Lifestyle, culture and leisure
Wiesbaden is one of the best-heeled cities in Germany: this ultra-sophisticated city is characterised by its refined taste, its touch of class and its prestige. A long-established and exclusive spa resort, the city is widely regarded as the wellness capital of Europe. Whether you come for the saunas or the restaurants, the atmosphere or the shopping, you will find everything to be at the height of luxury.
One of the best reasons to visit Wiesbaden is to indulge in something new... especially when it's a matter of health. Since the days of the Romans, Wiesbaden has been famed for the healing effects of its 26 thermal springs, making the city the ultimate benchmark of any spa town. Numerous hotels have their own thermal spas and other wellness facilities offering every luxury imaginable. But the city's crowning glory has to be the Kaiser Friedrich baths on the site of an ancient Roman steamroom: the 1,500 square metres of saunas will leave guests feeling pampered from head to toe. The Kurhaus spa assembly rooms, situated in the magnificent English-style park and framed by a number of glorious buildings, are a venue for first-class entertainment. The city's famous casino is also the perfect place for an evening of sophistication, and as with the saunas there's every chance you might break into a sweat. The spa colonnade, which at 129 metres is the longest columned hall in Europe, and the theatre colonnades of the Hessian State Theatre that first opened in 1894 are the perfect complement to a world-class city of health and culture. Not just here but throughout Wiesbaden, people know how to live life to the full. A stroll through Wiesbaden's pentagon-shaped old quarter confirms this. Starting at Schlossplatz square you'll see the palace of the dukes of Nassau, as well as the city centre's earliest surviving building, the Old Town Hall dating back to 1610. Running along the eastern edge of this historical quarter is elegant Wilhelmstrasse, a paradise of shopping and culture.
Alongside exclusive boutiques, galleries and cafés, the street is home to two internationally acclaimed museums: Wiesbaden Museum featuring art from the 12th to the 21st century as well as an important natural history collection, and the Nassau Kunstverein gallery, which specialises in contemporary works. On the eastern side of Wilhelmstrasse lies Warmer Damm park, which was laid out in 1860. Further to the east comes Söhnlein Villa, often referred to as the 'White House' because it imitates the Washington landmark. The Wilhelmstrasse street festival is one of the biggest in Germany – an occasion that guarantees a steady flow of champagne and a festive atmosphere year after year. Smaller and more intimate than the famous shopping street, but with its very own Wilhelmstrasse vibe, is the quarter incorporating Goldgasse, Kranzplatz square and Kochbrunnenplatz square. The city's savoir-vivre is also evident in its broad range of theatrical, literary and musical offerings. For example, distinguished ensembles gather at the Hessian State Theatre each year for the International May Festival, and every summer the Rheingau Music Festival transforms the entire Wiesbaden region into one huge concert stage. Freudenberg House in the district of Dotzheim also offers plenty of culture and novel experiences for the senses. And when it comes to the sense of taste, the city's restaurants and cafés have it covered. Whether you're looking for a light Mediterranean-style snack or a sumptuous celebratory dinner, every taste is catered for. Choose from sophisticated restaurants, bistros and brasseries, cosy wine and beer taverns or pubs, bars and cafés. Your table is ready. So what are you waiting for? Come to Wiesbaden and experience something special.
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