Germany off the beaten track

Schloss Sanssouci (Sanssouci Palace) in Potsdam belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites © TMB/ Boldt

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Practical information

Why go?

Lush city parks, exclusive districts and a history of famous visitors from all over the world in the regional capital of Hesse. "A poet's dream of a region..." is how Heinrich von Kleist once described Wiesbaden and its charming environs along the Rhine River.

Wiesbaden's special attraction was discovered as early as 2000 years ago when the Romans found springs that carried hot thermal water to the surface. Between 1200 and 1243, the Dukes of Nassau set up a number of castles and fortresses. The Nassau rulers also helped this settlement to flourish and numerous bathhouses and inns ensured a lively business with visitors seeking to restore their health.

In 1866, the new Prussian rulers supported the development of the city and Emperor William II influenced the architectural design of the cultural centers such as the Hessisches Staatstheater  (Hessian State Theater) and the "new" Kurhaus (Spa House) both of which were constructed during his reign. He solemnly declared his favorite summer residence to be a "world spa city".

World-renowned poets, thinkers and musicians laid the foundations for the cultural life of the city. Goethe felt inspired here, Brahms composed the "Wiesbadener Symphonie" (Wiesbaden Symphony), Dostoyevsky conducted extensive studies in the casino for "The Gambler", Wagner worked on his opera "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) in a villa on the Rhine, Max Reger lived for a long time in Wiesbaden, and painters like Otto Ritschl and Alexey von Jawlensky spent the autumn of their lives here.

Impressive architecture, elegant villas, extensive green spaces and parks as well as generous boulevards document the urban development that occurred during the Wilhelminian era. Wiesbaden emerged from both world wars almost unscathed. The magnificent buildings have been preserved for the most part and bear witness to a famous and brilliant past.

When to go?

Germany is a popular travel destination all year-round, with a typical four-season climate. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). In terms of tourist numbers, May through to September are the most popular months to visit Germany. However, the winter holidays with their enchanting Christmas Markets are also a major highlight. Those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions will favor January through to April.

The weather in Wiesbaden is continental in the sense that it varies from year to year, meaning a chilly spring and rainy summer one year can be followed by a spectacularly warm and sunny season the next year. The areas around the Rhine are blessed with a particularly pleasant climate which allows for the successful cultivation of grapevines.

Long periods of fine weather can be followed by unsettled conditions.  To be on the safe side, make sure you bring a sweater and wet weather clothing with you.

What to eat?

Wiesbaden has a considerable number of excellent dining and drinking facilities, including chic bistros as well as traditional cafés, cozy wine bars or casual pubs.

Life would be unimaginable without the restaurant "Die Ente" (The Duck), located in the 5-star hotel "Nassauer Hof". In 1979, the restaurant was awarded with a coveted Michelin star which it has retained ever since. It is the gourmet location in the elegant spa town of Wiesbaden. This legendary restaurant, with its modern open-style, relaxed and unhurried atmosphere - is a particularly special place for lovers of fine dining.

A popular destination for excursionists on the Neroberg (Nero Mountain) is the restaurant "Der Turm" (The Tower). The restaurant is located in a red brick tower, the remains of a hotel that burned down in 1989. Light bistro food and a marvelous view of the city await you here.

The "Weinhaus Kögler" (Wine House Kögler) is a popular place in Wiesbaden and an "offshoot" of an established Rheingau wine pub. On the weekends, the wine is "sweetened" with live music.

Wiesbaden Gallery



Map of Germany


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That´s Germany

Wiesbaden – Spa Town with hot springs. Germany has a long tradition of spa. Romans appreciated the hot mineral springs and in the 19th century Europe’s royalty would meet at the famous spa town.

VIP: Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Russian writer frittered away his fortune in Wiesbaden, which inspired him to write the acclaimed novel “The Gambler”.

Wine Heritage

Landmarks of Wine Culture

Since 2010, the German Wine Institute has awarded prizes to "Landmarks of Wine Culture": places which are documenting the history and tradition of wine growing in an impressive way. Good news: An impressive example of Landmarks of Wine Culture
can be found on Wiesbaden´s doorstep:

Kloster Eberbach Wine Estate

 

It´s all about Wine

The Pikkolo sparkling wine

The “Pikkolo”, which is a small bottle with a capacity of 0.2 litres, is a German invention. Since the 1930s it is a registered trademark of the Henkell Sekt manufacturer in Wiesbadenwho used it for the dry Henkell Sekt (sparkling wine). Today the term is also used for little bottles of sparkling wine of other brands.

The TV Travel Guide by Deutsche Welle about Wiesbaden