How To Confidently Visit a Nude German Sauna (and not be freaked out being naked at the spa!)

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“NO SWIMSUITS ALLOWED” read the sign in numerous languages at the Baden Baden Spa, just to make sure that everyone was well aware that you were about to walk into a German nude spa. I mean, I had read about the nude spas in Germany but just assumed I had the choice of wearing my swimsuit or letting it all hang out. 

NOPE. I wasn’t even going to be let in wearing my mom-bod tankini. If I wanted to go into this sauna in Germany, I was going to have to be completely naked at the spa!

I looked at my best friend who gave me a terrified look.  “You mean…..I have to go in…..completely…..NAKED!?” she stammered. While I wasn’t so sure about the whole thing myself, she definitely was ready to balk and make a run for it. After all, she was a conservative Christian, and let’s just be honest here, what woman in my generation doesn’t have body image issues? The thought of being naked in front of others seemed both immoral and terrifying all at once. 

I looked at her and finally said, “Hey, when in Rome….or well, at least, When in the Roman Baths!? C’mon! It will be an experience!” She didn’t think it was so funny, but I decided to take the lead anyway. I’m a bit more…let’s just say “Free-spirited” and don’t mind diving head first into crazy adventures such as these. I wrapped my towel tightly around my whole body and then did the most ridiculous dance of trying to get my wet swimsuit off without the towel dropping to the floor.  This was a bit ironic because in just a few minutes, I was going to be naked anyway, but dang it if I was going to go balls to the wall right off the bat!

naked at spa
Ready or not, here we go!

So, I get it. You yourself are considering going to a german spa nude but can’t quite bring yourself to do it. 

While my first round at a nude German sauna was admittedly nerve wracking, I overcame that fear and now absolutely LOVE going to the German Thermes and the idea of being naked in a spa doesn’t phase me anymore.  I now actually make it a frequent outing for some “me time” to go relax and recharge.  Whether I’m going for a girl’s getaway to Bad Fussing, a date day with my hubby to Bad Abbach, or an indulgent weekend in Baden Baden, going to a Therme/Sauna/ Spa is now one of my favorite things to do in Germany! And the fun part is that now I love dragging along friends and family who swear they just neeeeeever could do such a thing (Spoiler Alert: They all end up LOVING it as well!) 

You’ll also want to read my German Spa Experience: Everything you need to know about the German Sauna Baths as well.  If you are wondering what the difference between a German Sauna vs Spa vs Therme is, or not sure what all to bring, what the general German spa etiquette is, or are even looking for some of the best German Saunas, I literally go over everything you may need to know about the whole experience.

But even with all that information, you still may be wondering how to overcome that fear of doing the unmentionable: dealing with the nudity in spas!

So, with all that being said, here are some things to know as well as my top tips for overcoming the fear of going to a German nude sauna.

You Might Be Interested in My Germany Spa Reviews:


Spa Nudity is NOT Sexual

nude spa experience
Getting ready to go into the Friedrichsbad Roman Baths in Baden-Baden

First thing first.  As an American brought up in a very Catholic family, I was taught that nudity always meant sexuality.  Moving to Europe sure did change this belief for me. In Germany (and most of Europe), your naked body is just that. Your body. It’s not a sexualized thing in most cases and it’s not a big deal. We all have a body and we all have the same body parts. Sure, that old man’s bits may be dangling a bit lower than yours and that young 20 something girl’s core is waaaay tighter than my C-sectioned (lack of) abs, but other than that, it’s all literally the same parts. 

In Europe, there is no shame around nudity. In fact, in Germany, there is even a specific term for it (Feikörperkultur or even just (“FKK”)) which literally translates to “free body culture” which is a belief that natural elements such as being out in the fresh air and sunlight nude have great health benefits. This is why you’ll see things like nude areas in public parks such as the English Gartens in Munich or nude beaches in Berlin. The nude health spa even isn’t a new thing- the Roman Baths in Baden Baden, Germany started over 2000 years ago! It is just understood as part of the German sauna culture that if you are there, it is for health and relaxation….nothing more!

So, at the end of the day, Europeans just have a different view of nudity. It isn’t about sex and it truly isn’t even a taboo thing.  It’s just a body.

You Are An Adult

This brings us to the point that most naked German spas are adult only. So, we can all act like adults, right? Meaning, just because we see a nude body part doesn’t mean we need to stare or giggle like little teenage kids. We are all adults here, so let’s act like one. 

Nobody is Looking 

nude at spa

One of the things that I found really amazing about going to a German Sauna was that it was all very respectful. Sure, everything is out there but everyone is very careful to keep eyes where they belong. Again, since nudity is not a sexual thing, I was blown away by how nonchalant everyone was. You’d have guessed that we were all covered up for a cold, winter day with how “normal” everyone acted despite the lack of clothing. 

Does that mean that an eye won’t wander? No. But it’s usually not done in a gawking manner or anything like that. I’ll admit that I have found myself looking around simply because I am amazed and proud of the many different shapes and sizes that we are all capable of!!! But, once I realize that I am, I revert my eyes back to the waterfalls in the pools or the tiles on the sauna floors. Alternatively, I just close my eyes and let me whole body sink into a state of deep relaxation. 

You Care More Than S/He Does

The reason I was personally so weary to drop the swimming suit in exchange for the birthday suit was because of my own self-conscious issues surrounding the way my body looks. After years of seeing super models, social media, and commercials on TV showing stick thin women, my curvy body hasn’t fit the “societal” norms of beauty for a while. Let’s just say this has caused decades of body image struggles for me. And while I could easily give Kim Kardashian a run for her money on her booty, the first time I went a German nude spa, the whole “Baby got back” trend wasn’t so popular! 

But the reality was that, like with most things in my life, I am way harder on myself (especially when it comes to body image) than anyone else ever is! It honestly only took just a few minutes of being completely nude at the spa for me to realize that I cared way more about the way my body looked than anyone else there did!

You’ll Never See These People Again

Ok, let’s just play Devil’s advocate here for a second. Let’s just pretend for a hot minute that your body is somehow completely different from any other body in the entire world. Even if that is true, remember, you are never going to see any of these spa strangers again!!! You might cross paths for a few minutes in the hallway today, or see someone in a few different saunas throughout the afternoon, but after that, the chances of you ever running into any of these people again is so unlikely. 

And even if you are there with people you know, I’m hoping that because you all decided to go to a nude spa together, that you feel safe in their presence. I’ll admit, I was so self conscious about stripping down in front of some of my, well, let’s just call them “more athletic” girlfriends. Were they going to be disgusted with my body? Were they going to talk behind my back about the way I looked? I quickly remembered I wasn’t 14 anymore and the people I have in my life are there because we all care about each other. Nobody cared at all that my body today doesn’t look anything like it did 15 years ago! 

By The End Of the Day

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to a German Sauna now. And while I have never forced anyone to come with me, I’ve had many people see my confidence and I eventually somehow convinced them to join me on my next excursion. I’ve taken my best friend to Baden Baden, my neighbor joined me in Bad Füssing, my husband tried out Therme Erding with me, and even my brother-in-law’s mother braved a sauna with me in Garmisch!!! 

It’s truly so fun to see each person completely change their body posture, confidence, and attitude as the day goes on. Maybe it’s the relaxing warmth of the thermal pools and steam rooms, or maybe it’s just seeing how everyone else is acting around us, but without fail, even the most nervous or prude ones all peeled off that layer of self-consciousness and by the end of the day were just as foot loose and fancy free as me!!! Each and every person who hugged their towel tight around them when we first stepped in found themselves confidently walking around naked by the end of the day. It sounds so weird, but it truly is a freeing and liberating experience!!!

My Tips For Surviving A Nude German Sauna

Hopefully, some of the above things to know about a German spa have helped to ease some of your reservations about being nude in the spa, but in case you still think you just possibly could never go to one, here are some ways to help you not feel over exposed and to make sure you have a truly remarkable time!

Wrap Up in  a Robe

nude sauna berlin

One way to stay completely covered while walking from one sauna or thermal pool to the next is to bring a robe. Most Germans will have one on and if you are staying at a nice Spa Hotel, most likely they have one that you can take to the Thermes as well. 

There are always hooks outside the Saunas so you can keep your towel wrapped around your body and then hang up your robe before heading into the Sauna and nobody will ever catch a peep of anything!

Granted, this trick doesn’t work as well for the thermal pools because you have to hang up your robe and head into the waters, but if you are quick about it, you can actually be quite stealthy.

Dive On In

naked in spa

Alright, we all know that you can see through water.  However, with refractions and the help of jacuzzi bubbles, find a place where if you are in up to your neck then absolutely nothing will be able to be seen! 

Cover With A Towel

is it weird to be naked in spa

It’s actually required to have a towel in a sauna.  After all, things get quite steamy and sweaty in there, considering some saunas get up to 90°C. You read that right, some get as sweltering as 195°F!!! Who wants to sit on a slippery, sweaty bench that a stranger just sat on with their bare bum!? Therefore, all the saunas in Germany that I’ve ever been in require you to have a towel. The towel is not to stay covered, but instead to sit on so that you don’t get the bench all sweaty.

However, if you are feeling particularly uncomfortable about disrobing, or well, in this case, dis-toweling, then you are absolutely free to keep your towel wrapped tightly around your body inside the sauna as well.  I will tell you straight up, you are going to be the only one doing so though. Everyone else will walk in with their towel around them, but then lay the towel down and then sit on it.  However, if you choose to stay wrapped, again, nobody is really going to care. You do you!!!!

See If There Are Women/ Men Only Days

If your biggest hurdle is the idea of being nude in front of the opposite sex, many German Thermes will actually have days or partial days where it is just for women or just for men or may even block off areas for just one gender. Look at the website and opening hours for the Sauna that you are thinking about visiting and see if they have a day that you would feel more comfortable trying out the German Sauna Experience. 

One of the hardest parts about the mixed sauna in Germany is when you are in the locker rooms.  Your shell hasn’t completely come off yet (or your clothes) and so you still have that prude idea that there is absolutely no way that you should be getting undressed in front of men.  It’s a little bit ironic because in just a few hours, you’ll be even more exposed, but there is always that moment of “What do I do!?” in the changing rooms. If you are there on a mixed sauna day, you can always find a changing stall to drop the skivvies and dawn the towel before heading out into the unknown.

Bring a Friend

nude spa experience

While it sounds a bit scary at first to get naked in front of someone you know, going to a German sauna with a friend is really to your benefit if you’ve never been.  A german sauna can feel a bit intimidating the first time you go, and not JUST because of the whole nudity thing. There are often so many different types of saunas, different thermal pools, and more that a first timer can feel totally out of their element. Going with a friend at least gives you someone to ask for opinions, or, if nothing else, commiserate with!

Better yet, find a friend who has been to a German Sauna before and knows how to do it! Every Therme is a bit different, but the general idea is all more or less the same, so if you have a good friend that knows what they are doing, just tag along and let them take the lead.

Tidy Up Down There

This is absolutely, positively not a requirement. In fact, I once went to Bad Füssing and realized it had been OVER a month since I had shaved…..anything! So, here I walk into this naked spa with hairy everything. No, this was not some feminist stand I was taking and no, I was not (purposefully) embracing my inner hippy.  I was just a really busy mom who forgot to shave!!! 

However, if you feel like it would give you a bit more confidence, then give yourself a bit of tidying up before baring all. 

Stay In The Swimsuit Area

therme erding munich nude spa
Therme Erding Swimming Pool Section (with swimsuits)

A lot of spas actually will have sections that you can keep your swimsuits on.  For example, in Baden-Baden, the entire main floor which has the thermal pools and a few saunas, you are actually required to have a swimsuit on. Or at Therme Erding, there is an entire wing to the GIANT Therme that are dedicated to just people wearing swimsuits. However, in most places, once you get to the Saunahof (the area with all the Saunas) then it’s textile free (no swimsuits allowed).

Personally, it’s the Saunahof areas that are truly the best to me. They are really expansive and have so much to offer that you can’t get if you stay in the clothing area. A lot of times, in those sections of the spas I just feel like I’m in a pool, to be honest.  However, if you are working up your courage, sometimes it’s easiest to start in the areas that do allow swimsuits and head to the textile free area after you feel a bit more comfortable.

Fake It Until You Make It

When all else fails, hold your head high, pull your shoulders back, put a smile on your face (ok, maybe not too big of a smile- Germans are often quite stoic- no need to draw attention to yourself) and just pretend like you know what the hell you are doing!!!! Not sure where to head next? Look around, make a decision and then just walk with a purpose. Nobody has ever tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, naked LeAnna, you were supposed to wait 15 minutes, not 8, before going to the next sauna.” Alternatively, if you aren’t sure if you are supposed to alternate between a sauna and thermal pool, or go to a quiet room next before the intense German Afguss, again, nobody is watching you to take notes of what you are doing. Just act like you know exactly where you are supposed to go (even if you have no freaking clue) and just go do it! Again…when in Rome A German Sauna- act as the Germans do!

Embrace the Experience

No matter what you do, just embrace the whole experience. It is something so unique and if you truly let your guard down, you will find yourself having the most amazing time. By the end of the day, you’ll feel so free, so relaxed, so rejuvenated and you’ll be wondering why you ever were scared of being naked in a spa in the first place! Not only will you be blissed out but you will have a totally new since of liberation with your body. After all, what do you have to lose- besides your clothes!?

My Final Takeaway

Now, I’m only speaking from a woman’s perspective right now, but I truly wish that every single young female had an opportunity to go to a nude German sauna. Just hear me out….

Society has told us what is supposed to be the “perfect” body. Each generation has grown up with a different “perfect” but each version always is the same…unattainable to the average woman. Whether it is super thin or with unrealistic proportions, more times than not, those “perfect” bodies are only achieved through photoshop, filters, or unhealthy habits. Yet, they play destructible mind games with us from a very impressionable age that often last with us throughout our adulthood. 

Even as a grown-ass woman, being at the nude spa was completely eye-opening for me!!!

  • That lady’s body who might look super skinny in jeans may actually be wearing spanx to tuck in her C-section “shelf”
  • That other women’s breasts that look fantastic in the push up bra, may actually be sagging without the extra support from breastfeeding three children
  • That 70 year old man has clearly enjoyed living his life in Germany eating plenty of Schnitzels and drinking his beer
  • That 80 year old women does not care what dimples and cellulite are on her but
  • That “Dad-Bod” should be worn just as proudly as that “Mom-bod”
  • Oh wow, look at that! Her right breast is a little smaller than her left. Hey, me too!!!
  • The list goes on and on…

And they are all beautiful and perfect in their own way.  

It was so refreshing to see that there actually ISN’T a “perfect” body type….that instead, they are all just that- BODIES!!!


Now it’s your turn. What reservations do you still have that are holding you back about being nude at a spa that I can help assure you of?
Alternatively, if you’ve been to a nude German sauna before, what was your experience? Let’s encourage the other readers together to go try out a truly unique experience. 


Ready to dive right into the German Spas now?? Here’s where you can find some of the best ones around…

Best Spa Towns in Germany

German Saunas Culture
Floating in the Spa Hotel’s thermal pools in Bad Füssing

German “Spa Towns” are typically ones that have a natural source of hot spring thermal waters that they then divert to the local Thermes and Spa Hotels.  Some of the most popular Spa towns in Germany are:

  • Baden- Baden
  • Bad Kissingen
  • Bad Homburg
  • Bad Abbach
  • Bad Füssing
  • Bad Kreuznach
  • Bad Brückenau

If you noticed a theme, the German word, “Bad” means “Bath.” 

German Spa Hotels and Resorts

At most German Spa towns, you’ll find a plethora of Spa Hotels.  Not all of them will have the natural mineral waters so definitely inquire about this if that is important to you.  However, most will have fantastic pools and saunas right on site. Many offer half or full board options as well and typically have beauty services such as massages so that you are totally pampered during your stay. 

Black Forest Spas

The Black Forest is in the state of Baden-Württemberg. You can probably already surmise by the fact that the word “Baden” in the name gives a hint that there are a lot of natural springs (and therefore a lot of “Baths”) in this region. 


Baden-Baden is often referred to as THE German Spa Town.  It even was added to as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021 because of its history and all that it has to offer. The two main spas in town are the Caracalla and the Roman Irish Baths (Friedrichsbad) but there are tons of Spa Hotels with their own as well. 

Other Black Forest Thermes and Spas to look into:

Best Spas in Berlin Germany

If you are spending a few days in Berlin, consider adding another day and heading to one of the spas in town or nearby.

In Berlin:

  • Vabali: This is more of a “Day Spa” experience in Berlin.  They have 10 beautiful saunas, but no thermal baths (although there are some rooftop jacuzzis!)   You can book beauty services like massages as well. Vabali is more of what Americans would consider a “Spa” complete with luxurious packages of champagne and pampering services. 
  • Liquid Room: This modern take on a German Spa is definitely “Different.” There is one main thermal bath, where they use music underwater to create a unique ambiance.  There are also 4 sauna rooms and the facility offers massages as well. 
  • Hamam Berlin: A Hamam is not a “true” German Spa, but it is an amazing experience, none the less.  And this Hamam is designed JUST for women! The Hamam baths originated in the Middle East (Often referred to as a “Turkish Bath”) and is often a social event with friends.  You can expect a thorough scrub down of your body and massage as well as enjoy the steam baths.

Day Trips From Berlin:

Some of the best spas in Germany are actually just outside of Berlin. 

  • Saarow Therme: 1 hour from Berlin
  • Spreewald: About 2 hours from Berlin
    • This classic German thermal spa has tons of thermal pools and a saunahof
  • Fontane Therme: A little over an hour from Berlin
    • This luxurious spa has a floating lake sauna, an outdoor salt water pool and floatation pool, themed saunas, a freshwater pool, and fitness classes all available for day pass users.  Guests at the hotel have access to all of the spa amenities. 

Thermal Spas in Bavaria

Living in Bavaria myself means I am no stranger to the Saunas near me! I often head to Therme Erding (not just the main nude spa near Munich but one of the largest in Europe), Bad Abbach, and Therme Eins in Bad Füssing.

Some Top Bavarian Thermes and Spas to look into:

Planning a Trip to Bavaria? Have you joined our Bavaria Trip Planning Facebook group?



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