The wellness and sauna culture in Germany is a very popular way to relax, regroup, and refresh your mind and body. I had always heard the German stereotype of all work and no play so when I discovered not only how popular wellness is here but, also how unique and extravagant these saunas are, I was blown away! Nowhere else in Europe or the US have I seen such places dedicated to relaxation. Here are my favorite saunas and wellness spas in Germany that you should definitely consider adding to your next Germany visit:
About 30 minutes outside of the awesome western German city of Cologne is where you’ll find this first sauna. Brand new and enormous, this wellness center is designed to be a mini vacation in itself. Leave the stresses of everything behind and enter your own paradise of warm pools, unique saunas, and meditation. The saunas here include a Greek sauna, a koi pond sauna with actual Koi fish, a tropical plant sauna, coffee house sauna, Taj Mahal sauna, a movie theater sauna with a full screen of soothing nature films, and many more! I could spend an entire weekend here and enjoy every minute. And if that is your decision, they do have a hotel and restaurants as well! Like I said, its basically a vacation zone inside. Combine this with a few day trip to Cologne and you’ve got yourself an amazing week in Germany.
Tropical Islands is a HUGE dome about an hour south of Berlin. What used to be an expo center for blimps is now a full tropical paradise away from the cold German weather. I recommend heading here when the weather is still a bit colder and you need a tropical escape. Inside, the weather is a balmy 73 degrees with real palm trees, flamingos, waterfalls, and an entire area dedicated to relaxation. My favorite sauna here is the salt grotto! Its amazing for the skin :). For a visit to Tropical Islands, you could just get a day ticket but my favorite time here was at night. Everything lights up and the ambience is perfect for a late night swim or sauna visit. You will probably forget you are not actually in Costa Rica or the Caribbean. The best overnight options include bungalows directly over the pools, tents for glamping (fancy camping) or a regular hotel room just outside the pool area.
The Thale sauna is in the heart of the Harz region, a beautiful nature region of Germany. The exciting national park with many hiking routes is right next door. This pool also has a full panoramic view of the hilly landscapes and a wonderful outdoor area made for relaxation and meditation. Also, what could be better than a swim up bar?? Pina coladas anyone?
Up on the northern coast of Germany near the beach in the town of St. Peters Ording is a wonderful Sauna with full spa. This location is perfect for a relaxed beach vacation. Beaches in Germany remind me of the New England coastline in the US. They are not quite tropical with palm trees but, make for the perfect coastal excursion. It is a good idea to go in July or August otherwise you might be risking a bit of cold weather. But, when combined with a day in the warm sauna and topped of with a massage and bath treatment, you’ll find it hard not to feel at your best.
Notes about Saunas in Germany:
Saunas here are nude (you’ll notice I didn’t take any photos of the actual saunas and this is why). It is a good idea to either bring or rent a bath robe for walking around the relaxation areas and a towel to lay on inside the sauna. I will admit I was a bit shocked at first, all different people, co-ed naked together but, you quickly realize everyone is here just to enjoy the sauna and you’ll have the best experience if you just tune it out and focus on your own wellness. 🙂
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Have you been to any other saunas in Germany or Europe that I should check out? Share below!!