Baden-Baden, Germany is the pre-eminent chic spa destination for those who fancy a dip in its famous salt thermal hot springs, not to mention its tremendous culinary scene and sophisticated entertainment.
Baden-Baden is nestled at the foot of the Black Forest near the border of France and was established over 2,000 years ago by the Romans, because of the thermal water running underground, as a place for people to relax and reconnect with themselves. The spas in Baden-Baden are still one of the main attractions of this picturesque town. It has been said that the spa waters rise from a depth of 2,000 meters underground at temperatures of between 50 – 68°C. Along its journey it collects valuable minerals that the spas are famous for. There are numerous spas available but several of the noteworthy ones are the 120–year old Friedrichsbad that is considered the most famous, which is modeled after Roman baths. The second most famous is the Caracalla Therme that is 4,000 square meters and houses seven pools ranging in temperatures from 18°C to 38°C, saunas grottoes and a café.
We went to Caracalla Therme, where we spent a relaxing 2 hours in the various pools. You can purchase a ticket for 1.5, two or three hours, or even a day pass (with or without a sauna pass), but two hours gave us enough time to enjoy the pools we wanted to. If you want to use the sauna, note that it is a nudist area, and you are not permitted to wear your bathing suit in that area, so if you’re not comfortable with that, skip the sauna!
What should you take with you?
You should take a bathing suit for the bathing area of the Caracalla Spa, a towel, flip flops, and possibly a bathrobe. You can buy anything you forgot in the Caracalla Shop. The showers in the Caracalla Spa are even equipped with hairdryers and soap, but you’ll need your own shampoo.
Baden-Baden has numerous other attractions like the Casino Baden-Baden that was opened in the early 1800s and is still considered by some to be the world’s most beautiful casino. Shoppers will find the Badeviertel to be an excellent shopping district and history buffs will find the Romerplatz where you can examine the ruins of the Roman baths from days gone by and also Castle Hohenbaden which dates back to 1102.
How long should I stay in Baden Baden?
We stayed for 2 days, which was enough time to enjoy the spa, do some shopping and take in some of the culinary scene. Being there in December, we were also able to take in the Christmas Market, which was fun.