There Are Lots Of Great Things To Do In Wiesbaden!
You know when you arrive in a city and just kinda feel like you belong there? That was Wiesbaden for us. We had an amazing time exploring the city – Eric really fell in love with the buildings and the overall lively yet formal small city feel. As the capital of the state of Hesse, it makes sense that Wiesbaden is so developed and beautiful.
While we’ve wandered a few hidden gems German towns/cities like Aschaffenburg, Coburg, Würzburg, and Aachen, Wiesbaden quickly became one of our favourites. We can count on those German phrases (and Lisa being German) to help us navigate!
There are actually plenty of free things to do in Wiesbaden but there are also a few great activities (like the Wiesbaden Spa) which are well worth their fees! With Mainz and Frankfurt nearby, Wiesbaden is a great city that is well connected to other great German centres in the area. So, whether you’re a planning your visit to Germany for this weekend or later this year, grab your Wiesbaden map, our blog post, and off you go to explore Wiesbaden!
Things to Consider When Visiting Wiesbaden
If you are heading to Wiesbaden for some sightseeing, or you are considering a day trip if you are in Frankfurt for a few hours, here are a few helpful need-to-knows about getting there, walking around, and where to stay. Who knows – you might love it so much that you decide to stay a night!
How to Get to Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is the capital of the German state of Hessen. The city doesn’t have its own airport but due to its close location to Frankfurt International Airport it is well connected. We actually took the S-Train from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden and passed the airport on the way. From the Frankfurt central station the journey to Wiesbaden Central took slightly longer than 40 minutes with S-Trains running very frequently throughout the day.
If you’re travelling from Frankfurt or another nearby city to Wiesbaden, use this website to plan your journey by train. If you are coming from a place farther away the train is usually also a good option, but instead of using the local transportation website use the DB Website to plan your journey.
Alternatively, depending on where you are coming from, you might also decide to take a bus to Wiesbaden. You can check the bus connections on the Flixbus website.
Getting Around in Wiesbaden
Since Wiesbaden is not a huge city it is easy to walk around. This is what we did and we were able to see lots of the major attractions within a few hours. However, if you can’t or don’t want to walk as much you can also take the local buses which run quite frequently and in different directions.
Where to Stay in Wiesbaden
As mentioned, Wiesbaden is a smaller city and as such does not have a ton of accommodation options. It is not a popular backpacker hub and as such does not have many budget accommodations. For example, we couldn’t find any hostels when we were looking up places to stay in Wiesbaden.
However, there are some nice hotels that have great reviews and don’t break the bank either. You can search for Wiesbaden hotels here. If you wanted to stay right close by to the area on the photograph, the Radisson Blu Schwarzer Bock was right behind this area near the thermal fountain. We didn’t sleep the night but it would be a good place to stay given the number of shops and restaurants. Oh, and the “Palast Hotel” you can see in the photo is not a hotel but a restaurant – just FYI.
Top Things To Do In Wiesbaden, Germany
We only had a day to spend in Wiesbaden but got to see most of the attractions the city has to offer. Unfortunately, we had to decide between the Castle Biebrich and Neroberg since we had a train to catch and the attractions were on opposite ends of the city.
That’s why in the end we didn’t take the Nerobergbahn or see the Neroberg – but we are sure to come back and will make it a point to see them then. Since these two attractions are quite popular we wanted to mention them on this list anyway since we don’t want you to miss out on them!
Learn About Wiesbaden’s History On A Walking Tour
If you want to get a feel for Wiesbaden from a local guide, you can sign up for a walking tour in Wiesbaden. We didn’t do a tour – but when we were at the thermal fountains (photographed above) we saw 2 or 3 guided groups checking out Wiesbaden. So, we know that walking tours exist!
There is quite a bit of history to the city that a walking tour might be a really good idea. This way, you don’t miss anything! You can learn more about them/apparently book on the Wiesbaden tourism website.
Admire The Marktkirche
This big red church is an impressive sight and hard to miss with its central tower almost 100 metres high. Built between 1853 and 1862, this massive brick church was the largest brick church in the Duchy (a now-extinct ruling region). The church is located in the city centre at Wiesbaden’s Schlossplatz so this area makes for a great photo opportunity. Honestly, we are not sure if you can go inside just casually and not during a mass time. We didn’t go in – but the photos of the interior look gorgeous.
Relax in the Kurpark
We really enjoyed wandering through the Kurpark which is right behind the Kurhaus (mentioned below). It wasn’t crowded at all when we were there and the fall colours made it look beautiful. One of the highlights of the park is the lake in the middle, the so-called Kurpark Weiher, with a fountain spraying up high in the centre.
It looks like you can rent boats in the summer to take out onto the lake, but when we were there they were all taken out of the water since it was the end of fall already. Something we want to go back in the summertime and do!
Photograph the Kurhaus
The Kurhaus is/was Wiesbaden’s main spa building. Located in the east end of the city centre and built in 1907, the neo-classical design makes the building look SO beautiful. The landscaping of the area (with the nice fountains and autumn trees) made it even more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The building is mainly used for fancy events but it also houses a casino and a restaurant. As you wander around Wiesbaden, you might get the sense that there is a little bit more money flowing through. There’s a certain look and feel to buildings, houses, the cars, etc. that gives it away. This is one of the places where you’ll notice that there’s definitely money in the city. Not a bad thing – just an observation!
See The Thermal Springs and Try The Natural Mineral Water
One of the most obvious and best-known thermal springs in Wiesbaden is the Kochbrunnen. The spring was first recorded in the 14th century. When we were there, it looked like it was alive and steaming which made it an impressive sight.
The water is really warm which was quite nice since it was a cold fall day when we visited. That said, you don’t have to be afraid of burning your skin. We expected the foul smell (sulfur) that we have gotten used to from the thermal springs in Aachen, but this one in Wiesbaden was not that bad!
Next to the Kochbrunnen is actually another small fountain with a sign talking about the mineral water. You can actually try some of the water – it has a very interesting taste that you definitely have to get used to. Don’t drink too much since there are quite a few minerals in it! On the sign, it is recommended to not drink more than 400ml a day – but we doubt that you’d do that anyway.
Ride The Nerobergbahn
For amazing views of the surrounding area, you can take the train to the top of the Neroberg at the north end of the city. It’s actually one of very few funiculars in the world that are still using water ballast to move. In fact, it’s been working this way since it was opened in 1888. The funicular ride is 440 metres long and it will take you approx. 3.5 minutes!
Enjoy The View From The Neroberg
After the Nerobergbahn brings you to the top of the Neroberg, you can explore the hilltop from a height of 245 metres. You’ll be rewarded with a great view of the city – on clear days can even see as far as Mainz (a city close by).
In 1851, architect Philipp Hoffmann built a small park on top of the hill. In it, one of the highlights is a small classical Monopteros temple which looks beautiful in photos. As mentioned above, unfortunately, we haven’t been up to the Neroberg ourselves yet but have seen many photographs. It looks beautiful so we definitely want to go up there when we go back to Wiesbaden.
Visit The Biebrich Palace & Park
Let’s just say this upfront: this was one of Lisa’s favourite things to see in Wiesbaden. Biebrich Palace (also known as Schloss Biebrich) and the massive park are quite a bit away from the city centre. That said since we had a train ticket that was valid the whole day we decided to take the train from Wiesbaden central station to Wiesbaden Biebrich station.
The train ride was only one stop and didn’t take more than 5 minutes. There are also buses which you can take or if you have lots of time and energy you can also walk from Wiesbaden city centre. Once there, head south towards the river/water and you’ll find the entrance to the park!
The Palace was built back in 1702 as a Baroque residence. Over the centuries, it’s been expanded, sold, passed down, damaged in World War II, restored, and now serves a few administrative functions. It’s stunning to look at – and there is even a restaurant/cafe in the front facing the river.
Before you get there, you will have to walk the length of the massive park. There are plenty of pathways moving in all directions with beautiful landscaping to go with it. We stumbled upon the Mosburg – a tiny romantic-style castle built in the park. You can’t go inside but you can peek in and walk all around it.
We didn’t get a chance to explore the entire grounds but we did walk a good majority of them. There are other little ponds, fountains, and historical buildings you can check out. The signboards are pretty detailed at the entrance and down when you get to the Palace. If you are into reading what you’re seeing, you won’t be left out!
Eat Currywurst At Curry Manufaktur With The Locals
After walking around most of the day, we realized we were hungry. We stumbled across this place on accident when making our way down from seeing the Roman Gate (included below) back to the pedestrian mall and decided to stop for lunch.
Looking back, it was a good decision to stop at Curry Manufaktur since the currywurst we had was really, really good. It seems to be a popular place with the locals since many people stopped in for their lunch break. There are standing tables outside and seating inside and upstairs. We sat at basically the only sitting table outside and that worked just fine!
Address: Am Römertor 3, 65183 Wiesbaden
See A Play At The Hessische Staatstheater
If you are into theatre and want to catch a show while in Wiesbaden, why not stop by the Staatstheatre? Built int he very late 19th century and modelled after buildings in Prague and Zurich, the State Theatre stands today as a place of culture and art. The building actually does a variety of performances like operas, plays, concerts, and even musicals on its four stages! To plan ahead for your trip to Wiesbaden, check out the performing schedule here.
Relax In The Kaiser-Friedrich Therme
If you came to Wiesbaden for the thermal springs and to leave feeling rejuvenated, then a visit to the Kaiser-Friedrich Therme. This classically-decorated spa experience ensures the highest level of luxury bathing in the city.
We didn’t go because we were only on a day trip but next time we are going to bring our bathing suits! Having tasted and felt the thermal water at the outdoor spring, it would be amazing to relax in it! If you want to plan a visit to the thermal baths, you can check out the website here.
Address: Langgasse 38-40, 65183 Wiesbaden
Admire The Many Other Churches
There are a TON of other churches all around the city so we didn’t want to give Marktkirche all the glory. Up on the hill behind the thermal fountain we found the Bergkirche (or Mountain Church) which was super impressive and also beautiful as it sat among the nice houses of the neighbourhood.
Elsewhere off of the pedestrian mall, we found the Bonifatiuskirche (St. Bonifatius Church) which was pretty in its Gothic style. There is one more famous one that we did not see and that is St. Elizabeth Church. This popular photographed church with golden domes is the only Russian Orthodox church in Wiesbaden. It’s located up on Neroberg so we didn’t get a chance to see it – but next time it’s our first stop!
Walk through the Heidenmauer and Römertor
The „Heidenmauer“ is the oldest structure in Wiesbaden. According to the Wiesbaden Tourism website is was assumed in the past that it used to be part of a defensive system, but now it is believed to have been part of a Roman aqueduct.
The Roman gate (wooden) was added at the beginning of the 20th century. We wanted to see the wall because Eric had read about it, but you can’t really do much more than take a picture. We also didn’t see a plaque explaining anything about the history of the heathen wall. It was still cool to see, though.
And there you have it – 13 things to do in Wiesbaden! As we mentioned, we didn’t get a chance to do all of these but we are so glad we had the chance to wander the city. We really, really liked the look and feel of the city and we definitely plan to go back to enjoy the thermal springs and the views from the mountain. If you end up in Wiesbaden, let us know what you think!
As always, Happy Wiesbaden Waddlin’,