The Széchenyi Baths are the largest medicinal baths in all of Europe. This location has been opened since 1913! It has 18 pools total. Some are indoor and some outdoor. Every pool is different, either in temperature, size, or contents. The main reason we decided for these Baths, besides the size, is because it’s next to the Vajdahunyad Castle, aka “Dracula’s Castle”, which I write about on my Budapest post.
“It was too late to leave…”
One of my favorite experiences was in an indoor pool, it was green. At first, it seemed like it might be a radioactive substance; at the risk of coming out with superpowers, I jumped in. The water was cool and minty. My friend and I noticed there were floatable weights surrounding the pool and all other people in that pool were older women. We didn’t think much of it. We grabbed some weights and begun our “workout”. Not long after, a woman in workout clothes started shouting in Hungarian and directing us from outside the pool. We realized we were in a class. It was too late to leave, people had started doing rounds around the pool. We decided to see how long we could last. The class was only 20 minutes and it was so much fun! I truly recommend looking at the schedule, which is posted next to the pool.
There are many unique baths, including the “beer showers”, in which the water has hops. The description was in Hungarian so I didn’t get any details, but it was definitely interesting. There were some freezing cold baths, as well as some boiling hot ones. There were some saltier ones and others where the water seemed bluer. The ceiling where the indoor pools are is gorgeous! I loved floating around in warm water looking up at those majestic domes.
The outside pools were the largest. There was one with a whirlpool in the middle. It was fun getting caught in it but it was so difficult getting out. Surrounding the whirlpool are the jet streams. You’ll have to patiently await your turn while still holding your ground if you’re next (use assertive look shown).
When you come out of the outdoor pools you’ll have lounge chairs to lay out on. It’s possible to get drinks and food, as well bring your own snacks. Which I knew food and drinks were allowed!
Another thing I wish I knew, it’s that it’s pointless to rent a changing locker since your entrance ticket includes access to other lockers downstairs where the showers are. These are the regular showers you would find in a gym, but of course, with mountain water! There are hairdryers but bring your toiletries, which you can leave in your locker. You’ll have access to your locker with the code in the bracelet you’ll be given after paying the entrance fee. This was 17 EUR as of July 2018. Towel rentals were expensive in my opinion, they were 10 EUR. So bring a towel and don’t forget your flip-flops. You’ll need these when going from pool to pool. If you care about taking pics, bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof cover for your phone. Otherwise, don’t be dumb, don’t bring your phone outside the locker. IT WILL GET WET. You’ll have access to the lockers at all time and can go visit your phone whenever. Don’t forget a lock though!
– Waterproof camera or cell phone case
– Beers (can be easily be brought in)
One last thing is that locals tend to avoid the Baths during the summer so it would be a good time to go if you’re hoping to avoid crowds. I’m sure you’ll have a blast at any of the many Baths in Pest. If you’re looking for tips when visiting the city, please check out my Budapest post.
I hope you let your inner child free as I did in this wonderful place. Enjoy every moment and remember to always BE PRESENT!