After hours of driving from Romania, getting stuck in Budapest traffic, nearly 40 degree weather, hauling suitcases up staircases, etc, I was ready for some R&R. Hungary has over 100 thermal and 400 mineral springs, making Budapest a world renowned spa destination.
There are several spa’s in Budapest, but the two most popular are the Szechenyi Baths on the Pest side and the Gellert Baths on the Buda side. Both are large thermal complexes offering several indoor and outdoors pools, sauna’s, spa’s and wellness treatments.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” height=”260″ width=”188″]https://www.cantstopdreaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/budapest-spa2.jpg[/image_frame]I opted to try the Gellert spa for a day of lounging by the pool, a massage and a pedicure. It was overall a reasonably priced experience and the pools were lovely. The architecture creates a unique experience because its like bathing in a Cathedral, and there are a large variety of pools offering different temperatures and even a wave pool outside.
The spa itself was a little difficult to navigate and many tourists seemed to have a hard time using the magnetic key card system to open the lockers. Sunday at the Gellert is also family day, so the main outdoor pool was quite busy. Once having found the hidden mineral pools and spa inside the massage area, I found a quite little piece of heaven. The ornate tiles and domed ceilings were beautiful and lounging alone in the pools was fantastic.
The services on the other hand while being “good value for money” were a little lack-lustre compared to other spas I’ve been to. I would have preferred to pay a little more for a bit better of a service. The massage for instance consisted of me laying completely naked while the non-english speaking masseuse gave me an awkward hip/butt massage for half an hour. A little uncomfortable perhaps for a modest North American used to covered massages.
The pedicure while “effective” was different than what I’m used to as well because the woman shaved the rough skin off my foot with a scalpel rather than a stone. I was pretty nervous about this at first but she did a decent job. All things aside it was still a great day and totaled less than $50 including the services.
I heard rumors that the Szechenyi Spa was a little better but cant really comment since I never made it over there. I would definitely go again, but may skip the services and spend more time in the mineral pool heaven.
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