Our Spotters do enjoy recharging their batteries from time to time and paying a visit to the local spa or sauna. The wellness places our Spotters found come in a variety of shapes. From a sauna located in Lake Geneva, to a public sauna in Helsinki to an open-air hot whirlpool along the shore of Lake Zurich… Here’s a selection of 12 local spas and saunas!
1. Sauna at Bains des Pâquis – Geneva
The Bains des Pâquis has been a public pool since 1890, 18 years after its creation, and has remained in the city’s and the people’s hands ever since. During all this time, it has always been a place where anyone could come and go, feel welcome, hang out with friends and family, and partake in numerous events. There is also a sauna, hammam and Turkish baths as well as spaces for women only.
2. Sørengas Badstue – Oslo
Sørengas Badstue is a labor of love for some locals who built it from various bits and pieces they found. Don’t expect anything very fancy, except for the location: just across the stunning Opera House in the center of town! 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. Sauna Spot Dvorce – Prague
Sauna Spot Dvorce is located close to the summer swimming area, Žluté lázně, and is open year-round. Inside you will find four saunas, two with lower and two with higher temperatures, two icy pools, and plenty of space to relax. There’s one sauna with a panoramic window overlooking the river and trees.
4. Neptunbad – Cologne
Neptunbad is one of our Spotter Julia’s absolute favorite spot in Cologne and she recommends 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.
5. Paskál Strandfürdő – Budapest
Many visit the same touristy baths in Budapest. Paskál Strandfürdő is not that well known (yet!) – it’s more about the calm, hot thermal water and warm vapor. This spa is new, very modern and cozy. It strikes such a great harmonious balance between being fun and relaxing. There are other services, like a sauna, a hot tub and different kinds of medical massages, all with the greatest well-being of your body and soul in mind.
6. Holthusenbad – Hamburg
Who needs Budapest when you live in Hamburg? Holthusenbad is mainly a swimming pool, but they also provide a sauna. The Holthusenbad might be one of most beautiful swimming pools in Germany. It certainly is one of the oldest still operating. It was built in 1914 and was recently renovated. It is simply breathtaking and one of your better options on a grey and rainy Hamburg day. No clothes allowed!
7. Kotiharjun Sauna – Helsinki
There are 3 million saunas in Finland, and most tourists just visit the big beautiful ones. Want to go really really really local? The traditional wood-heated Kotiharjun Sauna in Helsinki is the place-to-be. It’s a perfectly normal sauna, and those are the best to socialize with locals!
A common thing to do is to have a beer or two (drink at least water!). But you cannot buy it at Kotiharjun Sauna! Bring your own instead, like the locals. You can even use the fridge at the entrance to keep them cold!
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 overcrowded, so make sure to reserve a spot before going over!
12. Sauna Deco – Amsterdam
It can get pretty cold in The Netherlands. If you want to experience Dutch culture all the way a great idea is going to a sauna. Sauna Deco is a beautiful art-deco sauna with stained glass, wood paneling and a gold-plated interior that will make you feel like you’re back in the 1920s.