“Water revitalizes, re-energizes and brings you back to life”
My own quote
It sure is no secret by now that I have developed a healthy addiction (and passion) for spas or thermal baths. Whether at home or abroad, I find my way and get to where I need to go in order to rest and relax!
During my visit to Europe last summer, and while in the amazing Budapest, Hungary, I was honestly exhausted from the week-long river cruise and also our visits to cities along the Danube: Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk and Vienna. My feet (and aching body) were sending signals of exhaustion and we were definitely in the right place to recharge batteries.
Budapest is blessed with natural thermal sources which are found in various points in the city and is known as the city of Spas. There are several and popular baths among which is Széchenyi Fürdo or Széchenyi Thermal Baths.
Opened to the general public in 1913 in City Park, close to Heroes Square and Museum of Fine Arts, the largest bath complex in Hungary and Europe have attracted locals and visitors from around the world due to its healing medicinal waters ever since. They offer so many health benefits that help ease the pain or cure many ailments or conditions thanks to the minerals provided by Mother Nature.
In total, there are 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools along with several saunas and steam baths for everyone to enjoy, from the young to the young at heart.
To facilitate your visit and entrance to the bath, it is recommended to buy tickets online and provide the number to the staff upon arrival. It will help you avoid the bee lines which can be quite long as it is a hugely popular destination.
What to bring to the bath?
Don’t forget to pack your swimwear, sandals or flip-flops (particularly useful in common areas like showers), a fluffy towel, a swimming cap for one pool in particular and a small bag with zip (Ziploc is ideal) if you plan on bringing a book or any other item you need to have next to you.
Once registered, the staff will give you a ticket along with a magnetic bracelet which will be used to enter the building and also for your locker or private changing cabin. If you decide to book a massage, please ask for help. I missed mine as I got lost (even if the room was circled on the map given to you) and did NOT get a refund :(
After going through the turnstile, it is time to change and for that you need to find your locker or cabin. Again, in case you cannot find it, there are members of the staff that will be happy to assist you. Don’t worry about the language barrier! I asked a lady in English if she could help me. She took my arm and swiped it against a magnetic reader and a number was displayed. Then she asked me to follow her by waving her hand and walked for two minutes and turned at a corner and there it was! Once again she took my arm and held it against the magnetic reader on the door, we heard a beep and voilà! Now it may sound ridiculous to some or not a sign of being adventurous, but that was top customer service with a smile :) I thanked her by putting both of my hands together and she left.
The private cabin may be small but offers complete privacy. There is a simple wooden seat and a couple of hooks. It’s dark, thus don’t forget to switch on the light!
That day I brought with me my National Geographic backpack along with my swimsuit, short, towel, flip-flops, suntan lotion (yes, that reminded me that I actually am white…sort of…and can get a sunburn), my camera and smartphones but of course! It is very safe to leave your belongings (bring just the basics and leave your valuables where you are staying) in the cabin or locker. Just make sure that you lock it properly by swiping your bracelet once again until you hear the beep and you’re good to go!
A very important fact to mention is that after changing clothes, EVERYONE must get a shower prior to immersing in the pools, whether indoors or outdoors. There is even a guard right outside in the corridor to verify that every single person follows this and if they don’t, he kindly reminds them or indicated them to do so before going any further.
After a refreshing shower, pat yourself dry and head over outside for a lap before committing to a particular spot.
It is advisable to get to the baths as early as possible since it tends to get crowded even on a weekday! I went on a Monday morning (I allowed myself to sleep in and get a bit more rest before crossing the ocean the following day) and there were a lot of people already.
It was better to enjoy the outdoor pools, so I disconnected, relaxed and simply let go.
Please follow me through the following photography tour of Széchenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest, Hungary.
After spending some incredibly relaxing hours, it was time for lunch and I honestly believe the following as immortalized on this bench :)
Did you enjoy the photography tour?
Would you love to go Széchenyi Thermal Baths after seeing these photos?
Tell us all about it.
Until next time, a következő alkalomig!
Tashi Delek, All the best.