Szechenyi Spa Baths – Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő
The baths, which are known with this unpronounceable name, are the most famous ones in Budapest and also the most touristic ones.
The baths were planned in the 19th century and it were supposed to be called Artesian Spa (Artézi fürdő) but later, when the spa was completely built, it was named after Count István Széchenyi. In Hungary he is hailed to be “the Greatest Hungarian“.
He established Hungary Academy of Sciences with his own money and tried to promote the use of the Hungarian language in Europe. The complex was built in Neo-baroque style and finely decorated with statues and frescoes. The spa is provided with two big outside pools with varying temperature: one is 27 degrees and the other one 38 degrees.
I had much fun swimming in the outside pools and it is was not even too cold to stay outside. One of the pools is a whirlpool that makes you turn around and some massage devices. Then inside you can find a few saunas and turkish baths.
Do not just stop in the outside pools but do explore inside because there are countless pools whose temperatures vary from 18 to 38 and some massage services that you need to book in advance. There is also a special pool whose water is composed of minerals and is supposed to cure illnesses.
Important Things About The Baths:
- Bring a towel otherwise you have to rent one there and it is a waste of money.
- Bring a swimsuit otherwise you have to rent and pay again.
- Bring something you can tie your hair with because according to the guidelines, you should not have your hair loose in the pools.
- Also bring a pair of sandals or else you have to go around barefoot or rent a pair and again, you have to pay.
- If you are just a tourist that wants to experience the beautiful baths, I advice you to buy the cabin service. You have to dress out in front of other people but it is cheaper and Hungarians do not actually care. Or else, if you too reluctant, you just go inside a bathroom and change there.
How To Reach:
Just take the yellow line, the oldest one on the continent, and get off at the metro stop of the same name, Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő.
Gellert Baths – Gellért Gyógyfürdő:
Gellert Baths are another Spa located on the left side of the river Danube and unlike Szechenyi Spa Baths, they are less touristic and more elegant.
When you will pop out from the metro station, just go straight and you will come across a big and very-expensive-looking hotel. Do not get it wrong, THAT is the baths you are searching for. You must go on the right side of the building and there you will find the entrance to the baths.
Note that the outdoor pool in winter is closed, it will open again in May until October so when we went there, we could not exploit it. Nonetheless, we could enjoy the grandiose architecture of the indoor pools and its thermal water.
Like in the previous baths, the water’s temperature varies from pool to pool and the degrees are always written on the wall above the pool. It is also recommended not to stay for long time inside a pool or else you can feel dizzy or even faint.
The prices, as are reported on this website, are the following:
- bath entry (cabin use): 20 EUR
- bath entry + 20 min aroma massage: 38 EUR
How To Reach:
Take the green line and get off at Szent Gellért tér metro station.
Attend An Opera Concert:
I have always liked to attend an opera concert in an old european theatre but in Italy the tickets are very expensive and so is in Germany and in other European countries but for some reasons, it is not like this in Hungary, where the prices are reasonable and accessible for anyone.
In Germany a ticket for Wagner opera can cost 200 euros and more but in Budapest, I paid 15 euros to attend an opera concert; it was not Wagner but it was not bad at all. I could get to hear a very peculiar opera singer, not only because she is very young and skilled, but also because she comes from South Africa; her name is Pumeza Matshikiza.
She sang different songs taken from different operas and then at the end of the show, she sang an Hungarian opera song to thank her Hungarian fans and a very special opera song in her native language: Xhosa.
Also the theatre building was superb, I really liked its main hall and the entrance, where the walls were finely decorated with colorful motifs and patterns. Unfortunately we did not bring our camera with us so I just used my phone to take some photos of the interior.
Have you ever been to one of these places? Have you got other suggestions to add to my list? Let me know in the comments below :3