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Winter is the perfect season to have a spa weekend; there is nothing better on a cold day then to be in a sauna or hot tub. This post is so you know what to do if you ever find yourself in a spa in Germany!
The general rules in Germany
I’m not sure what the rules are like in America (if you guys know then comment below!) but in England we always go in the sauna or steam room wearing a swimsuit/bikini/swimming shorts. In Germany it is actually verboten (forbidden) to wear clothes in the sauna and steam room. The reason for this is because of the bacteria in your clothes. Wearing clothes whilst in the sauna will stop you from sweating everything out and the bacteria will stay between your clothes and skin.
In the sauna you must be sitting or lying on a towel, you could always wrap the towel around you if you don’t want to be completely naked as long as you are sitting on it too. You must also be showered and dried before going into the sauna, the Germans are very strict on hygiene and aren’t afraid to tell you off if you aren’t following the rules!
For the steam room you don’t need to have a towel, here there is a Schlauch (hose) that you use to hose down the tiles before and after you sit down (although I did know someone who went in covered in a towel as she didn’t want to be naked, the towel was however completely wet afterwards!).
Some common things to expect at the spa
In almost every spa in Germany you will find a sauna just for women – die Damensauna. This may be a separate sauna (sometimes found in the women’s changing room) or a certain day or time of day that is specifically just for women. This is perfect if you aren’t used to being naked with a big group of people!
Die Biosauna (the organic sauna) is great for beginners as it is a milder sauna. The temperature ranges from 45 to 60 degrees celsius.
Die Finnischesauna (the finnish sauna) is usually around 70 – 90 degrees celsius.
Das Dampfbad is the steam room, the temperature ranging from 45 to 55 degrees celsius. Many people think you sweat more in the steam room than sauna, but that isn’t necessarily true, it just appears that way as the Luftfeuchtigkeit (humidity) is higher.
There are also certain times where the Saunameister (literal translation: sauna master) will do an Aufguss and infuse the sauna by pouring water with essential oils on hot stones and wave a towel around in the air to spread the oils. During the Aufguss you shouldn’t enter or leave the sauna.
For afterwards there will usually be a Tauchbecken (plunge pool) or at least a Dusche (shower) to cool off. These are very cold and sometimes are also special salt or mineral water. The change between hot and cold improves your immune system.
You should stay in the sauna or steam room for 15 minutes, then shower cold and go back in again!
das Wellnesswochenende the spa weekend
Die Sauna the sauna
Das Dampfbad the steam room
der Whirlpool the hot tub
das Schwimmbad the swimming pool
Der Aufguss the infusion
das Handtuch the towel
die Luftfeuchtigkeit the humidity
der Schlauch the hose
das Tauchbecken the plunge pool
die Dusche the shower
Do you go to a spa often or have you ever been to one in Germany? Let me know what your experience was!
Thanks for reading,