The labyrinth of corridors and caves beneath Budapest betrays how much the city has thermal springs. They deliver daily 70 million gallons of water for bathing and cures. With many Baroque and Art Nouveau is even better than the other one bath house. The bathing culture of the vibrant 'the Spa City’.
Budapest on the Danube has a very rich spa- and health history. We like to travel there for a short wellness holidays. With a romantic look that is reminiscent of Vienna or Prague (the same music- and culture-history, River, Castle, bridges and parks) the city is one invitation for a weekend of relax.
Gellért – cures in (Jugend)style
My taxi stops at hotel Gellért, on the banks of the Danube. The impressive 4-star hotel tells proudly and without words about her eventful history and famous guests. The hotel is connected to one of the most well-known and stately spas of Budapest: the medicinal Gellert Bath. Adrienne Papp, sales manager of the hotel, tells: "The Gellert Bath was already popular during the Turkish occupation of Budapest and was further expanded in 1918. Still it is popular at home- and abroad ". I look with open mouth to the Interior with tinted glass Windows, gorgeous Art Nouveau, artful Roman mosaics, columns, images, in wood dressing rooms with sofa – almost like in a Turkish bath. Truly beautiful. Within swimming guests in a kind of Roman temple. The outdoor swimming pool has various levels, red marble elements and Roman statues. Adrienne: "Before the war was everything outside of red marble. But during the Communist period afterwards is not everything in the Romagnolo. The spring water comes directly from the Gellért Hill next to our bath house, and has a temperature between 21 and 78 ° C. The water is rich in o. (a). magnesium, sulphur-chloride and fluoride. The Gellert Bath opens early in the morning. Adrienne: "Starting from 6:00 h. guests can come over, before they going to work ". But when I put the next day itself so early in the thermal waters lie, I see especially visitors shuffling who no longer work for a living… The thermal part of the bath is separated for men and women, and one bathed there nude. The mixed bath that comes afterwards is ‘ dressed’ .
Adrienne : "Hotel Gellért has many famous guests receive. And actually we should need renovating. But at the same time we want the atmosphere of yesteryear do not lose ". Hotel guests enjoy free use of the Gellert Bath. For extra treatments should of course be paid separately. But for me it is sufficient to free swimming party with which I began the day. A delicious way to all pomp and circumstance quiet on me to make it work… I am just speechless.
Szechenyi – enjoyable relax
It's a lazy day. The soft yellow colors of the Szechenyi bath diving on in the city park at the end of metro 1 – the oldest line of the European continent, and ever opened by empress Sisi. Széchenyi is one of the most beautiful baths of Budapest called. It happens in this enjoyable relaxing cures mixed bath (in most pools are men and women separated). Noemi Nyini is therapist: "The heat of the day attracts a younger audience than average". I see water fun between stately yellow buildings in the open air, and elderly bathing between imposing columns in the classical Roman bath house. I marvel at the Art Nouveau Interior and the beautiful mosaics. Noemi: "These gentlemen are always there: play every day they concentrated their game of chess, sitting in the hot thermal water (38 º C). In the winter is that a beautiful sight ". Noemi takes me to within, where I can choose from a wide range of treatments: medical tinted balneological therapies, drinking cures, electrical stimulation, massages, steam- and sauna baths, Mud wraps and cellulite treatments. And all that for amounts of € 7,50 for a mud Pack to € 12,75 for a 30-minute massage. That's quite reasonable.
ISIS Day Spa – modern wellness
The next day I sign as an intermezzo in the ISIS Day Spa for a luxurious spa treatment between two spabezoeken by. After all the pomp and circumstance in the bath houses, now just a soothing hot stone, Shiatsu, or sports massage. In the ISIS Day Spa we find the more hip and modern inhabitants of Budapest. The atmosphere is warm and professional. Fifty minutes and a massage can later my muscles back against. Still have a break in the tea-room and then on the road again!
Grand Hotel Danubius – ailments such as industry
If I enter Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube, I see especially affluent elderly people who work on their health. They are, so on the eye, from around the world. "Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget is the oldest spa hotel of Budapest", duty manager tells Pal Kis. "Many guests come here for years. Russians, Israelis: After 21 years, I know many at name!”. Located right at the Danube, the hotel is far from the hustle and bustle, yet close to the city. After a SIP of the sulphurous spring water shuffles my host further. In addition to the Victorian hotel has the complex still a second more modern part that I should go see. Here are not only spa offering, but also modern wellness treatments, a salt cave with dead sea salt blocks, an eye Laser clinic and areas for cosmetic surgery. Responding to old-age ailments for Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget by now a true industry!
In the stylish restaurant tells Pal Kis further: "We have guests from all over the world. Many treatments are a lot cheaper in Hungary, While they are on a high level internationally and with modern equipment are carried out. And the treatments and are staying at a spa in Hungary, in any case, always under the supervision of an experienced physician: first a health research, only then a treatment or special spa package ". And that gives Mrs Mira from Israel feel they are safe here, good and affordable can come fight her old age.
Budapest: more than cures
The basis for the spa- and health culture of Budapest is located in the Roman period. Since then the power of the healing water from the 118 thermal springs used generously. For the treatment of movement disorders, but also for dermatological conditions, as part of a drinking cure, in renal- and metabolic disorders and upset stomach. The hot vapors of the Szechenyi and Gellert Bath even give relief from respiratory problems.
But the 1000 parking spaces of Aquaworld Budapest betrayed that meanwhile more can then only distinguished baths ... Of swimming, games and sports to spend the night, massage and pampering: 1800 people can enjoy in a complex of 86.000 m². Clambering over rope bridges above the water, relax in the sauna, but also a Thai massage at the Oriental Spa, a beauty treatment or a detoxification cure are possible. However, the prices in this contemporary ' bath house’ now adapted to modern time: 60 minutes Thai relaxation massage is on Detoxication Package "costs € 55 and € 110 a converted '.
Budapest – exhibition, and something for everyone.
Text: Arjan Mulder
- More info and pictures: Gellért hotel, Gellert Bath, Széchenyi bath, ISIS Day Spa, Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget, Aquaworld Budapest
- For an overview of all baths in Budapest, see: Budapestspas.Hu
- General info: Tourist Office Budapest ,Tourist Office The Hague
- View the locations on the map