German Sauna Etiquettes, Naked
Filed in Travel Tips, Wellness
Let’s talk a bit about the ins & outs of the etiquette in a German sauna, including the etiquette of being naked in a German sauna. ;-)
Don’t laugh, don’t giggle, don’t think I’m writing this for shock value. The German sauna experience — clothed or not — isn’t cheap and tawdry, it’s purely for health benefits.
The first thing you gotta do before settling into either a sauna or steamroom is shower, shower, shower.
Next, never let your skin touch the benches, always use a towel.
And while any one of you ladies might be sitting right next to a chippendales lad, it’s never polite to stare. The same holds true, of course, for you gentlemen sitting right next to a baywatch chick!
Oh, did I just gloss over the fact that men & women often share the same sauna? Nude? In North American culture, for instance, this is shocking, but not so in Deutschland.
Often a sauna will have same gender specific times throughout the day, so if you aren’t willing to go totally bare in front of the opposite-sex, check the schedule.
Some saunas will allow children, and if you’re gonna bring yours in to experience the “healing properties,” just make sure they keep the noise to a bare minimum.
Yeah, that’s about as easy to do as threading a needle with a limp spaghetti noodle. ;-)
Plus, leave your mobile phone outside. Besides the fact that a sauna’s climate is completely inappropriate for gadjets, no one wants to hear details about your sister’s nasty divorce or your best friend’s gastric bypass surgery. ;-)
Another no-no is either entering or leaving during the Aufguss, the “ceremonial” act of pouring water over the hot stones (times are posted). When all is said & done, it’s only right to applaude them for their efforts.
Just in case I’ve missed something, you’ll generally find a list of rules posted right outside the sauna doors.
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2 Responses to “German Sauna Etiquettes, Naked”
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John and I have made it a New Year ambition to get to Europe in winter, including a mixed nude sauna experience. Coming from UK and Australia we find it hard to believe that men and women of the general population really do just casually walk about in full uncovered nudity?! When folks say nude, we assume this generally means under a robe, or at the very least a towel? In our home countries John and I both have hang-ups .. John because he’s circumcised and me because I like a full Brazilian, both of which are unusual in UK and Aussie. This is all the more reason why we are so enthusiastic to fully open up to a population that has no hang-ups and where we are unlikely to bump into anyone we know. So, in your experience, at a typical moment what proportion of the male and female sauna goers have exposed genitals as opposed to being covered by towel? Also, are our hang-ups of any awkwardness in the way we feel they are in our home countries? Have you done similar since (I hear it becomes addictive)?
Many thanks for your advice,
Sara & John x
Hi Sara and John,
It is actually what it is. Nothing is covered. You may wear a robe when going from one spa facility to another, but many do not. Silly to put a robe on to walk a few meters.
Hope you enjoyed your visit!