15 things to do in Baden Baden, Germany

Ich bin zuhause – I’m home. I virtually leapt off the plane in Stuttgart, so excited to be back in my favourite country for a new adventure. You know that feeling when you meet up with someone you love but haven’t seen in a while and you could just burst with warmth and joy at seeing them… that’s the feeling Germany gives to me, and oh how I’d missed being here.

Baden Baden (literally translates as to bathe, to bathe) is an historic Roman spa town, lying just north of the Black Forest, west of Stuttgart and close to the border of France. I hadn’t been to this area since I was a child, so for my birthday weekend in the depths of a ridiculously cold February I decided there was no better place to visit to relax and unwind.

Baden Baden was once known as the summer town of Europe, and it’s easy to see why. It’s so beautiful with lots of open space and Belle ร‰poque houses, gentle rolling rivers, and lots of health and wellness resorts. Even in winter, it’s well worth a visit with the added benefits of cheaper prices and less crowds. We spent 3 days here, but you could easily cover everything on the list below in 2 (I was just lazy and had many a massage/cocktail/nap in between). Here are 15 wonderful things to do – let’s go!

Strolling one of Baden Baden’s parks

1. Get lost in the Old Town

The Old Town in Baden Baden is small but beautiful. Strolling along the streets and side alleys is a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon – stop for chocolate in the Lindt shop, have cake to die for in Cafe Koenig, or binge on delicious warm pretzels from the bakeries. Also be sure to follow the cobbles upwards to the Stiftskirche for some really photogenic streets along the way. You can’t go wrong really.

The beautiful Theatre

2. Relax in the Thermal Baths

You can’t come to Baden Baden and not spend some time in one of the town’s many spas. It’s the most famous spa town in Germany, and whether you decide to go upmarket and check in to a luxury hotel, or visit one of the town’s communal baths, you have to try at least one during your stay here.

In the spa

Please do note however that most of the spas are nudist (or at least have nudist sections) so if you’re not comfortable with that check before you go – the nudist spas aren’t at all seedy, it’s just a way of being free and a cultural norm here. My personal experience is that being naked in a shared space is both a liberating and confidence building experience – no matter how you feel about your own body, once youโ€™re inside, everyone else there is just as naked as you are and you just roll with it (and of course don’t take any photos in that bit – ha!).

3. Hike the Panorama Trail

Baden Baden is at the northern most tip of the Black Forest, making it a perfect gateway to lots of hiking and nature. As the weather was pretty variable for us (grey skies, mist, rain through to sunshine), we only managed to find one afternoon that worked for a hike. We chose to hike the first section of the Panorama Trail, which starts in Baden Baden so we didn’t have to hire a car. It was one of my highlights and you can read my full guide HERE.

Views along the trail

4. Sample sausage & beer in a traditional German Brauhaus

It wouldn’t be Germany without some sausages and beer. Literally as soon as I arrived I made my way to where I feel at home, and decided on Loewenbraeu which was a great choice.

5. Visit Hohenbaden Castle

Hohenbaden Castle was built in around the year 1100 and was home to the margraves of Baden for almost 400 years until it was destroyed by fire and the family moved to the New Castle, closer to Baden Baden. Today the castle is historic ruins with beautiful views.

Approaching Hohenbaden

6. Treat yourself to a massage

Part of the joy of coming to Baden Baden is a bit of pampering, so on my actual birthday I had a full body massage followed by a relaxing hot bath. I went to the spa in the Brenner’s Park Hotel (you can read my review HERE, post coming soon), but there are loads of options all over the town. My massage was the perfect birthday present and totally heavenly.

7. Enjoy the Faberge Museum

Faberge was founded in 1842 in St Petersburg, Russia and became famous for its intricate and beautiful eggs. My mum always loved Faberge eggs because she liked the shape so when I heard there was a museum dedicated to them in Baden Baden, started by a Russian art collector, I knew I had to visit. I didn’t realise Faberge did more than just eggs – they did cigarette cases, jewellery of all types, and my favourite, these incredible elephants. If I could afford one, I’d have bought one for my Mum.

Cute little elephants

8. Stroll through Lichtenaler Allee

One of my favourite things to do was to stroll along Lichtentaler Allee through the beautiful park running alongside the river. Our hotel garden backed straight on to the path – we walked the 2km tree lined trail taking in all the beautiful houses (I decided I might quite like to buy one here as my holiday home, until I googled the one for sale and it was EUR5.2 million haha)!….A girl can dream.

Views along the Lichtentaler Allee
Dream houses on the riverfront

8. Sample the local wines and gins

Baden Baden lies in one of the most famous wine regions in Germany and there are wineries aplenty just on the outskirts of town – we visited Schloss Neuweier which was stunning. It’s also home to Monkey47, a German gin, and you can visit the distillery for tours on Saturdays. We weren’t able to make the distillery tour, but we did tuck in to lots of wine and gin samples regardless.

9. Learn about the town’s history at the Stadtmuseum

Baden Baden’s city museum is really interesting, although not so accessible if you don’t speak German. It does have the interactive boards in English, taking you through the history of spa towns across Europe and then specifically how Baden Baden developed from Roman times, through to the Golden Age of the 1800s, into the era of Nazi Germany and on to the present day. However, the main boards are German only so I had to translate for my husband.

The city Museum

10. Enjoy the views from the Panorama viewpoint

The best view in Baden Baden can be found from the terrace of the New Castle (currently closed for renovation itself). The terrace is accessed from some steps behind the Stiftskirche. We managed to get it in some beautiful light.

Beautiful views

12. Visit Lichtentaler Abbey

About a 25 minute walk from central Baden Baden is Lichtentaler Abbey, which was founded in 1245. It’s still run as an Abbey today, with a Abbess and nuns running a primary school as well within the buildings.

At the Abbey

13. Eat your way around the many restaurants

One of the things I love about travel is eating. Aside from the sausages and beer, Baden Baden offers an amazing array of restaurants for a relatively small town. We sampled so much tasty food, from healthy lunch time poke bowls through to curries, insane lemon meringue pie and incredible sushi. Some of our favourites were Little Petra, Cafe Koenig and MYLYN Asian.

14. Walk along the colonnades of the Trinkhalle (pump room)

The pump room is one of the most beautiful buildings in Baden Baden, and strolling through the colonnades looking at the murals is a nice thing to do on a sunny morning here.

The murals

15. Ride the Merkur Bergbahn

I loved the Merkur, Baden Baden’s resident mountain. You can paraglide off the top (though we didn’t do this) or follow one of the many well marked hiking trails to take in the beautiful views.

What do you think of Baden Baden? I had the best weekend relaxing and honestly felt so chilled out. I could easily have spent 1 week in the area, adding day trips to Strasbourg, Stuttgart and the Black Forest to my itinerary. I already can’t wait to go back one day.

Stay safe and happy travelling everyone!


  1. Went to the textil frei section in Baden, I felt really awkward as I was not used to being naked. Anyway saunas were amazing and it is definitely worth the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a perfect birthday weekend, Hannah! I enjoyed everything about this post and would undoubtedly love Baden Baden. Well, maybe not nude bathing with others, but the food, the outstanding hiking, and the history would be right up my alley. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, and happy belated birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great report! I always wanted to go to Baden-Baden but somehow never made it. But reading your post I certainly will sooner or later. I am also very interested in visiting the Frieder Burda Museum.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a lovely post! I have heard a lot about Baden Baden and hope to visit one day- I have lots of family in Germany and after reading this, I am itching for a visit. The town looks stunning- thank you so much for sharing your photos and experiences with us! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What better way to celebrate your birthday than by going on a trip. I must say, I even love saying the name of this place, Baden Baden. The Old Town looks very charming. And those thermal baths sound amazing, especially after going for a hike.

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  6. Wow, stunning and interesting all around! Your pictures are so beautiful. I can see why Baden Baden is such a favorite place in your favorite country. It has everything -beautiful architecture on buildings, great hikes with incredible views, historical museums, great food, and a day at the spa. Sign me up for Baden Baden any day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I’m so glad you like the sound of Baden Baden – it’s a wonderful time and with direct flights in to Karlsruhe on Ryanair it’s easy to get to as well (not that I did that because I was an idiot!!)

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  7. Chocolate, cake, hot pretzels โ€ฆ I will definitely start every morning like this! And youโ€™re right, Baden Baden is as picturesque as it gets โ€“ the spa baths sound wonderful and the Panorama hiking trail so beautiful (I canโ€™t wait to read more about this). Oh and gin, wine and all that delicious looking food โ€ฆ you have me Hannah, I can totally understand why Germany is so special to you! Happy belated birthday ๐ŸŽ‰.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so true….I could do that every morning too!! It’s a wonderfully special country to me Corna, I love my time there and would spend years exploring if I could ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you, it was a perfect birthday getaway.

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  8. In my humble opinion, travel is the best gift!

    Happy birthday to you! When it comes to celebrating another trip around the sun, the only thing better than presents and cake is travelling (but donโ€™t let anyone stop you from having all three).

    This is such a wonderful post, Hannah and I am quite amazed by everything there is to do in Baden Baden. Germany is home to some of the most underrated small cities and towns! The town of Baden-Baden, located at the edge of the Black Forest in Germany is a wonderful example of this statement. Thanks for sharing and have a good day ๐Ÿ™‚ Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree Aiva, travel is a wonderful gift and the perfect way to spend a birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ I absolutely love Germany and am thinking of making it my birthday tradition to visit a new place there every year ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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  9. Your description of Baden Baden sounds wonderful, and your pictures aptly reveal great beauty โ€“ stately manors and historical architecture, splendid landscapes, gorgeous pool and appetizing entreesโ€ฆan amazing adventure in Germany! Thanks for sharing, Hannah ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Belated birthday wishes Hannah. You make a strong case for Baden Baden, I love a good spa and this seems to be the perfect location for such delights. The food looks wonderful too, I’m always bemused by Germany’s “bad food” jibes, much like ourselves in Britain. There’s such variety to a trip here it seems with a great balance between relaxation, historic architecture and nature hikes. Particularly like the Trinkhalle colonnades, so charming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Leighton, I absolutely love Germany and will tell anyone who listens what an incredible country it is for a trip given the variety it offers – not just country wide but even within destinations! Hope you’ve had a good weekend.

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  11. You suggested chocolates, or cake, or a warm pretzel. I think you must have meant โ€œand.โ€ Iโ€™m going with โ€œand.โ€ ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love a good soak and a European town and good food. Baden Baden checks all the boxes!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy belated birthday! Can you believe that I have never spent a whole day in Germany? Now to read that it is your favourite country, Iโ€™m thinking that I should maybe try to explore it a bit more โ€“ especially since itโ€™s so close to Belgium! Anyway, I have heard a lot about Baden Baden and indeed it seems like the perfect place to spend a relaxing time. The hike also looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you! Ahh that’s crazy when you live so close by – there’s lots to see and do in Germany, it’s a beautiful country ๐Ÿ™‚ So I really hope you get to visit for more than a day one day soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your love for Germany! I haven’t spent anything like enough time in this part of Germany, Baden Baden looks fabulous. A much enjoyed post and another place to add to the list!

    Liked by 1 person

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