advertisement

Once one of Budapest's most spectacular bathhouses, the Gellért Baths are located in Buda's Hotel Gellért, the oldest Hungarian spa hotel and a secessionist-style hotel. Know that though the thermal and hotel share a building, the thermal area is owned by the city spa authority. The entire thermal area, both men's and women's sections, have been remodeled to their original glory. However, the cost of entry, which includes the two thermal pools and two swimming pools (one outdoors and only open in summer) would be better spent elsewhere. As an employee told me, it is too expensive for Hungarians, so it is frequented by foreigners who are staying at the hotel getting in for free. Once in the men's locker area, the staff is churlish, which I don't appreciate after parting with a hefty fee. If you go, enter the baths through the right side entrance of the hotel. Inside the lobby, the details are striking, especially the stained-glass windows, but pictures are not allowed. The unisex indoor pool has marble columns, majolica tiles, and stone lion heads spouting water. The two single-sex Turkish-style thermal baths, off to either side of the pool, have had a total restoration. In the summer months, the outdoor roof pool attracts a lot of attention for 10 minutes every hour on the hour when the artificial wave machine is turned on.