Hello Kaptain Kenny readers – This time from Budapest’s two main ‘baths’.
I have to admit that normally I’m fairly chirpy when it comes to my travels. I usually write quite positively about most of my experiences and see the fun & beauty in most things. Based on that, this post is going to be slightly different.
Well ever since seeing some photos on Lonely Planet, I’ve always wanted to visit the Budapest baths. It’s common knowledge that Budapest has many baths but I always knew that the distinct ‘yellow’ one was one to tick off the bucket list. So the question is where do I begin on the The Szechenyi Baths….
- Am I glad I went? Yep. Would I visit again? Nope. Why? Well walking in, I had an utter feeling of wanting to get it ‘over and done with’. Hardly the sorts of feelings which make one want to return somewhere. I blame this feeling on it having been a hot day – Szechenyi was absolutely bursting with people. And when I say people, I mean it was 98% Australian and American tourists, between the ages of 18 and 25, most probably on some sort of group bus tour. These people were loud. Slightly obnoxious. And drunk. And this was during the day – I’ve heard that Szechenyi has a night party called Sparty which is full of those young’ins, drunk and acting badly in the water. (In case I have young readers, just imagine what two teenagers can get up to in a spa when alcohol is involved. Gasp!)
- You couldn’t get a spare inch of water to yourself because of how packed it was. And the water didn’t seem very clean. I saw a few lone bandaids floating around. Gross!
- The changing rooms are chaotic, dirty and wet. You’ll find you can’t go anywhere to get privacy. If you have Germanic blood and you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re questioning my prudishness but as an Australian, we don’t just get ‘naked’ in front of people. (To the shock and horror of my German friends, they cannot believe that I refuse to go naked into the sauna in Germany.) This is why I’d recommend paying extra to get your own green changing booth. (Photo of this booth is below.) The other reason being that the lockers were often broken and it was hard to find a working and available one.
- These are hot spas and during a really hot day, surrounded by people of your own kin plus not getting any privacy in the change rooms – well quite honestly, I just didn’t enjoy it. I can completely imagine that during a crisp, freezing cold winter’s day, that this could indeed be a pretty beautiful location. I just didn’t love it in summer – the day I went, it was around 35 degrees C.
- Be SURE to bring flip-flops and your own towel. A towel can be rented but it will be quite small and every man and his dog there has the same one. If yours is taken, you will lose your deposit of about 10 euros.
- The fact is, I wasn’t there for too long – I went into a few pools, bought a bottle of water and ‘people-watched’ for a while before deciding to head to the House of Terror. I’m sure there will be many readers who loved these baths and quite possibly the majority of those Australians I saw there thought the place was ‘fully sick’. (= Australian for ‘quite a nice establishment.)
- Overall, I’m glad I saw it and ticked it off the list. I’m also really pleased at how my photographs turned out! Thanks to the little 9 year old German kid who I asked to take a photo of me too. The perils of traveling alone & what one must do….. ha!
So have a look at the pictures below and if you’re still interested in going, here is their website: http://szechenyispabaths.com/
The Gellert Bath was another location I was interested in photographing. Sadly I didn’t get inside as I was on a walking tour from the Citadel (the highest peak in the city) down to the centre of town but I saw enough of the baths from all angles outside to get some good photos.
For that reason I’m not equipped to make any sort of comment on whether the Gellert Baths were clean or worth visiting. Have you been? If so, what was your experience like? Feel free to leave comments so that our readers can make some well-informed decisions for their upcoming trips 🙂
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The plus side to going to the Gellert Baths is that you’ll be able to walk up to the Citadel and get a fabulous view of Budapest.
worldwidewanderingblogJuly 27, 2016 at 9:25 pm
Great post and some great photos. I really wish I chose some other baths over Lukacs baths.
kaptainkennytravelJuly 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm
So you only visited the Lukacs baths? Not a good experience? Tell me all 🙂
worldwidewanderingblogJuly 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm
Yep, as they were free with the Budapest card. It was definitely more for the locals which I’m all for, but there were no English signs and no one willing to help. It was like a maze! We spent most of the afternoon walking round ridiculously slippy corridors trying to find the baths while not breaking any bones!
ExtraAdventureJuly 27, 2016 at 11:24 pm
Good to know. I will be there in the wintertime. I wonder if it is better then.
kaptainkennytravelJuly 28, 2016 at 5:15 am
Hey fellow GLT girl! Yeah I’d be interested in hearing what it’s like in winter!!
Megan Starr (@MeganCStarr)July 28, 2016 at 7:27 am
i feel bad i never made it there, but after reading this, im kind of glad. it was always put on my ‘next time in budapest’ list. i guess it was like the blue lagoon in iceland (which im sure is great, but id rather hike and explore than chill with other tourists all day). nevertheless, these baths look really beautiful!
kaptainkennytravelJuly 28, 2016 at 7:35 am
Exactly!! I’ve heard that about the blue lagoon too. It’s funny because the photos turned out rather nicely and it’s hard to see where I’m coming from but yeah, I definitely won’t go back. Kind of festy there. Haha
everythingeurovisionOctober 5, 2016 at 1:04 pm
Having lived in Hungary for a year, the Szechenyi Baths are incredible place to visit – with a group of friends. I can understand that it might not have been the greatest experience if travelling alone as it is often busy. But with a group of friends, it is a great experience 🙂
kaptainkennytravelOctober 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Absolutely! I’m 100% sure there are times when the baths aren’t filled with tourists and it’s quite relaxing, especially with friends. The downside for me was that I couldn’t get a square metre to myself it was that packed with tourists. I knew it would be busy but I didn’t know it would be that busy! Admittedly it was a really hot day so that’s probably why. If I come back to Budapest, I’ll probably visit another bath just to tick more off the list 🙂
Are you from Budapest? It’s one of my favourite cities – so cool.
shesatripblogNovember 11, 2017 at 3:06 am
Okay, answering your question from Instagram — I could totally see why you thought they were icky! I went on that perfect cold day you described so their wasn’t too many people there ( and definitly no floating band aids) haha. But if it would have been hot outside I probably would’ve hated them.
kaptainkennytravelNovember 11, 2017 at 8:55 am
Lol! Dayum, it seems like I missed out on its beauty 🙁 I’m glad YOU had a good time though!!!