Connect with us

Europe

Visiting the Thermal Széchenyi Baths in Budapest

Visiting the local thermal Széchenyi baths in Budapest is a must do for any traveller in Hungary and keeps you away from the majority of the tourists.

Published

on

Thermal Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Medicinal Baths

Tendrils of steam danced across the Széchenyi baths surface. The thermal waters finally escaping from below the surface of Budapest.

Wondering why did we decide to leave our jandals in the crypt-like changing rooms below as we skipped across the cold concrete. The early morning summer sun still to warm the cobbles beneath our bare feet.

Thermal Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Medicinal Baths

With no idea whether the pool we had first eyed as we squinted into the sunlight would be hot or cold we slowed at the top of the steps. Hoping the steam would not betray us, we eased our party weary feet into the waters below. Split-seconds passed as we hesitated for the first feeling.

Warmth tickled our toes.

As we stumbled the few remaining steps sliding deeper into the warm water we garnered a few strange looks as we let out an audible sigh of relief.

Budapest Baths

On both the Buda and Pest sides of the city hundreds of thermal hot springs bubble silently underneath the cobbled streets. The Hungarians have tapped into these natural resources and created one of the best wellness and healing cities in the whole world.

Thermal Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Medicinal Baths

Suffering from a bad back? Arthritis getting you down? Or just need somewhere to relax after eating too much goulash? The healing waters of the thermal Széchenyi baths in Budapest are just the cure you need.

Local Doctor’s even prescribe visits to the baths for patient as part of their treatment.

Visiting the thermal Széchenyi Baths

After dancing for the last three days at the Sziget music festival, relaxing was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Ignoring the tourist crowds looking for a bit of rest and relaxation at the well known Gellert Baths we recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and following the locals to the lesser known Széchenyi baths.

The locals flock here on the weekend and while some thermal baths in Budapest only allow men or women at certain times this is not one of them. Just be aware that most of their modesty is left in the changing rooms.

Luckily none of the pools we entered were bathing suits optional. 

Thermal Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Medicinal Baths

We quickly learned that it’s not all about the bathing either. Fitness centers, massages, no less than 15 baths and 10 sauna rooms will keep you occupied for hours.

The hottest sauna we found was a roasting 100°C. 

Inching the door open our faces were assaulted by steam. We now know what it feels like to be a freshly caught crayfish being boiled after diving. It hurt just to breath through our noses.

Skidding back across the scorching tiles (still jandal-less) outside to a welcome breath of fresh air we felt so out of place.

While we knew that there were benefits from sitting in the tepid baths we had no idea what we were meant to be doing. Even after watching the locals closely and trying to emulate their routine we still couldn’t figure it out. We dipped into one pool for five minutes before shuffling across the slippery tiles to the next bath or sauna. All of which were different temperatures.

I even tried to out last the slightly larger Hungarian’s in the ball-shrinking ice baths. They thought it was a great joke as my skinny body shivered in the corner.

Not being able to make heads or tails of it we decided just to sit back and relax.

Thermal Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Medicinal Baths

Extra Travel Information:

The Széchenyi baths are located in the City Park with a Metro stop directly outside so it’s really easy to get to. They are open year round and while the prices seems to fluctuate we paid 3,600 FT ($15 USD) each with a locker.

Fly to Budapest easily from pretty much anywhere in Europe with Jet2.com. And we recommend staying at Marco Polo Hostel as they are quiet and have a brilliant breakfast buffer.

Disclaimer: We were invited to step out of our comfort zone by the Visit Hungary Tourism Board for our trip to Budapest. As always our thoughts, recommendations and speedos are always our own.

Continue Reading
18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    August 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    This looks great. I’ve been obsessing about Hungary for a while now, and spas, so this is a definite ‘to-do’ when we finally get to Eastern Europe next year!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Add it to the top of the list but maybe after a heavy day sightseeing when you want to rest up 🙂

  2. Laurence

    August 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Sit back and relax is the best idea 😀 I visited the thermal pools in NZ’s Rotorua, great fun.. if a tad on the odorous side! Not sure I was any healthier afterwards though…

    • Cole Burmester

      August 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      I actually thought the Szechenyi baths smelled a little like Rotorua! Must be all the minerals.

  3. Jeremy Branham

    August 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I went to Szechenyi many years ago before it was popular with tourists. I loved the experience. The architecture inside the Szechenyi Bath was amazing. However, the experience was even better. It was my first time going from hot pool to cold pool. Quite a shock on the body!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Felt really good jumping between the different baths. No wonder pro-athletes do it all the time for conditioning.

  4. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    August 20, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Ah.. I love a good, hot soak. Definitely adding this to my list!

  5. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Love that you were hanging with the locals at the lesser known Széchenyi baths. We’d love to do this someday.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      You guys are too busy saving the world to relax Mary! 🙂

  6. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    August 23, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    The only thing better than a soak in a hot spring is a soak in a hot spring after a music festival. Well done! But we really can’t believe the Jandals forgot their jandals….We’ve been soaking in volcanic hot springs in Costa Rica where the overrun, overpriced hot springs at Arenal should be skipped in favor of the numerous other soaking options at the country’s other volcanoes in the Guanacaste region. Bliss, even without your jandals!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Wow those volcanic hot springs do sound good. And thanks for the tips for avoiding the touristy spot!

  7. Amber Hoffman

    September 9, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Perfect timing that I came across this. We are going to Széchenyi tomorrow. Looks like we will wear our jandals around the pools, and not leave them in the locker! Good tip. And, can’t wait to see Eric in the ball-shrinking ice baths.

  8. Marianne

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Hey, but what a great way to recover after your three-day music festival! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      Such a nice way to put up our weary feet (jandals) 🙂

  9. crazy sexy fun traveler

    September 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    This is the best place in Budapest. I wish I spent more time in there, not just one afternoon.

  10. EarthDrifter

    September 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    If I can get over to Budapest one of these days, the Széchenyi Baths will surely be number one on my list.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      They are a great way to spend a morning (or evening) relaxing after a massive amount of sightseeing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Europe

Making the Most of a Trip to Monaco

Published

on

Monaco is one of the hottest destinations in travel right now, and there has never been a better time to explore the principality that attracts over 320,000 visitors a year from all around the world. While Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco helped plant Monaco firmly on the movie-goers map, and the winding roads and glorious hill-scapes send our minds back to James Bond-esque car rides, there is another side to Monaco that gives itself as the perfect stopover for the adventure holiday-maker.

Monaco in Brief

Nestled on the French coast on the Mediterranean Riviera, Monaco is the richest nation in the world – not just for the celebrity yachts and sports cars that glint in the Monegasque sun – as according to The World Bank, the people of Monaco earn more per capita than any other nation, which is evidenced in how luxurious a place it is. But, it doesn’t just have to be a destination for those with laden pockets. With a population of around 30,000, Monaco was founded as a colony of Genoa in 1215. The House of Grimaldi presided over Monaco ever since (with a brief period of French rule from 1789 to 1814) – with the Prince of Monaco acting as supreme ruler. That is until 1911, when Monaco became a constitutional government, with the monarchy acting as a figurehead, much like Great Britain’s. But what can be done in Monaco?

SOURCE: Pixabay

Formula One

Monaco, of course, is well known for the Monaco Grand Prix, a Formula 1 race held annually on the Circuit de Monaco. Begun in 1929, and forming 1/3 of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, the race is considered one of the most prestigious in the world. The streets of Monaco are transformed into the circuit, which makes it naturally one of the most dangerous and difficult to manoeuvre through in the world. The track changes, corners, and elevations combine with the luxurious atmosphere to make the winner of the tournament extremely lauded over. While participants clearly can’t rock up to join the race, finding your wheels on the same streets is a sure adrenaline burst, especially for sports fans.

SOURCE: Pixabay

Nightlife

Thanks in part to Casino Royale, Monaco is on the map for the extensive connection it has to casinos, and more specifically the iconic Casino Monte Carlo, that the nightlife of the city-state revolves around. In the beginning of roulette, the wheel had been modified in order to ensure the player’s odds were high enough to have a chance of winning with the single zero machine, Monaco accepted the game developed by Louis Blanc of Germany. Until 1933, roulette was played exclusively in Monaco, and the game helped place Monaco on the map for being a high stakes, exuberant place. As such, the roulette wheel was at the centre of the night out, that spilled into nearby bars and clubs. Monaco continues this tradition of bustling bars and celebrity-spotting clubs, replete with live music, cabaret events, and special guests, with the Living Room and La Racasse providing as glamorous an evening as James Bond would indulge in.

SOURCE: Pixabay

Water-sports

Located on the Avenue de Princess Grace, Lavrotto Beach is home to not only beautifully clear water and scorching sand, but a variety of water-sports for the nautical adventurer. From canoeing and kayaking under The Rock, to snorkelling and scuba diving to discover the shoals that live beneath the deluxe city-state and rival those of the Great Barrier Reef. For those who are into faster experiences, jet skis are available to cruise the blue lagoon, and flyboarding can be done in the bay. Motorised water-sports are extremely popular and an easy way to get that heart rate going.

Seeing Monaco from the Sky

France is extremely popular for its hot air balloon rides, and Monaco has adopted this pastime as well. The perfect way to take all 202 hectares in is to soar above it propelling by a canister of liquid propane gas. The hot air balloon ride can be as exciting or as leisurely as you make it, and can form the basis of a picnic high in the sky. Alternatively, you can don your swimsuit and hop onto a parachute behind a speedboat, to see Monaco from above while parasailing. Both methods allow you to feel the wind in your hair and witness the beauty of Monaco.

Monaco is a magnificent place; and a definite spot for anyone wanting an exciting break – just a short trip down from France, and a perfect stop for any time from a day to a week. While the excitement may differ from bouldering and white water rafting, the thrill in the air of being amongst the yachts, the beautiful scenery, and the scent of celebrity is enough to get hearts racing.

Continue Reading

Europe

5 Unmissable Northern Ireland Attractions

Published

on

Northern Ireland is a beautiful part of the world, yet one which often lies off the usual tourist track. However, there are many great places to visit and things to see and do in this region – offering the perfect getaway from packed tourist destinations and a chance to see a largely unspoiled natural landscape.

Despite this, there are still many different attractions within the area that are well worth a visit. From city scenes to geological wonders, the sheer versatility means that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in the region.

If you are thinking of paying Northern Ireland a visit, here are five of the best attractions that the area has to offer – just waiting for you to arrive!

Giant’s Causeway

Instantly recognisable and famed across the world, the Giant’s Causeway is a definite must-see. Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site, the Causeway is a unique example of natural beauty and wonder. Take time out of your schedule to explore, clambering over the rocks and discovering the science, myths and legends behind this ancient monument. A Giant’s Causeway tour also makes the ideal way to learn about the Causeway and get to know the area, as you are shown around by a knowledgeable tour guide.

Belfast

Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast is a city steeped in years of history. Boasting plenty of varied attractions, there is guaranteed to be something to suit every taste in Belfast. Spend some time wandering the streets and exploring the city’s shops and eateries, or instead, head out and visit one of the dedicated tourist attractions. As the birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic, history buffs are sure to enjoy a visit to Titanic Belfast, the museum which commemorates the ship and the tragedy that followed her maiden launch. Alternatively, a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is another favourite on Belfast’s tourist trail. Explore the gaol and learn all about its rich history, right through to its eventual closure as a working prison in 1996.

Murlough National Nature Reserve

For those who prefer a taste of the great outdoors, head out to the stunning landscape of Murlough National Nature Reserve and spend some time getting back to grips with nature. Ideal for a fun-filled family day out or a relaxing day spent exploring, the reserve offers the perfect example of an unspoiled wilderness situated in the picturesque Irish countryside. There are plenty of walking routes and trails dotted across the reserve, so pick your favourite and head off to explore more of the beautiful scenery!

Dunluce Castle

Brooding and full of a unique atmosphere, Dunluce Castle is a perfect example of cultural history and architecture. Located on the coast, this impressive ruin offers stunning views across the water and is also an understandable favourite among budding photographers. A must-see landmark along the Antrim coast, the castle offers a real mix of Irish history and different time periods.

Derry

Perfectly combining tradition and history with a quirky, contemporary twist, Derry is Northern Ireland’s second-largest city – a city with something to suit everyone. From its vast array of quaint cafes and eateries to the traditional architecture, history buffs are sure to want to pay Derry a visit. If you do decide to head down to Derry, make sure not to miss the historic city walls. Striking and memorable yet also enlightening, a walk around the walls is sure to help you step back in time and discover Derry’s past and rich history.

Are you feeling inspired? These are just a few of the many exciting places to visit on offer within the region. Northern Ireland truly is a hidden gem – why not discover the beauty of this area for yourself on your next trip?

Continue Reading

Europe

Worlds’ Best Surfing Breaks: Lanzarote’s El Quemao

Published

on

Lanzarote plays host to some serious, world-class level surfing. The volcanic island rises straight up through the water, and because it lacks a continental shelf the waves it gets from the Atlantic are completely unobstructed. With low precipitation, balmy winds and endless sunshine, this laid-back island is every surfer dude’s dream.

In the northwest, El Quemao is a commanding left and right-hand reef break. You can experience colossal swells of up to five metres high, rivalling those in Hawaii. This area is meant for the expert. The waves continuously form quick tubes with vertical descents, perfect to enter, descend and ride the tube.

Restaurants in Fethiye

Seven of the Best Restaurants on Lanzarote

Table Arrcife Known for their burgers, tapas and their large selection of beer.

Casa de la Playa, Arrieta Go for authentic Canarian seafood cuisine overlooking the beach.

El Mirador, Playa Blanca Enjoy seafood by the ocean!

Cofradia de Pescadores, Playa Blanca Specialising in seafood; ask for the fresh fish of the day.

Restaurante del Diablo, Timanfaya This lunch-only restaurant utilises volcanic heat to cook their various meat dishes.

El Tenique, Tiagua They offer delicious meat fare. Their popular Cabra is served on Sundays.

El Chupadero, La Geria Situated in wine country, enjoy a glass of vino, tapas and live music.

Hippy Holidays – Low Impact Lanzarote

Pack a lunch and explore former Hippy Heaven, Papagayo, by bike. There is a family-friendly beach with calmer waters to paddle in and swim. There are also out-of-the-way places for older children to explore.

Visit Timanfaya National Park. It is 50 km² of expansive plains, volcanic ash, fossilised lava, geysers and boulders. Amp up the exotic by joining a Camel Train to explore this region.

Consider getting around by bicycle to get exploring areas off the beaten path, as well as beaches, finding smaller towns and farmers’ markets.

Fancy a Holiday in Malta? Now You Can Fly from Southend

As of October 29, 2017, EasyJet is scheduled to fly twice weekly from London Southend Airport to Malta year-round. London Southend has its own train station that runs up to six trains per hour to and from central London. This will carry passengers from Essex to the South End.

Malta, south of Sicily, has grown in popularity. The weather is great year-round (19 to 30 degrees). It is also the home of three World Heritage Sites.

Inland from Alicante: Seven Out-of-the-Way Places

Alcoy Here you will find Barchell Castle, the convent of St. Augusti and church of Santa Maria. The Moors and Christians festival is a must see.

Le Romana See cave houses; there are some cave properties currently in use.

Aspe Grapes grown in this region are tied to a custom of eating 12 grapes at New Years.

Cocentaina While at the village of La Villa, visit the Comtat Palace.

Ontinyent Archaeological finds around the area date back to the Bronze Age and Iberian period.

Bocairent Cobbled streets and architecture allow you to see what life was like many centuries ago.

Guadalest Go see the castle of San Jose. Access to this fortress is via a natural tunnel through the rocks.

Benidorm by Drone

Viewing Benidorm by a drone shows the magnificence of this area. The ocean is a stunning blue-green; the eye never tires of it. Numerous apartments and hotels hug the beaches of Playa Poniente and Playa Levante. In between these seafronts lies the Canfali vantage point with the majestic Mal Pas cove at its foot. You can also see the energetic lights of theme parks. Benidorm has five of them. The Las Vegas-style Benidorm Palace can also be seen. The beautiful Villaitana golf course looks smaller than its actual two 18-hole golf courses. These landmarks invite you to come and play.

Responsible Travel – Surfing in Lanzarote- https://www.responsiblevacation.com/vacations/lanzarote/travel-guide/surfing-in-lanzarote
Surfing in El Quemao http://www.hellocanaryislands.com/surfing/lanzarote/surfing-el-quemao/
Surfinglife.com (by Rich) http://www.surfinglife.com/surfing-in-lanzarote-canary-islands-3/

Continue Reading

Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

Trending