Best base: Strasbourg or Baden-Baden?

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Apr 19th, 2018, 07:28 PM
  #1
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Best base: Strasbourg or Baden-Baden?

Hello, I am going to be traveling this August with my 70-something parents to the Black Forest and Alsace regions and am trying to decide which city is best for 2-3 nights as we end our trip: Baden-Baden or Strasbourg?

A couple points worth mentioning:
-We like cities but my mother has some mobility issues in that we can't do a ton of walking, so convenience is key (and we'll have a car for day trips or 1/2-day trips).
-We'll have already spent a 2 nights each in Freiburg and on Lake Constance before arriving.
-We're not into spas or gambling.

With that said, which of these two cities makes for a nicer and more convenient base?

Thank you in advance,
Brian

Last edited by Brian_Brooklyn; Apr 19th, 2018 at 08:05 PM.
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Apr 20th, 2018, 11:02 AM
  #2
 
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It sounds like Strasbourg would work well foryour mother. You can take a canal boat teip withon tne xity and the historic quarter is not too large. Stay three nights so hou can spend a day on tne wine road, ezp.leing the scenic villages.
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Apr 20th, 2018, 02:02 PM
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Strasbourg for sure if you don't like spas or gambling which B-Baden is famous for (but I rather like B-B which we did as a day trip from nearby Strasbourg by train - you can tour the opulent old casino where the rich and famous and royals once gambled and enjoy a paklike setting - but little else. Strasbourg to me is one of Europe's most underrated big cities - you may also consider Colmar, right on the Alsace Wine Road and much closer to wine houses along it and a small city but one with cute environs.

Are you driving-if renting car you may want to return it in Germany before hitting Strasbourg - a big city where cars are a hassle. But a car would be neat for Colmar to drive along the Alsace Wine Road that goes thru town - especially to famous wine villages to the north. But if drop-off charges are steep for renting in Germany and returning in France then just drive back over the Rhine and return the car wherever possible.

If going by train you may want to look for group tours of Alsace Wine country from Strasbourg or Colmar. If going by train you'll usually change at Offenburg to a regional train across the Rhine to Strasbourg and from there to Colmar. Book tickets at www.bahn.de/en for fares as low as 29 euros or so in book early enough. www.seat61.com has loads on doing that yourself online - general train info BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

But with parents and mobility issues a car would be best - a large car. but due to car drop-off charges for returning in other country maybe rent one in Germany and return in Freiburg and take train to Strasbourg or Colmar and rent one there.
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Apr 20th, 2018, 02:22 PM
  #4
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Thank you for your helpful responses. Yes, we'll have a car the full time. Not ideal in the city but as long as there's a parking garage with the hotel, it shouldn't be a major problem.

Our tentative plan is to travel the Alsace wine route (with a stop in Colmar) as we drive from Freiburg up to Strasbourg or Baden-Baden. The historic casino tour In Baden-Baden does look interesting, and I'm still kind of tempted by the more relaxed, quieter ambience there. But it sounds like there might be a few more sights in Strasbourg for a non-spa person.

Any other thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,
Brian

PS - thanks @PalenQ for the train info. We'll be dropping the car off in Frankfurt at the end so hopefully that should keep inter-country costs down!

Last edited by Brian_Brooklyn; Apr 20th, 2018 at 02:24 PM.
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Apr 20th, 2018, 02:51 PM
  #5
 
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Baden-Baden is absolutely lovely and far removed from the size and bustle of Strasbourg. There are numerous cafes, artsy shop windows, picturesque streets and lots of good food. The elegance of the spa era remains in the city layout and the architecture. The Burda art museum is a treasure. When I was there, the casino was almost dead. The lively spot was the Festspielhaus. There is some climbing but I don't remember exactly how much.
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Apr 20th, 2018, 02:51 PM
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Note that the casino tour at least when I was there several years ago was only around 10-11am before the place opened for gamblers. Baden-Baden to me was one of the most relaxing cities in Germany - again wide swaths of parkland and you can drive about anywhere easily.
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Apr 21st, 2018, 08:12 PM
  #7
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Thanks for the additional thoughts. The parkland in Baden-Baden is a draw, for sure. I think whichever city we don't make our base, we'll definitely visit for a full day trip.
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Apr 23rd, 2018, 12:37 PM
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Strasbourg is the hub. Baden-Baden is sort of in the middle of nowhere. (But it is a very nice place anyway.)
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