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rafa01 Wiesbaden - A travel report by rafa
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Wiesbaden,  Germany - flag Germany -  Hessen
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rafa01's travel reports

Wiesbaden - the gateway to the Rheingau

  11 votes
Since roman times people come to Wiesbaden to cure their health and take advantage of the many spas and hot springs of the city. Today, Wiesbaden is a livid city with a mundane history but still busy and a lovely place for a vacation in Germany.

The "Kurhouse" with the Casino
Wiesbaden is the capital of Hessen, the state in Germany which is mainly recognized by Frankfurt which is the gateway to Europe and only 30 km away from Wiesbaden. It was founded by Romans about 2000 years ago and was called Aquae Matiacis because of the local German tribe of this area. There is little left from the Romans in the city but visit the Museum or across the Rhine River the German-Roman museum in Mainz! You should definitely visit the famous Casino - and recover your travel budget ;-) The history of the casino goes back to the 17th century. Famous guests like Fjodor Dostojewsky who lost a fortune here are legendary. Also the autograph wall of Kaefer's within the Casino where famous stars from over the world left autographs over decades is a place to see. Have a drink at the bar! Beside of the casino there is much more to be seen for example Mount Nero, the beautiful Market Church and the resident areas with splendid 19th century villas and mansions.

Favourite spots:
The Kochbrunnen in Wiesbaden
The Kochbrunnen in Wiesbaden
Mount Nero certainly gives you a beatuiful view over the city. You will see 1000 year old oak trees which are lokated up there and give the whole area a mystic feeling. As Wiesbaden is the gateway to the Rheingau you should take a trip to Eltville or just cross the river Rhine and visit the old city of Mainz. Also Mainz was founded by the Romans about 2000 years ago. So there's lot of history to see and feel. It is actually a misinterpretation, that the name Mount Nero derives from the famous Roman Emperor. Nero in ancient German language means just "behind". An other spot I definitely recommend is the "Fasanerie" which is a local park like a zoo but with no entrance fee (very rare those days!). The have a splendid collection of European animals and to my understanding the only
area where wolves and bears are living together in the same area.
Probably best time to visit the Fasanerie is fall, when all the leafes are down - and don't do it on weekends!

What's really great:
One of the many hot springs in the city.
One of the many hot springs in the city.
A funny ride with the Mount Nero train was quite fun. I recommend to take the train up hill and walk then down back to the city over the other site. Thats a neat stroll for those of you who are somehow reluctant for long hikes ;-) You may also take a bike and go up from Wiesbaden-Biebrich down to Ruedesheim along the river Rhine. You will pass some of the most beautiful spots like old castles and dramatic views of the Rhine valley and wineyards.
Just take a break and go up to the Vollrad Castle. Perfect cuisine coupled with a marvelous lookout over the area will definitely pay off
your efforts. Another place to go is the Abbey of Eberbach. Do a wine test and you will see the ages which have left their tracks in this place. Some scenes of the famous movie "The name of the rose" was made up here.

The Town Hall and the Market Church
The Town Hall and the Market Church
Mount Nero and the Nero Valley, the Kurhouse and surrounding parks are really the very heart of Wiesbaden. If you travel in fall you may look surpirsed to spot colourful parrots in the trees of the Kurpark. Those birds are really native meanwhile to Wiesbaden because ancestors escaped from cages and now they breed and survive. Maybe also a good sign for the healthy climate of the city. I once had a situation when I was in Wiesbaden in November when a whole flock of splendid green parrots had flown infront of my car at a traffic light. My first though was I had a strange drink at Kaefer's the night before but then I realized those birds were real! I thought I am still in back home in Bogota! Do a guided bus tour if you are in a hurry. Buses start in front of Bowling Green which is the lawn in front of the Kurhouse.

A view from Mt. Nero
A view from Mt. Nero
As a business traveller I recommend the Nassauer Hof which is certainly #1 in Wiesbaden and one of the best in Europe. But there are more places to stay so the Hotel de France or the Hotel Klemm are also very nice and offer attractive rates especially over the weekends.

Celebrating New Years eve in the casino was a real highlight of my visit in Wiesbaden
Celebrating New Years eve in the casino was a real highlight of my visit in Wiesbaden
The Park Cafe is certainly one of the places with highest recommendation to go in the all Rhein-Main area. Also the giant Eurodisco in Mainz-Kastel (which belongs to Wiesbaden) is a place to go if you like fun and dance and you are =< 25 ;-)
However, there are countless small pubs, clubs and other places to go where everyone should find a suitable place.
International places are everywhere because Wiesbaden has a lot of international travellers and is still a major US Army base here in Europe. So language is no obstacle to get around.

One of the many parks in Wiesbaden
One of the many parks in Wiesbaden
The Winston Churchill on Taunusstreet is a snug place.
I recommend the Havanna at the market place - excellent meeting point with good cocktails! Parcival also on Taunus is a place to step in. In summer, Kaefer's Beergarden just behind the Casino is the right place to be.

The russian church in Wiesbaden
The russian church in Wiesbaden
The Rheigold in the Saalgasse is a special place to go. Reservations are mandatory! Also the Ente and the Kaefer's are top addresses for high end dinner. The "JagdschloƟ Platte" is famous for game and regional food. The have also excellent wine (Wiesbaden is famous for the Rheingau wine and in particular the Riesling!
The "La Palmyra' is very well known for Lebanese specialties! Try the lamb variations just to say scrumptuos!
The "Chok Dee" is a traditional Thai restaurant and believe me, I hardly found such an excellent Thai restaurant anywhere on this planet - and I have seen some places.....
If you like Italian try the Gondoliere who serves always very traditional italian specialties and has only a limited numer of pizze....

Other recommendations:
The Parliament with the market place in front
The Parliament with the market place in front
The area behind Wiesbaden is know as the Taunus. A montaneous ridge with nice lookouts and long walking and hiking trails.
In Wiesbaden, the Emperor Frederic Thermal bath is a must do while you are there! Also the Russian Church on Mount Nero just beside the Opel Bath is a famous place to see.

Published on Friday September 10th, 2004

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