The old spa-town Wiesbaden will give you more reasons to buckle up and explore for yourself for your next travel destination in the German state of Hesse.
Wiesbaden offers numerous destinations according to TouristSpy research, with great architecture and picturesque scenery. It does not end there – there are gaiety festivals, glamorous nightlife, delicious cuisines, and of course excellent beer!
Fun fact: Wiesbaden literally means meadow baths, and is the home of more than 10 natural hot springs!
To enlist all worthwhile places and things to do while in Wiesbaden would be near impossible, as your options are manifold. Add to this fact that you are only a stone’s throw away from Mainz, another city with many things to do and see, located on the other side of the Rhine.
Let’s explore the 17 best things you can do in Wiesbaden!
17. Kuckucksuhr (Cuckoo Clock)
The famous Kuckucksuhr in Wiesbaden has a life-sized cuckoo clock for a display to all. It is located in the Kaiser-Friedrich-Square of Wiesbaden (open in Google Maps)
A sales clerk by the name, Emil Kronberger presented the cuckoo clock as a souvenir, which stood up for display to all in the year 1946. While in the year 1950, it won the award title of being the most oversized functioning Cuckoo clock in the world.
You should pay a visit to this clock at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. The reason being – that during these hours, it cuckoos in a typical cuckoo clock fashion.
16. St. Bonifatius church
St. Bonifatius is the home to being the central catholic parish and a catholic church in Wiesbaden. Renovated from an earlier collapsed building, St. Bonifatius saw its completion in construction in the year 1866.
The design and architecture of this building saw a significant influence on the Gothic Revival style. The most striking external feature of this church is its twin steeples at the front side of the building, standing at 68m tall. The church has a custom organ built in the year 1954. The church’s interiors are magnificent, with additions of red, white, and blue stained windows.
15. Wiesbaden Altstadt
Sitting right at the heart of Wiesbaden’s city center is Altstadt. It is a quaint point with an old-world charm of pedestrian streets and boulevards. The highlight of this town is its squares, where significant monumental buildings and palaces stand close to each other. The three most famous landmark buildings are the Marktplatz, Schlossplatz, and Mauritisplatz.
Marktplatz is the tallest building in the city, and Schlossplatz hosts a variety of charming buildings. The Mauritisplatz gives you a view of Hessischer Landtag – a former palace and now Hesse’s parliament building. You can easily get lost in the beauty of great architectural detailing with distinct characters.
14. Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof
The Hauptbahnhof is the railway line and station for transport in Wiesbaden
After the railway at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, Hauptbahnhof in Hesse is the second-largest railway station in Germany. A sprawling number of about 40,000 passengers to Wiesbaden, the spa city, add to the number of commuters through this railway station.
The striking architecture featuring the neo-baroque design is noteworthy in red sandstone, with yellow sandstone for the interiors. The whole station is a work of art on its own that hosts ten functional railway tracks. Another exciting highlight of this station is its 40 m height clock tower.
13. Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust memorial, as the name suggests, is a memorial street on both sides of the road in Michelsberg Hill, Wiesbaden. It commemorates the lives of those Jews killed during the Holocaust in Germany in 1940.
The creative idea to erect a Holocaust Memorial was by Artist Gunter Demnig, 1900.
One side of the memorial displays the story of the Holocaust through a 24*7 interactive screen. The other side has “stumbling stones” on the pathway with names of the victims inscribed along with their date of birth and death. You can walk up to pay your respects for those fellow beings that witnessed the worst possible history.
One of the things that Wiesbaden is famous for is its natural hot springs. Kochbrunnen stands for “boil fountain” in the German language. True to its name, Kochbrunnen is a shell-shaped fountain, making it the city’s most famous hot spring.
Fable stories have it that thermal water has restorative powers. Therefore, thousands of tourists and residents there dip their fingers when they visit or cross the place.
It will pay off to stop by to admire the hot spring that springs 360 liters at 66˚C every minute. You can also stop to take pictures of the spring surrounded by neoclassical architecture buildings.
11. Spielbank Wiesbaden
Spielbank Wiesbaden is among the most popular and traditional casinos in Germany. Gambling in Germany started in the early 1800s. Nevertheless, by 1810, the citizens saw the introduction of roulette in the Kurhaus.
With all the modern amenities of poker, modern slot machines, roulettes, and blackjack, you are sure to have an entertaining night. It also houses restaurants and a bar- it adds to the merry, fun, and entertainment with the right blend of a historical building. After all the sightseeing and exploring, a fun night calls for an evening at this spectacular casino.
The Market Church is the main protestant church for the residents of Wiesbaden, built between the years 1853-1862. The architecture of the church exhibits a classic neo-gothic design.
The church’s location sits at the city’s heart, drawing massive attention with its striking red-colored brick walls. Another important highlight of the church, besides the rich architecture and history, is the church music. The church has a Walcker organ.
A stroll up the church on Saturday in the afternoon will ensure you get to listen to a free organ music concert.
9. State Theatre and Opera House
In German, it goes by the name Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. The inauguration of the State Theatre and opera house took place in the year 1896. Since 1896, it has been hosting the annual international theatre and music festival, Internationale Maifestspiele.
It brings forth excellent performance both in theatre and in opera, marked by the high number of audience attendance. Every month, the orchestra also holds chamber music and symphony concerts.
If exquisite interiors alongside classical performance are your thing, then do not miss visiting this.
Wilhelmstraße is an urban boulevard lane in the district of Nordost, Wiesbaden. It commonly goes by the name “die Rue” by the locals.
The boulevard is an example of modern and upscale urban planning. Stretching up to over 900 m, it is one of the busiest shopping streets in Germany. The entire stretch of the boulevard is 30m wide, enhancing and giving depth to its remarkable character.
The western side of the boulevard is close to historical monuments and is quieter. However, the eastern side is more happening as it is a commercial stretch with all shopping arcades.
7. Tier- und Pflanzenpark Fasanerie
It is nestled and spread over a green forest of over 23 hectares on the northwest side of Wiesbaden. Back in the day, the entire enclosure was exclusively for princely hunts. It is now open to the public and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
The exciting thing about the zoo is that there is minimal use of cages and enclosures. Therefore, it is almost near a natural habitat area for over 50 different animals and birds.
Who’s it for? It serves as an ideal destination spot for children, elders, and families.
6. Kurpark Wiesbaden
Kurpark is a publicly accessible park ground in Wiesbaden, located just behind the Kurhaus (spa house). Its design structure had inspirations from the English gardens, completing its construction in the year 1852. Spread in a lush green garden of 75,000 square meters, it is perfect for leisure walks or boating.
The landscaping is stunning, with a lake beside lush green foliage of magnolias, rhododendron, and cypresses. True to the English garden charm design, there stands a 6-foot tall water fountain.
You can take a walk at the 1 Km trial walk alongside the park or rent a boat for the lake.
5. Museum Wiesbaden
The Museum Wiesbaden is one of the three state museums of Hesse. The history of its initiation, of coming up with a museum, dates back to 1812. Although in 1825, it moved to its now original place, the Prince’s Palace at Wilhelmstraße, after the Duke’s death.
It hosts a range of contemporary art collections, sculptures, paintings, installations mainly from the latter half of the 20th Century. In addition, it includes over 100 art paintings of notable Russian painter Alexej von Jawlensky. It is a must-visit venue for art fanciers!
Neroberg has its name retained since 1750 and is the go-to recreational spot for residents of Wiesbaden. Rising to 245m above sea level, you get the most panoramic views from the hilltop.
From the top, you will get to see the magnificent Rhine forest views. Towards the south of Neroberg, you will see stunning vineyard (Riesling) plantations all across the hills.
The serene forest trail with accessible paths will be a dream come true for trekking enthusiasts. It is also near the chapel and funicular railway station.
3. Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirche
It is the only Orthodox Russian chapel found in Neroberg, Wiesbaden. Locally, it goes by the name “GriechischeKapelle,” meaning “Greek Chapel.” This chapel, built in the 19th Century, has quite a history around its existence. The Duke Adolf of Nassau built this chapel to remember his dead wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia.
The classic and grand architecture surrounded by the greenery makes it a striking piece of the landmark. The five distinct onion-shaped domes that are gold-colored adds to the grandeur.
If you are an enthusiast of art, hand-carved sandstone wall designs, this will surely not disappoint you.
The Nerobergbahn is a funicular railway situated in Wiesbaden that takes you to the northern hills of Neroberg. It is 131 years old, opened in 1988, and stands as the oldest water-powered (funicular) railway in Germany. It hosts two distinctly colored carriages of blue and yellow paints that can carry 50 passengers each.
Running on an average of 7km/hour over 438m, you will encounter the most panoramic views of the Neroberg hills. To witness the most romantic and stunning viewpoint of Wiesbaden riding up the hills using a historic mode of transport will be an experience of a lifetime.
1. Kurhaus Wiesbaden
You probably wondered when we mentioned the spa-houses. Well, behold Kurhaus, the famous “spa house in Wiesbaden” tops our list of the best things to do in Wiesbaden, according to tourists and visitors.
Built in 1810, Kurhaus was the first spa house in Wiesbaden. It underwent two major renovations that saw implementations of modern facilities and technology.
It is massive in size, bordered by colonnades along the sides. It houses grand halls and ballrooms, a theatre, a casino, and restaurants, all under one roof. The “bowling green” garden with a spectacular fountain adds to the charm of the historic building.
The neoclassical and baroque style architecture will surely leave you awestricken. Not to forget – the ballet, theatre, and open-air concerts promise full-packed entertainment.