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Baden (Switzerland)

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Baden old town

Baden [1] is a town in the Northeastern region of Switzerland. It has a lively shopping centre, and a beautiful old town with traditional swiss buildings, and small castle, all on the banks of the river Limmat which flows from Lake Zurich. Half of the town is dominated by the industrial/office complexes of Alstom and ABB, and the local economy is dependent upon their power plant manufacturing, but historically people were attracted to Baden for its thermal baths.

A nice, small town to stay in while visiting the larger and busier cities in the region, such as Zurich.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Baden is served by rail. Located just outside Zürich, it is served by the S6 (37 min) and S12 (30 min) lines of the Zürich S-Bahn commuter rail network. If you have an all-zone Zürich transport card and are coming from Zürich, you should by a single ticket from Otelfingen (for S6) or Dietikon (for S12). Connections westwards are available by Aargau local trains S23 and S27 to Olten and Waldshut as well as intercity trains to Basel and Berne. For Zürich S-Bahn map, tickets and timetables see the Zürich local transport website [2]. For Aargau local rail map, tickets and timetables see [3] (in German). For intercity train connections see the SBB-CFF-FFS website [4] (German), [5] (French), [6] (Italian), [7] (English)

By car[edit]

Baden is near the major A1/E30 motorway. Use either exit 55 Neuenhof or 54 Verzweigung Baden. Between those two exits, you drive through the Baregg, a famous tunnel . Famous, because it was a major source of traffic jam before the 3rd tunnel was built.

Get around[edit]

The town centre is small enough to walk around, with a pleasant pedestrianised shopping street, and riverside walkways.

To explore further afield you might like to take a bus from the main station. Pay with coins in the machine on board, or at certain bus stops. Alternatively, buy a 6 journey strip card from the train ticket office for the price of 5 journeys.

Note with all trains & busses the "halbtax" option ('1/2' button on the machines) is for local people who have spent 150CHF on an annual half fare pass.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Walk up the hill in the middle of town to the old ruins of a Habsburg castle, the Stein, for an excellent view of Baden, Wettingen, and surrounding communities. On clear days the Glarner Alps can be seen.
  • The Baden Museum gives a full historical overview of how the baths, and industry have shaped the town.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Go for a thermal bath. The city is named Baden (to bath/bathe) because of the natural geothermal springs were originally ducted into baths by the Romans. The springs are claimed to be the most mineral rich in Europe. The main baths are in Thermalbaden and cost 16CHF + 5CHF returnable deposit , for an adult. Lots of luxury hotels are located around the thermal area by the river. Many hotels have private thermal baths. And you should go!
  • There is Children's museum, KinderMuseum [8]. Could be an interesting activity for children.
  • The Langmatt Museum [9] for those interested in Impressionist art.
  • Most Saturday Mornings there is a local food market (Farmers Market) in Weitergasse and sometimes special events (e.g.cultural or sports activities or special markets) go on in front of the Train Station (Bahnhofplatz- Badstrasse).
  • During the summer, walk along the beautiful Limmat (river). It is recommended to go for a swim on sunny days when the current is not too strong, however, be wary of the nearby dams. There should be warning signs if it is too close to a dam, but to be sure, you'll know it's a safe area if there are many locals nearby swimming as well.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The main street is bustling with shoppers during the day. Lots of clothes shops, and various chain stores including 'Manor' (huge department store) and 'Merkur' (get your swiss chocolate here). Look out for the Badener Stein, locally made chocolate sweets with a high alcohol content. They are delicious. There's a market on Saturday morning near the Stadtturm, the old town clock tower.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Isenbahnli, 10 Bahnhofstrasse (opposite Manor store), 056 / 222 57 58. 11AM-2:30PM and 4PM-12PM. Excellent (but expensive) swiss style food. Often full (make a booking) 25 CHF - 45 CHF
  • Brasserie Zum Schwyzerhusli, 38 Badstrasse (station end of the main shopping street), 056 / 222 62 63. M-F 09.30-23.00, Sat 09.00-19.00. Swiss specialities including fondue, at a reasonable price. Can be smokey inside. 15 CHF - 30 CHF
  • Restaurant Bar Hirschli, 9 Badstrasse (behind the "Credit Suisse" bank), 056 / 210 09 55. M-Sa 11.00-24.00, Sun 17.00-24.00. Creative cooking, east meets west. Lunch menues at a reasonable price. 15 CHF - 25 CHF. Dinner menues are a little more expensive. 30 CHF - 60 CHF

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Mullerbrau Biergarten [10] Big beergarden round the back of the brewery. Popular and crowded, but only open in the summer.
  • Sonnendeck [11] An outdoor bar on a deck by the river under the tall Mellingerstrasse bridge. Also only open in the summer
  • Mojo Japanese themed bar and sushi restaurant near the station. Spacious, stylish, and modern
  • Cerosa Down spooky alleyway, but don't let that put you off. Its fun, unpretentious, and has cheap beer
  • Mr Pickwicks [12] English themed chain pub. Smokey. Popular with... Swiss people who want to practice their english and the English. Has Sky Sports.
  • LWB [13] Big club under a concrete railway underpass. Very young (teenaged?) crowd.
  • Rossini's [14] Has a large selection of Cuban cigars. Every Thursday, drinks are half price from 18h to 20h.
  • Kiste [15] The club for electronic music, open on the weekend.
  • Rebstock Baden, Untere Halde 21 5400 Baden, 056 221 12 77, [16]. M 5PM-Midnight, Tu-Sa 11AM-2PM & 5PM - Midnight. Creative French Kitchen in Old Town Baden. Chef Didier Mortaigne, entertains both in humor and good food. Fluent in English, French, German, and Swiss German. The interior is warm and inviting. Winter menu is Wild Game, Lamb, Sqaush and Pumpkin Harvest Foods, and Lille style Mussels and Fries. Great for business entertaining, romantic interlude, or comfort french food with friends. 50 meters to parking. 10 minutes walk from the Baden Train Station. Views, possibly most authentic in Baden. Reservations recommended. 41 CHF Entree, 100 CHF full meal.  edit
  • Café Frau Meise, Untere Halde 15, 0565355901, [17]. A cute little Café where you can eat Brunch till 4PM, we have Lunch and homemade cakes  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Youth Hostel Baden by the river. [18]
  • Gasthaus zum Hirschen [19]Outside Baden, in Kirchdorf dorf; a charming little village further up the valley. There's a bus every 20mins into Baden, which takes 15mins. Good clean modern rooms in an old traditional swiss building. Single room 95CHF.
  • Du Parc [20]Luxury hotel. Central location. Piano lounge bar.
  • Blue City Hotel [21] Business hotel. The hotel offers singel and double rooms, meeting rooms, a restaurant and a bar/lounge on top of the building. Very central (1 minute to the train station, 2 minutes to the ABB/Alstom complexes), quite expansive.

If you can afford it, also consider the hotels near the Thermal baths, such as:

  • The Hotel Limmathof. [22]
  • The Verenahof [23] hotel had a direct 'tunnel' to the baths, however the hotel closed in September, 2002 for renovations.
  • The ATRIUM Hotel Blume [24] in Thermal Baden opposite the main baths. Famous for it's old world charm with the main ATRIUM having been built in 1840. A place to stop and see if only for a coffee.
  • Pension Frau Meise, Untere Halde 15, 0565355901, [25]. checkin: 15.00; checkout: 12.00. A small and cute Guesthouse with his own little Café in the middle of the old town 100.  edit

Get out[edit]

Hop on a train into Zurich, or in the other direction to Basel or to Bern (via Olten).

There are direct (and 1 change-over) trains to Waldshut in Germany.


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