9 Best Sights in Baden-Baden, The Black Forest

Museum Frieder Burda

Fodor's choice

Built as an exhibition hall for the private collection of businessman Frieder Burda, this modern structure was created by acclaimed New York architect Richard Meier. Continually rotating, the private collection focuses on classic modern and contemporary art. Highlights include a number of pieces by Gerhard Richter as well as works by Picasso, German expressionists, the New York School, and American abstract expressionists.

Rebland Vineyard Region

Fodor's choice
The soft slopes between the Rhine plains and the Black Forest on the outskirts of Baden-Baden enjoy a mild climate that's perfect for the vineyards growing Riesling here. A part of the Baden Wine Route, the Rebland area is home to a number of small, family-run vineyards that offer tours and tastings.

Casino Baden-Baden

Germany's oldest casino, this testament to 19th-century decadence was the brainchild of Parisian Jacques Bénazet, who persuaded the sleepy little Black Forest spa town to build gambling rooms to enliven its evenings after gambling was banned in France (just a few miles away). Opened in 1855, the sumptuous interior was modeled on Versailles, right down to the Pompadour Room, home to a "practice" roulette table, and the luminous Winter Garden, with white marble and antique Chinese vases. The richly decorated gaming rooms could make even an emperor feel at home—Kaiser Wilhelm I was a regular patron, as was his chancellor, Bismarck. Russian novelist Dostoyevsky related his experiences here in his novella, The Gambler, and Marlene Dietrich reputedly called it the most beautiful casino in the world. Passports are necessary as proof of identity. Come in the morning before the doors open to players for a guided tour (40 minutes), available in English on request. To try your hand at either French or American roulette, blackjack, or Texas hold'em, you'll need to be over 21 and follow a strict dress code (jacket for men, no sneakers).

Kaiserallee 1, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, 76530, Germany
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Rate Includes: Guided tour €7

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Fabergé Museum

The first museum dedicated to the work of Russian jeweler Carl Peter Fabergé holds up to 700 masterpieces from the private collection of Muscovite businessman A. Ivanov. Priceless pieces from the late 19th century include several of the 52 unique eggs gifted to members of Russian royalty, including the first of its kind, a modest egg made of white enamel inside of which a gold yolk, tiny chick, and diamond-emblazoned crown are nested. A Buddha made of nephrite—a green stone unique to Russia—with ruby eyes was originally a gift to the King of Siam. Multilingual staff are on hand to explain the collection in detail.

Lichtentaler Allee

A well-groomed park bordering the slender Oos River, this green, tree-lined pedestrian boulevard is a perfect place to stroll, take in the atmosphere, and forget you're in a city. Lined with 19th-century villas, it's home to four museums and an extensive rose garden, the Gönneranlage, which contains more than 400 types of roses.

Mount Merkur

The road to Gernsbach, a couple of miles east of Baden-Baden, skirts this 2,000-foot-high mountain peak, named after a monument to the god Mercury that dates from Roman times and still stands just below the mountain summit. You can take the Merkur Funicular Railway to the summit, but it's not a trip for the fainthearted—the incline (54 degrees) is one of Europe's steepest.

Merkuriusberg 2, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, 76530, Germany
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Rate Includes: Funicular €6 round-trip

Russian Church

The sandstone church is on the corner of Robert Koch Strasse and Lichtentaler Strasse. The Russian diaspora community in Baden-Baden consecrated it in 1882; it's identifiable by its gold onion dome.

Lichtentaler Str. 76, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, 76530, Germany
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Rate Includes: Free

Schloss Favorite

Five kilometers (3 miles) south of Rastatt, in Förch, Ludwig the Turk's Bohemian-born wife, Sibylle Augusta, constructed her own charming little summer palace after his death. Inside, in an exotic, imaginative baroque interior of mirrors, tiles, and marble, her collection of miniatures, mosaics, and porcelain is strikingly displayed. One of the only original palaces left unscathed by the war, the opulent interior includes a one-of-a-kind, 18th-century Florentine cabinet with 758 colorful panels.

Schloss Rastatt

A pink-sandstone, three-wing Schloss forms the centerpiece of the small town of Rastatt. Built at the end of the 17th century by Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden (known as Ludwig the Turk for his exploits in the Turkish wars), its highlights include the chapel, gardens, and a pagoda. It played a pivotal role in history at the turn of the 18th century, when a meeting called to end the fighting between France and the Holy Roman Empire and declare the existence of the state of Germany ended in the death of the French envoy. Inside the palace itself are museums of German defense history.

Herrenstr. 18, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, 76437, Germany
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Rate Includes: €8, Closed Mon.–Wed.