Rick Steves’ Europe: Baden-Baden, Germany

The park-like city of Baden-Baden, nestled in the Black Forest, is renowned for its restorative spas and elegant casino

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Michael Leonhard / Alamy

Baden-Baden, Germany

Baden Baden Germany New Castle
(Michael Leonhard / Alamy)

Set in the western foothills of the Black Forest, Baden-Baden--which escaped destruction during World War II--has an almost Parisian feel.

Palatial Pools

Baden Baden Germany Friedrichsbad
(Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy)

More than 150 years ago, royalty and members of the aristocracy converged from as far away as Russia to soak in mineral waters believed to possess curative powers. Today, travelers succumb to soaking in pools housed in palatial compounds.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius
(The Art Archive / Corbis)

Since Roman Emperor Caracalla first soaked in its mineral waters in the third century, Baden-Baden has welcomed legions in need of a good soak.

Baden-Baden Town Center

Baden Baden Germany restaurant
(Caro / Alamy)

As you walk through the town center, consider some of the illustrious guests who have been here before you, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain and Johannes Brahms.

Casino of Kurhaus

Casino of Kurhaus Baden Baden Germany
(MITSUO ANBE / amanaimages / Corbis)

Baden-Baden's opulent casino occupies an ornate 1850s building inspired by the Palace of Versailles.

Baden-Baden, Germany

Baden Baden Germany map
(Guilbert Gates)

The town of Baden-Baden has 54,000 residents and is located one and a half hours from Frankfurt's airport.