Baths & Pools
by Lucas Aresin
From May through October, the outdoor baths, pools and aquaparks are open to the public, whereas indoor pools are open all year round. Luckily for residents and visitors alike, the Hungarian capital blows the competition out of the water (sorry for the pun) when it comes to water parks, and they have oh so many of them!
From ancient roman thermal baths to modern fun parks, Budapest can provide you with the aquatic relaxation you need. There's plenty of choices, and we could impossibly cover all of them in this entry, but we hope we can give you a broad overview of what to expect when diving into the world of water!
When in Római, bathe as the Roman's bathed. This ancient thermal bath near the Római banks used to be a Roman water supply in the days of old. In the days of now, it's a leisure bath with swimming pools, a slide park with five slides, as well as a large playground area plus children's pool for the little ones. Afterwards, a sauna and steam bath await you to boil away the stress of the workweek. Furthermore, you can purchase beach products or enjoy the food provided by catering. Római Bath is a very charming combination of old Roman thermal bath and modern water park. The outdoor area is modern and kid-friendly, while the indoor area looks like the place where the Roman elite spent their days. Unfortunately, the open air bath is closed since 4th of September, but the interior is worth checking out on its own.
Feels: Like an Ancient Thermal Bath
Then sometimes, I wonder why I spend so much time writing when a picture can say so much more. I mean … look at it! Széchenyi Bath is a neo-baroque water-palace, and one of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It was the first thermal bath of Pest and comes with 15 (in words: tizenöt) indoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, aqua fitness opportunities, whirlpools, jets, a sun deck on top of the beautiful architecture, and much more, including massages and beauty services. What's more, the open-air pool is open in the winter as well. So sink into the mineral-rich hot spring water during winter as well and watch the steam rise from the crystal surface of the pool. A special treat at Széchenyi Bath for the affluent visitors is the possibility to fast-track past the long queues (and there will be queues, the bath is very popular) with different "Bath Kits".
Feels: Like a Palace
Let's get crazier. If thermal bath and quiet relaxation are too boring for you – even though they have saunas, too – visit one of Europe's biggest indoor water theme parks – Aquaworld Resort Budapest. Located in the north of Budapest, this Hotel-Waterpark-Hybrid will activate your adrenaline with 11 (in words: tizenegy) giant water slides – and yes, they have an elevator going up. That should tell you enough.
But there's more: The wave and surf pools bring a little bit of the Californian coast into the Hungarian capital, and the open air pool is large and beautifully curved like the waves of the ocean itself. If you're hungry, grab a meal and a cocktail right next to the pool. Apart from that, the indoor area is designed beautifully, reimagining an ancient Aztec temple in the center of the glass structure. It's easy to spend an entire day here. After all, time flies when you're having fun.
Feels: Like Fun Island
Rudas Thermal Bath
We've been here before on this blog during our report on Rooftop Bars. Rudas Bath is a historical thermal bath established in the 16th century. And while the pools and the sauna are of course worth visiting, the highlight and unique selling point is the rooftop Jacuzzi. There's little that beats a night on the rooftop of a swimming facility, sinking into the bubbling water and watching the city lights brighten the night. Therapeutic programs such as foot care or a body scrub and much more seemingly round off Rudas Bath. But before you leave, have a bite at the restaurant downstairs. It offers an intriguing combination of Turkish-Hungarian cuisine that everybody should try!
Feels: Simply Relaxing
Let's end this blog entry with Paskál Beach, which is the youngest open air bath of Budapest, and it is hot, hot, hot! Not only do they offer a thermal pool with 38° Celsius water temperature, but they also have a sports field for you to work out a little in between the relaxation. On the culinary shore, the glowing hot grill bar offers barbequed goodness. Are you starting to sweat yet? Good! That's the stress leaving your body! If it gets too warm for you, grab an ice-cold cocktail to cool you down again. If you're into sports, swimming – the bath has 9 (in words: kilenc) pools – leaning back and relaxing, or if you have kids who want to soak in the children's pool, Paskál Bath offers everything you need. Still too hot? There's a drinking fountain as well.
Feels: Hot and Sporty
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