As temperatures soar this summer, all anyone can think of while mopping their sweaty foreheads, is a dip in the pool. Feeling a cool wave of water surge over their bodies. Taking a much-needed break from the unrelenting sun and the peak-hour travelling. Easing the tension built up from hours at the computer. A small town called Baden-Baden, nestled in the foothills of the Black Forest promises you just that.
What’s the brouhaha all about?
Baden-Baden in Baden-Württemburg, southwest Germany, isn’t exactly a well-known tourist spot among Indians. It’s time that changed. ‘Baden’ in German means ‘to bathe’ or ‘baths’. Not unsurprisingly, it is one of the most famous spa towns in Germany, thanks to its springs. Sitting on the banks of the river Oos, the city shares its border with France. You can see how the latter’s culture has spilled over across the country from the little sidewalk cafés and boutiques lining the streets.
What to look out for?
If you’re in Baden-Baden, you can’t afford to give the Caracalla spa a miss. The sheer size of this spa is almost daunting. The indoor area has a large warm water pool along with two caves with pools. One is a cold pool and the other is a mineral spring with a temperature of 39°C. The outdoor area consists of a massive open space with a large pool with two small jacuzzi pools inside it. Besides this spa, various other services such as massages and saunas are offered here.
Apart from the spa, there’s a lot to look out for: little Turkish eateries, wooden restaurants covered in flowers and creepers, the historic park of LichtentalerAllee, the New Castle (NeuesSchloss), the Casino, and much more.
What about food cravings?
You’re in the Black Forest. Naturally, there’s only one thing on your mind. An authentic, straight-from-its-place-of-origin black forest cake. This sinfully heavenly chocolate cake, with layers of cherries and whipped cream, topped with chocolate shavings, will transport you to a different world. Also go for French vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce along with fresh raspberries drizzled all over.
How do I get there?
Fly to Karlsuhe / Baden Baden airport. Alternatively, you can hop a flight to Frankfurt and take a train to Baden-Baden, a mere 90 minutes away.
And what about the budget?
Once you reach the city, don’t be intimidated by its high-end feel. You may see no less than the best luxury cars driving down the road, but Baden-Baden is a lot more affordable than it looks. The town is well-connected by bus, so avoid the taxi as far as possible. Book a youth hostel room, or if that isn’t an option, you could always try walking into one of the vine-covered inns and try your luck. You may just find a room for €30 a night.
Any travel tips?
Keep your eyes open at all times. Baden-Baden is full of surprises and you never know what you may see at the next corner. If you have a couple of extra days, catch a train to Switzerland or France for a day trip. Befriend a local who may let you in on some of the secrets the regular tourist may not be aware of.