This week our sports explorers were in Cologne checking out the famous Neptunbad – and what they found blew their minds…
What is Neptunbad?
Neptunbad is one of the oldest public baths in Germany. USC members have access to its spa, sauna and wellness area. It’s a public treasure in Cologne and is one of the most well-known spas in Germany.
What can you expect?
The moment we stepped into Neptunbad we were transported into another world – one of luxury and comfort. The receptionist greeted us as if we were royalty – and this is how they treat all their guests. Neptunbad is designed to feel like a second home.
Through the entryway you’ll find living areas with gorgeous leather sofas and plush armchairs where you can work and enjoy coffee and drinks. Through a mosaic hallway and huge double doors is a restaurant serving steaming comfort food. Upstairs on a balcony overlooking the restaurant area are armchairs with table lamps where you can share an intimate chat with a friend.
There’s no doubt about it – being a guest at Neptunbad will make you feel special.
How were the saunas?
We changed in the stunning old dressing rooms which lead directly to the baths. In the centre of the baths is the main swimming pool with a huge skylight overlooking it. After Claudius Therme my fear of nudity had almost gone but I was definitely not emotionally ready to go for a swim in this pool.
Surrounding the pool are various saunas and steam rooms. I noticed people walking around in a kind of dream-like state; a look of deep relaxation and contentment on their faces. I could already feeling myself relaxing into the atmosphere that Neptunbad has created. Spend just ten minutes here and you’ll totally de-stress.
The outdoor sauna area steams in the winter air, full of rock pools and jacuzzis and Buddhas gazing lazily over their detox kingdom. A gong rang outside a nearby
sauna to announce the next grapefruit and orange infusion.
About 20 people sat in the sauna and a man with a towel wrapped around him came in and introduced himself. He ladled a sweet smelling liquid over the hot coals and they hissed satisfyingly. The gorgeous aroma wafted up and the man used a fan to propel the air towards us.
There wasn’t much room in the sauna so I sat on a space at the top, not realising that this is the hottest place you could go. I ho
ped my nose piercing wouldn’t heat up and singe my nose off.
Halfway through the ritual the sauna man handed a tray around with tiny bowls of orange sorbet. I’ve never been so happy to consume anything in my life. The cool sorbet tasted delicious and was the perfect antidote to the insanely hot sauna.
The man poured the rest of the aroma onto the sauna coals and gave us all a final waft with the giant fan. At this point sweat was streaming into my eyes and my piercing had just started to singe the inside of my nose so I was relieved when he opened the door to let everyone out.
How did I feel after?
After the sauna we cooled down in the outdoor pools and jacuzzis. I felt totally relaxed and peaceful and had fully descended into the aforementioned dreamlike state.
We walked around in a trance of contentment until we finally collapsed on one of the comfortable sun beds by the indoor pool and read our books until our two hours was up.
After we had lunch in the restaurant and it was absolutely delicious – I highly recommend their seafood linguine.
Benefits of sauna
Let’s face it, winter in Germany can be depressing. In my opinion there are few upsides to it apart from Gluhwein and the fact that it’s acceptable to indulge oneself in these beautiful saunas all around the country. Whether you’re based in Mainz or Munich, as a USC member you have tons of sauna options wherever you are.
Visiting a sauna regularly is a great way to sweat out all the toxins in your body and is said to increase your metabolism.
Many of us are affected negatively by stress every day without even realising it. Taking time out for yourself to unwind is really good for you, both mentally and physically.
Don’t forget to bring…
A towel, a bathrobe and flip flops. You can rent these at Neptunbad but you will be charged.
Urban Sports Club has tons of sauna and wellness partners across Germany, Italy and France. Take a look at our site to see what’s on in your area.
And for further information on Neptunbad, take a look at their website.