Inside the world’s largest spa

Therme Erding is the daddy of European saunas. Forty minutes outside of Munich they’ve created a vast sauna complex that dwarves even large sauna establishments. 25 different themed saunas, loads of unique aufguss, a hamman and hot tubs. The centrepiece of the spa is a massive pool heated to 34 degrees that continues outside – great in winter and a swim-up bar means that you can hydrate after all those saunas! If you want to experience total sauna, this is the place to come.
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After a day on the beers in Munich we headed to Therme Erding to recover and take it all in. We were also keen to escape a bitterly cold January and reap the heightened benefits of saunaring in winter.  And we were surely glad we did. Some quick highlights included:
  • An erupting geyser: the aim of the exploding geyser in the sauna room is to keep the air comfortably humid. But the clouds of steam and the bubbling activity create a bit more theatre than your average sauna room.
  • A Roman villa: what have the Romans ever done for us? You can recreate the high art of Roman bathing in a communal pool that looks like a Ben Hur set.
  • A bakery sauna: smell the delicious scent of baking bread whilst you cook in the sauna and enjoy your hard work by scoffing the bread rolls at the end.

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Therme Erding achieves a rare feat of managing a large volume of people well. Part of that is down to the scale of the place but it’s also due to the customer service. The staff doing the aufguss make a real effort to engage with the room and make you feel like you’re having a unique experience.
One of the rooms for example, was themed on recreating a Bavarian pub. You’re given a pint of beer and then a member of staff begins telling jokes and anecdotes. Then other people in the room would chip in with their own jokes. (This was all done in German of course, of which we speak little, but we laughed along anyway!) So the member of staff created an atmosphere that made you feel that he wasn’t just going through the motions, which you can often get at large attractions.
Zirbelstube
One of the other unique aufguss included a sauna where you’re given an ice eye mask and a receive guided meditation. You do have to get into the room early as the aufguss are popular. But if you’re keen and plan your timings you shouldn’t have a problem.
Some of the rooms are quite unique as well and I’d put a recreation of a Celtic feasting hall at the top of that list! And that’s we liked most about Therme Erding is that sense of fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is novelty and light heartedness alongside some serious sauna experiences.
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As we stayed into the evening, a Caribbean show came on. Standing naked with hundreds of others, in a warm pool, with a beer, watching dance routines – what’s not to like!
A few comments on Trip Advisor mentions the crowds during the German holidays, but I think they mainly refer to the waterpark which is also part of the same complex. We found that outside of the aufguss most saunas were pretty quiet. A few other reviewers mention the price. But we thought that at 37 euros (£29) was pretty good for a day pass, as we were there all day. We also stayed in a local budget hotel rather than the onsite hotel to keep costs down.
On the whole the Trip Advisor comments and rating are overwhelmingly positive and you can feel people’s amazement of Therme Erding through their comments.
There really is something here for all sauna tastes from the intimate to the theatrical.
Since we went in January 2015 they’ve added more facilities and the website now bills itself as the biggest spa in the world!
Summary: A must. Probably the number 1 sauna complex in the world!
Overall sauna experience: Cold, Warm, Hot, Top Sauna!
Facilities: Basic, Standard, Excellent  
Cost: £££
Trip Advisor: here.
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