The most beautiful spa I've ever been to.
There are no gimmicks here and far fewer crowds than Caracalla. It's also nude, so be prepared for that.
You pay about 23 Euros for 3 hours of relaxation as you work your way around the 17 different stations designed to make you feel like you are floating by the time you leave. Towels are included at various stages including one large, hot towel that is wrapped around you as you leave the wet areas for some winding down time moisturising, sleeping and reading.
My wife and I went together and enjoyed the experience overall. We went with the luxury package that included the soap scrub and lotion massages. We were certainly relaxed by the visit and liked the old school charm. The facility requires all clients go nude, so be prepared if you're body shy or worry about that kind of thing. When compared to other spas we felt Friedrichsbad was unique, but offered more of an "assembly line spa experience".
The highlights are the architecture and the thermal pools. The building is beautiful and an old one. Very classical style architecture with marble, pillars, and painted tiles throughout, and the dome over the main pool area is really special. The thermal steam rooms were comfortable, well lit and spacious. The "relaxation" rooms were also very pleasant.
Some areas for improvement include how easy is to get confused about the "17 station" steps, and the rules that followed (i.e. at some point you can't wear slippers or a towel, but you wouldn't know this without a staff person telling you abruptly). The station numbers were posted with arrows to the next station, but because you sometimes have to go back from the direction you came, it feels somewhat counter-intuitive. I guess on a second visit, this would no longer be an issue! The water in the pools could have been warmer, but still pleasant and nice to soak in. The massages included queuing up, and were incredibly short and rushed - which is where the assembly line feeling sets in.
I followed up with a full massage the next day and wasn't particularly impressed.
Affordable luxury - for €35 you get 3.5 hours in this Old Wold spa, plus a soap brush scrub. If you're not cool with nudity, you can go to Caracalla next door but it's less "traditional". Friedrichsbad is all naked, all the time. Honestly, after 5 seconds you really won't even care - most people are older or fatter than you and you'll never see them again anyway.
You arrive and divest yourself in a locker room. My visit happened to be on a "segregated" day where men and women are separate except for 2 rooms. Most days, it's co-ed. Once you're in the buff, you go through a series of 17 stages, all well marked with recommended times and directions in English.
You start with a shower (gorgeous rainfall style), then sweat in 2 dry air rooms. Then shower again, and get scrubbed down with German efficiency and thoroughness. Another shower - then to the damp sauna rooms with eucalyptus steam. Then comes a series of soaks in various pools (the best parts IMO). Finally, the freezing cold plunge if you dare - I did and it was COLD!!!
Warm up with hot towels, lotion up, and get wrapped up like a mummy for some r&r. You'll emerge cleaner and more relaxed than you ever thought possible. I have bad hips and this vacation's uphill hikes had been kicking my fat ass - 3 hours here made me feel human again.
My tip - you can spend as long as you want in any of the rooms as long as you stay within your allotted time. If you aren't into the the sitting around at the end, feel free to cycle back to your favorites.
What a divine experience! In terms of thermal baths, this one is the best I have been to so far. The ambience and decor sets you back in time to the legacy of the kings who used it. It has various thermal pools with different temperatures and functions. Also 3 different steam rooms and 2 different saunas. It is a regulated experience, in that there is an order of the rooms and that is the recommended order although you can go back and forth. The attending personnel are friendly and kind. There is an offer of a brushing and soaping and also a cream massage. I did not do either. It's a nudist bath. On the day I went it was mixed - for both men and women. More men than women and I got the feeling that some guys were there to meet women.
I was hungry at some point but didn't get anything to eat.
In all, I would love to go back soon. I wish I lived close by and could go once a week.
For a regal thermal bad experience, it's definitely the place to do.
The one thing I didn't like was the newer stained glass ceilings in some of the thermal pool rooms, I felt it ruined the experience. It was more artistic in a modern sense and destroyed that feeling that you were in an ancient place. Knot that old, just since 1877.
as spas go, Awesome. a luxury mineral hot springs in Baden-Baden on the grounds of an ancient roman-irish bath. built entirely of limestone, marble, soaring columns and glass cupolas, it looks and feels like a cathedral - a bathing tradition for over 130 years.
Mark Twain: "here at the Friedrichsbad, you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world within 20."
less public than Caracalla, the entry is 31€/3hrs with a 10min herbal soap body-everyinch-scrub. there are 17 stations that start with a high-pressure bath, then a recline at the ornamental tiled-marbled-skylighted sauna, eucalyptus steam rooms, pools of varying heat, cold water plunge (LOVE) and rest lounge where you're wrapped like a baby. full spa services from massage, facials, thalasso to more extensive cures also available. and as you'd expect, hygienically-clean and german-efficient. the spa is mixed and completely nude (no ifs, no buts) so check your yankee prudishness at the door. no one looks. too long.
If you go to Baden-Baden, you must do a bathing experience. Friedrichsbad is the more traditional...Carcalla is the contemporary. As a historian, I tend to lean towards the traditional, so off to Friedrichsbad we ventured the first morning we were in Baden-Baden.
We picked up tickets at our hotel, the Hotel Am Markt, for 2 euros less than buying them at the spa (19 euros instead of 21 euros each). We decided to skip adding the soap brush massage, but we could have added it to the bill when checking in at the spa. We went on a Tuesday, which is a mixed sex day where you can do the experience with your partner (several days a week are single sex, where men & women only meet at the big pool in the middle). We locked our things in our lockers and spent nearly 3 hours (the maximum time we were allotted) going through the steam, sauna, showers, whirlpools & baths. It was glorious! I'm glad we went on a mixed sex day though, as I might have felt stranger about the prancing around in my birthday suit by myself. After a (very) quick dip in the cold plunge tub, the towel person rubbed us dry with hot towels, sent us to lotion up, and then tucked us into the quiet room to catch a few zzzs.
It is well located in the pedestrian center of town, less than 10 minutes from a majority of the center city hotels, shopping areas & the casino. There is very limited street parking in front, but there is also a small parking garage underneath. We chose to leave our car at our hotel (which was about a 2 minute walk away).
A unique experience for those travelers who want to do something that they can't easily do at home! And my skin felt super awesome for several days :)
going to the friedrichsbad was a completely delight. i had an amazing time doing it the "german way"- naked. it was 23 euros for the basic package/3 hrs, which is without the scrub(wished i did this because i heard it was amazing!)
i went on the day that men and women were separated (although there is a section where they mix) and it was not crowded or awkward in anyway. i would recommend not going in large groups( with a friend or two), because it's just not the place.
you go through a series of saunas and bathes that range in temperatures. you can go through all the steps again if you get done early or just choose the sauna/bathes that you liked most, which is what we did. it was a very relaxing day, and i highly recommend doing this!!
I would give the Friedrichsbad less than one star and even take away some stars if possible. Terrible place, terrible experience. Shame on the people running this tourist sham. They have taken a very good concept and reduced it to a money making tourist trap staffed by miscreants and undesirables of the worst kind. When I seek a service offered for money, I want to encounter satisfied providers who have my best interests at heart. To put it mildlythis place blows big time.
I had read of the Friedrichsbad prior to traveling to Germany this year. Although, I vacation in Germany every year, this was my first time to Baden Baden. First on my list of things to do upon arrival in this beautiful city was to take the waters at the Friedrichsbad. I was pleased that I went with a German friend who was able to help me navigate the 17 various stations throughout. I was a bit uncertain how the totally nude experience would be for my American self, but after a minute or so it seemed perfectly comfortable and certainly made sense considering the intent of the bathing experience. The inside of the structure is beautiful, extremely clean, well serviced, and very well maintained. Even though there were 17 stations, I very quickly identyified my favorites----the various saunas and the large warm soaking pools (as opposed to the cool pools). I did not partake of the brush massage, but certainly wish that I had. I enjoyed about 2 hours and would have remained the maximum 3 hours, but had other hungry friends waiting for lunch outside. The closest bathing experience that I have had in the USA was at the Greenbriar in WV and the Homestead in VA. Neither one, however, come close to the Friedrichsbad quality and value, especially in the variety of self-paced treatments or the price. I deffinitely look forward to my next visit to Germany and the Friedrichsbad, although, I may visit instead the Thermen in Aachen to compare.
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