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- Cultural & History
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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?
Good restaurants for dinner?"Hi there, I am Eve from Taiwan. on May 27th, I am going to stay in Baden-Baden for 2 days. Is there any local restaurants nearby? Please tell me.....our Budget is limited. we have 6 people...Best regards Eve" (posted 05/05/2015)
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?"Are bicycles available for rent in Baden Baden at the railway station or elsewhere?" (posted 05/14/2014)
Where to find good quality groceries?
Are there any special local events?"Hi, Are there any Summer Toboggan Runs in the neighbourhood of Baden Baden, that we can reach within half an hour drive from Baden Baden? Appreciate your help and advices." (posted 06/27/2014)
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"I am going to spend Christmas in Strasbourg , France, is it worth spending the 25th of December in Baden Baden? Is it worth going for only a day?" (posted 08/18/2014)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?"whats the opening time and day of Merkurbergbahn? and how to reserve for group?" (posted 07/24/2014)
What are good places to go for shopping?"I want to buy Sonderabfullung Gelee Royale Pollengetrank from Schwarzwald Bienen-Honig-Haus Fust GdbR Verkauf Honigverkauf Lange Str. 38, 76530 Baden-Baden I tried calling them but no response. Is there a service in Baden-Baden, where they can buy the product for me and send it to my address here in Dubai? Thanks!" (posted 03/12/2017)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?"I'll go to Baden Baden on Wednesday. I'd like to know where could I rent a bike to do a tour? If you know several businesses for that and could tell me about them, I’d be very grateful." (posted 08/17/2014)
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Baden Baden
The Fabergé Museum is a museum located in the German spa city of Baden-Baden, dedicated to items made by the Russian jewellery firm Fabergé. It was opened in 9 May 2009 by Russian art collector Alexander Ivanov.
The museum's collection numbers almost 700 items made by Fabergé. The most significant item in the museum's collection is the Rothschild Fabergé egg, that was made as an engagement gift from Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild to her brother's fiance. Ivanov bought it at the auction house Christie’s in London on Nov. 28, 2007, for nine million pounds. because he thinks that it’s the “finest ever” made by Fabergé. Besides the Rothschild Fabergé Egg, other items in the museum collection include a rare silver decanter in the form of a rabbit, and the last Fabergé Egg, the Karelian Birch egg made of Karelian birch with gold and diamonds for Easter 1917. Czar Nicholas II, however, was deposed before he could give it to his mother. When Ivanov first bought the Karelian egg, some experts resisted because its existence wasn’t known previously. Ivanov now has documents found in the Russian state archives proving the egg is genuine.
The Fabergé company was founded in St. Petersburg in 1842, and it was an official supplier to the Russian Imperial court from 1885 to 1917. It also supplied high-end luxury goods to the Russian and European aristocracy. Besides the czars, clients include the Queen of England, and the royal family of Siam (now Thailand). Fabergé was closed after the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, and its exquisite items were almost forgotten and no longer cherished. The company’s artworks became popular again in the 1960s with Western collectors, led by Malcolm Forbes. Prices rose to records in the early part of the 21st century thanks to Russians such as Ivanov who took a fancy to fine artworks that comprise their country’s heritage.
Ivanov said his museum building cost about 17 million euros to buy and renovate, including a 1 million euro security system. He chose Baden-Baden, near Germany’s western border, because it’s “quiet and nice, middle in Europe, close to France and Switzerland, a resort for the rich, and historically it has always been the most popular resort for Russians.”
The Hohenbaden Castle, built in 1102, and known locally as the Altes Schloss (Old Castle), is an absolute must! It was home from the 11th - 15th century to the Margraves of Baden. Try tracing their steps around this fascinating ruin. Discover dark, secret dungeons and tackle the winding staircases all the way up to the lookout point. Your reward, once here, will be a magnificent view of Baden-Baden, the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley. The grounds are open from 10am - 10pm and admission is free
[ source: Baden-Baden Tourist Office ]
Festival Theatre (Festspielhaus)
The Festspielhaus (Festival Theatre) is Germany's largest (and Europe's second largest) opera house and concert hall with 2,500 seats. Opened on April 18, 1998, the new building's architecture incorporates the former central train station which, today, is the ticket sales hall and the Festspielhaus restaurant
Aida. The program is organized around four annual festival periods spread throughout the year. The Whitsun, Summer, Autumn and Winter Festivals each include at least one opera production and several classical concerts. Renowned ballet companies make guest appearances three to four times a year with entertainment shows completing the rest of the program.
Roman Bath Ruins
Even the Romans appreciated the relaxing effects of Baden-Baden’s thermal spring water. Now you can admire their masterwork by visiting the 2000 year old bath ruins, which are one of the countries oldest and best kept examples. Experience at close range the sheer magnitude of their work and marvel at their achievement.
Relive the ancient bathing culture either by taking a guided tour, or by asking for a multi-lingual audio guide and viewing the ruins at your own pace. There is also a short computer animated film that should not be missed.
The Roman bath ruins are to be found underneath the Römerplatz. You can enter the museum via the Steinstraße, or the Friedrichsbad underground car park.
Hours: March 16 - November 15, Open daily 11am - 12pm and 3pm - 4pm. Closed November 16 - March 15.
Admission: 2.50 € Adults, 1 € Children to 14 years.
Find out about Baden-Baden under the Romans, its history as a spa town and health resort, the heady days of the nineteenth century when the town soared to being a world renowned spa, and many other fascinating facts and features, right up to the present day.
The museum’s newly constructed glass pavilion is particularly impressive. It currently houses a display of large stone monuments, works of art from Roman to modern times, as well as the late gothic portal figures from the town’s church, the Stiftskirche. The museum is also well known for its collections of historical toys, unusual coins and special medals.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm, Wednesday 10am - 8pm.
Admission: 4 € Adults, 3 € Concessions, 2 € Children.
Museum Frieder Burda
The gallery, situated on the town’s famous avenue, the Lichtentaler Allee, housing the Museum Frieder Burda, is a sparkling jewel in the Baden-Baden crown. The building itself is outstanding; a naturally lit museum, designed by the famous New York architect, Richard Meier. And the collection within also hosts its fair share of masterpieces, among the 500 paintings, sketches, sculptures and objects, which trace the history of art over the past 100 years.
A part of the collection focuses on Classical Modern art, with works by German expressionists such as Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and August Macke. There is also a selection of late works by Pablo Picasso. American abstract expressionism is also featured with action paintings by Jackson Pollock, and meditative works by Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko. The core of the collection, however, centers around German post war artists, such as Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm.
Admission: 9 € Adults, 7 € Concessions, free for children under 10 years.
Merkur Mountain and the Merkur Funicular Railway
Climbing the highest point in Baden-Baden sounds rather strenuous. It need not be, however. The summit of the 2,191 foot Merkur Mountain can be easily reached with Europe’s steepest, and most technically advanced, funicular railway. In little over 5 minutes, and after negotiating inclines of between 23% and 54%, and a difference in altitude of 1,214 feet, you will have reached your target and can stand back and admire the view.
The Merkur Funicular Railway operates to and from the summit, every 15 minutes, between the hours of 10am and 10pm. The railway’s base station can be easily reached from the town center by taking either the 204 or 205 bus. If you intend to use the bus service, we would recommend you buying a combination ticket, which you can purchase from the bus driver. If you find the funicular railway a little too fast, you can hike up the mountain. Simply follow the marked footpaths and enjoy the wonderful countryside, the wild animal reserve and the various other interesting sights on your way to the top.
Hours: 10am - 10pm.
Pricing: Adults 4 € one-way, Children under six 2 €, Family Card 8 €
A glistening golden dome is the hallmark of this Byzantine-styled church, which should definitely be included on your tour of the town. Vladimir Potemkin and Bernhard Belzer built this spectacular structure between 1880 – 1882. Its interior was based on the designs of the master painter Grigor Grigorijewitsch and, as you will see, is liberally decorated with religious frescoes./p>
Services take place on the 1st, 3rd and 4th weekends of the month, Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 10am.
Hours: Daily from 10am-6pm (February 1 - December 1).
Admission: 1 €.
Merkur is a mountain of the northern Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located between Baden-Baden and Gernsbach. A funicular railway, the Merkurbergbahn, climbs the mountain from Baden-Baden. An observation and radio tower stands atop the Merkur.
The mountain was named after Mercury, the Roman god of trade. An ancient Roman votive relief of Mercury was found on the mountain in the 17th century.
Kurhaus of Baden-Baden
The Kurhaus is a spa resort, casino, and conference complex in Baden-Baden, Germany in the outskirts of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald).
Host to international gatherings
From time to time, Kurhaus has figured prominently in the international news across the span of centuries. The Baden-Baden conference center has hosted international events, congresses and summit meetings.
The Teufelsmauer (Devil's Wall) is a rock formation made of hard sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous in the northern part of the Harz Foreland in central Germany. This wall of rock runs from Blankenburg (Harz) via Weddersleben and Rieder to Ballenstedt. The most prominent individual rocks of the Teufelsmauer have their own names. The Teufelsmauer near Weddersleben is also called the Adlersklippen ("Eagle Crags").
Many legends and myths have been woven in order to try to explain the unusual rock formation. It was placed under protection as early as 1833 and, in 1852, by the head of the district authority in order to prevent the much sought-after sandstone being carted away for the construction industry. The Teufelsmauer near Weddersleben has been protected sine 1935 as a nature reserve and is thus one of the oldest nature reserves in Germany.
Fremersberg Tower (German: Fremersbergturm) is an 83 metre tall telecommunication tower built of reinforced concrete with an observation deck 30 metres above ground. There is a small restaurant located next to the tower. Fremersberg Tower, which was built in 1961 is situated on 525 metre high Fremersberg near Baden-Baden at 8°12'8" E and 48°45'10" N.
The Lichtentaler Allee is a historic park and arboretum set out as an 2.3 kilometer strolling avenue along the west bank of the river Oos in Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is open daily without charge.
The avenue is said to have begun in 1655 as path between the town market and Lichtenthal monastery. It was developed from 1850-1870 at the instigation of the casino Bénazet, and planted with a wide variety of trees and woody plants. Today the avenue contains about 300 types of native and exotic woody plants, including alders, azaleas, chestnuts, gingkos, limes, magnolias, maples, oaks, and sycamores. The avenue terminates at its northwest end in a kurgarten, and at the southeast in a dahlia garden containing busts of Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Robert Stolz.
What is your insider travel tip for Baden Baden?
Podcast: A Germany Vacation in Baden Baden with Live Like a German
Listen to our special Live Like a German podcast (in German). This podcast is titled "A Germany Vacation in Baden Baden with Live Like a German." Episode 6: Today we have Mrs. Margaret Kubin as our guest. Margaret lives in Varnhalt (5km near Baden Baden), and is renting out a nice vacation apartment for a year now. Varnhalt is a small town (population about 2000) - you can easily get to Baden-Baden via car or bus in a few minutes. Baden Baden is located on the edge of the Black Forest. Recently, this apartment is now available on Live Like a German to allow convenient online booking. Today we have compiled a few questions about holidays in Baden-Baden. It's about interesting Baden Baden travel insider tips you won't find in regular guidebooks. Maybe we'll start simply by asking why anyone should visit Baden Baden for a vacation and what makes Baden-Baden special …
In this podcast we're interviewing our Live Like a German property owner Margarete Kubin:
I was born in Varnhalt and I have lived here forever. My husband comes originally from Stuttgart. We love the peace and tranquility in our small 2000 soul village. Our climate allows for a balanced life. The vineyards and orchards, and also our forests are all very close by. Therefore our location is optimal for sightseeing trips and blackk forest exploration. Shopping is conveniently located in Karlsruhe or Baden-Baden.
Hello, this is Reiner Kraft of Live Like a German. Vacations in Germany, following the Live Like a German motto. Our episode is number 6. Our guest today is Mrs. Margarete Kubin. Margarete lives in Varnhalt, close by Baden-Baden. It is some 5 km away. As a side business, she has, for the last half year, been renting out a vacation apartment. Varnhalt is a small village of 2000 inhabitants, from where it’s easy to drive over into the town of Baden-Baden, including by bus. Additionally, Baden-Baden is located at the edge of the Black Forest. Since recently, the apartment can also be rented directly via the Live Like a German website. We have put together a few questions regarding vacations in Baden-Baden. They are all about insider travel tips, things which might not be included in your average travel guidebook. After all, this is what makes things particularly interesting. Let’s start with the obvious: “Why should anyone go on vacation to Baden-Baden? What makes this town special?” … or actually, let’s start with Varnhalt.
MK: Yes, Varnhalt has, for years already, been an incorporated settlement, a part of Baden-Baden. We live in the midst of vineyards, on our town hill we have the Yburg castle, which is truly charming, and there is also a lot of agriculture. Of course, what this shows is the great climate we have here, which we are rather spoiled by and which makes it a place in which to truly feel good. Of course, it is also a great place for a wonderful vacation, in excellent air.
LLAG: Okay. And, how about the apartment’s location in Varnhalt? Is it in the center of town or more towards the edge?
MK: Our apartment lies… well, one could say it’s in the center of town, but on a side street without cars that pass through. It’s very idyllic. We have a view towards the Alsace, into the Rhine river valley – all nicely visible from the terrace which is for the use of our guests. The whole village is nicely quiet.
LLAG: Super. So, is it – as I just mentioned – relatively easy to get from Varnhalt into Baden-Baden? Is there a bus one can take, or what’s the best way to get there?
MK: Well, driving a car, it’s just 10 minutes to the city center. The bus stop is just 50 m from the house, and it leaves hourly. So, it’s all pretty convenient.
LLAG: Okay. With someone on vacation, living in Varnhalt… What’s the best way to do shopping, such as, for breakfast, getting some bread rolls…?
MK: Well, Varnhalt unfortunately has only one bakery left, but it also offers some breakfast options, as a stand-up café. And of course, they offer fresh bread rolls every day. It’s open every day including Sunday and also offers such basic necessities as milk and such. Shopping for groceries for cooking, there’s a large supermarket two kilometers away, in Steinbach.
LLAG: Right, and that’s best reached by car? Is a car recommendable for getting around, anyways, or is it possible to get by only using public transport?
MK: Well, that bus going to Baden also goes through Steinbach, Neuweier. Of course, one can also take that bus. The only question would be how much one wants to buy; if it’s still possible to carry it all by hand. Of course, having a car is great, because it gives independence.
LLAG: Certainly. That’s a factor, of course. So, Steinbach is a bit towards the South, 2 km, and that’s a good place for getting breakfast, finding a butcher’s, a supermarket… all that.
MK: And also products of a good quality, offered by that Edeka supermarket. We also go shopping there.
LLAG: Okay. Now, what if I don’t want to fix breakfast myself but rather to go out to eat? Is there a recommendable place for breakfast or brunch? Or should I go into Baden-Baden?
MK: For that, it would be recommendable to go to Baden. In Sinzheim, directly at the autobahn, there would also be a McDonald’s, if that strikes one’s fancy. Otherwise, I’d recommend Baden-Baden. There, one can find breakfast offered many places. Right across from the Kurhaus, right at the Oos river, there is a restaurant called Hemmelten (?). That offers everything from breakfast to brunch – and of course, also lunch and dinner. They also offer breakfast, and it’s a rich one. It’s a great place where one can sit very nicely, right at the Oos river. Very friendly staff. Truly feel-good.
LLAG: Super. What about lunch or going out for dinner… do you also have 2-3 recommendations where someone on vacation should definitely to go for that?
MK: Right, well, in Varnhalt there are three: the Röderswald which is ‘gutbürgerlich’ (down-to-earth), not gourmet, and from where one has nice views. That’s in the direction of Baden-Baden, driving out of the village and then an immediate right, up in the vineyards, with a great view down over the Rhine. Then, there’s “Ulli’s Schlemmertreff.” That’s at our sports grounds, and he also cooks very well. Finally, there’s a hotel in Varnhalt, the Haus Rebland, which offers a higher-quality kitchen.
MK: And for those interested in gourmet cooking – that can be found in Neuweier, the castle. It’s “Röttele’s Restaurant.” Or, there’s Windegg castle up in Bühl, which also has classier cooking. Of course, one also has great views from there, over the Rhine, the whole flats along it… quite enchanting.
LLAG: So… You spoke of Neuweier castle or Windegg castle in Bühl… How far away are they from where you live?
MK: To Neuweier, it’s also 2 km from Varnhalt. To Bühl, or rather castle Windegg-Bühl, it’s 8 km, plus another 5 km up to the castle. So, some 13-15 km.
LLAG: Okay. Sounds interesting… a castle, eating there...
MK: Oh yes, I also think it’s great up there. We were there only recently, for a barbecue… Super.
LLAG: Super. So, while we are talking about food already: Are there any specialties in your region which the guest coming from far away should definitely try? Something special or interesting which one really should sample?
MK: [mumbling]… Schnitzel, French fries and salad. Or would you have those in the USA as well?
LLAG: [laughing] No, not in that form…
MK: Of course, one can find that anywhere around, it’s the first entry on the menu, at least with down-to-earth cooking. Something else one could find here, which I find interesting, is actually from the Alsace and similar to pizza: Flammkuchen. It’s like a bread, baked in open fire, topped with onions, speck and sour cream. It can be eaten as an appetizer or as a main dish. Of course, by now, there are dozens of varieties of it. That would also be something to try. Otherwise… I can’t really think of anything else which would be all that special.
LLAG: Flammkuchen… which restaurant, maybe of those you’ve mentioned before, would be good for that?
MK: Here in the Rebland, there are various restaurants which also offer that, and they all do it well. It’s something of a national dish which is of good quality everywhere.
LLAG: Okay, great, so that’s something a visitor should definitely try. Let’s move on from food and have a look at activities. Things to do. Let’s start right in Varnhalt and then move farther afield, to Baden-Baden. What activities could someone on vacation do; what could they explore and go see?
MK: So, like sightseeing in Baden-Baden and such, right? Of course, there’s the Kurhaus [spa building], the Trinkhalle [(water) drinking hall]. The theater is very beautiful; I’m just not sure they give tours. There’s also a small train, on which one can make guided city tours. I think those are great because they are really comprehensive. They are also offered in various languages, and with them, one immediately gets an overview of what’s where…
LLAG: Where is the starting point for the city tour?
MK: At the Kurhaus, right at the colonnades. That’s where the stop is; it’s also the city center, across from which lies the restaurant I mentioned earlier. Then, of course, there’s also the Lichtentaler Allee with the Friedrich-Burda-Museum, which is well known. The alley is almost 3 km long, and one can walk there, along the Oos river. That also leads past the tennis courts in Baden-Baden, and it’s simply a nice walk for anyone who likes to move on foot. ... There’s also the Caracalla spa, of course, the Friedrichsbad baths – it’s also reachable on foot, all located in the inner city. From the Kurhaus parking area one can start walking up through the pedestrian zone and get to the Caracalla and the Neues Schloss [New Castle], which follows immediately after, quickly, and then come back through the inner city with all its small side streets, through the pedestrian zone again.
LLAG: Let’s talk a little more about the spa. The Caracalla spa is well known and certainly recommendable for a little rest and relaxation. How much time should one plan to spend in the spa, how could that be combined well?
MK: I’d say two hours minimum. Until one has seen everything and really had some time to relax… And it’s really a great thing. Staying longer, massages are also available, there is a fitness center, a sauna, a restaurant to have something to eat… and there’d also be the Friedrichsbad. That’s for bathing in the nude, though, which might not be to everyone’s taste.
LLAG: Yeah, quite so… Certainly things which Baden-Baden is well-known for and which the visitor should definitely try. Okay. There’s also a casino in Baden-Baden, right?
MK: Yes, of course. The Kurhaus also hosts the renowned casino. I highly recommend going on a guided tour there; they are really great. Usually, they are offered in the mornings. There are also, I think, special days for getting to know the casino, where there’s a big guided tour and also a chance to gamble a little. Also interesting. We also have a Festspielhaus [opera house]. For lovers of opera… it offers a lot. It’s all on the calendar of events of either the tourism office or the city of Baden-Baden. That describes all the events that take place.
LLAG: Okay, so, quite a few things.
MK: Next year, for Easter, the Berlin Philharmonics will also come; that will be very interesting to see. They’ll be here for 14 days. In my opinion, it’s great for Baden-Baden.
LLAG: When exactly will that be, next year?
MK: From the end of March, I think… 14 days, from the end of March until Easter.
LLAG: Good, yes, great; something for which to plan ahead. So, 2013, in March. While we are on the topic of time: Is Baden-Baden one of those places which are good to visit any time of the year, or is there some particular time you’d especially recommend? What’s the best time to come to Baden-Baden for a vacation?
MK: Well… spring is beautiful, of course. Everything’s in flower, especially in the alley. May, June is also ideal, I’d say. Summer can get a tad hot. Tomorrow we’ll supposedly get a high of 37C; then it does get a little warm since Baden-Baden is in a valley-like location. For those times, though, there’s always the Black Forest ‘altitude road’ (Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse). Up there, it’s 6 or 7 degrees less, which is considerably nicer. So, it can all be managed very well. Fall is popular as well, of course. People coming for a short visit typically come in spring or fall; Baden-Baden is always interesting at those times.
LLAG: And so, how about winter? Is winter less recommendable as season for a visit than other times?
MK: Well, of course we do also get winter, but there’s no guarantee of snow. There are skiing slopes along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse… maybe 300 or 400 m long [laughs]. So, if someone really wants to go skiing… Well, there’s no comparing it to Austria or Switzerland, where we ourselves would go for skiing. For cross-country skiing, though, a nice slope has been built up there, a few different things… – it’s just a matter of luck if there’s snow or not…
LLAG: Okay, so, with snow, there are quite a few things to do also in winter. That was another question I wanted to get to… I mentioned at the beginning that Baden-Baden lies on the edge of the Black Forest. You also mentioned the ‘altitude road’. So: How far away is that, and what are the next closest sights the vacationer might find of interest?
MK: Driving up the Hochstrasse, there is a climbing park, a pretty wild one, up on the Mehliskopf peak, as well as a summer toboggan run – for families with children. Of course, it’s also possible to go to the Mummelsee lake, which also lies on the road. It goes all the way down to Freudenstadt, after all. That would be that. Then, in the surroundings,… well, of course there are many castles. In Rastatt there is a large city castle.
LLAG: How far away is that?
MK: Rastatt – 15 km. In Förch, which comes before Rastatt – between Baden-Baden and Rastatt – there’s Schloss Favorit, also a little summer residence – don’t ask me what empress had that built. It’s pretty, and there’s a very large park surrounding it. They offer nice guided tours, if one‘s interested in cultural things.
LLAG: So, looking to the Black Forest: As we’d said, there’s the climbing garden on the Mehliskopf, the summer toboggan run—great for families, for family vacations. How about things for the sportsperson, who wants to be active, run, hike or maybe ride a bike or go swimming… What possibilities do they have nearby?
MK: Right around here, there are marked hiking paths everywhere, around the castles, Yburg, Fremersberg, also from the city, up the Merkur, towards the Black Forest altitude road, again. Of course, I could get you the maps showing these trails. They are all very, very well prepared. So, for someone who likes to go hiking, it’s ideal.
LLAG: Would you have those trail maps available for the visitor, in the apartment?
MK: Yes, just the one, which is a bit older, at the moment. They made a lot of new things, though, so I’ll be getting some new ones. It’s interesting, after all. I also get visitors who come with their bikes, some even biking up to the Black Forest. Anyways, we also have a great network of bike paths which is ideal, especially in the flats around the Rhine. Renting a bike is no problem, either.
LLAG: That bike rental – this is also an interesting question: Is it directly where you live, in Varnhalt, or…?
MK: The next store is down in Sinzheim, towards the autobahn. Down the B3, 8 km from here. There, one can find two large bike stores which also rent bikes.
LLAG: So, bicycle tours are definitely possible.
MK: It’s ideal for bike tours, for example the Pamina path. It goes from here through the Alsace down to Karlsruhe. Really great. We ourselves do a lot of biking. There’s also a tennis club here – in Steinbach, that is. We are members there and we can arrange for tennis court rental, for guests who’d like to play.
LLAG: How about golf? Is there a golf course around?
MK: Yes, the golf course is in Baden-Baden. It is very well known; it may be one of the oldest golf courses in existence, if I remember correctly. In Söllingen, where the airport is, there is also a golf club. It used to be the area of the Canadians, during the time they were stationed here. Afterwards, it got into private ownership. It’s a rather flat piece of land – around the Rhine, it’s rather flat, and that course is well-equipped, whereas here it’s pretty hilly terrain.
LLAG: A question since you mentioned the airport. Or in general… For an international traveler looking to visit Baden-Baden, what’s the nearest or best airport?
MK: The international one would be Frankfurt.
LLAG: Okay, so, Frankfurt.
LLAG: And the distance from Frankfurt to the apartment is…?
MK: That’s 200 km, so, about 2 hours…
LLAG:… About 2 hours, okay. Sounds reasonable. Back to day trips… We had mentioned some ideas in the Black Forest, but of course there are other interesting sights. What could one go see in a day, if interested in culture… A few ideas?
MK: For that, I‘d recommend Strasbourg. It’s 50 km from here. Of course, the minster of Strasbourg is well known. The city also offers round trips by boat, riding on the Ill river for some 1.5-2 hours. Those tours start right at the minster, on the cay there. Or, as in Baden-Baden, there’d be a small train through the old town, with explanations of the sights in various languages.
LLAG: You’d just mentioned Freiburg. How far away is that?
MK: It’s 100 km; one hour.
LLAG: Okay, so that would be 1-2 hours, a comfortable drive.
MK: In between, there’d also be the Europapark Rust amusement park. It’s some 70 km away, and pretty universally known. Of course, with children, that would be a good idea – but also for adults. I’ve got to say, we went there one Christmas. Not so many of the rides are open then, but it was still a great experience. They had all those shows, and even we oldies had our fun. It was such a diverse program – one really should go there.
LLAG: Okay, and it’s not so far from you, just about one hour…
MK: … 45 minutes…
LLAG: … 45 minutes. Okay, also a possibility. So, a lot to see. Do you also have a collection of such ideas, put together for the guests staying in the apartment?
MK: Yes, I made a small binder, first all of with a description of the apartment and things a guest needs to know. Trash separation, for example. That’s a big thing here, after all. I have that written down in various languages, and I also make sure I impart the importance of that personally. After all, if you don’t separate the waste right, the city is not going to collect it… I’ll make sure that all works well. And yes, there’s also a description in there, of suggested excursions.
LLAG: Okay, great. Let me ask about local festivities, festivals, events… wine festivals, perhaps, or in general: What sort of events are taking place, are there some highlights, and when are they?
MK: Well, around here, there’s some wine or village festival in just about every town and village in the surrounding 30 or 40 km. They are celebrated from July to September, of course on the weekend – Friday, Saturday, Sunday. When exactly they will take place varies between the different towns; that’s not so easy to say.
LLAG: But so, one could say that there’ll be some such festival of interest pretty much always, and thanks to there being so many, just about every weekend, right?
MK: Oh yes, there’ll definitely be something. I’ll also make sure to note down what’s being offered and have such a note in the apartment, so everyone can decide for themselves…
LLAG: Okay. So, to finish soon… I think, that was a nice collection of useful info. Let’s get back to the apartment for a little bit. Could you maybe sum up in just a few sentences what it’s like, what is offered – just a short overview so that the guest has some idea of what to expect, see if it sounds appealing.
MK: Yes, so, we find it really important that the apartment is furnished in an open way, with lots of space. The living/dining room, for example, has 35 square meters, enough also for six people. We offer flat-screen TV, stereo, WiFi. The kitchen contains all the usual amenities: toaster, bread baking machine, Senseo espresso maker, and electric water kettle. The bathroom, of course, has bathtub and shower. Enough towels, too. The laundry room offers washing machine, dryer, shoe wardrobe, laundry lines, iron and ironing board. We also have baby crib and chairs. Of course, there’s also the terrace upstairs. We’d be living on the ground floor, right on a road, so we reserved the second-floor terrace for our guests. View into the Rhine valley/flats, and also spacious.
LLAG: That sounds good, like all necessities are provided. It has internet. So, perfect for the whole family.
MK: Right, and most people need it, ask about internet first thing after arriving – and so, that’s no problem.
LLAG: And the apartment is for up to 5 people, right? Two bedrooms…
MK: Yes. If it’s small children who can use a baby crib, that can be in addition, of course. The bedroom is 25 square meters; room enough for a children’s bed.
LLAG: Okay, great. Well, I think that’s really a nice amount of information we’ve collected now. Anything that still comes to mind, that you think should be mentioned, or do you think those were the main points?
MK: Well, the “Rennwoche” (race week), of course; the racetrack in Ippitzheim maybe, if that should be during the time of a visit. There is a spring meeting and the race week now, in August, September. That is also an attraction, of course.
LLAG: Could you tell us a bit about that; what happens?
MK: Well, the horses run…
LLAG: Oh, it’s horse racing…
MK: Yes, horse racing.
LLAG: Horse racing. Of course, that is…
MK: Guess I should have… [laughs]. It’s just such a matter of course for us.
LLAG: I was just wondering – race week… Car racing, perhaps? [laughs] Horses, alright, great.
MK: Horse racing track, yes. And it’s renowned, too – it comes right after Ascot.
LLAG: And that’s close by as well?
MK: Yes, it’s some 12 or 13 km. Easy to get there. Of course, best by car. Otherwise, it’s a little complicated because one would have to travel via Baden-Baden, from where a bus transfer is offered. From Baden-Baden, it’s 5 km, so basically just around the corner.
LLAG: Pretty close. And that’s in August, September?
MK: Yes, just coming up in August; last week of August, and for one week. In spring, it’s also one week.
LLAG: Well, that must be another highlight, then. Anybody coming on vacation during that time would do well to go and watch. Horse racing isn’t something you get everywhere, after all. So, it’s sure to be interesting.
MK: … there’s also a breakfast offer, during the training time. Then, one can get out there by 6 a.m., watch and have a breakfast with sparkling wine and what-not. For someone who wants a certain level of class, a grand event.
MK: One more thing I wanted to say: Regarding Black Forest tours… going up there, towards Freiburg, taking a turn in Offenburg, there’s Triberg and the Triberg waterfalls. Very beautiful. Also, the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes. Also Feldberg – for skiing, with a good chance of snow. But, that would be 100 km to Freiburg, up onto the mountain… some one-and-a-half hours of driving.
LLAG: So, for the Triberger waterfalls, Triberg, one would have to drive for a little while.
MK: Yes, that would be a one-day excursion. The drive up there is some two hours long, what with all the valleys and only a short stretch of autobahn. Driving past Titisee and Schluchsee, for a nice round trip, is beautiful, though.
LLAG: Okay. So, lots to see. And, as mentioned, there’s a collection of information, and I should think you’d also be there in person to advise your guests…
MK: As long as it’s not in English, though. I hardly speak any. My husband would help with that, but we can’t exactly discuss philosophy. For what we need, it’s worked out pretty well so far. [laughs] So, I guess we’ll also manage with any Americans – and they are a pretty grateful bunch. We just had four here last week, and they were really happy people. Even went right on to Paris, 550 km to go, and back the same night. We can hardly imagine doing a drive like that. I thought they were kidding… [laughs]. Wasn’t any problem for them, that mileage.
LLAG: But is it… Let me ask this, to come to a conclusion: Thinking of time – how much time should one plan to take, to see Baden-Baden, go on some trips around the region? Would a week or five days be enough, or should one really stay longer? What is your recommendation?
MK: Well, I’d say one week if you are interested enough in the landscape. That’s our main offer, after all – the mountains, the woods, the lakes. They are also here along the Rhine, after all. If you are interested in that. So, I’d suggest one week, to have time to take it all in, without stress. Going on a trip, you’d want to see a bit, right? Heidelberg, Freiburg, Baden-Baden… the main attractions. But if you want to also relax and see it all without stress, a week would be recommendable.
LLAG: Okay, super. Okay, Mrs. Kupin. I thank you for all the information and hope we’ll have some visitors coming to stay with you, have a look around the region themselves, in person.
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Travel Insider Tips for Baden Baden
Baden Baden Overview
Baden Baden (meaning Bathing Bathing) 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.
Things to See
- Casino (Spielbank), 1 Kaiserallee, phone +49 (0) 72 219000,. James Bond-worthy cocktail club complete with gilt ceilings, 11 roulette tables and an outdoor baccarat terrace.
- Concert hall (Festspielhaus)
- Drinking hall (Trinkhalle)
- Art Museum
- Frieder Burda Museum, 8b Lichtentaler Allee, phone +49 (0) 72 21398980, a dazzling collection of German Expressionist and Gerhard Richter masterworks on display are attracting tourists from around the world.
- Brahms House
- Lichtental Monastery
- City Museum of Baden-Baden
- Ruins of the Roman Baths
- Castle Hohenbaden
- "Rote Lache", romantic street in the Schwarzwald
- Freizeitpark Mehliskopf/Kletterpark
- Hochmoor Kaltenbronn
- Gasthof "Auerhahn"
- Gasthaus Kohlbergwiese
- Höhenhotel Rote Lache
Interesting cities in the area:
Veranstaltungen und Unterhaltung:
- Highlights in Baden-Baden
- Europapark Rust (Disneyland!)
- Medienkunstmuseum ZKM in Karlsruhe
- Europabad Karlsruhe
- Rock climbing
- Roman bath ruins (Römische Badruinen), (adjacent to the underground car park below Römerplatz). tel +49 7221 275934. Every day, 11AM-5PM. Small area of excavations with good audioguide in English. € 2.
- Caracalla Therme, tel +49 7221 275940 (fax +49 7221 275980, email@example.com).  Every day, 8AM-10PM. Follow the steam rising off the outdoor pools to find this modern bathing complex. Your ticket gets you into the pool area (where you'll find a cafe, several indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, waterfalls, water jets and so on) and the upstairs Roman Sauna Scape. € 12-16 for 2-4 hours. No children under 3.
- 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 be 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 invigerating experience to be tried at least once in your life time.
- Friedrichsbad, tel +49 7221 275920 (fax +49 7221 275980, firstname.lastname@example.org). M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 12PM-8PM. Friedrichsbad is a beautiful temple to traditional bathing culture, built in 1877, complete with statues and decorative tiling and culminating in a circular central pool in an ornate domed hall. In these elegant surroundings, the Roman-Irish bath (Römisch-Irisches Bad) is a programme of heat, massage, steam and water that will detoxify and rejuvenate any weary traveller. It's a wonderful, deeply relaxing experience. € 21 for 3 hours (optional massage € 8 extra). No children under 14.
Things to Do
Walk along the river Oos or in the hills and forests around the town. The tourist office at the Trinkhalle can sell you a booklet of walks based on bus routes. The walking is generally easy, but for maximum reward for minimum effort, take bus 204/205 to the Merkur Bergbahn funicular railway, ride up to the cafe at the top, and walk back via the old castle (Altes Schloss).
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:
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. 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.
The railway station is a 15 minutes' bus ride from the town center. It is served by Deutsche Bahn running north-south along the Rhine (Mannheim-Basel) and east-west (Munich-Stuttgart-Strasbourg-Paris). On arrival, catch the frequent bus 201 to the town center (direction Lichtental/Oberbeuern; get off at Leopoldplatz).
The airport Karlsruhe/Baden Baden (Baden-Airpark) is located only 10km from the city. The airport is served by low-cost carrier Ryanair, which offers cheap flights to several European destinations.
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 rather to use the express busses. They need only 5 minutes from the main station to the city.
[ source: Baden Baden ]
More about the History of Baden Baden
The German word
Baden translates as 'to bath/bathe'. The springs of Baden-Baden were known to the Romans, and the foundation of the town is referred to the emperor Hadrian by an inscription of somewhat doubtful authenticity. The name of Aurelia Aquensis was given to it in honor of Aurelius Severus, in whose reign it would seem to have been well known. Fragments of its ancient sculptures are still to be seen, and in 1847 remains of Roman vapor baths, well preserved, were discovered just below the New Castle.
The town was named Baden (without the repetition) in the Middle Ages. From the 14th century down to the end of the 17th, Baden-Baden was the residence of the margraves of Baden, to whom it gave its name. They first dwelt in the Old Castle, the ruins of which still occupy the summit of a hill above the town, but in 1479, they moved to the New Castle, which is situated on the hillside nearer to the town. During the Thirty Years' War and the Nine Years' War, Baden-Baden suffered severely from the various combatants, especially from the French, who pillaged it in 1643 and left it in ashes in 1689. The margrave Louis William (popularly known as Türkenlouis) moved to Rastatt in 1705.
During the Second Congress of Rastatt, Baden-Baden was rediscovered as a spa town. The 19th century saw the town rise to become a meeting place for celebrities, attracted by the hot springs as well as by the famous Casino, luxury hotels, horse races, and the gardens of the Lichtentaler Allee. Baden-Baden was then nicknamed the European summer capital. The Russian writer Dostoevsky wrote The Gambler while compulsively gambling at the Baden-Baden Casino. Johannes Brahms' local residence, the Brahmshaus, can still be visited today.
In 1931, the town of Baden-Baden was officially given its double name which is the short form for "Baden in Baden" (i.e. Baden in the state of Baden). This was already in common use to distinguish the town from Baden bei Wien and Baden im Aargau. In both World Wars, the town escaped destruction. After World War II, Baden-Baden became the headquarters of the French forces in Germany.
Under the supervision of the French Air Force, a military airfield was constructed at Baden-Söllingen between the Black Forest and the Rhine River, 15 km west of Baden-Baden; the runway and associated facilities were completed in June 1952. In 1953, units of the Royal Canadian Air Force were accommodated at the base later known as CFB Baden-Soellingen. In the 1990s, the base has been converted into a civil airport, the Baden Airpark, which is now the second-largest airport in Baden-Württemberg.
[ source:Wikipedia ]
Baden Baden is a spa town built on thermal springs at the edge of the Black Forest in Baden Württemberg in southwestern Germany. This picturesque town is beautifully situated in a wooded valley, and is known for its casino culture and its Roman history. Did you know that Brahms lived here for awhile? Be sure to check out the Brahms House if you are an aficionado of the great German composer. 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.
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