Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Hot Bath, Anyone?


You can't visit Budapest without trying the baths. In a city that is built on a thin layer of earth above 118 thermal springs that power the city's bath houses, taking the baths is one of the treats of your visit, as well as a chance to experience the local culture.

Of the 15 public thermal baths in the city, we decided to "bathe" at the Széchenyi baths, the largest in the city as well as the largest spa in Europe. 



Its thermal springs were first discovered in 1879, and the stunning architectural structure that holds the bath house was built in 1913.



Known for its vast bath complex, there are three outdoor pools open year round.  Two of them are hot soaking pools with temperatures of 30º and 38º (86º F and 100.4º)



and one is a swimming pool with a swimming tube--a whirling corridor that is extremely popular.



Budapest's thermal waters were first enjoyed by the Romans as early as the second century, but it was later during the Turkish occupation of the city in the 16th century that the bath culture began to flourish.



Indoors we found saunas and 15 pools of varying temperatures



from very warm to very cold



where we enjoyed taking the baths with the locals. In addition to the relaxation of spending a day in the bath, the minerals in the waters are very therapeutic and felt marvelous after all the walking we had been doing to cover all points of this beautiful city.



And if you get tired of all that soaking, you just might enjoy an afternoon game of chess like these local friends were doing. 

Checkmate!

5 comments:

  1. I would love to visit Budapest one day. My daughter will actually be beating me there! She is going on a music tour next year with her school and she will also be visiting Prague and Austria. She will be playing the cello at the Sound of Music house! Maybe I should hide and shadow her tour!!!

    Best wishes and happy week,
    Natasha.

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  2. thank you for the wonderful expose on turkish(budapest)
    baths. i have a hilarious story about friends who spent a
    lovely time there with an unexpected twist. :)

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  3. Anytime you want to trade lives with grandmayellowhair just say the word. hahahaha
    Oh my what a wonderful way to spend a day. I can just imagine how good you felt after bathing in such luxuary.
    Love these great pictures and the way you describe your visit in Budapest. Amazing trip.
    Thanks honey for such a sweet and thoughtful comment you just left me on my site.
    I needed to hear that tonight it has been a long depressing week and I have not be able to blog so I appreciate you very much
    Have a great week and keep these great post coming I live through you....
    Love
    Maggie

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  4. That looks like a relaxing way to spend the day! xxoo :)

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  5. This is seriously on my list...I've been to Romania but I really want to go to Budapest (and try the baths) There are some similar ones in Baden Baden in Germany which are great fun :)

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