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Finding the best spa towns in Germany

Finding the best spa towns in Germany

Hot springs. Thermal waters. Mineral-rich pools. Sounds lovely, aye?

Spas are great, and ancient civilizations knew this ages ago — so if you think about it, all greatest civilizations of the past have chosen to settle around natural spa locations for thousands of years. Think of Pamukkale in Turkey, for example. The warm mineral springs are believed by many to have restorative, healing and rejuvenating effects, with loads of health benefits (like better blood circulation and improved metabolism, for instance). In other words, spas are good for your sould, and good for your body. That’s why I’m a big fan.

So I thought today I’d introduce you to German spa towns. Germany has around 350 natural spas and health resorts, and there’s a multitude of places to suit anybody’s needs.

Finding the best spa towns in Germany


It is actually super easy to spot a spa town in Germany — all you need to look for is the prefix “-bad”, which translates to “bath” from German. For example: Bad Füssing in Bavaria. The mineral-rich waters of this area were first discovered by explorers who were searching for mineral-rich oil. These explorers stumbled across something equally as lucrative, as the thermal springs of Bad Füssing continue to attract visitors from all over the world to this day.

Geek fact: geothermal waters travel from 1,000 meters underground before gushing to the surface at temperatures of 56°C, providing bathing waters to over 120,000m² of pools and baths. These sulfur-rich waters are said to have a hugely restorative effect on joint problems such as rheumatism and arthritis.

Bad Füssing in Bavaria, one of the best spa towns in Germany

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If you prefer to have a view over the mountains while taking the water remedies, the town of Bad Reichenhall in the German Alps has some of the most popular pools and baths in Bavaria. The Alpine water is rich in salt which is said to have stimulating and restorative effects when gargled, consumed, or used as a relaxing bath soak. The natural environment around the town means that health and well-being are a major focus, which is why tourists are inclined to visit the Gradierwerk (salt works) in the Kurgarten: an alpine brine inhalatorium for those who want to experience the effects of breathing in the salt-rich air.

Finding the best spa towns in Germany

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Another spa town known for the restorative effects of breathing its “champagne air” is Bad Homburg. Located within sight of Frankfurt’s towering skyscrapers, at the foot of the Taunus Mountains, Bad Homburg sits on six saline-rich thermal spring sources, which are used for drinking and bathing.

Another geek fact: Bad Homburg was a favorite spa location of Kaiser Wilhelm II who famously established a summer residence in the town in 1888. Tourists can now visit and use the decadent baths that he had created; the stone pillared gateway and elaborate architecture making visitors feel as though they are royalty. Also, the town itself is pretty nice, if you ask me:

Bad Homburg, one of the Top 4 spa towns in Germany

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Possibly the most well-known spa town in the whole of Europe is the beautiful town of Baden-Baden, which is situated in the hills of the ancient Black Forest at the source of the thermal spring. Famous for its elegantly attractive blend of stunning architecture, natural spas, and glamorous casinos, Baden-Baden has been a favorite playground of aristocrats and luminaries for centuries.

Nietzsche and Mark Twain, for instance, were regular visitors to its sanatoriums, and Dostoyevsky wrote his famous epic novel, The Gambler, after taking the waters at Baden-Baden, and playing a hand or two at the Baden-Baden Casino — the home of entrepreneur and casino innovator Jean Jacques Benazet.

Baden Baden casino in Germany

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But of course, while the architecture and casinos hold their own appeal, the real magic of Baden-Baden lies in the 800,00 liters of water emanating from 12 thermal springs at temperatures of 68°C every day. The appeal of relaxing in thermal hot springs, bubbly hot tubs, waterfalls, soothing massage jets, and Roman saunas while surrounded by the decadent luxury of a beautiful town steeped in history is what keeps tourism in the area alive.

Over to you!
What’s your favorite spa town in Europe?

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