Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden (meaning "The Baths in Baden") is a spa town built on thermal springs at the edge of the Black Forest in Baden Württemberg, south west Germany. Don't be put off by its reputation as a hang-out for the rich. This picturesque town is beautifully situated in a wooded valley, and you can enjoy yourself here without spending or gambling a fortune.

Get in

City panorama, in the foreground the cathedral

By train

The railway station is 15 minutes' bus ride from the town center. It is served by Deutsche Bahn running northsouth along the Rhine (MannheimBasel) and eastwest (MunichStuttgartStrasbourgParis). On arrival, catch the frequent bus 201 to the town center (direction Lichtental/Oberbeuern; get off at Leopoldplatz).

By plane

Baden Airpark (Karlsruhe/Baden Baden ) is located only 10 km (6 mi) from the city. The airport hosts a base of the low-cost carrier Ryanair, which offers cheap direct flights to several European and North African destinations. Additionally, Air Berlin offers direct flights to Berlin-Tegel, the local airline InterSky to Hamburg and Germania announced a connection to Moscow-Domodedovo to launch in December 2013.

The airport is in the fare area of the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (KVV). Line 234 connects the airport with the city of Rastatt and Schwarzach, line 205 with Baden-Baden. Line 140 (Baden-Airpark-Express/Hahn-Express) connects it with Baden-Baden, Heidelberg and Mannheim (where there are connections to the Frankfurt-Hahn airport). Line 921 (Flightliner Eberhardt-Reisen) links the airport with Strasbourg, Kehl, Rust (Europa Park and Freiburg im Breisgau. KVV tickets are not valid on Lines 140 and 921.

Parking is paid on the whole airport area and is maintained by APCOA. Prices are between €0.50 and €1 per hour (the short-stay parking in front of the terminal costs €1 the first hour, then €1.50 per every following 30 minutes), day rate is between 9 and €14 (short-stay parking €41). Parking slots can be reserved in advance for a fee, but a reservation is not necessary outside the main travelling period. Attention! APCOA is allowed to distribute parking violation tickets if you don't follow their rules!

Get around

The town centre is small enough to walk around. Bus routes to surrounding towns and villages radiate from the town centre (Leopoldplatz and Augustaplatz). Buy your ticket at the machine at the bus stop before boarding. You can get also tickets from the bus drivers. It's recommended to use the express buses. They take just 5 minutes from the main station to the city.

See

Trinkhalle

Do

Thermal baths

Römerplatz, the heart of the bath quarter (Badeviertel), is five minutes' walk from Leopoldplatz through the pedestrian zone. In Römerplatz you can see the ruins of the Roman baths and take to the thermal waters yourself at Caracalla Therme and Friedrichsbad. More details:

Caracalla Therme spa is unlike its sister Friedrichsbad Spa next door in that swimming costumes are required to be worn at all times in the pools. The upstairs sauna area is nude only however and you should be warned is mixed sexed for those with a prudish nature. Once you have removed your swimwear however you are free to enjoy a wonderful series of indoor and outdoor saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, hot tubs and relaxation areas at your leisure. This is a unique and highly invigorating experience to be tried at least once in your lifetime.
The procedure at Friedrichsbad is unique, so read these instructions carefully before you go in, especially if you don't speak German. Buy your ticket at the entrance, plus a token for the soap-and-brush massage (Seifenbürstenmassage) if you want. At the top of the stairs, men and women go into separate changing rooms and follow the programme separately for the first hour or so (this traditional procedure is now only followed on three days of the week; see the website). Take off all your clothes and put them in a locker, inserting your ticket into the slot inside the door before locking it. Naked, follow the sign to the baths, where an attendant will greet you. Follow the numbered sequence of rooms. Each room has a sign in English on the wall telling you how long you should spend there. You'll be given a towel and bath shoes at the first shower. You need these for the hot rooms (you must lie or sit on your towel). After the hot rooms, you reach the massage station, where you must hand back your towel, shoes and token. After the massage, proceed to the steam room(s) and shower again before going through to the pool area, where men and women bathe naked together in pools at three different temperatures. When you've had enough, head back via the cold plunge pool and the sleeping room, to be wrapped in blankets for half an hour.

Eat

There are plenty of cheap places to eat in the pedestrian zone in the town centre. Vegetarians need not despair. Noodle dishes (Spätzle) are ubiquitous, and look out for dishes based on chanterelle mushrooms (Pfifferlinge")

Sleep

Please note that there is a city tax that is rarely included in price information or bookings via booking portals.

Hostels

Hotels

Splurge

Connect

Since 2015, free WiFi is available in the town centre and the train station under the name "BAD-WLAN".

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.