If you are in Budapest, a trip to the Széchenyi Baths is an absolute must.
Built in 1913, the baths are the biggest of their kind in Europe with 15 indoor pools and three outdoor pools with varying temperatures, and 10 therapeutic saunas/steam baths.
The water to the baths is supplied by two thermal springs with temperatures at 74 °C and 77 °C. The water includes a mix of calcium, sulphate, magnesium, bicarbonate among other elements. Which means, the baths are as medicinal as they can get.
Named after the Hungarian minister Count István Széchenyi de Sárvár-Felsővidék, the entire complex is housed in an old neo-baroque styled exquisite palace.
Back then, Hungary was known (it still is) as the country of baths – the very first baths were built by – surprise surprise! – Roman settlers. Later Turkish settlers added to the ‘pool’ in the 16th century.
Today, the baths also host Budapest’s finest ‘Sparties’.
Entrance to the baths cost around € 15 approximately with access to lockers and shower rooms.
Once inside, you can visit any pool or any steam bath.
Our trip to the baths was like a visit to an amusement park. The 20-something’s we were suddenly found ourselves frolicking around from one pool to another – we also joined a limbo that consisted of both the old and the young.
I think it was by far the best part of our one and a half days in Budapest.