The advantages of bathing in thermal waters were already known in medieval Poland. Today, a visit to the thermal baths and the water park is still a great idea to relax, especially in winter. There is no shortage of attractions in modern complexes – from relaxing baths and warming saunas to swimming pools for those who like active recreation. What places should you visit in Małopolska?

The oldest bathhouse remains date back to 5 000 years ago. They were discovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia (the territory of today’s Syria and Iran). The health-promoting properties of thermal baths were known to the ancient Romans, as well as Arabs and Turks. People also bathed in hot springs in the Middle Ages. Cieplice, with the mountains that surround it, is considered the first health resort in Poland. It started its activity in 1281, and in the 16th and 17th centuries became very popular in Europe. In the 14th century, hot mineral springs were also discovered in Karlovy Vary. The spa in the western part of the Czech Republic still operates today. The thermal baths can also be used in Kraków and Podhale – located not far from the capital of Małopolska.

In baths in the mountains in winter.

With a view of Błonia

At the beginning, it is worth visiting Termy Krakowskie and its swimming pool, which is located in the Municipal Stadium. At 20 Reymonta Street, on the first floor of the south stand, there is also the “Panorama” sauna (80-90 ° C) with a view of Błonia, one of the largest meadows in the city centre in Europe. You can also try the Finnish sauna “Arena” (80-90°C) and bio-saunas. The latter is distinguished by a lower temperature (55-65°C), so it is a great alternative for people struggling with hypersensitivity of blood vessels. There are also sauna sessions, during which various fragrances are used. It is also worth considering to pay a visit to the salt cave (18–22° C). The air inside is characterized by a high content (several times higher than at the seaside) of elements positively influencing health, e.g. iodine, potassium, magnesium, selenium and bromine. One of the attractions in Kraków Thermal Baths (Termy Krakowskie) – in addition to traditional saunas – is hammam, i.e. a Turkish bath, where you can take advantage of a traditional ritual caring for the body with mineral clays and soap foam made of olive oil. Active people like to swim in the heated pool.

SPA hydrotherapy massage waterfall

A swim with the Tatra Mountains behind you

A facility with numerous attractions can also be found in Aqua Park Zakopane. Its offer includes outdoor thermal pool with a view of the Tatra Mountains, which can be used even on the coldest days. The water temperature reaches 32°C there. A bath in water rich in calcium, sodium, sulphur, magnesium, potassium and silicon has a beneficial effect on rheumatic ailments, skin diseases, and also improves blood circulation and regulates blood pressure. The thermal baths are also worth visiting because of the slides for adults and children, a swimming pool with swimming lanes, a jacuzzi, a sauna zone and a wild river – you will feel as if you are swimming in a swift mountain stream.

Winter Tatra mountains

Thermal pools with raw sulfuric water

Chochołowskie Termy has a lot of attractions to offer. Visitors have at their disposal, among others, a textile sauna, a salt cave, a sauna where infusion sessions are carried out, as well as a panoramic sauna. If you do not like or cannot use traditional saunas, you can take a bath in the healing zone with raw sulfuric water. Raw, slightly acidic Sulphur water in Termy Chochołowskie not only reduces stress, but also has a beneficial effect on the skin and blood pressure.  On the other hand, children will be delighted with the steam room for the youngest, family slides and playgrounds with paddling pools. In the centre, you can also practice water sports – volleyball and basketball.

Graduation tower in Bukowina

Sauna lovers should consider paying a visit to the Thermal Baths of Bukovina, which offers twelve different types of indoor and outdoor saunas, as well as an infrared and laconium cabin (a relaxation room with heated beds and a beautiful vault that changes colours) – a great alternative for people who do not like or cannot stay in rooms with high temperature. Thermal water there is rich in calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and trace amounts of chromium. There is also a brine graduation tower with a unique microclimate that soothes the problems of the upper respiratory tract and fatigue.

Graduation towers close up

Good to know
Good to know


Tampere is considered the Sauna Capital of the World. Both in and around this Finnish city, the Finnish Sauna Society and the international organization ISA have recorded the largest number of public saunas that are maintained at a high level.

Where else to go?

In Podhale, there is also Terma Bania in Białka Tatrzańska, with a panorama of the highest peak of the Tatra Mountains, as well as Gorący Potok Thermal Pools in Szaflary and Szaflary Thermal Baths.