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Budapest: The City of Spas

Since Roman times, bath culture has been a part of the history of Budapest, a city rich in thermal waters. To this day, reminders of times past are very much present in the capital’s baths, from vestiges of bath houses used in the Middle Ages to Turkish baths built during the period of Ottoman occupation. If you are after peace and quiet or somewhere to relax, why not immerse yourself in the world of thermal pools, where past and present meet?

It is widely considered that the waters at Lukács Thermal Baths in Buda are the best, whether for the treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms or articular disorders. More than 150 years old, this institution offers thermal pools, swimming and leisure pools, a wellness section, saunas and various services ensuring comfort and relaxation to guests. With a valid Budapest Card, you can spend an entire day here free of charge, going from one pool into the other at your leisure.

If the idea of sitting around in lovely warm water on a cold winter’s day really appeals to you, the Budapest Card gives you a 20% discount on the entrance fee at many other special thermal baths.

Gellért Baths, with its stunning interior rich in Hungarian Art Nouveau masterpieces, offers a unique environment for the regeneration of body and soul. The medicinal water here is particularly effective for the treatment of articular and spine disorders, neurological and cardiovascular complaints and respiratory diseases.

The construction of the Király Baths was ordered by the Turkish Arslan pasha in 1565. This historic bath, a listed monument, introduces the early Ottoman bath culture in its original splendour. If you are after a truly authentic Budapest experience, it is worth visiting this small bath, a favourite with local residents. Relaxing in the circular pool under the dome, while enjoying the beneficial effects of the thermal water, will be an unforgettable experience.

Probably the most famous of all Budapest baths, Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool is a true treasure on the Pest side of the city. One of the largest bath and spa complexes in Europe, the Széchenyi has 21 pools, including a leisure pool, traction bath, underwater jacuzzi, with neck shower and back-massaging water spouts hidden in the sitting benches. It is ideal for a larger group of friends or a family, too, since everyone is bound to find something to their liking. In addition to classic medicinal bathing services, the spa and wellness facilities are also worth visiting, and if you like chess, why not join a party while you are sitting in the outdoor thermal pool?

In the past, each era protected the capital’s thermal waters with the utmost care, turning baths into important venues for medicinal treatment and social life alike. The constant renewal of Budapest’s baths is evidence that this special form of relaxation and health restoration continues to be highly popular to this day: it is an experience that all visitors to the city should try at least once.

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