I highly recommend a visit to Caracalla Therme, a thermal bath complex in the spa town of Baden Baden, Germany. I spent an hour bathing in the various pools but could have easily spent more time.
Caracalla There is one of the Best Spas in Germany, according to our spas expert.
Upon paying the entry fee and entering the complex, I was given a token to wear on a wrist band. The token is used to open and close a locker and to charge any additional items such as drinks, food, or a massage up to 60 euro (to be paid upon leaving). Thus there's no need to carry money as you navigate the spa complex. The minimum entrance ticket is for two hours (14 euro in June 2010) and tickets can be purchased for more hours in the same day or for multiple admissions.
Caracalla Therme Facilities
Caracalla Therme has both indoor and outdoor facilities. Guests first enter the locker room area where there are changing rooms and showers. Indoors you'll find a large warm water pool with a small section for water exercise classes. There are two small caves with pools, a cold pool and a hot mineral spring with water temperature of 39 C. A sign warns not to stay in the mineral pool for longer than ten minutes. In the pool area there are lounge chairs and there's also a large aromatherapy sauna.
Outdoors is a large lounging area with lounge chairs around the pool area and on a grassy area with flower beds separating the two areas. A large warm water pool is connected to the indoor pool so guests can swim between the two. Inside the large pool are two small jacuzzi pools. Another warm bath area has seats around the edge with jets and strong showers for hydromassage. A small pool inside this pool has jets that come up from the floor. The hydromassage jets operate on a rotating basis. In the center of each pool is a fountain that also operates at intervals.
Bathing suits are required for using the pools but upstairs is a nudist sauna and solarium, no bathing clothes allowed but guests need to bring a small towel to (at least) sit upon.
A cafe serves drinks and light meals and there are several shops outside the paid area.
Why Visit Caracalla Therme? Your Health and the Spa
The water at Caracalla Therme is said to be good for bones and rheumatism. After my hour in the baths, my shoulder (which had been giving me pain) felt better than it had in a long time. You can also drink water from the mineral springs at fountains upstairs near the entrance to the baths--and also at the tourist information building.
Caracalla Therme Visiting Information
Caracalla Therme is currently open every day, 8AM to 10PM, except December 24 and 25. It closes early on December 31. Prices start at 14 euro for 2 hours but discounts are available for more hours, voucher booklets, and VIP cards. Parking is available in a garage under the spa, free for the first two hours. Location: Römerplatz 1, Baden Baden.
Before you go, check Caracalle Terme for updated visiting information and to find out more about the facilities.
Note that Caracalla Therme does not supply towels so bring one with you. You also might want flip flops for walking around and a robe.
For a luxury stay in Baden-Baden, The Grenners Park-Hotel and Spa offers 5-star luxury and is reputed to have the best hotel spa experience in Germany.