Throughout Budapest are a whopping 123 therapeutic hot springs, but these, in the stately, slightly dusty Hotel Gellért (built in 1918) might be the most famous. The communal bath in the center of the hotel spa is for everyone, but the most interesting traditional spa experience is in the back thermal pools, which have been coed since 2013. Here, join Hungarian locals in pools of varied temperatures, steam baths, and saunas, and jumping into ice-cold baths in between. Everyone takes their time to not only bask in the baths but also gaze at the Art Nouveau tiling on the walls and vaulted ceilings.

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Relax in Budapest's Healing Waters

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a spa junkie. When I learned I’d be visiting Budapest, Hungary, where thermal baths are integral to the city’s culture, I spent a lot of time ‘researching.’ In the end, I decided to visit the Gellert Baths. While it’s one of the more tourist-filled options, there are still plenty of locals here, and the Art Nouveau architecture is worth the trip in itself. With both indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms, you can easily spend a whole day here - unplugged from the world and recharging your own batteries.

Gellert Bathhouse and Spa, Budapest

If you’re deciding between the Gellert and the Szechenyi bathhouse, I would choose the Gellert due to its central location. I also think the Gellert smells less of sulphur and isn’t as crowded (at least not on weeknights). Everyone knows this is an ornate and luxurious experience but the highlight for me was the wavepool. Brought me back to my childhood! There is also a snack bar and terrace that overlooks the outdoor bath. Run, don’t walk kids!

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