This article was written by me for UK magazine 'Railway Traveller';
Benedict Holland travelled through Germany on a leisurely train journey to discover Brunswick, Fulda and Baden-Baden
A train journey with Deutsche Bahn’s ICE service is always a pleasure, especially if you go first class from Germany’s capital to the lesser known beauty spots on its border to France.
The ride to Baden-Baden, which takes five and ¾ hours and departs every 2 hours from Berlin Central Station, takes you through some of Germany’s must-visit areas such Thuringia, famous for its sausages, natural beauty and cultural heritage.
In the first-class carriages you’ll enjoy travelling on big leather seats and looking out of the large windows at the passing scenery. There is good free Wi-fi on the train and passengers booked in the designated quiet areas can enjoy reading and relaxing without loud disturbances.
The popular train restaurant offers hot meals and cold beverages in the luxuriously furnished dining carriage. You can also order the barista-grade cappuccinos and americanos directly from your seat in English, which is understood by all members of staff.
"You'll pass a multitude of exciting cities and areas
On the train, you will pass a multitude of exciting cities and areas; Brunswick, famed for its eclectic mix of architecture and shopping is always worth a visit while Fulda, home to a magnificent palace and a baroque dome, offers great traditional German food.
Once you’ve arrived in Baden-Baden, a historic spa town in the west of Germany’s Baden Württemberg state, treat yourself to a stay in the luxurious Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa for the night before visiting the Friedrichsbad, known as Europe’s ‘most avant-garde’ bath house during the 19th century.
Baden Baden’s world-renowned Casino is also worth a visit, while a traditional Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in Cafe König is a delightful way to end the day. Baden Baden’s short proximity to Strasbourg gives Francophiles the opportunity to continue their journey through France. If you’re looking to see the ‘real’ Germany, this is a great way to do it in style.
Single first-class fares from Berlin to Baden-Baden start at £38.74 (£16.99 for standard class) if you book in advance. See Trainline.com for more. For rates at Brenner’s Park Hotel see Booking.com