Tamás Cserép | Apr 19, 2019 | 1
The baths of Budapest now and then through the eyes of foreigners
Budapest is one of a kind in the sense that no other capital city in the world has 123 thermal springs, on which several baths were built – popular among people from abroad too.
Termalfurdo.hu has collected some things that tourists loved about the baths of Budapest from the past and the present.
Compliments from the past
In the 17th century an English medic, Edward Brown, regarded the baths of Buda as the best baths of Europe, commending their beauty, equipment and interior design. Another Englishman from around 1669-1670 commented that “There are many baths, and I have tried them several times. I found the bath of Veli bej the most beautiful one.”
In the 19th century someone wrote about the Rácz Baths found in the 1st district in the following way:
“What a cheerful, noisy bath was this in my childhood! And the mists and scents that filled the air there…”
In 1852 Imre Palugyai described the Lukács Baths in this way: “it has few basins, which are used for healing purposes by the land workers coming from the rural area”. Later, when it was the meeting place of artists and intellectuals, Palugyai wrote that “the Lukács Bath fulfils roughly the same purposes as the literature coffee houses or the bars frequented by the intellectuals did some time ago.”
Compliments from the present
Foreign travel websites suggest travellers visit the Budapest baths during the weekdays, because they are cheaper int hat period and because they are absolutely full on Saturdays and Sundays. It is also highlighted that these baths can be accessed and used with wheelchairs too, except for the Király Baths.
What tourists like most about the Rudas Baths is the way in which the old Turkish culture harmonises with modern architecture. The panorama basin on top of the bath is an all-time favourite.
The iconic Art Nouveau Gellért Bath is the most beloved among the baths of Budapest, and no wonder! The spa is decorated from top to bottom with turquoise Zsolnay tiles, where you feel like you are breathing in history – the interior décor is so enchanting that many people come here to take photos, and even foreign magazines, like Vogue, are absolutely taken with it. On top of all this, the massage services are impeccable.
The Széchenyi Bath is the one that is frequented by most tourists, and they praise the SPArties (organised almost all weekends) for the
one-of-a-kind experience of relaxing in the soothing thermal water, surrounded by centuries’ old walls, the special visual effects and the tasteful electronic music.
Termálfürdő.hu writes that a travel blog compares the Széchenyi Baths to Times Square, because if you visit New York, that is where you start your sightseeing tour, and the Széchenyi Baths is where most people recommend starting your Budapest tour. Despite the cold, the outdoor pools are amazing, and most people cannot compare this experience to anything else in the world.
Veli Bej Bath is the one that is known by more tourists than Hungarians: it is featured in several travel pamphlets as one of the most beautiful Turkish baths of the city, which is cheap, clean and quiet.
The Király Baths enchant foreigners with its spirituality, old architecture and mystic atmosphere.
featured image: gellertfurdo.hu