Five Things to See in Wiesbaden, Germany!
Visiting Beautiful Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden, Germany, is a beautiful city, large enough that you can experience all the benefits of a major urban center, but small enough that you can travel across it easily on foot with some help from the excellent bus system all over Wiesbaden and the nearby towns.
Wiesbaden is a historic city, with a famous palace, where German royalty could lounge in the many spas and mineral waters of the region. "Baden" in German means the town was built around a spa where people went to relax in the natural mineral waters that bubbled up from the ground. Visitors to Wiesbaden can still experience the glamor and relaxation of the spa lifestyle, and tour the many historic buildings built by the wealthy visitors to Wiesbaden.
#1 Spielbank! Casino!
Wealthy Germans and their international visitors enjoy a night spent gambling at the elegant Wiesbaden Casino, where visitors can feel like they're in an episode of James Bond. Dress well, in slacks and a jacket for men, and "nice" clothes for the ladies. The dress code is strictly enforced. (Backpackers who did not pack a jacket in their rucksack can rent one from the facility for a few Euro a night. Women may need to purchase something from the nearby Marktplatz before they can make their way into the casino!)
Tour the elegant marble halls full of art ant statuary in the "Spielbank" (German for Casino, it translates to "Play Bank"), and watch as high stakes blackjack and poker players attempt to beat the odds, and observe the roulette wheel spin! Observe the experienced, multi-lingual casino dealers lead the players through the games in this international hotspot for stylish gamblers. If you're feeling lucky, maybe even join into a game! The dealers are all friendly, all of them speak a few languages, and you're sure to have a good time testing your skill against the house!
The word "Wiesbaden" means "Meadow Hot Springs" in German, and the name exists because of the natural spring water that bubbles up from the ground into the network of spas that offer relaxation and healing services. The King of Prussia, himself, kept a second palace across from the large, decadent spa. To this day, visitor's can experience the old Kurhaus, with it's baroque architecture and staff of people ready to help stressed visitors relax.
Get a massage! Bask in the healing hot springs! Savor all the glamor of old Europe.
#3 St. Bonifatius Church
Nothing says Old Europe like expansive, beautiful cathedrals. St. Bonifatius looks older than it actually is (but it's still pretty old!)
Built in the Gothic-Revival style of the early Nineteenth century, this was the first Catholic Cathedral built after the Reformation, dedicated to St. Bonfatius. It's convenient location near the pedestrian district means you can hop in for a moment's sanctuary after the hustle and bustle of a busy German marketplace. Take a moment to explore the beautiful art and architecture, and sense of history that can only come from setting foot in such a massive, holy space.
Not far away is the Protestant "Marktkirche" (Market Church), that's the centerpiece of the walking-only marketplace, surrounded by old buildings built in the Baroque and Rococo style that survived the bombing campaigns of the world wars. For me, I prefer the older style cathedrals like St. Bonifatius, but some people find the Market Church more impressive. Certainly, the farmer's market that springs up there during the week is a great place to buy farm fresh goods and flowers!
#4 St. Elizabeth's Church
The journey to St. Elizabeth's Church is as charming as the gorgeous, Russian Orthodox building. This church sits on top of Mount Nero ("Neroberg") overlooking the town. Ride the bus to the Neroberg Funicular, and ride straight up the mountain on the quirky, kitschy Funicular that rides straight up the mountainside. Once at the top, enjoy the scenic view overlooking all of Wiesbaden. Stroll through the wooded mountainside to St. Elizabeth, not far from the end of the funicular line.
The church is gorgeous inside and outside, as if it were transplanted from a storybook about the Russian Czars. It may be the one of the most beautiful little churches in all of Europe, and worth the trip up the mountainside. When you're finished savoring the elegant, storybook architecture and art inside the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church, be sure to take a stroll along the mountain. On Neroberg, there are countless walking trails cutting through the forests that surround the city, full of wildlife and friendly hikers that will be happy to point you in the right direction if you get turned around!
#5 Cafe Maldaner!
Wiesbaden was the Beverly Hills of old Europe. It had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in Germany. The wealthy and fabulous flocked to the casino and spas and night life.
Cafe Maldaner embodies all of that elegance and old Europe wealth with their amazing pastries and baked treats. Located in the heart of the walking-only district, in the Market Place, Cafe Maldaner is the best place to get a cup of coffee and a gorgeous Schwarzwald Kuchen (Black Forest Cake) or Torte! If you are staying with friends in the city, nothing says gratitude like a box of bonbons from Cafe Maldaner.
Experience the sort of cafe life that inspired poets and artists of Old Europe for centuries!