Bathing is one of my favourite hobbies, so when I heard that Budapest was the spa capital of Europe, I was excited. The Contiki tour I was on had scheduled the two best thermal baths in Budapest into our itinerary – the fancy Gellért Baths and the no-fuss Széchenyi Baths. Both bathhouses come with your usual spa treatments and thermal pools, but that’s where the similarities end.
The Gellért Baths
On the Buda side of town is the famous Hotel Gellért, a beautiful art nouveau style building and home to some of Budapest’s most famous baths. Built in 1918, the complex is made up of thermal baths, swimming pools, saunas, plunge pools and even an artificial wave pool.
Unfortunately on the way to the baths we got distracted by the hotel’s amazing restaurant and spent our forints on champagne and deliciousness, not realising that we needed a fairly hefty cash deposit to hire a towel and change room. Next thing I know I’m attempting the impossible by trying to change out of a playsuit and into a bikini discretely without flashing Hungarian society folk.
We hit up the indoor and outdoor pools, but swapped the massages and manicures for chilling in the sun.