From hot pot to foot bath - a spa day with a twist

About wellness with children and other adventures

Baden is quite simply the ultimate spa town. For more than 2000 years, numerous springs have been providing the city with natural warmth and power. Especially during the Belle Époque, the baths district became a veritable hotspot.

Nowhere else in Switzerland the thermal water is so rich in minerals as here. More than 900,000 liters bubble out of its 18 springs every single day. The public thermal spa was demolished. Now, the quarter along the Limmat is being upgraded. A new thermal spa is to be opened in 2021. Until then, however, it is still a great place to have a bath.

On this Sunday, we pack our swimsuits and set off to enjoy an outdoor family wellness day in the spa town. With healthy thermal water, “foot baths”, punch, and all… A spa day for all ages, open to everybody and completely free of charge.

Our first highlight is the “Promenadenlift” that takes us down to the Limmat. We stroll along the river in direction of the baths district Bäderquartier. On the go, we collect large pieces of tree barks, (and later give them to our imaginary friend, the beaver), we play fetch with a small dog and feed the goldfish at the “Tränenbrünneli” (Fountain of Tears).

Notice: The cozy outdoor café “Kajüte” is open from May to August. Tip: Try the Flammkuchen (tarte flambée) – it’s delicious!


Free thermal baths in the heart of the town

A little later, we arrive at our first destination: the Bagno Popolare, a pop-up spa on Kurplatz, next to the building site. The bath is a highlight – especially on cold days like today. At that’s why we aren’t alone.

Tip: Preferably come early in the morning or after sundown. It’s particularly beautiful under the starlit sky.

We find a spot in the 38°C-warm water. It’s worth mentioning that I, who is always freezing, almost always find it too cold for a dip. But 38°C is – even for me – the absolutely ideal water temperature. I’m surprised how long the kids stay in the water. To be honest, they would still be there, if we hadn’t eventually lured them out. In the changing room, where you’ll also find a toilet, we do a quick towel-dry, get dressed and set off to our next destination.

Changing room on the building site – that’s adventurous
Changing room at the Atrium Hotel Blume

Since recently, there is also a hot pot in front of the legendary Hotel Blume, which is open to the public and completely free of charge. It’s in operation during winter.

Tip: Be sure to admire the Atrium, make a wish at the wishing well, and plan a dinner here. The vibe is wonderful and the food simply delicious.

We’re lucky, we have the hot pot to ourselves for a whole hour. Conclusion: The kids have the time of their lives in this beautiful wooden tub filled with thermal water, and flood everything within a radius of two kilometers. We adults enjoy our time here, too. With a little “bell”, we can place our order at the hotel, and a little later, punch, coffee, and a snack are brought directly to the tub. Wonderful.

Later, much, much later, we dare to get out of the warmth and into the cold. For CHF 2.- we can use the showers and the beautiful changing rooms of the hotel.



Foot Bath – here, nobody gets cold feet

Taking off shoes and socks and sitting comfortably on a bench in the dead of winter – this is only possible in Baden. The thermal bench is just around the corner.

The eight-meter-long thermal bench is located on the Limmat Promenade, right next to the Inhalatorium. The foot bath, filled with warm and mineral-rich thermal water, is open to everybody and free of charge. The thermal spring “Heisser Stein” supplies it below ground with warm thermal water via an old wooden pipe.

While we comfortably bathe our feet, I read the children a story from the book I brought – pure bliss.

After the third chapter, it gets a little chilly and we get ready to go home. But before that, we go to the Scandinavian Deli in the old town and treat ourselves to the world’s most delicious cinnamon rolls, fresh from the oven.

Conclusion: Baden is always worth a family trip. The public and free thermal baths are perfect for an original and relaxing day in the spa town. Highly recommended for young and old.


And here are a few insider tips for Baden:

  • Best view over the town: Schartenfels, Hertenstein-Chänzeli, the ruins of Stein Castle
  • Spa Information Center: In the Inhalatorium next to the Hotel Limmathof you will find the Spa Information Center with exciting stories and installations to discover.
  • Café: The café “Unverpackt“ offers a wide range of sweet treats and a beautiful kid’s corner.
  • For the kids: There are great playgrounds below the high bridge or in the old cemetery park (Stadtfriedhof). The Swiss Children’s Museum is also a wonderful place to spend quality time with the children.


Wellness for the entire family: thermal baths and spas


Header picture: Nicolas Petit / Bagni Popolari Baden

January, 2019

An article by:
The journalist Corinne works and lives in Aargau. She is the mother of two daughters (6 and 11). She loves discovering news things, travelling in Switzerland and around the world. In 2017, she created the family platform
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