Nudity in saunas and spas in Berlin

And info about Kristall Therme

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Bluebirdnick
Hi all

I'll begin with an apology for dragging up saunas again - I can see it's something that has been discussed ad nauseam, but I'd really appreciate some help!

A quick background: I live in Berlin, but my girlfriend is in the UK. She comes across to visit once a month, and this time she's been doing a bit of research and wants to go to a spa for the day. Specifically, Krystall Saunatherme Ludwigsfelde. I think this is a great idea - a big improvement on her last suggestion of a trip to the Fernsehturm.

Firstly, is it possible to get there with public transport? Their website doesn't offer any help, and a previous thread mentioned some sort of taxi option, but can we get there with good ol' trains?

Secondly, I told her that it would involve nudity, which put her off. I've spent a fair bit of time in Germany now so it doesn't bother me, but she's a bit concerned that it will be mostly men and that she will feel a bit exposed. I have to say that my experience of saunas here (in the city itself) would be that they are predominantly male, although I've only been to those attached to swimming pools. I do remember a woman walking in to a sauna with 6 of us men in it, realising she was the only woman, and walking straight out again (letting lots of cold air in, I should add!), so I can see that my girlfriend is not entirely alone in her fear. Previous threads have suggested that the Ludwigsfelde sauna is fine in this regard, but if we cannot get there, which spas/saunas would be the best in the city centre? She's not a prude (she can't get her kit off quick enough on holiday) but she's just a bit concerned that she will be massively outnumbered, and my experience of saunas here can do nothing to disspell that fear.

Thirdly, I've incurred the wrath of Berliners twice this week, and both times I don't really know what I've done wrong! On Tuesday I was told off for wearing my shorts whilst showering before entering the pool. I can't see what the problem is; why do I have to shower first, and then put clean swimming stuff on?! Then on Thursday, I forgot to bring my flip-flops with me to the sauna which caused a bit of a problem too. Is it really that big of a deal? I'm sure I've seen plenty of other people plodding around without them. Am I just unlucky to be picked on for minor offences, or is my behaviour unforgiveable?

Thanks for your help

Nick
dasheight-8
Hi, Nick. I've been the Kristall Therme many times - I work right next to it. You can get there by public transport. Ludwigsfelde is on the train route. I can assure you that there are equal numbers of men, women and children. This is a family resort. Many of the folks there are a bit older. Kristall is an FKK club so normally it is no suits, but on Wednesday evenings and all day Sunday suits are optional - except in the sauna. I found out the hard way - like you - that there are unwritten rules. I went in the sauna with my swinsuit on and was promptly yelled at. I don't understand any German - I'm Canadian so it was a bit ackward.

The Kristall is heavenly though. I strongly encourage you and your girlfriend to give it a try.

Cheers,
Paul
TobyG.
@the wrath of Berliners: It's all about unwritten (or, well, sometimes written) rules around cleanliness. Shorts off while showering is pretty logical if you assume (correctly) that you get cleaner in that area without wearing something
And Flip Flops is a must for every guy who encountered athlete's foot, I guess.
But for many people (including me) it is only a "minor offence" (if even).

Have you been already to the Badeschiff-Sauna? Normally there is a really mixed crowd.
Bluebirdnick
Thanks both - Ludwigsfelde looks like a winner then.

Regards

Nick
Kommentarlos
@the wrath of Berliners: It's all about unwritten (or, well, sometimes written) rules around cleanliness.
Depends on. Everything is relative. Stadtbad Lankwitz currently has signs up in German and Turkish explaining that is inappropriate to use the facilities with outdoor style clothing and that a bathing suit is mandatory.

I'm guessing that having a sign up about paying due care and attention to the personal hygiene nooks and crannies is a utopian dream for the management.

I would suggest that the OP congratulates himself on finding a bathing establishment where the clients still care.
Bluebirdnick
I would suggest that the OP congratulates himself on finding a bathing establishment where the clients still care.
I think it was more that he was just a grumpy old man, rather than actually caring whether I showered with my trunks on or not. I must be an easy target; there were two people wearing swimming costumes in the sauna in Stadtbad Mitte today, and nobody said a thing. Oh well!
careful
@the wrath of Berliners: It's all about unwritten (or, well, sometimes written) rules around cleanliness. Shorts off while showering is pretty logical if you assume (correctly) that you get cleaner in that area without wearing something
Sure, I keep forgetting that Germans have monopoly over cleanliness and hygiene. All of us foreigners needed to come here to discover that we have always been living in a world completely alien to hygienic rules in spas/swimming pools.saunas.

Sure, doesn't really matter that that the rest of the world including North and South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa - tough I can't bet on some parts of Asia, the rest of Europe except Scandinavia are normally wearing swimsuits or trunks or bikinis or whatever they want to in the saunas and steam rooms. This just means that all this bunch of people - roughly 95% of world current population - has no idea about Hygiene and Cleanliness.

One side question: where is hygienic consciousness in sitting naked on the benches of the steam room where everybody else has already laid down his ar*e? I found that actually not hygienic at all...

Why don't u guys simply put it as an habit? It is an habit, and may actually be more comfortable than wearing anything, but has nothing to so with cleanliness... let people be free the way they feel more comfortable
gatzke
One side question: where is hygienic consciousness in sitting naked on the benches of the steam room where everybody else has already laid down his ar*e? I found that actually not hygienic at all...
In the spas I have seen, everyone is meticulous about putting down their towel so that you sit on the towel. Even your feet are on the towel. You drip on the towel as well.

If it is sparse, you can lie down.

And generally people walk around with a towel wrapped around them. For the most part.

I still don't understand why they like to sit and lounge on a chair inside, pretending they are at the beach...
Deccie
Any saunas I have been to are meticulous that one does not sweat onto the wooden benches. As stated above one sits and sweats onto your towel laid on the wooden bench.

Even in the steam rooms there is a hose to hose down before/after sitting there, although I normally prefer to stand in the steam saunas.
margot
Sure, I keep forgetting that Germans have monopoly over cleanliness and hygiene. All of us foreigners needed to come here to discover that we have always been living in a world completely alien to hygienic rules in spas/swimming pools.saunas.
Thank you for expressing what I was feeling last month during my first (and last?) visit to the swimming pool.

House rules were written in German and Turkish.
Now, being an activists doesn't help me with this and you may put it down to the job, but according to this policy, either all foreigners but the Turkish are fluent in German or it's only Turkish people who need to be reminded on common hygiene practices and Germans need a translation for that. This reminded me of something I've seen in gas stations toilets in northern Italy: the "no spitting" sign was in Italian and in Chinese...again, either all foreigners can read Italian but the Chinese or only Chinese spit and Italians need a translation for that.

I think I have done almost everything wrong and been told about it at least twice each time I did something. It was a Freizeitorientiert swimmingpool, full of kids and children who I am sure were not behaving by any rule at all. Still, I was doind everything wrong (showered with my swimsuit on before I entered the pool, wore a bathingcap (it is mandatory in Italy...on hygienic grounds, I suppose), and so on...).
And I went to the pool to relax...
meikeerik
I still don't understand why they like to sit and lounge on a chair inside, pretending they are at the beach...
Since you usually do several courses of sauna one lays down in between to get some rest. When my family goes it's an all day affair with several sessions in the the different saunas. A little nap wrapped up in a blanket lounging on a chair is actually quite heavenly. When you are lucky and the weather doesn't suck, try actually doing that outside in the sun. It's really worth it. And btw, my whole family loves to go to the Sauna together i.e. my parents, my husband, mys sister and her boyfriend. Freaks my friends in the US out!
meikeerik
House rules were written in German and Turkish.
Now, being an activists doesn't help me with this and you may put it down to the job, but according to this policy, either all foreigners but the Turkish are fluent in German or it's only Turkish people who need to be reminded on common hygiene practices and Germans need a translation for that. This reminded me of something I've seen in gas stations toilets in northern Italy: the "no spitting" sign was in Italian and in Chinese...again, either all foreigners can read Italian but the Chinese or only Chinese spit and Italians need a translation for that.
Don't know about the Italians, but since the Turkish minority is the largest minority in Germany it might make sense that they post in Turkish. Kind of like I have to press 1 to get English announcements and 2 for Spanish ones when I call any bank, postal office, pharmacy or whatever in the US. Didn't help my German speaking Mom one bit when she lived there.

Don't know about what the Italians had in mind. Are there really that many Chinese tourists in Italy to be singled out? Strange. I do remember seeing a report before the Olympics that the Chinese government was trying to keep the population from spitting in public and was fining heavily. It seems to be quite a popular thing to do in China. Different cultures, different habits.
Clapoti
I didn't go to a sauna in Germany yet, but if I ever go to one I will not be naked that's for sure... they can tell me what they want it's none of their business.
meikeerik
Clapoti, as far as I know it isn't "clothing optional", but rather "no clothing allowed". No one will say a thing about a strategically strung over-sized bath towel though. Might get a couple of people looking and wondering, but it's not against the rules. Or just skip the Sauna if you don't enjoy being nude.
Hutcho
I didn't go to a sauna in Germany yet, but if I ever go to one I will not be naked that's for sure... they can tell me what they want it's none of their business.
You will be stared at, before an attendant notices you and kicks you out. I've seen it happen before, very embarrassing for the person involved. I wish you luck.
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