- With over 80 million foreign tourists annually, France is the most visited country in the world.
- You can start gambling as soon as you land in Amsterdam, at the Holland Casino found in the Schipol airport.
- There are 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK including Stonehenge, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey.
- Germans are the world’s second biggest drinkers of beer (after the Irish), with an annual average of 119 liters per consumer.
- 44% of the world's olive oil is produced in Spain.
Casino Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden, Germany)
Casino Baden-Baden has a rich history dating all the way back to 1809. In a construct reminiscent of French royal palaces (particularly Versailles), the Baden-Baden casino was once an exclusive meeting place of the elite, particularly those coming from France where gambling was then illegal.
After construction, ownership of the casino changed hands numerous times. During the two World Wars the casino was temporarily closed. Today, while the grandeur of the facilities is maintained, gambling at Casino Baden-Baden is accessible to all.
The casino is open for gambling daily from 2pm through 2am. If you’re looking for some real action, the place is generally at its liveliest around 10pm.
While placing wagers is the best way to enjoy your time at the casino, if you’re not up for some gambling of your own, feel free to stop by and observe (it’s estimated that a full third of the casino visitors come only to people watch). Keep in mind, while it is always interesting to watch the gaming in action, gambling at Casino Baden-Baden is far more subdued than what you’d typically find in an American casino.
If you would like a tour of the casino, you can do so every morning before gambling hours begin.
Casino Baden-Baden features a 32,289-square foot facility with 113 slot machines and 24 table games for American roulette, French roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker.
An interesting historical fact: At one point, real silver and gold chips were used for placing bets on the roulette table (standard chips are now used).
While the casino is a huge draw, Baden-Baden is most renowned as a spa town. In addition to the local scenery, visitors to the casino will also enjoy soaking in the hot springs and hiking in the Black Forest.
As for accommodations, there are some lovely hotels from which to choose including Brenner's Park Hotel.
Upcoming Events Across Europe
Venice Carnival, Italy
Focused in and around Piazza San Marco but celebrated throughout the city, the Venice Carnival dates back all the way to the 13th century. For 12 days each February, locals and tourists don masks to celebrate during the world’s top baroque fancy-dress party. The centerpiece event is the Grand Masked Ball, which anyone can attend so long as they’re properly outfitted in costume and mask and can dance the quadrilles.
Jorvik Viking Festival, England
Europe’s largest Viking Festival takes place over 8 days in mid-February in York. Staged in the Jorvik Viking Center, home to Vikings over 1,000 years ago and the UK’s top non-London attraction, the archeological and combat festival has been taking place for almost 30 years. The action comes to a crescendo during a staged battle between Viking hordes full of sound and light effects – a truly must-see event.
Holland Flowers Festival, The Netherlands
Starting on the third Wednesday each February and continuing for about a week and a half, the Holland Flowers Festival is truly an extravagant visual delight. Taking place in Bovenkarspel, the festival includes workshops and wine tastings on top of the unending cornucopia of flora on display. Gardens filled with bulbs, shrubs, trees and all manner of ornamental horticulture offer up incredible, unforgettable sights.