Baden-Baden; so relaxing they named it twice.
This spa town can be found in the south-west of Germany, close to the border with France, and rose to popularity as the hottest place to be seen during the 19th century. Celebrities, such as Dostoyevsky and Brahms, and royals like Queen Victoria all visited during a time when the town was as famous for its horse racing and casino as it is for its springs.
The name can be translated from German to mean 'bathing' and was originally used in its single form. However, in 1931, the second 'Baden' was added to avoid confusion with other places of the same name in Germany and Switzerland.
If you are looking for a relaxing break then there are few better destinations in Europe. Here are four of our favourite ways to unwind whilst you're in town.
Submerge Yourself At Caracalla Spa
It would be wrong to come to Baden-Baden without experiencing the very things that made the town famous in the first place, the springs. And the best place to do just that is in the 4,000 square metres of thermal fun offered at the Caracalla Spa. Here, there are indoor and outdoor pools, as well as steam baths, saunas and much more in which to relax. The healing waters are said to rejuvenate your whole body whilst also distressing the mind and the soul.
Once you've had a go yourself, you can head over to the Roman Bath Ruins and see how it was done historically. These ruins are 2000 years old and offer us an insight into how the hot springs were used all those years ago. There is also a museum on site and an interesting animated film that you can watch to learn more.
Wander Along Lichtentaler Allee
The Lictentaler Allee is Baden-Baden's most beautiful and famous street. The road runs adjacent to the River Oos and weaves its way through many different gardens that showcase different shades of green. Amongst these, you'll see delicate floral arrangements that add a smattering of colour to the area and walk over charming bridges that give this part of town a quaint and fairytale feel.
Parallel to the Lictentaler Allee is the shoppers' paradise of the Lichtentaler Strasse. If retail therapy is what helps you relax, you will love wandering in and out of the many stores along this street. There are boutiques, high-end jewellery stores and clothes shops; none of which you'll find in the UK.
Catch A Show At The Festspielhaus
The Baden-Baden Festspielhaus is the largest opera house in Germany and the second largest in Europe. It has a capacity of 2,500 and holds 140 performances a year which involve anything from opera and ballet to jazz and popular entertainment.
As well as world-class acoustics, the Festspielhaus can offer excellent pre-performance dining. Why not unwind further by indulging at the AIDA Restaurant surrounded by walled mirrors, wooden floorboards and ornate finishing touches. On special occasions, there's also the chance to enjoy a post-performance dinner on the stage itself.
Explore The Black Forest National Park
Baden-Baden acts as the gateway to the Black Forest National Park, which has only been open since 2014. The forests are left to develop naturally and human intervention is only used when there is a danger to public safety, making it a true experience of nature.
Many trails weave their way through the park and viewpoints such as the Badener Höhe Peak observation tower offer superb vistas of the area. There are even themed walking events where large groups of hikers gather together to trek through the 24,860 acres of land. If you aren't one for walking though, the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse runs right through the middle of the National Park and offers the most scenic of drives between Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt.
If you are looking for a relaxing break from your daily routine this summer, our Baden-Baden holidays are perfect. Speak to our team today to create a tailor-made trip that incorporates everything you want to do and see.