Thermal spas in Austria are a real delight. The water is so warm that there is no shock to the senses when you get into the water. Moreover, the mineral-rich water soaks away any aching muscles. When you are done with the water, you can relax on a lounge chair, visit the sauna or grab a bite to eat at the cafe.
We had our first experience of an Austrian thermal spa at Therme Wien which is in the outskirts of Vienna. This spa, recommended to us by my friend, was on my list of things to do with children in Vienna. And, did they love it!
Therme Wien has a series of different pools, indoors and outside. Supposedly the pools are various different temperatures but they all felt the same to me. While children are allowed in the main pools, there is also a separate children’s play area with slides, diving boards and sprinklers.
It was December but my crazy kids went on the outdoor slides. Apparently it was refreshing being cold on the slide and then getting dunked into warm water. I decided to take their word for it because I was cold just looking at them.
The biggest hit at Therme Wien for my children were the diving boards. For safety reasons in the US and the UK, diving boards are no longer a common feature in pools. I know we would not be able to get insurance on the pool in our summer house in the USA if we had a diving board. Therme Wien had diving boards at 2 meters, 3 meters and 4 meters. The 2 meter board was open all the time and the higher boards were open during supervised hours. My children who had never been on a diving board were enthralled with all the different ways you can jump into water.
Can I tell you how much of a joy it is to hang out and relax while the kids wear themselves out?
We had done a lot of historical and cultural sightseeing in Vienna and Therme Wien was the perfect place to relax. Interestingly, we went one time on a Saturday night because the pools are open late. The pools were full of two types of people – families or dating couples. My husband and I thought it was a great idea to encourage families to go to the pool together on an evening instead of crashing in front of the TV.
In many ways, it is like the subtropical swimming paradise at Centreparcs but much cleaner. I have to admit I hate community pools and (grit my teeth through the Centreparcs pools) because I fear exposure to all the germs just accumulating in a warm, damp environment. I thought Therme Wien was spotless and I saw cleaners on a regular basis keeping the floors dry and clean.
We liked thermal pools in Austria so much I am planning on taking the kids to a larger thermal spa complex in the Tyrol region at the end of May. After singing and dancing our way through the Sound of Music city of Salzburg, we will go to Aqua Dome, supposedly one of Austria’s nicest thermal spas. At Aqua Dome, the children have their own pool complex called Noah’s Alpine Ark. Children have supervised play time in the afternoon so that the adults can enjoy the waters too. I don’t know whose more excited about family spa time – me or the kids!!