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8 spectacular spas to visit in Germany this winter

James Jackson
James Jackson - [email protected]
8 spectacular spas to visit in Germany this winter
The famous Fontane spa in Brandenburg, named after the region's most famous novelist. Photo: picture alliance / Resort Mark Brandenburg/dpa-tmn | Resort Mark Brandenburg

As the weather has taken a colder turn and the nights close in faster than before, we give a rundown of Germany's most impressive spas that are all easily reachable by public transport.


As winter approaches, it’s time to consider putting away that Kayak or roller skates and look for a way to warm up. And what better way than going to a natural thermal spa, used by inhabitants to cure ailments and warm spirits for centuries?

Visiting spas is a popular past time in Germany that's often called “wellness”. And it's a trend that's skyrocket in recent years, with seven million people describing themselves as especially interested in wellness and 20 million as relatively interested.

Alongside big family-friendly waterparks, there are many spas called “Heilquelle” or healing sources, where minerals in the water are said to have health benefits.

Though the scientific basis for this can be quite thin, a study of people in Germany who went to this type of spa found that it could even have an impact on reducing sick days and hospital treatments.

But with thousands on offer, which are the best for a relaxing break and easily accessible from a big city? These are all easily accessible from Germany’s main population centres, making them a convenient getaway by car or regional public transport.



The Fontane spa in Brandenburg is in the town of Neuruppin and is named after 19th century poet Theodor Fontane, born in the town.

This is Brandenburg’s only state-recognised healing spa, and the water is known for its iodine content, as well as regularly topping lists for the best spa in Germany. If you fancy a visit, the spa is accessible from Berlin Charlottenburg or Spandau with the RE6 towards Wittenberge.

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Erding Spa

Located just outside Munich and accessible by the Bavarian capital’s S-Bahn is Erding, Europe's largest spa. 

Far from being an ancient wonder, Erding Therme was actually discovered by the American oil company Texaco in 1983. They were looking for the tarry black fossil fuel but struck sulfurous water instead.

Therme Erding sauna ceremony

Sauna master Susann Knebel demonstrates an infusion ceremony in a sauna at Therme Erding near Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Since then the site has grown to welcome 5,000 visitors a day and expanded to become the largest sauna complex in the world. And if getting your fill of healing minerals before dancing the night away is your thing, Erding even welcomes DJs for parties.

READ ALSO: Nine of the best day trips from Munich with the €49 ticket


One of the most impressive pools in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, Neptunbad was built in 1912 in the time of the Kaiser’s German empire. With its chic façade and classic historical architecture, you'll feel as pampered as one of the Kaiser's favourite aristocrats - and the spa's eco-credentials also make it a guilt-free visit. 

Located in the trendy Ehrenfeld quarter of Cologne, you can reach Nepunbad by bus or tram from anywhere in the city. 


Just outside of Cologne in Bergisch-Gladbach, the Mediterana will make you forget you are in the Rhineland at all with its Mediterranean-style buildings painted in bright colours and with Moroccan-looking domes and arches.

The Mediterana spa near Cologne

The Mediterana spa near Cologne. Photo: picture alliance / Mediterana/dpa-tmn | Mediterana


The German word for “to bathe” is of course baden, so what better place to go to bathe than Baden-Baden? The Caracalla spa on the edge of the Black Forest is one of Germany’s oldest, and was even used by the Romans, with its modern incarnation offering 4,000 square metres of space for soothing relaxation.

Meanwhile, the grandiose Friedrichsbad was opened in 1877 and combines modern Irish air-heating technology with historic architectural grandeur. If you have time during your visit, you can even visit the ancient Roman ruins underneath.

READ ALSO: 8 tips for enjoying the cold like a true German



Shaped like a circus tent from outside, this spa in Berlin is quite a recognisable part of the city’s skyline near the U1 & U3 U-Bahn lines. Expect an equally futuristic design inside, along with a large warm pool with underwater music as well as a few outdoor jacuzzis and saunas.


Built in 1914, this giant classical brick building boasts a spa that’s impressive outside as it is inside, with domed roofs and mosaic tiles under the water. There is even a 1920s-themed sauna with art deco design and movie posters from that era of great German cinema.

Holstein-Therme Bad Schwartau

Another state-recognized healing bath with iodine water, but also with its own mud spa, the Holstein Thermal spa in Bad Schwartau is based just outside of Lübeck and is easy to reach from Hamburg.


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