You want a quieter, calmer, culturally stimulating alternative to Frankfurt? Wiesbaden could be for you.
Wiesbaden is the second largest city in Hesse with a population of 290,000. It’s located square in the well-connected Rhein-Main region. But compared to Frankfurt, its real estate rates are almost absurdly low. The average tenant pays EUR 11.30/qm here, the average buyer EUR 4,000/qm. In 2015, Wiesbaden came in sixth on the list of wealthiest German towns. Its denizens have been noted to possess considerably above average spending power.
The Hessian capital reached its position at the top of the political food chain unexpectedly when Frankfurt forwent its application after the start of the Cold War, bargaining that it might be chosen as Western Germany’s new capital. As one of Germany’s oldest spa and wellness areas, it still managed to maintain its cultured, fresh-aired flair after the government moved in.
As the majority of German towns that feature the word “bad” in their name, Wiesbaden is built along a number of hot mineral springs, and used to serve as a spa resort for the Roman Empire. A lot of its economy is still centered around its many “Kurbäder”. The German institution of the “Kur” enables people who previously suffered from an extended physical or psychological sickness to take a medically supervised “timeout.” The atmosphere in Wiesbaden is relaxed; Wiesbaden expatriates would benefit from beautiful parks, numerous wellness facilities, mansions and sculptures built from the white stone of the regal Wilhelminian era. Wiesbaden is a center of classical culture and arts; its annual Rheingau Musik Festival is one of the greatest in Europe, featuring over 150 concerts and luminaries such as Yo-Yo Ma or jazz icon Michael Wollny.
Wiesbaden is part of a dense network of public transport connections. A train launching from the central railway station will reach Frankfurt in between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the route of choice. It is also connected to the Frankfurt S-Bahn system by two S-Bahn lines, one of which can also carry you to the Frankfurt airport. Wiesbaden is couched against the youthful college town Mainz, the capital of the state Rhineland-Palatinate; you will reach it within minutes. Other train connections will allow you to easily reach the beautiful countryside of the low mountain range Untertaunus, whose towns are a treasure of amazing medieval town centers and castles.
One of the last remaining US army garrisons is located in Wiesbaden. Consequentially, there are quite some businesses specialized on the Wiesbaden expatriates, as well as multiple international schools. The International School in Wiesbaden-Naurod is even currently expanding, fitting over 200 pupils from kindergarten age to eighth grade; it has a particular focus on the arts and music, languages, and new technologies.
Kurpark with fountain (c) Pedelecs - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Warmer Damm (c) Laurenz CC BY 2.5, Concert hall at Kurpark (c) Pedelecs - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Hotel Nassauer Hof (c) Pedelecs - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Luther church CC0, State theatre (c) CC0, Parliament building (c) Heidas CC by SA 3.0, Old town hall (c) Pedelecs CC BY-SA 3.0, Kochbrunnenspringer (c) Pedelecs - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Wiesbaden-Mitte – that is the city center of Wiesbaden. Government buildings of the state of Hesse, old and new town hall, and the shopping mall make the heart of it. Being the fourth biggest city district with a population of 21,000, Mitte also features two separate residential spaces, both characterized by its well-maintained park areas. It will grand you easy access to any number of city festivities and is the most multicultural of all districts – almost every other person has an immigration background. Real estate pricing is surprisingly below average.
Schloßplatz - city center (c) Zeeuwsebad - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Bahnhofstraße (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Bahnhofstraße again (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Old town hall CC0, New town hall (c) Benjamin Dahlhoff - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, An der alten Synagoge 5 (c) ReinerSand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Schierstein is the most popular living area in Wiesbaden, as a beautiful Mediterranean-flair promenade runs along this part of the Rhein, nicknamed the “Schierstein Riviera”. Private boat owners profit from its marina; its harbor has been transformed into a regatta center, and the local yacht club has even produced Olympic medalists. The annual harbor faire Schiersteiner Hafenfest comes with beautiful fireworks and a dragon boat race every July.
Public transportation is not ideal in Schierstein, as the buses and the train connection do not provide smooth riding to a number of areas close by, but it’s well-connected to two autobahns; so it’s a good place to consider if you prefer using your car. It’s one of the few places in this region that grows wine, winemaking being its most important industry. With the Tierklinik Kindler, Schierstein also features a national leader in veterinary ophthalmic optics and cardiology, a favorite among expatriates with pets all over the Rhine-Main region.
Schiersteiner Hafen (c) Carsten Hemberger, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, Church Christophoruskirche (c) Von Oliver Abels CC By SA 2.5, Schiersteiner Hafen (c) Von Wolfgang Pehlemann CC BY-SA 3.0, Schierstein-Town-Hall-Rathaus (c) Kreuzschnabel - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Kettenbornpalais (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Villa Rheinhütte (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0
Nordost is one of the most diversified districts of Wiesbaden. This is not just because its large array connects both to the city center and the city limits, but also because its makeup is extremely mixed with small businesses, residences, or pocket parks scattered evenly throughout. It contains the Kurhaus, one of Germany’s most magnificent historical manors, the Wiesbaden casino, the massive Hessian state theater, and the beautiful English-landscape-style Kurpark. Its denizens tend to be affluent. The BKA (the German equivalent to the FBI) maintains apartments for employees of their headquarters there.
Aarstraße (c) ReinerSand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Lanzstraße 1 Villa Alexandra (c) ReinerSand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Nerobergtempel (c) Arcalino CC BY-SA 3.0, Nerobergbahnstation on the hill (c) ReinerSand - Own work CC BY-SA 4.0, Lanzstraße (c) ReinerSand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Dotzheimer Straße (c) ReinerSand - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Now the district with the largest population, Biebrich has a long and proud history as the residency of the dukes of Nassau; their impressive baroque castle, located at the shore of the river Rhine, has been preserved to this day. Despite containing such gems as the Wilhelminian-style river promenade and being host to such events as a major annual horse riding tournament, it has a somewhat shaky reputation that serves to keep its real estate at a surprisingly low, below-average rate.
Parsifalstrasse CC0, Am Schlosspark 103 (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Zollspeicher (c) Oliver Abels - Eigenes Werk, CC-BY-SA 4.0, Rathausstraße - the school Herzog-Adolf-Schule (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, the post office at Rathausstraße 48 (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Biebrich water tower CC0, Karpfenhof (c) Ansgar Koreng CC-BY-SA 4.0, Hammermühle (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Castle Mosburg (c) Richtest - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Rettbergsaue - river Main (c) Martin Kraft - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0
Not a district of Wiesbaden but a town in its own right, you will reach Eltville just outside of Wiesbaden if you follow the highway A66. Eltville is the biggest town of the Rheingau region with a population of 17,000 and has the honor of being the German town with the most official titles, as it calls itself the city of wine, sparkling wine, roses, and the city of Gutenberg – one of the first Gutenberg printing presses was located here. As a bastion of winemaking, it is a popular destination among tourists. Eltville has any number of amazing structures ranging from the 14th to the 17th century, which make for a spectacular townscape. Its real estate prices come up at an average of EUR 9.5/qm for rent and EUR 13.3/qm for acquisition.
Rheingauer Straße - Adelshof (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Rheingauer Straße - Adelshof 2 (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Rosengasse (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Eltville from river Rhein (c) Renate007 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Martinsgasse - Martinstor (c) Oliver Abels (SBT) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Castle Eltville (c) Manfred Heyde - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0