Budapest is a city of baths. There are many to choose from, but which is perfect for your thermal experience? After some research it was decided that Széchenyi Baths [Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary] fit the bill for my friend and I. The location was right, close to where we were staying. The bath is located in the City Park which is also fun to walk around and explore before or after your soak. Once you enter you will hop on line. Tickets will run you $16 and in exchange you get a wristband that opens up a locker. Lockers are downstairs, and slightly confusing to use for first timers. Luckily I had the real life experience of an old, large, naked Hungarian lady teach me how to open them! Physically press the wristband to the circle on the locker and voila. You’re in. If you head back to the main floor, and up one more level you’ll have gorgeous views of the complex. A main stipulation was the baths had to have an outside swimming pool so we could enjoy some lounge chairs, sunshine, and swimming.
This is quite a heavenly oasis on a hot day. Come early to score lounge chairs, towards the end of our stay people were laying towels on the cement. The outdoor pools are a perfect temperature for swimming. There is a pool where you can do laps, a pool with fountains and jets, and my favorite to play in was the center whirlpool.
So much fun to hop in and go for a whiiiiirl. Once you’ve had enough sun you need to head inside to check out the warmer thermal baths. We hit the sauna downstairs first which was asphyxiatingly wonderful. There is an extremely cold bath next to it which was a shock to the system. Then up the stairs there are many baths with different temperatures to choose from.