but the Grand Casino in the alabaster-white Kurhaus is Old World and black-tie. Come during summer for the Baden Baden Summer Nights and live classical music concerts at the spa garden (Kurgarten), or anytime at the 2,500-seat Festspielhaus for a night of precision ballet, opera and chamber music.

Historic spa town on the edge of the Black Forest

As the seat of the margraves – military commanders of border forts of the Holy Roman Empire – since 1112 until its demise in 1705, Baden Baden has a fair share of historic castles, the most prominent of which is the ruins of the early 12th century Old Castle ‘Hohenbaden.’ As the Old Castle fell into decay in the 15th century, it was replaced by a new one, Neues Schloss which served as the residence of the margraves and grand dukes. Today, it houses a museum.

Befitting its stature as the spa retreat of the royalty, Baden Baden is home to the Faberge Museum which houses jewellery made by the creators of the Tsarist Faberge Eggs, the last of which – the Constellation Egg – is currently on display along with 700 other items.

If you are more into modern art, the Sammlung Frieder Burda has more than 500 collections of post-war German expressionists and a handful of Picasso, de Kooning and Pollock. The Hamburg-born Johannes Brahms kept a ‘Brahmshaus’ in Baden Baden, which remains open to visitors until this day.

As the spa town sits on the northern edge of the famed Black Forest, day trips from your accommodation in Baden Baden, Germany into this vast swath of black fir trees and traditional villages of cuckoo clock makers can be arranged.