Wiesbaden

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Kurhaus portal with cascade fountain on bowling green
Marktkirche at Schloßplatz

Wiesbaden is the capital of the German state Hesse. Wiesbaden is a historic spa city which has catered to people from countries near and far for many centuries. At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 26 hot springs. Fourteen of the springs are still flowing today. Even the "old" Romans knew of the "Aquis Mattiacis".

Today it is part of the larger Rhine area and profits from its proximity to the Frankfurt Airport and the business centre of Frankfurt. During peak times (trade fairs, conventions, etc.) a lot of business travellers stay in Wiesbaden instead of in Frankfurt and relax from the busy metropolis in this smaller city with a charming old city.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

Wiesbaden is very well connected by many highways from Frankfurt, Cologne or Mainz. Trains travel frequently and are very enjoyable. Travel times by car are roughly 15 minutes from Mainz), 35 minutes from Frankfurt, or 2 hours from Cologne (Köln).

From Frankfurt Airport (FRA)[edit]

A taxi from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Wiesbaden costs around €60, S-Bahn is a much better deal at €4.35 one-way and goes every 15 minutes. No bus service.

From the Terminal 1, follow the signs to the regional train station „Frankfurt(Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof“ which is in the basement of the Airport building. Usually Wiesbaden is the terminal station for the S-Bahn and regional train so you can easily find the correct platform. Note: There are two train stations at the airport; in the basement the regional train station (S-Bahn & fast regional trains) and near the motorway the „Frankfurt(Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof“ for mid-/long-distance trains (ICE and IC).

The long-distance train station is a longer walk (about an extra 10 minutes). It has much less frequent and more expensive service to Wiesbaden.

Please see additional notes in the sections below regarding train tickets.

Buying RMV Tickets[edit]

Buying your ticket:

The new vending machines sell both RMV (local travel network) and DB (long distance) tickets. To buy a ticket e.g. for the S-Bahn, make sure you are in RMV mode.

After having named your destination, choose "Einzelfahrt Erwachsene" for a single trip and the screen should display €4.35 if you are at the airport or €7.80 if you are in Frankfurt. Insert € coins or bills. All machines accept credit card or EC card, too. The printed ticket is already validated and you can board the S8 or S9 for Wiesbaden. (S1 and SE10 from Frankfurt city as well). Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it! There is also a RMV information desk at the airport's short-distance train station.

From Frankfurt-Hahn airport (HHN)[edit]

This airport is located 100 km (60 mi) West of Wiesbaden. A taxi would shoot your Ryanair bargain down, so the recommended option is a bus to Mainz (9 connections per day, 1 hour ride, €13) and from there a S-Bahn or RB to Wiesbaden (3 trains per hour, €2.60). See the timetable HHN–Mainz: [1] There is unfortunately no direct bus HHN-Wiesbaden. Another option is a bus to the actual airport of Frankfurt which has S-Bahn connections to Wiesbaden as well – slightly slower and more expensive. You can also take a taxi (9 km) to Traben-Trarbach and take train from there (over Koblenz).

By car[edit]

If you start in Frankfurt, take the A66 until Wiesbaden-Erbenheim (Exit 6). Here you follow the signs to Wiesbaden City Center and Wiesbaden Kurhaus.

If starting from the Frankfurt Airport follow signs for Wiesbaden, which takes you on the A3 until the Wiesbadener Kreuz, where you switch to the A66 until Exit 6.

By train[edit]

Frankfurt-Wiesbaden[edit]

S-Bahns heading to Wiesbaden are S1, S8 and S9. Slightly faster is VIA's regional train (StadtExpress) which departs at the Hauptbahnhof. All these trains cost €7.60, travelling by ICE is more expensive and not faster. If you are travelling in a group, ask for group prices. Get to the train station a few minutes early to allow time to figure out the ticket machine; don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. On trains marked IC or ICE, you can buy a ticket from the conductor on the train at a slightly higher price. However, in common with most areas in Germany, there are no ticket-sales staff on local trains (marked S-Bahn, RB, SE or RE) in the RMV tariff area and you must buy your ticket from a machine (or ticket office) before boarding the train. Such trains are patrolled regularly by ticket inspectors, sometimes plain-clothed, but always carrying identification, and you will be fined at least €40 if found without a ticket on a local train.

Cologne-Wiesbaden[edit]

If you are travelling to or from Cologne (Airport code CGN, also Köln), an unforgettable experience is the ICE high-speed train run. The direct Wiesbaden-Köln ICE reaches a top speed of 300 kph. However, there are only two direct trains a day in both directions; the morning trains depart 6:24, while the evening trains depart 16:45. The journey takes about one hour. There are several other indirect trains available with one connection, the travel times for these is between 1:30 and 2:15.

If you are able to buy a ticket three days or more in advance, you will get the best price on long-distance ICE trains with the Sparpreis (Savings Fare). Go online or look for the red ticket machines at any big train station. Click the UK flag for English, then click on Savings Fare. More information and online purchase are available here: [2] If you buy a Sparpreis ticket in the DB Reisezentrum, they charge €5 per person and direction.

Another interesting option is the route through the Middle Rhine Valley. You can either take regional trains or long distance trains and pass through towns like Boppard, Koblenz, Bingen or Rüdesheim, enjoying the sight at vineyards, medieval castles and the Rhine river.

Train and Bus Links[edit]

Wiesbaden trains and busses operate under the RMV Travel Network (Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund). If you already have a RMV ticket to Wiesbaden, you can use the bus lines without extra charge to reach your final destination. Some train tickets come with a "+City" option which includes municipal transport as well. Full schedule and pricing details are available at [3].

Wiesbaden Bus information can also be found here: english

The German National railway, Deutsche Bahn, can be found at [4]

Get around[edit]

Once you are in the city centre it's pretty comfortable to just walk around. There's a main pedestrian area (Fußgängerzone) which is similar to an open-air mall, but more relaxed. Shops line the street and alleys, and it's mostly closed off to cars. Many shops, cafes and restaurants can be found in this area. Be sure to walk around the "Old City" (Altstadt) as well.

If you want to go further out of the city centre, you can use the developed bus system. Buses travel frequently and on time. It is possible to buy tickets on the bus, just ask the driver (because of possible language barrier issues, just say the name of the street you want to go to). Your trip will cost you a minimum of €1.60 (adult), but probably no more than €2.60 (one way). There's also a one day ticket, with which you can go wherever you want, available at the ticket machines for €6.30 for adults and €3.70 for children, respectively. Weekly tickets are available for €21.90, and have the added bonus of one other adult and all of your own children (up to 14 y.o.) travelling for free from 7PM weeknights, and all day Saturday and Sunday (and public holidays). (Dec. 2013)

See[edit]

Kurhaus: Friedrich von Thiersch Hall
Hessisches Staatstheater, backside from the park
Wiesbaden City Palace - The Landtag of Hesse at Wiesbaden

One of the most attractive buildings in Wiesbaden is the Kurhaus situated in the city center. Built for emperor Wilhelm around 1900 it serves as wellness and leisure time centre. It also offers a pretty garden where you can walk around or relax. Next to it are two further important buildings: the famous casino and the theatre.

Kurviertel:

  • Kurhaus. – the spa house in Wiesbaden from 1907 in neo-classical style.
  • Kurpark – the spa park behind the Kurhaus is a public English landscape park includes a lake.
  • Bowling Green – is a place in front of the Kurhaus and State Theatre with two pools, one of each in the middle of three shells cascading fountain stands.
  • Hessisches Staatstheater (Hessian State Theatre) – It was built by order of Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1892 and 1894. The theatre auditorium is a revival of the Baroque style and has 1041 seats. The magnificent and majestic foyer in Rococo style was added in 1902.
  • Warmer Damm – behind the State Theatre is a public English landscape park includes a lake.
  • Villa Clementine – was built in 1882 in the roman-pompeian style for a factory owner Meer and his wife Clementine. Today: Literaturhaus (House of Literature).
  • Englische Kirche – Episcopal Church St. Augustine of Canterbury

Kranzplatz/Kochbrunnenplatz:

  • Kochbrunnen (boil foutain) – the water temperature of about 66 °C.
  • Hessische Staatskanzlei (Government of the State of Hesse) – Former Hotel Rose at Kranzplatz, it was the greatest Hotel in Wiesbaden.
Old city hall and city bus from 1961

At the Schloßplatz:

  • Stadtschloss (City Palace) – Since 1946: Hessian State Parliament building (Hessischer Landtag). - Visitor's Service: Tel: +49 (0)611 - 350-294
  • Marktkirche (Protestant Market Church)
  • Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) – Neo-Renaissance façade.
  • Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
  • Marktbrunnen (Market Well) of 1753

Wiesbaden-Biebrich:

  • Schloss Biebrich (Biebrich Palace), Rheingaustraße 140, 65203 Wiesbaden. The Biebrich Palace is a Baroque residence (Schloss) in the borough of Biebrich in the city of Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany. Built in 1702 by Prince Georg August Samuel of Nassau-Idstein, it served as the ducal residence for the independent Duchy of Nassau from 1816 until 1866.
  • Sektkellerei Henkel (Henkell Champagne Production Facility)
Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth on the Neroberg

Neroberg and Nerotal:

  • Nerobergbahn (Neroberg Mountain Train). The is a water ballast funicular railway. It is the last and the one water ballast funicular in Germany. You can get tickets from the ticket controller. 3.30 €.
  • View from the terrace of the lions (Löwenterrasse)
  • Monopteros
  • Tower (Turm) and experience depression (Erlebnismulde)
  • Ropes (Kletterwald Neroberg) [5]
  • Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth with its five golden domes (Russische Orthodoxe Kirche der heiligen Elisabeth), common local name Griechische Kapelle, "Greek chapel".
  • Opelbad – great swimming pool on Wiesbaden’s own hill the Neroberg Mountain.

Do[edit]

Nerotal park
  • Visit the Neroberg Lookout - for a great view overlooking Wiesbaden. You can either drive up and park near the top, or take the Nerobergbahn the Neroberg Mountain Railway (Nerobergbahn) (cable car) up to the top from Nerotal (Street off the end of Taunus St and Nerotal). Prices: Adults €2.50 one way, €3.30 return. Children €1.25 one way, €1.65 return. See their flyer for further details (timetable, group fares, etc.).
  • Visit the "Red Baron" Manfred von Ricthofen's grave. Von Richtofen famously flew a red Fokker Tri-plane in which he made 80 aerial kills during WWI and became the leading fighter pilot of his age in the fledgling "art" of aerial combat. Recent forensic study indicates he was killed by an Australian soldier's rifle shot during a low-level dog fight. Von Richtofen is buried along with other family members in a cemetery in Wiesbaden. As a result of de-emphasizing Germany's militaristic history many locals do not know of von Richtofen's presence in their community. Enter the Sudfriedhof ("Southern") Cemetery on Siegfriedring Strasse. After you enter under the arches turn right on the gravel path. Just past the buildings on the right there is a semi-circlular gravel path that enters the Westhain Section. Follow the path counter-clockwise about 40 yards ( 35 meters ) to the most Northwestern point on the semi-circle (there is a map on the wall under the arched cemetery entrance - although the von Ricthofen family graves are not marked on it). Manfred, Lothar and other family members rest on the left side of the path - commemorated with a large stone family marker and individual stone markers in the ground. Manfred and Lothar both received the highest German military honor of its time - le pour le Merit.

Wiesbaden is famous for its spas.

  • If you like saunaing and wellness you really have to plan one day for relaxing at the Kaiser-Friedrich Therme (Irish-Roman Bath) in the city center. This old spa (clothing free) lets you feel like Caesar with its old roman frescoes and its four saunas, swimming pool and whirlpools.
  • Thermalbad Aukammtal (Thermal Bath Aukammtal), Leibnizstraße 7 +49 (0) 611 31-7080, e-mail: . – Bathing Area with Indoor Pool 435 m2 and Outdoor Pool 450 m2, with water massage recliners. Sauna Area with Fireplace Sauna, Sauna Loft, Adventure Shower, Lodge Sauna, Crystal Sanarium, Finnish Sauna, Crushed Ice Fountain/Cold Water Basin, Steam Bath, Adventure Shower, Mental Relaxation Sauna and Whirlpool.
  • Get a Massage- Traditional Thai massage. A bit pricier than Thailand, but €18 will buy you a half-an-hour back, neck and shoulder massage. Be prepared for a bit of back cracking! They have private "booths" separated only by hanging sheets, but you will find the atmosphere inside quiet and relaxing. It is imperative to tell them beforehand if you have any medical conditions. At the end of your massage they bring you a cup of jasmin tea and a hot cloth for your neck and shoulders which is very refreshing! You are also supplied with a clean set of clothes (loose-fitting pants and a t-shirt) to wear during the massage.
  • See a Play - Wiesbaden offers a number of possibilities to see plays performed in English language. While the Staatstheater usually produces plays only in German, you can always check the schedules of the Amelia Earhart Playhouse, the Kryptonite Radio Theater, the Wiesbaden English Language Theater and the Galli Theater.
  • See a Movie - Wiesbaden has a wonderful arthouse movie theater called Caligari Filmbühne. It is located at the Marktplatz/Market square in the city centre. The selection is great as they show films from different countries, usually not dubbed (subtitles are hardly known in Germany). Free seating for €5.50 every day. Apart from this real gem, there's only one cinema in Wiesbaden that plays English movies, on Tuesdays. It's one company but they have three buildings across the city. English movies usually play at the one in the city centre ("Hollywood"), just across from the McDonald's opposite Karstadt. Their program is available online [6]. Look out for posters with OV (Original Version) or OmU (Original mit Untertiteln).
  • Wiesbaden Magic History Tour. Take a unique Guided Walking Tour with the Wiesbaden Magic History Tour. Learn about Wiesbaden’s many historic spots (Palace Square, Market Church, State Theater, Kurhaus and Casino, Roman Gate,) be amazed by several clever magic tricks and get the inside scoop on local bars and restaurants. The English-speaking tour finishes at a local pub for a complimentary drink.
  • Rheinsteig. Start from Schloss Biebrich the hike down the Rheingau and Middle Rhine Valley.

Buy[edit]

  • Pedestrian zone: Kirchgasse and Langgasse:
    • KarstadtMauritiusplatz, Kirchgasse 35-43. A department store, the chain of which is found all throughout Germany. In addition to what you'd expect in such a store, there is also a restaurant cafe on one of the upper floors as well as a grocery store in the basement.
    • KaufhofKirchgasse. Another department store but more expensive than Karstadt and pretty much the same choice.
    • Luisencenter, Kirchgasse: stores include Karstadt Sport and Saturn (electronics).
  • Lilien-Carré WiesbadenBahnhofsplatz 3 (Next to Hauptbahnhof),  +49 611 411407-0. Mo - Sa: 10:00 - 20:00 h, Friseur Klier: 09:00 - 20:00. An attractive mall with underground parking. Stores include Saturn (music, videos, electronics) and several quick dining establishments.
  • Market: Wednesday and Saturday on the Dernsches Gelände or Schloßplatz at Neues Rathaus (New city hall).

Eat[edit]

  • Taunusstraße – very good restaurants
  • Goldgasse – pizza
  • Moritzstraße – inexpensive Döner restaurants
  • Vapiano. An Italian restaurant chain that specialises in salad, pizza and pasta. Pasta is freshly made, and you can watch them prepare your food when you place your order. They have a set menu, but you are also free to "create your own" by choosing from the ingredients available. When you enter the restaurant each guest is presented with an electronic card which you hand over every time you order a dish or a drink - this is added to your tab and you pay upon leaving. Don't lose this card because you will be charged 50 € upon exit! Affordable dishes for around 7 € for pasta or pizza.
  • Thai Express - at the beginning of the pedestrian, Langgasse 36. Thai food for around €7-8 a dish. They also have the best homemade lemonade in town.
  • Sombrero Latino, Adolfstraße 3, between Luisenplatz and Adolfallee – Argentinean restaurant.
  •    HubertushütteGoldsteintal 60 (In the woods just north of Wiesbaden-Sonnenberg),  +49 611 54 24 10. Good food in a wooded valley setting. Good indoor and outdoor seating. Service sometimes suspect.

Drink[edit]

  • Scotch n SodaGoldgasse. A family run pub and steakhouse with a Scottish theme, old friends make the best antiques. Great food and drink in the Altstadt.
  • Gestüt Renz. A nice bar in the Nerostraße with events on the weekend.
  • Irish Pub WiesbadenMichelsberg 15 +49 611-300849. Mo - Th: 17:00 - 01:00. Fr: 17:00 - 02:00; Sa: 13:45 - 02:00. Su: 15:00 - 01:00. The pub, with it's cosy decor, quality Irish and German beers and friendly, chatty staff has the traditional feel of the great old Dublin pub. The Irish Pub is well-known for nightly entertainment and live music and it's vibrant and friendly atmosphere enjoyed by our international guests and German regulars alike. It's a pub, with great-tasting Guinness and Kilkenny beer, where you immediately feel at home.
  • Yours Sports Bar WiesbadenWilhelmstraße 38 (Marktplatz),  +49 611-9101201. M-F 4- Open End; Sat-Sun 11AM-Open End. An "American Style" sports bar featuring menus rife with American bar food, from burgers to nachos and everything in between. Come to watch European and American sports on their many flat screen TVs, or huge projector screen. Sometimes they offer Karaoke.
  • EuropalacePeter-Sander-Straße 39 +49 6134 230411. Massive dance-club with multiple rooms and floors, offering a unique variety of music, from Hip-Hop and Rap, to Techno and Country.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Etap Hotel at €39.
  • Gästehaus Veth. A small guesthouse with prices starting at €40 for a single room.
  • Motel OneKaiser-Friedrich-Ring 81 (next to main station),  +49 611 450 20 80. Renovated budget hotel with free WiFi. €59 per room.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Drei LilienSpiegelgasse 3 +49 611 991780. Family run hotel with just 15 rooms right in the centre. Excellent fresh and hand made breakfast. Free wifi and own parking facilities.
Bowling Green and Hotel Nassauer Hof

Splurge[edit]

  • Nassauer Hof, Kaiser-Friedrich-Platz 3-4, +49 611 133-0 – Set in the heart of Wiesbaden opposite the Kurhaus.

Connect[edit]

Tourist information, Phone: + 49 611 1729 930, Fax: + 49 611 1729 798, E-Mail: tourist-service@wiesbaden-marketing.de, Adress: Marktplatz 1

Go next[edit]

Ruins of Ehrenfels Castle near Rüdesheim in Rheingau
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