Szechenyi Thermal bath
It's a typical beach scenario: women in bikinis soak up the sun while middle-aged men in swimsuits with low-hanging bellies soak up the scenery. Children splash in the shallow water, ignored by parents, who lie on beach towels, reading.
It sounds like a seaside scene, but in fact the nearest coast is hundreds of miles away. This is the Széchenyi Baths, land-locked Hungary's answer to the beach; and a Budapest experience not to be missed.
The Széchenyi (pronounced "Seytch-en-i") Baths are scenically located in the heart of the large and restful City Park, just to the north of the monuments and museums of Heroes Square. It is a pleasant half-hour walk from the Pest city centre; but if you prefer, the Baths actually has its own Metro station ("Széchenyi Fürdő"; on line 1, five stops north of "Oktogon"). It's worth mentioning, incidentally, that this Metro line is in point of fact a tourist experience in its own right.
Both Buda and Pest benefit from natural medicinal hot springs, and there have been spas here for centuries. Today there are some half a dozen major thermal-bath establishments for soaking away aches, stress and fatigue. While some may be older or (arguably) more elegant, the Széchenyi Baths is the people's spa - Europe's largest. It dates from the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg period, with characteristic yellow stucco walls and rococo-style cherub decor. The main entrance gives visitors the feeling that they are entering the neo-baroque era of Hungarian grandiosity.
People flock here, especially as a way to keep pleasantly cool in hot weather. The large enclosed patio serves as a "brick beach", with excellent potential for sunning and people-watching. An unintended incidental benefit of this mass-apppeal is that, with entry-tickets issued from automatic machines, your linguistic competence is not put to the test - at least not straight away. (You may encounter a worthwhile conversation-partner once inside, of course.)
But it would be a terrible waste to come here without taking a dip. You can start in the outdoor hot pool - the one with the chess players and the fountain with a statue of a nude woman being snuggled by a goose.(a representation of the classical myth of "Leda and the swan") Or there's also the silly pool with the kids' whirlpool, or the middle one where everyone swims lengths.
Anyone can bathe like a pro, as long as you remember the simple Turkish-bath rule: hot-cold, hot-cold. The hot water in this pool blasts open your pores. And you don't need to stop there: through an inconspicuous door you'll find a cavernous indoor maze of baths, saunas and steam rooms.
From the outdoor hot pool you can go directly to the arctic pool (furthest right from the entrance) and chill there for as long as you can stand it. Your pores slam shut. Then it's a shivering walk (just a few paces, fortunately) to the extra-hot pool.
After the cold, when you slip into the steamy water your flesh tingles and your pores flash open, getting rid of the toxins in your skin - such as the poison you soaked up by eating and drinking too much last night. There too goes the tension you stored up from a week at work in the office. You can turn your knotted-up muscles to putty. You can invent your own hot-cold combinations - being sure to include steam and dry saunas. You can also sign up for a full-body massage.
But don't be surprised if the detoxification leaves you with an urge for a satisfying meal, to be followed by a nap. Go ahead and indulge yourself with a pampering at the Széchenyi Baths - thus enriching your experience of getting to know the city.
Our apartments are located in the downtown Budapest, The most known sights of the town you can find around our apartments.
In the immediate neighborhood of the
- Andrassy Cultural Boulevard
- Liszt Ferenc square (many sidewalk cafes)
- Hungarian State Opera, Operetta, moolin rough
- Millenium metro (Octogon station. Yellow line M1)
- Nyugati Pu. (Western Railway Station and metro station. Blue line M3)
- Westend City Center ( the largest shopping center of Central Europe)