Rosarium Baden bei Wien, © Rainer Mirau

An audience with the Emperor: Baden bei Wien

Taking a holiday in Baden bei Wien will reinvigorate you during the summer: Discover pleasure at every turn, endless inspiration and walks to magical wine taverns.

There is a reason why Baden bei Wien was a popular summer destination for Emperors and Kings. Or rather, there are many reasons. This tradition continues today with many visitors enchanted by the charms of the spa resort, particularly during May to October, when the rose festival will entice you with the scent of 800 different varieties of rose.

Bathe in culture and roses

If you stroll along Baden's pedestrian zone, you can't fail to succumb to its regal style. Small, sophisticated shops sell a range of items; the Beethoven Praline (white chocolate, cream liquor caramel and Fleur de Sel sea-salt crunch!) made by master pastry chef Herwig Gasser in the ‘Süßes vom Feinsten’ in Kaiserhaus shouldn’t be missed. The Kaiserhaus also hosts a range of changing exhibitions on the history and personalities of the House of Habsburg, as well as the wonderful rosarium, one of the largest rose collections in Europe. Beethovenhaus [Beethoven House] is not far from here, where you can take ‘Beethoven's hearing test’ – it is astounding how despite poor hearing, the genius composed his most awe-inspiring pieces in his head.

On the culinary trail

There are virtually no walking trails around Baden that don't lead you to a culinary destination. We have two favourite routes: The walking route to Rudolfshof – a shortened version of the Badener Kulturwanderweges [Baden Cultural Walking Trail] – leads through the spa gardens via the stunning Beethoven temple and continues through the Vienna forest to ‘Rudolfshof’ restaurant. If you are seeking water and wine, the Wasserleitungsweg [Water Way Trail] (in spring and autumn, it becomes the popular Genussmeile [Indulgence Trail]!) is perfect and the vineyard in Gumpoldskirchen is well worth a visit. The typical wines of the Thermenregion such as Rotgipfler and Zierfandler taste wonderful– as do the traditional wine tavern buffets. We highly recommend a visit to 3erHaus to enjoy bacon, fresh sheep cheese, warm boiled beef with fresh horseradish and Viennese Eismarillenknödeln, which are apricot ice-cream dumplings! Let the train back to Baden take the strain (unless you are highly motivated). We recommend staying in the stylish At the Park Hotel.

Rien ne va plus: You can't find anything better

Live like an Emperor at Hotel Schloss Weikersdorf – relax in an amazing spa. Once refreshed, you will have enough energy to enjoy more of Baden: go to the ‘Grünen Markt’ with its heritage-protected stalls and abundant vegetable stalls and the winegrower's wine shop, where you can take a morning of your holiday to watch the world go by. The Arnulf Rainer Museum in the Alten Frauenbad is not far from here and because viewing art also builds up an appetite, we recommend a trip (by train!) to Klostergasthaus Thallern restaurant for a late lunch. As the house classic deep fried chicken is almost an essential, you can burn off the calories and walk the first Vienna Wasserleitungsweg trail to Baden. Once back in Baden, stroll once more along the romantic Baroque streets and go to Café Clementine, where you can – addiction warning – order a small Badener Rosen-Trüffel-Törtchen (subtle rose, unsubtle chocolate), before rounding off a fantastic day in Casino Baden with champagne and betting chips in extravagant Fine de Siecle-inspired surroundings.