Thermal baths and sauna

The Taunus area north of Frankfurt has been famous for hundreds of years as a source of hot spring waters. The Romans took advantage of it when they stationed a large garrison on a hill near here and the German royals were also fond enough of it to build a Summer Palace in Bad Homburg along with a royal spa.

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The Taunus Therme in Bad Homburg is now the most popular and accessible of these, although there are smaller options in Bad Soden and Hofheim. Taunus Therme is definitely the most easily accessible given that it is close to the A661 and comes with plenty of free parking directly opposite.

The benefit of Taunus Therme is that there are lots of different options for every taste. The facilities are split into two parts, depending on whether you are willing to take your swimming costume off or not… This is an essential piece of info for prudish Brits at least until you are comfortable going native! The majority of the saunas are in the no-swimsuit area, but there are two saunas on the ground floor for swimsuits. There is also a women-only sauna on the second floor.

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The swimsuit area includes large pools, a variety of hot tubs and a salt/mineral pool. It tends to be full of families during the day and quieter in the evenings. you may have to queue sometimes for the saunas though.

In the clothes-free area, you are of course allowed to wear a towel but nothing else. There are at least 10 saunas at various temperatures and styles, along with various rest and relaxation areas. You can also book yourself a massage or just sit at the bar and have a beer while watching the football…

I would love to have added photos for this to show you more, but for some reason cameras aren’t allowed…

Entrance is managed through a token system. You can buy a token for 2 hrs, 3 hrs, 4 hrs or for a whole day. Anything extra like drinks, food or treatment that you buy can be added to the token for payment on exit. That way you don’t have to carry a wallet around. I find that just for the saunas, 2hrs is plenty before I get bored.

The best value is to buy the 30-pass reusable  tokens. Each entry is effectively €12.25 for 2 hrs and during the summer months it lasts for 4 hrs instead of 2. If you go on a weekend the normal price would be €16.80. If you go over your time you will be charge €1.50 extra for each 15 minutes, although the first 10 minutes is actually uncharged. Any treatment time during your visit will also be credited for ‘free’ (you paid for the treatment) to the token.

A few tips:

  • 30-pass tokens sounds like a lot, but if you go to the reception with your token you can ask for individual tokens off your token. This means that you can buy one token for the family and then use it for several people each time you visit.
  • Take a bottle of water! I still haven’t found anywhere inside offering free drinking water. And you’ll need it.
  • Remember to take a €1 coin for a locker for your valuables.
  • Take a large towel big enough to lie flat on. In the saunas you have to avoid direct contact with the wood.
  • The temperature of the pools is rarely about 36 degrees so don’t expect to get a really nice hot bath. It will feel comfortably warm at best. This isn’t Iceland!

Seedammbad

Don’t get confused by Seedammbad. Directly opposite Taunus Therme is a large, public, indoor and outdoor swimming pool. It also has saunas but no thermal water. This is a regular pool for families, proper swimmers, lessons, etc. Also good fun, but a bit different from over the road.

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