Budapest – The City of Baths
If you are looking for the perfect combination between bustling city life and a relaxing spa experience then look no further. Budapest has it all and more. After all, it’s not called ‘The City of Baths’ for nothing.
In busy everyday life there is nothing better than taking time out to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful and interesting cities. Not just to experience history, sights and shopping, but to bathe your worries away. Hungary, and the capital Budapest, is rich in thermal waters that are said to have healing qualities. Healing or not, there is no doubt that being in water has a positive effect on body and mind. If you combine it with spa treatments, you will have the best antidote there is for exhaustion and stress.
Before you start to book your new rejuvenating holiday, read up on the different health benefits of the various medicinal and thermal springs. Find the one that suits your specific needs, whether it is to treat a sore neck, respiratory problems, back injuries or just a need for stress relief.
And now for some definitions:
– Medicinial Spa: A medicinal spa means that the water is rich in minerals. Medical tests clearly shows that this has health benefits.
Thermal water: Is a natural spring that emerges at a temperature exceeding 30 degrees.
Balenotherapy: In the baths, it is not unlikely that you come across the term ‘balenotherapy’, which means the treatment of a medical condition with water from a medicinal spring. This involves high concentrations of dissolved minerals and sediment. This kind of treatment is often in combination with physiotherapy or different massages.
An Array of Choices
There are plenty of baths to choose from, with a total of 118 springs in Budapest alone. There are no less than 15 public thermal baths in the city, along with many private spas. This amounts to a usage of over 70 million litres of thermal water a day. Incredibly, the thermal waters were enjoyed by Romans, and date back to the 2nd century. However, it wasn’t until the Turkish occupation in the 16th century things really started to happen and the bath culture flourished. It has of course been modernised since then, but the surroundings still remind you that you are in a historical setting. Here are some suggestions for your trip:
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
When picturing an authentic Budapest bath, this is it. Széchenyi Bath looks like a Baroque palace. It is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe, as well as one of the largest medicinal baths. Historically, it was also the first thermal bath of Pest. Here you can enjoy facilities like a whirlpool, neck shower and water-beam back massage.
This bath was established as early as the 16th century, under the Turkish occupation. They also added a therapeutic swimming facility and sauna at the end for the 19th century. A visit here is truly a beautiful experience. You will feel amazing when swimming in an octagonal pool under a large dome, held up by eight pillars.
There are many rejuvenating treatments offered at Rudas Bath, like thermal baths, swimming pools, underwater jet massage, saunas, pedicures and more. In their very own drinking hall, you’ll be offered drinking cures straight from the water springs Attila, Juventus and Hungária.
This bath has a rich history. As early as the 12th century, knights of the order of Saint John settled here and engaged themselves in curing the sick. As a result, monastery baths were built. The first spa hotel was established in the 1880s. A hall for drinking cures appeared in 1937, and in 1979, the day hospital was built. At the end of the 20th century, the baths were completely renovated and modernised. Lukás Thermal Bath is now fully equipped with massage beams, a whirlpool, mud treatments, medical massages and so on.
The Dagály Bath opened in 1948, but it was later, in 1956, that it expanded to include a 50m swimming pool. It has continued to develop over the years and now there are 10 different pools to choose from. You can enjoy splashing in these pools of various temperatures and sizes, but don’t forget to look up to enjoy the picturesque surroundings too.
This public bath in Dandár Street was commissioned in 1930. Dandár Bath was originally built as a sanitary bath, but was reconstructed in 1978. Since then, it has functioned as a thermal bath for both men and women. Here you also find a sauna, foot massages, tub baths and a lot more.
There are so many baths and health-improving facilities to choose from in Budapest. The question is not ‘if’ you should go, but ‘where’? Hopefully this list of relaxing baths, rich in thermal water, can help you find the right choice for you. When in Budapest, the Park inn by Radisson Budapest offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city.
Which thermal bath would you like to try?