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Lined with magnificent neoclassical buildings that were rebuilt after WWII, Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hesse, is one of Europe's oldest spa towns, with hot springs still flowing today. It's 40km west of Frankfurt, across the Rhine from Mainz.

Wiesbaden's name translates as 'meadow baths', reflecting both its thermal baths and beautiful expanses of parkland. The city lies at the eastern edge of the Rheingau winegrowing region, which stretches along the Rhine's right (northern) bank west to the Rüdesheim area of the Romantic Rhine.

Renowned Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–81) amassed huge debts at the city’s gambling tables in the 1860s, which inspired his masterpiece, The Gambler.

Home to the European headquarters of the US Army, Wiesbaden has a strong US military presence, with around 19,000 US citizens based here.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Wiesbaden.