The biggest attraction in Budapest are its baths. Until I went to one I didn’t know why. Now I can’t wait to go back.
We went to Szechenyi Baths twice. Both my husband and I loved it but most of all our kids had a great time. It was a surreal experience to be swimming outside in -4C weather. But it is what they do in Budapest and I wouldn’t change a thing.
When you get there you pay for the ticket and get a watch band. We paid extra for a cabin, which we all could share. After getting changed you can go swimming in one of the three outdoor pools or one of the dozen or so indoor baths. We only had our flip flops but if you want to you can take a towel or robe.
The inside baths have several small pools with different temperatures. It is such a lovely experience to sit in one of these pools and look at the ceiling. It is a beautiful art deco building and they didn’t forget to decorate the ceilings.
I love to people watch and here you get to see a lot of Hungarians rather than tourists. In one of the pools an elderly gentleman in very broken English tried to welcome us and compliment us on our kids. It was great. But most people come there in groups so they are not looking for other people to socialize with. They are fun to watch and see their interactions. One thing I noticed is that there were many men there together and not many groups that included women. I wonder if men and women still socialize separately.
One area that had a lot of couples were the saunas. Since there are several, you can pick the one with the best temperature. We went to a really hot one and my family couldn’t stand it after a couple minutes. The next day we went to one that wasn’t as warm and I am proud to say that I lasted much longer than my husband.
The main attraction are the outside pools. There are three. One is very hot and it has a lovely fountain and it is where people sit and play chess. It is a quiet, sit and relax type of pool. It has mostly adults and if you are looking to relax this is the place. The warm water, the beautiful surroundings will Calgon you away. The middle pool is a lap pool. I think the temperature is the same as the fun pool. I didn’t go in it because I didn’t have a swim cap. We spent most of our time in the whirlpool. The temperature is cooler than the serious pool making it the perfect bath water temperature. It also has a fountain and bubbles. But the main attraction is the whirlpool. I think it is the original lazy river but it is fairly small and it goes very fast. We had a lot of fun riding around for hours. In the middle of the whirlpool there is a nice sitting area.
It is hard to describe going to a bath. I highly suggest that this become part of your bucket list and get it crossed off.