[The capital city of Hungary, Budapest, got its name when three cities which had grown together were united: Buda, west of the Danube River; Obuda, Buda’s oldest neighborhood to the north; and Pest, on the eastern side of the river.]
On May 20th we explored the Pest side of Budapest. We started out with the walking portion of our day. We used our 24 hour transportation passes one more time to get to the metro station near the Szechenyi Mineral baths. From there we walked to the neighboring sights, before returning to the baths. First off was Hero’s Square.
Next we visited Vajdahunyad Castle, which was built in many architectural styles, including baroque, Romanesque, Gothic, and Tudor. There is no fee to walk around and admire the castle.
There is normally a pond near the castle, but it was under renovation at the time. After admiring the Vajdahunyad Castle we headed back to the Szechenyi Baths. There are many mineral baths in Budapest. The most well-known are Gellert Baths on the Buda side of town and Szechenyi Baths, on the Pest side of town. We chose Szechenyi Baths, since all the pools are co-ed. Some of the baths even turn into clubs after dark on the weekends, with live music or DJ’s. Too bad we were there on a week day.
SZECHENYI MINERAL BATH
The rest of the day was dedicated to soaking. There were multiple in-door medicinal mineral baths, and two large out-door swimming pools at Szechenyi Baths. When we arrived we bought our tickets and rented a “cabin” (changing room) to share. There are also towels for rent, but we brought our own. Make sure to bring shower slippers for walking around!
The out-door pool below is nice and warm, just the right temperature, and has fountains around the edge which are perfect for massaging your back and neck.
The other out-door pool was a bit cooler and alternated between jetties shooting up from the bottom of the pool and a whirl pool in the center of the pool. When the whirl pool was working all you had to do was float and you would get twirled around in a circle, along with a crowd of twenty-something-year-olds, kids, and grandpas. It was tons of fun!
We alternated among the in-door and out-door pools and the saunas, and stayed about 4 hours, until our toes and hands had turned into prunes. It was quite an enjoyable way to spend a day, and we’d recommend Szechenyi Baths if you visit Budapest!
After the baths we walked along Andrassy ut and admired the fancy old houses.
After two days in Hungary it was time to move on to the next country…