Tranquillity reigns in the historic spa city of Wiesbaden. For over 200 years, visitors have come to soothe their muscles in the natural hot springs, which are located just 30 minutes outside Frankfurt am Main on the suburban S-Bahn trains. Wiesbaden also adds a number of sublime palaces to its list of attractions, along with cable car that leads to the Neroberg Lookout for endless views over the city.
The city originally had 26 hot springs, each having its unique therapeutic prowess. Only 14 are still in use, but these remain well recognised as treatments for rheumatic and orthopaedic diseases. The modern incarnation of these hot springs ranges from small rooms beneath hotel resorts to lavish baths with a baroque facade. Out of the water, Wiesbaden’s buildings maintain the charming atmosphere. Explore the five golden domes of the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth, marvel at the Neo-renaissance exterior of the Old Town Hall, then wander around the curves of the Kurhaus. Visitors can enter this exquisite late 19th century building, passing beneath the domes then exiting onto lush gardens and fountains.
Three S-Bahn lines connect Wiesbaden with nearby Frankfurt am Main, taking around 30 minutes. The city’s train station is on both the regional and ICE rail network for connections to destinations across the rest of Germany. Frankfurt Airport is very close and also connected on the S-Bahn network, a very cheap and convenient transfer from the runway to the hot springs. Wiesbaden’s relaxed ambience makes it ideal for walking, and the central area has been fully pedestrianised. Buses run throughout the city, and it’s possible to buy tickets on the bus from the driver.
Perhaps the most famous of the spas is the Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme, which encloses the soothing water in old Roman frescoes. It’s in the traditional style, and almost everyone enters without clothes. Alongside the natural pools, there are various saunas and swimming pools.