WIESBADEN, GERMANY. Although the initial purpose of my trip to Germany was to enjoy Oktoberfest with my brother and father, I ended up spending most of my time not in Munich, but at a small and very authentic city called Wiesbaden. Initially, I was against the idea of driving three hours from Munich to Wiesbaden simply because my father considered Munich to be too “mainstream”, but eventually, I let myself be convinced.

Three hundred and twenty kilometers later, we arrived to a place I now believe to be a hidden architectural gem of a city. Personally, I think of Wiesbaden as the perfect location for people who want to experience both big city life and a more relaxed one. For instance, its location is ideal as it is surrounded by big cities such as Frankfurt and Cologne. In addition, we all know how the Germans roll: there is no motorway speed limit on their autobahns, which makes the distance between these places seem nonexistent.


Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse | amras_de

Apart from its excellent location, Wiesbaden also offers activities for people of all ages and tastes. For instance, it is foremost a walking city; therefore, if you happen to stay in the center of the city, you will most likely be able to walk to most important monuments, weather permitting. However, it is important to understand the structure of this city:

Ring 1— city center— is also known as the Old Quarter. This is, as its name indicates, the oldest part of the city and also, I feel, the most charming part. In fact, ring 1 is composed mostly of pedestrian areas with large avenues and streets. The shops are lined up on both sides, calling out to passersby to stop in. The restaurants in Wiesbaden are adapted to every taste, ranging from European to Asian.

Market Church is the main Protestant church in Wiesbaden | via Kay Gaensler

Market Church is the main Protestant church in Wiesbaden | via Kay Gaensler

Ring 2– this is the further and newer part of town: you can easily get there by car or by the city’s well set-up public transportation. Although most historical and cultural monuments are found in ring 1, ring 2 has a different charm. Since it consists mostly of residential areas, the architecture you find there is quite interesting. It is a mixture of the older part of town with neo-classical style of building and the modern architecture, represented by elements such as garage doors made of wood or renovated balconies with soundproof windows.

Below are some suggestions that I want to share with you, in case you are interested in visiting Wiesbaden:

Place to Stay:

Hotel de France, Taunusstrasse 49: -65183 Wiesbaden. This four-star boutique hotel is located literally in the heart of Wiesbaden. Taunusstrasse street is designed for enjoyment: there are many restaurants, bars and spa places throughout. Regarding the hotel, the rooms were very practical; it is the perfect place to spend the night if you are looking for somewhere to sleep after a long day of visiting monuments. A continental buffet with everything that you could need is included in the cost.

Things to Do:

The Casino offers its visitors an amazing experience. Part of it was the experience of dressing up elegantly in order to get in. Once you are in, the atmosphere of the place takes you back in time. I found it the perfect place to forget the outside world. I forgot all about the rain as I embraced the warmth and grandiosity of the place; I failed to remember that I live in 2013 and that technically one isn’t supposed to smoke indoor anymore as I watch the men and women do just that as they throw down their chips. Finally, as silly as it sounds, it felt as if we were all there with the same goals in mind: be a child again, enjoy the game and ignore the world that continued outside those doors.

Place to Eat:

You can find some great fish or meat at “Beef N’ Reef- Steak & Seafood Restaurant” (Taunusstrasse 23- 65183 Wiesbaden). I ordered a dish called “Surf and Turf”, which is a combination of filet mignon and lobster, covered in a butter and garlic sauce. The desserts are also absolutely amazing and the chocolate mousse is a must.