“Taking The Waters” In Budapest! Peek Inside The Baths At Gellert Spa! Hungary’s History Along The Danube!

Ready To Enter The Legendary Gellert Spa and Baths?

Ready to “take the waters?” Well, when you are in Budapest Hungary – it’s mandatory!

Walking Past History!

Every day is Budapest is a visual treat: since the Danube River was right outside our hotel, we could walk along it – or cross it at any time, and all along the way, you came across amazing reminders of this country’s past – these were all on the Buda side of the river, where the hill rises up to offer protection against marauders:

Welcome To Saint Ivan’s Cave!

This is the Gellert Hill Cave, also referred to as “Saint Ivan’s Cave” – because a hermit lived there and is believed to have used the natural thermal water of a muddy lake next to the cave to heal the sick. It is likely that this same water fed the pools of the old Sáros fürdő (“Muddy Baths”), now the Gellért Baths.

Right next door is The Gellert Hotel and Spa, and by spa, I mean that this is where you take the famous “waters” of Budapest!

Budapest is home to the world’s largest geothermal cave system with more than 200 subterranean caves and 80-some natural springs throughout the region.

Here’s how it was described in a Vogue article:

“The restorative practice of balneotherapy, or “taking the waters,” has for centuries been touted as the cure-all for poor circulation, muscular aches, psoriasis, insomnia—you name it.”

Gellert Spa is one of the most famous thermal spa baths in Europe, and one of the leading natural hot spring spa baths in Budapest, Hungary.

Gellert Bath opened in 1918 offering medicinal water treatments using the same deep underground springs the Knights of St John used in the 12th century, and later on the Turks to feel the invigorating powers of the mineral rich waters.

Let’s Go Inside The Gellert Spa!

The entrance is a domed Atrium with a modest ticket desk. Hungary has their own currency, but the ticket price was about $12 each. You enter to find rows and rows of lockers for storing your clothes – literally hundreds of them on two floors, and you can rent swimming caps, goggles and towels…

Say “Cheese!”

We followed the signs on the walls and the arrows on the floor to find four separate “baths” – smaller pools for sitting and socializing, and lots of people did just that…

We spent an hour in the spa before realizing that so many other people were there with their phones and cameras getting pictures! I ran back and got mine, and I’m glad I did, because this legendary spa is incredible and I’m so glad I captured shots of it…

There are 4 small “baths” where people gather, each with a different temperature – and it’s co-ed, and it’s always full of people of all ages, taking the healing waters….

There is also a beautiful indoor pool, which was also full of people doing laps and enjoying the incredible architecture…

There’s an outdoor pool as well – and on this day, with the sun shining brightly and the temperature in the seventies, it was a place for folks to gather and enjoy the day…

We stayed for a few hours, enjoying the healing properties of the waters….well, just enjoying a unique experience in Budapest, whether it healed us or not…but we did feel much better after we were there, so why go against history?

Our stay in Budapest was all because we were traveling from Venice Italy to Paris France on the Venice Simplon Orient Express Train, and amazing experience:

The train takes on a steam engine for its arrival into Budapest, and you can see what that looks like here:

https://johnrieber.com/2018/10/13/the-orient-express-train-steams-into-budapest-unique-engine-powers-us-to-hungary/

Budapest was a bit of a “show off” city, like at night when they light up all of their incredible architecture:

Show offs, right? Here are more pictures of this incredible city at night, basking in a golden glow:


https://johnrieber.com/2018/10/16/budapest-at-night-the-golden-glow-of-hungarys-history-from-the-danube-river/

And we also tasted a lot of incredible food in Budapest – my favorite was this plate of Wiener Schnitzel and Spaetzle!!

Alex opted for Goulash – and you can see that delicacy here:

https://johnrieber.com/2018/10/28/budapests-great-market-hall-hungarian-goulash-schnitzel-and-spaetzle-paprika-by-the-pound/

More adventures from Hungary to come!



Categories: Art, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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14 replies

  1. This looks amazing John! Our daughter loved the baths too and Budapest was her favourite place on her honeymoon. I must get there next time we travel.

  2. Great photos on an interesting tour. A close friend just biked around Lake Balaton and I was putting that on my bucket list. Nice to find your blog!

  3. I’m not one for communal bathing (!) but you sure make this look appealing! (The fact that everyone is wearing a bathing suit instead of a birthday suit is very encouraging)

  4. A lovely city with some beautiful architecture … I love those old baths it sort of takes you back time I think 🙂

  5. Budapest looks interesting and beautiful, John. It comes briefly into my new book.

  6. Looks great, John. A 36 C pool must feel lovely and warm too.
    I have drunk the waters at a few Spas in Britain, and didn’t think much of the sulphurous taste.
    But I have yet to bathe in any.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. Oh I’d love to ‘take the waters’ in Budapest!! Looks wonderful!

  8. Looks like a lovely trip! Thanks for sharing.

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