Since ancient times people have enjoyed mineral water and springs, building spa towns to benefit from their healing powers. These places became centres of health and well-being, creating European spa heritage and tradition, now promoted and enhanced by the Route of Historic Thermal Spa Towns – a cultural route of the Council of Europe since 2010. 

Today we are visiting one of these amazing towns in the Danube region – Baden bei Wien, a close neighbour of the Austrian capital. 

Welcome to the spa town on the edge of the Vienna Woods, which was once the summer residence of the Austrian emperors, and where the Romans bathed in the sulphur springs many centuries before.  A combination of a healthy climate, musical variety, cosmopolitan charm and elegant flair invites to enjoy and relax. Let us do so!

Kurpark in Baden bei Wien @Christian Frydl

Known in Roman times as Aquae, the spa cure in Baden was developed as a combination of medicine and pleasure. From 1792, Baden began to enter a golden age with the reign of Emperor Franz II and its designation as an official imperial summer residence, from which the internationally famous 19th century spa resort emerged. The city centre with its imperial residence and town hall, the Biedermeier baths and the Grand Hotel Sauerhof bear witness to this period.

Baden – a place where emperors and kings felt at home, and where great composers found their inspiration. Ludwig van Beethoven regularly visited Baden between 1803 and 1825, spending several weeks each time during the warmer months.  “I would have never believed in my life, that I could be so lazy while I am here,” – he said once. 

The idyllic spa town and splendid nature of the Helenental Valley also inspired the musician in his works, including his 9th Symphony with its famous “Ode to Joy “. Alongside Beethoven and Mozart, Schubert, Strauß and Lanner also came to enjoy fresh summers in Baden.

The House of Beethoven in Baden bei Wien ©Schmölzer

More than 4 million litres of natural sulphur thermal water between 32 to 36 degrees Celsius bubble daily from the 14 natural sulphur thermal springs in Baden, some almost 1,000 metres deep. The “yellow-golden” water forms the basis of an extensive spa programme.

Parks and gardens in Baden bei Wien @Lammerhuber_Klein

It is primarily used in the form of baths, mineral applications, and water therapies for the successful treatment of rheumatic conditions and mobility impairments. It has excellent antioxidant effects and makes a valuable contribution to the prevention of chronic illnesses caused by modern lifestyles.

The Baden spa centre (Kurzentrum) in Baden’s historical centre plays an important role in the local spa tradition: it offers both modern and classical forms of treatment, with Baden’s sulphuric healing waters always at the centre of the healing tradition.

Thermal establishment Engelsbad in Baden bei Wien @Romana Fürnkranz

After such an amazing spa experience one should be really hungry and thirsty, right? Not a problem, you can choose between a hundred restaurants in the historic centre which would satisfy any taste. 

Taste some delicious wiener schnitzel – breaded and fried escalope or a tafelspitz – succulent boiled veal with vegetables. If you visit the town in springtime, treat yourself to some asparagus dishes from the region.

Don’t forget some local wine: you are now in Austrian cradle of viticulture! That’s right, this is your chance to taste some amazing vines! Try an aromatic white wine such as Rotgipfler and Zierfandler or an excellent red wine such as the harmonic Zweigelt.

In Baden, the best grapes thrive on the sun-drenched slopes on the edge of the Pannonian lowlands. The wine is produced in the area and is enjoyed by wine lovers at the typical Heurigen wine taverns in the region. Baden wines have a fruity, full-bodied bouquet and strong aroma.

Wiener Schnitzel with Potatoes @Brent Hofacker_Shutterstock

If you happen to visit the area in September – it’s your chance to participate in “Genussmeile” food festival, stretching for about 16 kilometres along the famous 1st Vienna water line hiking path between Mödling, Baden and Bad Vöslau. It is made up of around 90 stalls, selling local wines, beers, burgers, cold meats and of course wine.  Come over and join the party!

#ThermalTravels; #keepheritagealive; #TourismBaden; #badenbeiwien #ThermalTowns

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