A sauna in the Netherlands may sound like the perfect way to relax — until you walk in and everyone is butt naked. 🙈
Yes, you’ve read that right. Stark, bollock naked. No bikini, no swimsuit, nada. But don’t be alarmed if your work colleague or mum-friend from school suggests a visit.
Visiting a sauna or spa in the Netherlands can actually be a really fun, liberating experience.
Dutch sauna facilities are amazing
I have been lucky enough to visit a few different Dutch saunas during my time here. I have to say, these places are amazing. 🧖♀️ You’ll find a huge variety of swimming pools, steam rooms, jacuzzis, and of course, saunas.
They also normally have these ‘relax rooms’ equipped with full-size beds and blankets that are simply screaming for you to lay down, relax and nap for hours on end. 😴
It’s not all nudity (well, mostly)
But don’t panic that the occupant before you has laid in the bad naked! Everyone gets provided with a bathrobe and slippers (or you can take your own). In the public areas, most people will keep their robes on, and only disrobe to go into the saunas or steam rooms.
Although, you do get the odd few who like to walk around the whole time in their birthday suit. Personally, I like to keep myself wrapped in a bathrobe most of the time. It can get a little chilly walking from sauna to sauna, especially since many are set across huge outdoor grounds.
So, there really is no obligation to be naked at all. Don’t worry!
Dutch saunas have nice restaurants and bars
Most of the spas I’ve been to have a selection of restaurants and bars dotted across their premises. This means that you get to enjoy a glass of wine or some Dutch snacks when all that relaxing is making you hungry. 😉
If you prefer something more substantial, some spas even offer three-course meals or a full buffet (you know how the Dutch just love a buffet).
And the best bit, you are all sitting around munching on your goodies in your bathrobe. No need to get changed! Just imagine biting into your portion of bitterballen knowing your own bitterballen are hanging free. Win-Win!
No cameras are allowed in Dutch saunas
No need to worry about voyeurs and weirdoes who secretly try to film you lying back legs akimbo (please don’t do this!!) in the sauna. There is a strict no mobile phones and cameras allowed policy, which they will enforce.
Plus, the age range in these spas tends to average in the higher figures, many of whom still have no clue how to work a Nokia 7710, let alone the latest iPhone or Samsung camera.
Going to a sauna in the Netherlands will make your body confidence skyrocket
The first time I went to a naked sauna I’d just undergone a C-section and was incredibly self-conscious. I imagined everyone would be staring at my scar (as well as my dimpled thighs and a rather large backside).
But I seriously needn’t have worried. When everybody is naked you actually realise that in REAL LIFE everybody looks different, but also exactly the same. We all have boobs and vajayjays, willies and bums.
Some are saggier, some are bigger, some tummies are rounder, some legs are slimmer. But who cares. I walked out of that spa feeling 10 feet high and could see for myself where that Dutch confidence comes from.
Word of advice: when picking a spa or sauna to visit, it’s always worth choosing one a little further away. No matter how confident I am, I have zero desire to see my kids’ school teachers/bank manager/mother in law whilst we are both naked, having to pretend like we’re not.
All in all, going to a sauna in the Netherlands is one hell of an experience! Have you ever been to one before? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: Nkaminetskyy/Pixabay
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2018 and was fully updated in February 2022 for your reading pleasure.