I used to say that I hated spas and couldn’t see the point of wasting time in them until my physio recommended that I tried out the facilities in the local public baths. I ventured downstairs to the kurbad in Øbro Hallen, where I usually swim, to find out a little more.
I was struck by how, well, expensive it all looked. The cosily lit huge jacuzzi (38 degrees C) is the first thing you see from the reception desk and the young man there ran through the other facilities – a Finish sauna, infra red sauna (the one that my physio said I should try), a caldarium (Roman steam room), foot baths and a light room (for SAD). At set times there is also another hot bath. All of this is unisex (so cossies on). You are given a little cabin to get changed in and leave your things securely, and there is a single sex sauna in each of the changing rooms. You also can go upstairs for a swim in the main pool.
There is no time limit for how long you can spend in the kurbad. I braced myself for the price. It was 120dkk – yep that is it. I have been twice now and loved it. I truly hadn’t felt so relaxed (see above with my healthy glow) after my session on Friday for a very long time. I usually spend just over an hour in there but there are certainly people in there in for the long haul. I am finding the things I enjoy (not the Roman steam room) but definitely the infra red sauna and jacuzzi. The foot bath is great in a slightly masochistic way and I think the light room will be a saviour once the winter sets in. One thing I learned was to take an extra towel to sit on in the steam rooms as it becomes saturated and then you have nothing to dry yourself with.
There is a wellness centre at Valby Vandkulturhus which offers some of the same facilities as Øbro Hallen but not all. Almost all other public baths have saunas.