"Experience the Ultimate Relaxation!" Gellert Baths - Gellert Furdo Tip by Jetgirly

Gellert Baths - Gellert Furdo, Budapest: 62 reviews and 100 photos

  Gellert Baths Sign ("Bad" Swimming Pool and Spa!)
by Jetgirly
 
  • Gellert Baths Sign ("Bad" Swimming Pool and Spa!) - Budapest
      Gellert Baths Sign ("Bad" Swimming Pool and Spa!)
    by Jetgirly
  • Gellert Spa and Bath - Budapest
      Gellert Spa and Bath
    by Jetgirly
 

I'll admit I wasn't really sold on the idea of going to the thermal baths in Budapest, having been to boring old Canadian hot springs before (Banff, can you hear me?). However, I'd spent the previous two days walking around Budapest and my feet were sore and my skin was dirty (despite showering!) and I was just plain tired. So I went to Gellert Spa and Bath. And my life changed forever (well, for the rest of the week, at least).

Located in a turn-of-the-century hotel at the foot of Gellert Hill, the Gellert Spa and Baths is a fantastic place for you to rest and relax in Budapest. Every day thermal springs in Budapest release seventy million litres of water, and you'll get your share of that water here in the eight thermal pools. The bath area itself is somewhat symmetrical, with a center section open to men and women (in a large pool that is supposedly "effervescent"), and then with gender-specific wings off to either side. Each wing had pools ranging in temperature from twenty-six to thirty-eight degrees celcius, as well as a sauna, steam room and ice-cold plunge pool. I must have spent two hours running back and forth between the sauna and cold pool, each time making my pores feel just that much cleaner. That, combined with intermittent soaks in the various pools, left me feeling so relaxed I was almost giddy. I felt like I could take on the world. I also noticed an outdoor pool upstairs, but the weather wasn't nice enough to warrant checking it out.

I purchased a package that included a full-day admission to the baths, and a massage. The massage was all Eastern European Utilitarian: I was ordered to strip naked in a public area (well, public to other women), then massages vigorously by an old woman while other people walked in and out of the room. Relaxing, no. Good for my muscles, yeah. I also opted for a foot massage, which was slightly traumatizing. Besides not being able to figure out how to exit the baths (well, it was the future re-entry that was confusing), I watched someone get a very unsanitary pedicure before having my feet manhandled by a masseuse who was probably a prison guard in a past life. Oh well, my feet were half their prior size when he was done (they must have been swollen after all my walking!).

Your day pass to the spa (including a private, locked changing cabin) costs about fifteen euros. You can get a small amount of that back if you leave within two hours (but you'd be crazy to leave that soon!). There is a snack bar on site as well, but I wouldn't recommend planning to have a meal here. Instead, I'd suggest having a big brunch around 11:00, then going to the baths from 12:30ish until the early evening, at which point you can float on air back to your hotel or to another restaurant (nothing goes with spas like wine!).

Address: 1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi ut 2-4.
Directions: Look for Hotel Gellert on St Gellert Square. Buses #7 7A 86 Teteny-busz and trams #18 19 41 47 49 118, stop Szent Gellert ter.
Website: http://www.gellertbath.com/

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  • Written Apr 1, 2011
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