Before the advances of modern medicine, spa waters were believed to be the cure for almost all illnesses. People travelled from all over Europe to ‘take the waters’ of renowned spa towns such as Bad Soden am Taunus in the west of Germany. In fact, the town has a mention in a literary classic–Anna Karenina, when the Scherbatskys head to the town in an effort to cure Kitty's illness. Today, the natural spa waters are still used medicinally and therapeutically, and Bad Soden is a popular resort for German visitors and other tourists. However, the expansion of the metropolitan area of Frankfurt has turned the town into a suburb of sorts, with many Bad Soden residents travelling to and from the city to work every day.
Location: Bad Soden am Taunus–Still waters run deep
The town of Bad Soden became particularly popular as a spa resort because of its proximity to the main road that runs between Frankfurt and Bonn. Today, this location has helped turn the town into a thriving commuter suburb, with excellent and regular public transport connections to Frankfurt city centre and Frankfurt International Airport.
Business: Health and wellness
For centuries, Bad Soden has operated as a profitable spa town, exporting its waters and the popular Soden lozenges (Sodener Pastillen), which are made from a concentrated solution of the carbonic acid gas and the various iron oxides, which are found naturally in the water. Public bathhouses and spa resorts capitalise on the town’s reputation, and draw a huge number of tourists every year.
Culture: International tastes
An influx of visitors over the past several hundred years has given Bad Soden an international feel. There are restaurants, bars, and cafes to suit every taste in the town centre, and the major hotels are kitted out with all the comforts of home. The spa facilities are still in popular use by both locals and visitors, but to really fit in, you should choose a public bathhouse or sauna instead of a more touristy spa resort.
Activities: City life at a distance
Bad Soden has some excellent fitness facilities, but for the real action you should head into Frankfurt. The city centre is just a 20 minutes away by train or car, and it is packed full of every activity and entertainment you can imagine. North of Bad Soden, the beautiful German countryside awaits, but make sure you know where you are going if you decide to take a hike, as the forested areas can get very dark, even in daylight.