Oases of calm in the city: Four spas in Cologne
Taking a break to recharge your batteries is a great idea at any time, but particularly so in winter, when your last holiday is but a distant memory or if you just need a day away from it all. A great way to regain the energy you need to deal with the lack of daylight is a trip to the spa. We’ve selected four of the many spas in Cologne that are definitely worth visiting when you want to sweat it all out. And in case you’re still looking for a great Christmas gift, they all offer vouchers…
By the way, a word of caution for the uninitiated: In Germany, you must bring a large towel to the sauna; a dressing gown is a good idea. No bathing suits or shorts are allowed.
In the heart of Ehrenfeld, tucked away on a side street of Venloer Strasse, are the old municipal baths known as Neptunbad. Its historic spa area features gorgeous Art Deco elements, while the remaining spa area has been designed as an Asian Zen garden. There are six saunas and steam rooms plus several pools and relaxation areas both indoors and outdoors. The average age of the clientele ranges from a comfortable 20 to 50, reflecting the demographic of the area. There’s an on-site restaurant (called “Badenbaden”, pun intended), as well as a list of spa treatments if you’re feeling generous towards yourself.
2 hours: EUR 19.00; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 21.50
4 hours: EUR 25.50; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 28.50
Day ticket: EUR 31,50; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 34.00
Opening hours: Daily from 9 am to midnight
Claudius Therme is an oasis in the big city, conveniently located close to the Rhine and the Rheinpark. Besides an extensive sauna and spa there is also a swimming area with pools fed with certified thermal water. Both areas have an indoor and outdoor section and have been lovingly designed with much attention to detail. Visitors can choose from a variety of sauna types (including a herbal steam room, a Russian-style banja sauna and a Finnish kelo sauna) with regular infusions plus a choice of relaxation areas, one of which looks out across the Rhine to the Dom. If you get the munchies, head to the restaurant and its extensive menu. And if you’d like to treat yourself to a massage or any other treatment, simply book online in advance of your visit.
2 hours: EUR 15.50; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 17.50
4 hours: EUR 23.50; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 25.50
Day ticket: EUR 31.50; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 33.50
Opening hours: Daily from 9 am to midnight
Agrippabad in the heart of the city has a swimming pool plus a great spa and sauna area. Besides the Finnish dry sauna, which features a variety of regular infusions (including involving Mühlenkölsch, if you can believe it), there is also a steam room and a “Brechelbad”, or dry herbal sauna, with fragrant fir branches in an original Alpine hut. Further highlights include the SabbiaMed room, where you relax on a sandy floor for an hour while the light changes to emulate the sun’s movement from dawn to dusk; a “Kraxenofen”, where steam is pressed through a hay pallet to warm your back; and a rooftop terrace and indoor relaxation area with views of the Dom. More saunas, a pool, an outdoor area with a Kneipp cold-water treading pool and massage treatments ranging from Thai to traditional round off the extensive spa menu.
2 hours: EUR 17.20
4 hours: EUR 22.20
Day ticket: EUR 23.90
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9 am – 11 pm, Sat – Sun 9 am – 9 pm
Mauritius Hotel & Therme
Next to the medieval Mauritiuskirche church is the Hotel Mauritius, a four-star establishment sporting a 3,500 sqm spa area. The hotel is centrally located between Neumarkt and Zülpicher Platz. Besides the hotel’s own restaurant and a variety of massage treatments, visitors come here for the six dry saunas, the steam bath and the two pools (one indoors, one outdoors). Free use of the gym equipment and aquacise classes is included in the admission price, plus a salad and fruit bar which is open from noon to 11:30 pm. And just so you know: admission is quite a bit cheaper during the week…
3 hours: EUR 17.00
4 hours: EUR 19.00; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 22.00
Day ticket: EUR 24.00; weekends and bank holidays: EUR 26.00
Student admission: Mon – Fri: 10 am – 11:30 pm: EUR 16:00
Weekday admission: Mon – Fri: 10 am – 6 pm: EUR 17.00
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am to 11:30 pm