I’ve written about it before, and I’ll write about it again. I can’t get enough. I’d do it every single week if I could. Every day even. I’m talking about visiting the sauna. And for anyone who loves the steamy tradition, Germany is a great place to be.
Resident on Earth has explained sauna etiquette, and I have raved about my favorite sauna in Mainz before. But having recently moved to Frankfurt am Main, I now have a whole new set of what are called Sauna Landschaften to explore. I couldn’t be happier.
This week my husband and I visited the first of six (that we’ve heard of so far) saunas that are located in Frankfurt and the surrounding area. Six saunas! I liked the sound of that. Even more did I like the sound of the Rhein-Main Therme in Hofheim, which was recommended to me through a blog reader who had heard about my love for (ehem obsession with) the tradition. While many sauna areas cost around 17 euros for a handful of hours, here we could have the whole day for 20 euros a head (which includes both heated pool and sauna use). We brought our 8-month-old daughter with us, and she got in for free. The commute was a bit long—we live in the far eastern part of the city but on another set of train tracks—so getting there was a bit of a hike (an hour’s hike by train to be exact), but there was a bus stop directly in front of the Therme building.
Inside, we were met with a large changing and locker area. It seemed well-thought-out, though we quickly stuffed our things into lockers and headed out to the sauna area to change. Then it was back to the pool area for a dip with the babe. Wow! Though the water in the main pool was a bit chilly for the baby, there was a wave pool, a pool with a current that you could ride around on inner tubes, a regular swimming area, and several large water slides. A small children’s pool was heated to baby-friendly temperatures, and I settled in there for a half hour while my husband went to check out the first sauna round.
The only thing that the Mainz Taubertsbergbad has on the Rhein-Main Therme is the frequency of Aufguss, aka the infusions poured over the rocks by a Therme employee to make the experience more intense. In Mainz there was an Aufguss at least every half hour, and in Hofheim that number slowed to one per hour. But with a reasonably priced day card, it didn’t matter. We could spend all day relaxing on the lounge chairs in the roman-themed lounge area, and taking part in Aufguss in the 85 degree sauna or the log cabin sauna placed outside. It felt decadent and splendid, and I was smitten immediately.
Besides the two saunas where Aufguss could be had on the hour, there were a total of seven saunas. One a tiny log cabin of a Finnish variety, with a sign claiming that a sauna ghost sometimes came by to greet sauna goers and bring them luck. Another a steam bath with a salt peeling held several times a day. The variety and quality of all of them was delightful. Not to mention the outdoor whirlpools and relaxation areas. A plus. I can’t wait to explore the city’s other five sauna offerings.
Do you have any experience with German saunas?
This post was originally published on October 26, 2012.