We travel for different reasons – to create family memories, experience new cultures, and more often, to take a break and restore some balance to our busy lives. Travelling specifically for our health however, has become more of a priority in recent times and some destinations specialise in what’s known as medical tourism which covers anything from health retreats to natural spa resorts and a multitude of areas of specialised care.
Germany has become a favourite for many who seek a variety of remedial treatments, the country becoming a world leader in advanced medical technology, research and excellent standards of care.
The country is highly dedicated to health with more than twice the number of hospitals for every 1,000 people compared to the US. Specialised treatments, surgeries and other areas of medicine from cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics and more, sees international visitors flock to the country to experience some of the most cutting edge medical care in the world.
While specialist hospitals operate in a variety of locations throughout the country, Berlin is largely considered the capital of health.
Vivantes Urban Hospital
Founded in 1890, Vivantes is renowned for its state of the art facilities and treatments featuring over 12 specialist departments and around 600 beds.
Medical Park Berlin Humboldtmühle
Situated on the beautiful banks of Lake Tegel, Medical Park is a centre for orthopaedics, internal medicine, neurological disorders and cardiology.
Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin
One of Europe’s leading heart facilities, patients of all age groups are treated for cardiovascular issues including bypass, aortic surgeries and the treatment of heart disease.
Charité – Campus Berlin Buch
Opening over 100 years ago Campus Berlin Buch is a key centre of medical research covering a wide variety of medicine. It’s attracted a number of scientific institutes who work closely together transforming research into clinical applications.
And outside of Berlin, you’ll also find a number of other medical centres with a range of expertise.
With over 50 modern clinics and specialist institutes, Klinikum Stuttgart covers medical and surgical oncology, orthopaedic, cardiology, neurology and paediatrics. With over 6,500 staff the hospital serves as the academic teaching centre for the University of Tübingen delivering the most up-to-date procedures and therapies for patients.
With 112 hospitals throughout Germany, HELIOS covers a range of medical procedures, with the option for luxury inpatient services.
Heidelberg University Hospital
One of Germany’s most popular hospitals, Heidelberg University Hospital has one of the oldest histories of any European medical institution. Dating back to 1386, the hospital is considered a leader in research covering a comprehensive range of medicine.
Invigorating Mother Nature
While the list of quality medical institutions throughout the country is long, Germany has long had an appreciation of combining wellness therapies with its beautiful natural environment, from crisp, clean mountain air to healing seawater, the country has dedicated itself to finding health in its pristine and beautiful countryside.
With over 1,000 registered wellness and beauty retreats to choose from, enjoy the therapeutic warmth of mineral and thermals springs, peat, mineral mud and clay peloid bath packs from the moorlands, or head to the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas and discover how the ancient Greeks used seawater for healing in what’s known as Thalassotherapy treatment.
The healing caves
Made up of 83 towns and villages in the Schmallenberg area of the Sauerland, you’ll discover a range of healing caves. In Bad Fredeburg and Nordenau they practice underground climatic therapy, or speleotherapy, where healing caves with 100 percent humidity at only 9 degrees celsius produce a constant cleansing air which is great for the lungs and respiratory system.
Or visit Bad Liebenstein, a historic town said to have healing waters and try relaxing in a salt grotto. It’s thought that the negatively charged ions in salt have a positive effect on our health and mood.
For over 150 years, Bad Nauheim has attracted wellness seekers who soak in its mineral-rich springs. The water comes from 200 metres beneath the earth, rich in natural carbon dioxide, iron and trace elements for bathing and drinking cures.
The town also hosts some fabulously fun festivals such as the Art Nouveau Festival, Rose Festival and even the European Elvis Festival which attracts thousands of visitors.
You can find more mineral and thermal spring treatments in the resort towns of Bad Bevensen, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Bad Krozingen and Bad Wiessee in the beautiful Tegernsee Valley, with its iodine-sulphur loaded springs.
Sunshine and happiness
There’s nothing like fresh air and sunshine to rejuvenate your body and soul and Germany boasts some prime locations for all. Often referred to as one of the country’s most beautiful alpine lakes, Lake Königssee is the deepest, crystal clear lake in Germany.
For centuries visitors have flocked to the area between April and October to absorb its wonderfully fresh air and sunshine. Travel the length of the lake on a silent electric boat past breathtaking vertical mountains that stretch right down to the water’s edge. Travel to the dock at the southern end of the lake at Salet, past the ancient Roman Catholic pilgrimage church of St Bartholomew’s – first built in 1134.
Playing in the mud has never been so much fun as it is in Germany. Bad Waldsee is a certified mud, thermal and hydrotherapy resort situated between two gorgeous lakes which combines all three types of therapy. At the Waldsee-Therme health centre which consists of a treatment and rehabilitation centre, two clinics and a pool complex, the soothing waters which contain sulphur and fluoride bubble up from the region’s hottest springs at nearly 65 degrees celsius.
In the historic spa town of Bad Pyrmont, carbon dioxide, saltwater and mud have been used as a natural treatment for over 500 years. Stroll along leafy baroque streets of the historic spa gardens, and enjoy an array of musical entertainment including jazz, theatre and concerts after a rejuvenative Pyrmont mud bath.
There’s no end to the number of ways to treat your mind, body and soul in Germany. From cutting edge medical treatments from the world’s leading research institutes in luxury hospitals to natural therapies dating back hundreds of years, your mind, body and soul will thank you.
Find the best flights to Germany here and give your health a break.