Backpack Benji

Taking a Bath in Budapest.

From the Czech Republic I made my way to Budapest, Hungary after a brief stop in Bratislava, Slovakia.  During my visit to Budapest, I was told of the fascinating spas throughout the city and was informed that the region was a mecca for health enthusiasts seeking healing waters and spa services. I was highly recommended to check out a spa.

I was easily sold on the idea so booked my appointment at the Szechenyi Bath House, not knowing quite what to expect.  I was amazed at the bigness of it all!  It started with getting my cashless payment system in the form of a unique water-proof proxy-watch.  I then received towels and a locker to store my things in the men’s wing of the enormous facility.  There was an entire floor devoted to massage, so I booked an hour long service, but first was off to explore the health benefits of the mineral-rich thermal waters.  I discovered a labyrinth of pools, and bathing areas of varying temperatures.  There were buildings filled with aromatic saunas and steam rooms, and pools and tubs filled with bathers; and I ran into a couple from Canada with whom I had shared a meal on a train a few days earlier.

I initially thought that perhaps I would be swilling in a bacteria-infested pool which seemed gross; but once I entered, I realized that the longer I remained in the water, the better I felt.  I noticed employees everywhere, cleaning diligently and ensuring a very sanitary facility.  People appeared to stay for hours and I was there for most of an entire day since they also had a buffet and other dining options.

As I was packing up to leave, I found workers setting up a dance floor and DJ booth and realized that at night, one of the main outdoor pools turned into a huge “Spa-rty” with all the revelers splounging and splashing to the rhythms.  Budapest bath houses….now you know!


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