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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Szechenyi Thermal Spa & Baths, Budapest

Széchenyi Thermal Spa & Baths, Budapest

On our last day in Budapest we decided to relax at the Széchenyi Thermal Spa & baths – After two days of sight-seeing and touring the city we thought it would be a pleasure to slow the pace down and unwind. Hungary is famous for its thermal baths and there are many in Budapest – The Széchenyi thermal baths is one of the oldest in Budapest and has a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities including a pool for swimming laps and a sauna. It was as different again from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa in Iceland that we visited, but just as special and unique.

Entrance to the Szechenyi Spa & Baths

Not in central Budapest, but easily accessible

The Spa is located inbetween districts XIII, XIV & VI, right next to city park – Unless your hotel is near I would not consider it to be typical walking distance, luckily the Yellow Metro line has a station right next to the spa and has stations you can get on right down to the Danube. A single trip on the Metro cost around 700HUF and if you plan on using it more than once, you can buy day passes or multi-trip tickets which always work out cheaper. The entrance to the spa is on the main road, opposite the circus and zoo – The bright golden yellow entrance building makes it hard to miss.

Main pool area of the Szechenyi spa

To make the most of your time at the Spa there are also several other sights surrounding the complex – As stated above the Circus and zoo are right next to it and although we did not see a circus show, the reviews I read looked really good. There is also the beautiful Vajdahunyad castle and Heroes Square only a couple of minutes walk – Vajdahunyad castle is a mismatch of different styles creating a fairytale effect, while Heroes Square contains an impressive monument to the Hungarian heroes of ages past.

How the bloody hell do I get a ticket?

I'll admit we were slightly apprehensive about the ticket buying process – It wasn't the clearest of procedures and it was geared more towards Hungarian visitors. basically there is two ticket desks, one either side of the entrance doors, just ask for two adult tickets (Or however many there are in your party etc), it cost us roughly 5000 HUF each – This was a full day pass with access to any area of the Spa.

Once you have your ticket and wristband, proceed to the corridor on either your left or right (depending on which ticket stand you went too) – You will see the turn-style barrier, to get through simply scan your wristband. After this comes changing room areas – The male and female sections are clearly sign-posted to don't try and cop a sneak peek ;)

Szechenyi Spa main open pool area I loved the decor and the golden yellow architecture There is a bar and plenty of sunbeds and tables

You can hire towels in the changing room areas – As we went on our last day we hired towels to save the hassle of putting our own wet towels back in our suitcases etc. The towel hire is fairly cheap, but there is a large deposit to pay as a deterrent to people stealing them – Just make sure you have enough cash to cover the deposit!

Get your Speedos on and relax!

So you've got your towel hired, put all your gear in a locker, forced on your Speedos, your now ready to dive in! We stayed in the main outdoor pools - These are the largest pools and there is one either side of the lap pool (To go in the lap pool you must wear a swimming cap). The pools are beautifully warm and great for just relaxing in, there are also some fountains and various jets that we enjoyed messing around in - Don't go overboard though as the Széchenyi Spa has a fairly chilled out vibe, and I wouldn't describe it as a place for vigorous water sports!

We spent over two hours in the spa, just enjoying the invigorating water, people watching and talking, it really was bliss and a genuine treat. There are signs posted around the pool areas advising of a maximum time of 20 minutes in the water - We ignored this, it never got too hot or overbearing, the only thing I noticed was a slight constriction on my breathing but that didn't bother me at all. I can't comment on what the saunas or other facilities are like, but I am sure they are wonderful - We were content with the open-air pools so didn't explore much.

We had a great experience at the Szechenyi spa, it was a pleasure to visit such a decadent and beautiful building complex, and spend some time resting after a busy weekend of sight-seeing and fun in Budapest - Go there, you will love it!

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