While on a recent holiday in Munich we decided to visit Therme Erding, a place we had read a lot about when researching our trip, somewhere described as “a must” for anyone spending time in the Bavarian city.
After travelling for approximately 50 minutes from Munich on the S2 route of the S-Bahn we arrived at the station of Altenerding, just one stop before the end of the line at Erding. Plenty of other people alighted at this station, all following the signs for Therme Erding.
At first sight it looks like a giant shopping centre due to how vast it is. It even has it’s own multi story car park which should give you a clue as to how busy it can get in peak season.
Before arriving we had decided that we would pay the full amount to gain entry to all the areas Therme Erding has to offer. Therme Erding is based around the central Thermenparadies swimming pool with the rest of the site divided into three areas; “Galaxy”, the water slide park; “VitalOase”, the textile sauna area; and “Saunaparadies” which is the textile free sauna area. Admission is priced depending on which areas you wish to enter.
Walking in through the main entrance and it feels like entering the departure hall at a small airport. High ceilings, a few shops and plenty of desks to check-in at and pay. There are two sets of desks, one for the textile side and one for the textile free section and as we wanted the full spa experience it meant that we would be stripping off.
Once at the desk we paid the admission and deposits for towels. One thing we recommend is to avoid paying more than you have to, take your own towels and flip flops. Towels don’t cost too much to hire if you don’t want to be carrying them around with you from the city or if like us you had travelled light from the UK and didn’t want to use the hotel towels.
We were given an electronic wristband which gives you access to your assigned locker. During your visit you also charge any food and drinks you purchase to it and pay for it on the way out which is handy as there’s not really anywhere to keep your bank cards or cash when only wearing a towel.
As with everything at Therme Erding the changing rooms are ginormous so you have to follow the signs to find your locker. The changing rooms are unisex and there are a few cubicles so if you’re a bit shy you can use one of these but as this is for the textile free area it seemed a bit unnecessary.
With just our flip flops on our feet we wrapped our towel around our waist and headed out to the spa area past a notice to politely remind people that swimwear was not allowed.
We made our way through the showers and into “Saunaparadies”. Paradise is a good description. In the main pool area there are palm trees surrounded by sun loungers and in good weather the roof retracts meaning you can relax in the open air.
We recommend taking a good ten minutes to fully explore this area as there are over 20 saunas and steam rooms of different temperatures and aromas.
After looking around it was time to take the plunge. The centrepiece of “Saunaparadies” is a massive pool heated to 34 degrees that continues outside. So we hung up our towel and slipped off our flip flops and walked down the steps into the pool to join the 30 or 40 other naked people who were lying on the massage beds or sat at the swim-up bar. Although it started to get busier as the day went on it never felt like it was overcrowded. However we have heard that the other areas can get very busy, especially “Galaxy” with its 26 slides.
Each sauna had its own theme and at certain times through the day they have sessions in each sauna when a Saunameister enters to perform a ceremony based on that theme. Among the many saunas there is a sauna heated by a bread oven, a sauna with a geyser as it’s focal point, two saunas with different citrus scents and our favourite, a tropical themed sauna where the Saunameister hands out small bars of shea butter to rub into your skin which left our skin feeling incredibly smooth.
After each turn in a sauna it’s recommended to have a cold shower and where better than under a shower designed in the shape of a bunch of giant Calla lilies. An ice cold cascade of water poured down which was incredibly invigorating. After showering we would recommend going out onto the sun deck to air dry which is a sun trap in the afternoon.
When our appetites got the better of us we got wrapped our towels around us and went to try one of the many restaurants Therme Erding has to offer.
You can enjoy Italian and Thai food without needing to put on a swim suit or shorts although a towel is required as no one wants to see tits or cock when eating a bowl of pasta. We opted for Italian at La Cucina restaurant. We ordered the tomato soup to start and a simple ham pizza for the main course. The soup tasted fresh, not tinned and it was seasoned perfectly with a subtle hint of basil. The pizza was stone baked with an excellent balance of cheese, ham and tomato puree.
We had originally paid for four hours at Therme Erding, thinking it would be enough time to try out all three zones. We ended up spending nine hours there and never once left the relaxation and tranquility of “Saunaparadies”. The full nine hours were spent wearing nothing more than a towel and after the initial apprehension of being naked in front of hundreds of other people it was soon forgotten as nobody batted an eyelid. Everyone else was wearing the same and once you were in the saunas we were thankful that we had nothing on as it would have just been uncomfortable spending the day in wet shorts.
One thing that surprised us about Therme Erding was that there was such a variety in the types of people visiting. It was predominantly made up of couples but there were group of friends of all ages including teenagers right through to pensioners. It would be difficult to imagine similar scenes in the UK of groups of college and university friends sitting around in a sauna, the pool or on sun loungers completely naked but this is completely natural to Germans and we can only recommend everyone to try it.
Unfortunately time was against us as we had to head out for the train back to Munich. When exiting, we handed back our wristbands and the final charge was calculated including the food, drink and additional time we were there.
Therme Erding is not cheap. It came to about 50 euros per person including the hire of towels with the food and travel from Munich taking the total cost of the day for two people to close to 150 euros. But considering that this included nine hours of rest and relaxation, sun bathing and swimming, it was most definitely worth it. Don’t forget that this price also includes the water slides if you wish to try them out.
We could not fault Therme Erding. The place is kept in immaculate condition with no sign of litter anywhere. The staff are all friendly although the clientele are predominantly German therefore the Saunameister ceremonies are performed in German but after they had finished we asked nicely and they repeated them in English. We tended to just go with the flow as most of the time it was pretty obvious what they were explaining even though we didn’t speak German. The staff are friendly and the service in the restaurant and bars is excellent.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Therme Erding and would definitely recommend it to everyone, whether you have a spare day when in Munich or if you actually just wanted to book a trip especially to visit there. A new hotel opened at Therme Erding so guests can spend as much time as they want there without worrying about the time of the last train back to Munich.