Our Spotters do enjoy to recharge their batteries from time to time and to pay a visit to the local spa or sauna. The wellness places our Spotters found come in a variety of shapes. From a public little cabin in Helsinki to an open-air hot whirlpool alongst the shore of Lake Zurich to an antique spa in Budapest.
Whatever your personal taste, you’ll find a perfect spot amongst our selection of 12 local spas and saunas. Literally, sit back and enjoy!
1. Sauna at Bains des Pâquis – Geneva
The Bains des Pâquis is the most beloved place in Geneva! It is mine too. One reason is their sauna! Open from September to May, the Spa area is a wintry oasis in the middle of the lake. it consists of two mixed saunas with views over the lake, one mixed Hamman, one Hammam only for women, and one Turkish bath!
2. Sørengas Badstue – Oslo
Sørengas Badstue is a labor of love for some locals who built it from various bits and pieces they found so don’t expect anything very fancy but that just adds to the charm. The sauna is wood fired and your sauna-master makes sure it’s toasty before you arrive! A few refreshing dips in the icy water will help you stick the heat!
3. Hotel Nivy Wellness Centre – Bratislava
Hotel Nivy offers no less than 5 different saunas. It’s a spot dearly loved by locals right in the center of the most liveable part of Bratislava. Its location next to the lake makes it the perfect pre- or post-lake activity, all year long.
4. Neptunbad – Cologne
Neptunbad is one of my absolute favorite spots in Cologne and I definitely recommend it to everyone who loves the sauna. It’s divided into an art nouveau area (with a sauna, a steam bath, an amazing pool under a glass dome and a restaurant) and a more extended sauna world inspired by Japanese interior design. I love both!
5. Dandár fürdő – Budapest
Looking for something a bit more traditional but still local? Our Budapest Spotter Hélène Bienvenu recommends you to visit Dandár Fürdő. It used to be a public bath for the poor, but today it’s mainly visited for medical reasons as the water is of top-notch quality. Relaxing and healthy, that’s what you want.
6. Holthusenbad – Hamburg
Who needs Budapest when you live in Hamburg? Holthusenbad is mainly a swimming pool, but they also provide a sauna. Do watch out though: no clothes allowed! It’s a bit more expensive but – according to our local – totally worth the price.
7. Sompasauna – Helsinki
Want to go really really really local? Sompasauna in Helsinki is the place-to-be. It’s by far the most public sauna in town, free, and maintained by a group of volunteers. You go there at your own risk so be careful and don’t just go on your own. Also, be respectful towards other people and leave the place as tidy as you found it. Pack your picnic and enjoy!
8. QC Terme Milano – Milan
Milan is not just a city with plenty of shops and good food. After a day of strolling around, you need some relaxation and that’s where QC Terme Milano comes in handy. They have a huge indoors and outdoors area and organize events like ‘aperitivo’ at the spa. Set in a historic setting, this is the perfect hidden gem in Milan.
9. Amalienbad – Vienna
The Viennese do like their regular naked dip. Amalienbad is a truly authentic experience in Vienna, looking a bit like a fortress from the outside but magnificent on the inside. Not feeling very comfortable all-nude? Amalienbad organizes special all-male or all-female events, making things maybe a bit easier on you.
10. Sauna Utoquai – Zurich
Sauna Utoquai is our local Miltiadis Sarakinos’ favorite place to be: “Outdoor relaxation can take several forms: sunbathing during a nice sunny afternoon or gazing at the sunset or the moonlight from the comfort of the 37 degrees of the hot tub.”
11. Aire de Barcelona – Barcelona
Barcelona may generally be hot, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some spa time. Whether you’re looking for a massage, a steam bath, or some bubbles – Aire de Barcelona has what you’re looking for. They don’t want the place to get over-crowded, so make sure to reserve a spot before going over!
12. Wellness 1926 – Amsterdam
It can get pretty cold in The Netherlands. What better way to conquer the cold than to spend some time at the spa? Wellness 1926 is located in an old school building in the East. They organize weekly ‘all-women’ and ‘swimwear’-days, which means it’s totally up to you to decide what you’re comfortable with.