Housed inside the magnificent Hotel Gellert, the Gellert Baths are world famous, and arguable the best and most beautiful in Budapest, possibly even the world. The baths complex includes thermal baths, and a set of outdoor swimming baths to the rear. The mineral waters come from the hot springs of Gellert Hill.
The hotel is also a work of art - one of Budapest's most famous and exclusive. Built on the banks of the Danube in the Art Nouveau style, it's easily the best looking hotel in the city, trumping the other high class concrete and glass monstrosities on the opposite bank. You can also sample some of the mineral waters in the spring at the front of the hotel.
The baths are also so impressive that they were listed in the book "1000 Places to See Before You Die".
Gellert Baths is one of the most famous thermal baths in Budapest but we finally decided to visit Széchenyi baths. But we still wanted to visit Gellert Hotel as it is one of the oldest and most popular luxury spa hotels in Budapest. We would pass by anyway on our way up to Gellert Hill (the hotel lies at the foothill).
It was completed in 1918, damaged during WWII but restored later. As expected it has many thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool, saunas and steam rooms. The waters supposed to be healing for several diseases but as in most baths many people just go there to relax with the water that come from thermal springs. The water temperature depends on which pool you will choose and varies from 26’C to 38’C. As in other baths you can have extra things (with extra charge of course) like massage, spa therapies etc
We took some pictures of the exterior that is in Art Nouveau style, actually the front building is the Gillert Hotel that suppose to be 4 stars but according to many reviews it’s pretty run down and doesn’t deserve so many stars anymore….
By the way have in mind that the bath entrance is on the side (pic 3). The entrance fee is 4100Huf during weekdays (including a locker), 4300Huf in weekends, after 5pm the price goes down to 3000Huf. The baths are open daily 6.00-20.00.
The outer and inner architectures please the eyes, I tell you. I went from one pool to the other. So pleased to hear women speak only Hungarian in the pools for women. That said a lot - locals like this pretty bath! I'd like to go back here and next time, I'd like to have dinner or coffee in its restaurant.
The first turkish baths in Budapest were built in the 16th century during the Ottoman occupation. Some of the earliest baths that still exist today include the Rudas, Racz, Czaszar (now part of the Lukacz complex) and Kiraly thermal baths, all located on the Buda side of the city, at the foot of Gellert Hill. Att the beginning of the 20th century, the first luxury spa hotels opened in Budapest, and the Gellert Complex is the oldest and most famous of them all. Built between 1912 and 1918, the hotel remained open - though it suffered extensive damage - during World War II. It was subsequently restored and modernized. The spa complex includes several saunas, pools - including one of the world' first wave pools, added in 1927 - and baths filled with the mineral hot springs that flow from Gellert Hill, The baths' temperature runs around a comfortable 37ºC and have been credited for curing, or at least relieving the symptoms of diseases such as arthitis, neuralgia, circulatory problems, asthma and chronic bronchitis. The Gellert Hotel, which is part of the Danubius hotel chain, is operated separately from the baths. The spa is open to all visitors; although we only walked around, I saw that daily-access tickets to the spa and its different services could be purchased on site.
Soy española y ha estado hace una semana en ese Balnerario, el trato a los turistas es deplorable, el inglés es pésimo, desde las chicas que venden las entradas hasta la chica que da clases de aquagim, tienes que llevar florines porque no admiten euros, sólo trajeta, y si no tienes florines no puedes alquilar toallas, por lo que no te puedas secar.
El balnerario es precioso y dan bien los masajes.
I'll admit I wasn't really sold on the idea of going to the thermal baths in Budapest, having been to boring old Canadian hot springs before (Banff, can you hear me?). However, I'd spent the previous two days walking around Budapest and my feet were sore and my skin was dirty (despite showering!) and I was just plain tired. So I went to Gellert Spa and Bath. And my life changed forever (well, for the rest of the week, at least).
Located in a turn-of-the-century hotel at the foot of Gellert Hill, the Gellert Spa and Baths is a fantastic place for you to rest and relax in Budapest. Every day thermal springs in Budapest release seventy million litres of water, and you'll get your share of that water here in the eight thermal pools. The bath area itself is somewhat symmetrical, with a center section open to men and women (in a large pool that is supposedly "effervescent"), and then with gender-specific wings off to either side. Each wing had pools ranging in temperature from twenty-six to thirty-eight degrees celcius, as well as a sauna, steam room and ice-cold plunge pool. I must have spent two hours running back and forth between the sauna and cold pool, each time making my pores feel just that much cleaner. That, combined with intermittent soaks in the various pools, left me feeling so relaxed I was almost giddy. I felt like I could take on the world. I also noticed an outdoor pool upstairs, but the weather wasn't nice enough to warrant checking it out.
I purchased a package that included a full-day admission to the baths, and a massage. The massage was all Eastern European Utilitarian: I was ordered to strip naked in a public area (well, public to other women), then massages vigorously by an old woman while other people walked in and out of the room. Relaxing, no. Good for my muscles, yeah. I also opted for a foot massage, which was slightly traumatizing. Besides not being able to figure out how to exit the baths (well, it was the future re-entry that was confusing), I watched someone get a very unsanitary pedicure before having my feet manhandled by a masseuse who was probably a prison guard in a past life. Oh well, my feet were half their prior size when he was done (they must have been swollen after all my walking!).
Your day pass to the spa (including a private, locked changing cabin) costs about fifteen euros. You can get a small amount of that back if you leave within two hours (but you'd be crazy to leave that soon!). There is a snack bar on site as well, but I wouldn't recommend planning to have a meal here. Instead, I'd suggest having a big brunch around 11:00, then going to the baths from 12:30ish until the early evening, at which point you can float on air back to your hotel or to another restaurant (nothing goes with spas like wine!).
The Gellert baths are widely considered to be some of the finest spas in the world.
Anybody can enter for under 4000 Ft, and they are small refunds available if you stay less than two hours in the complex. (FREE to guests of the Gellert)
The main attraction is of course the swimming pool (a little on the chilly side) and the large hotpool. Whilst not especially hot, it can take 100 or so people in comfort.
The water is said to consist of sodium and calcium-magnesium-hydrocarbonates and sulphates, with significant fluoride contents.
That means nothing to me, but it is said to be good for, and I quote "Degenerative disorders of joints and the spine, chronic arthritis in the inactive stage, disorders of the vertebral disks, lumboischialgia, neuralgic pain, stenosis, peripheral circulation disorders, in the inhalatorium: treatment of asthmatic and chronic bronchitis."
Doesn't seem so enjoyable now does it ?
The tiling of the place is the other main attraction - it is quite stunning in the main lobby area especially and reflects a number of themes, often oriental.
Budapest maybe the city of Spas, but this is the Queen amongst them.
Budapest is famous for its thermal baths and the most famous of them is probably the Gellert. It is located right by the Danube and the Freedom bridge at the foot of Gellert hill. The baths are part of a large complex, the front of it being the Hotel Gellert and the back occupied by the actual baths. Entrance to the baths is on the right side of the complex.
The whole complex is a stunning work of late Art Nouveau (Secession), inspired by oriental architecture (towers e.g., built 1911-18. It is beyond me why the Hotel still qualifies for 4 stars since it looks pretty run down (according to guide books most rooms have only 3star standard). I wouldn't want to stay there anyway because of the very noisy location (very busy street in front of the hotel). The only reason I could imagine is that hotel guests get free access to the baths. You are welcome to walk in the lobby of the hotel and look around - beautiful Art Nouveau decoration - or have a drink or meal in a cafe/restaurant there.
I went to the baths quite late in the afternoon but since they're open until 8 pm I had enough time inside. The lobby (free) alone is worth the effort to go there. The architecture/decoration is stunningly beautiful. In case you want to swim or make use of the baths, buy a ticket at a ticket box (one at each sides of the lobby, front area). The ladies at the ticketcounter were not exactly friendly or helpful but I managed to get a ticket to the thermal baths which includes the use of the swimming area also. The outdoor swimming pool/area was closed since it was mid March. I paid HUF 3,000 and saw later that the printed price on the ticket was only HUF 2,960.
Anyway, with excitement I entered the "swimming" area (right side, in the middle) and headed to the locker area. The swimming pool was to see from the lobby, but it was a looong walk along a labyrinth to get to the lockers - I later found out it had been easier to enter at the "thermal bath" entrance (separate areas for men and women). The swimming pool was fun, but the *real* experience is the thermal bath. Again, gorgeous Art Nouveau decoration (Zsolnay ceramic tiles) and two basins with thermal water of different temperature (36 C/38 C). A steam bath was also available, massage would have cost an extra fee.
All in all I enjoyed the thermal baths very much. The procedure is a bit confusing at first but in the end I got it. Relaxing in the thermal water was great. I just wish they would gently renovate the baths - a bit too much patina even for me.
At the bottom of Gellert Hill is the famous Hotel Gellert, built between 1916 and 1918 in Art Nouveau style. Sadly I can't afford to stay somewhere like this, but it's worth walking past just to look at the architecture as it is an impressive building.
Attached to the hotel is also the Gellert thermal baths, which guests can use free of charge.
Try to make/find a couple of hours soaking in one of the baths. It is a wonderful and very relaxing experience and very much a part of Budapest. Also, very reasonably priced. I would not buy any of the services or treatments (massage, etc.), just the soak.
Two popular ones are the Gellert Baths and the Szechenyi Baths.
The Gellert is in a beautiful castle-like building attached to the famous hotel and stands majestic on a hill facing the Danube. It is about a 10 minute walk (or a 2 minute tram ride) on the same side and street (sort of) as your hotel. There is a convenient tram hub outside the Gellert and some of the trams from there run right past your hotel door. These baths are divided into seperate and private bathing areas for men and women. However there is another swimming pool in a different area nearby where both sexes can swim laps together, appropriately attired, and with mandatory bathing caps. Bring your own cap if you plan to use this pool, to avoid being given something that looks like a blue grocery shopping bag to put on your head. This pool sometimes has amazing sparkling bubbles in the water at one end.
The private bathing areas are large, bright and cavernous (no personal space issues) and are in an art deco style. Both side have been recently refurbished. There are also pools of different temps. and a very hot sauna.
The Szechenyi baths are in another direction but also near lots of tourist attractions so you may find yourself close to them at some point. These are largely outdoor pools, (theres lots of indoor stuff too) and are a lot of fun. Both sexes bathe together here in the large open air heated pools and bathing suits are obviously required. There is also a large pool for laps. This is the place you see people playing chess in the water. One of the pools has bubbles and jets all over the floor and sides and a whirlpool feature in the middle that is not to be missed : a circle of very swiftly swirling water and everyone in it gets whipped around at great speed. Be careful of theft here. I had a rucksack stolen outdoors, later found tossed deep inside the building. Camera, book and towel untouched, but a small amount of cash was gone.
Your hotel is situated in a great location and if you're facing the river as you say you are, you will have a view of the parliament buildings straight ahead. I've met friends for drinks there but not stayed myself.
Please post a trip report when your return. My first visit was for just 2 days 4 years ago and was crammed with no end of things to do as I'm sure you will find yours to be. Visit one of the many famous cake houses for coffee and a slice of amazing cake, the Museum of Terror, a night at the Opera even if only to marvel at the interior, and a walk up castle hill to the citadel (right beside the Gellert), in addition to many other common tourist activities. Budapest is a very beautiful city and I hope you have good weather.
Can't wait to return at the end of October for my 4th visit in as many years.
These famous Thermal Bath and Hotel, known world-wide and highly favoured by foreigners, built in a secession style. The interior is an Art Deco masterpiece, and just about every type of bath - hot, cold, therapeutic, etc. - that you can think of is on available.
The present building, with its glass dome, terraces, open-air pool and bathhouses, took six years to complete. The indoor and outdoor pools are supplied with water from a hot spring within Gellért Hill. Its chalky, slightly acidic, hydrogen-carbonate, radioactive water contains many minerals. The water surges from its source at a temperature of 43C°.
Believe it or not, the wave pool opened in 1927, followed seven years later by the effervescent swimming pool. Bathing here has been compared to going swimming in a museum or a church. And in the summer, the Baths open the huge, deliriously enjoyable wave pool that will toss you around like a surfer.
The summer terrace buffet provides snacks, soft drinks and the ever popular bottles of beer from which some guests choose to slurp while in the thermal pool.
The latest reconstruction of the bath has been completed in the middle of April 2008.
Open daily, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entrance fee: http://www.spasbudapest.com/furdo.php?idx=5&menu=10
Built in 1916, it was reknowned in its time for being one of the best spa/bath resorts in Europe. There are several indoor and outdoor pools with that constant temperature needed to satisfy the body. The fame of this spa hotel is known round the world.
On a recent visit to Gellert Baths my partner and I opted for a massage at approx 13 pounds each.
After being in the pool for about an hour we decided to go for massage. I got mine ok but my partner was told to come back in another 2 and a half hours time! She said no and when we came out she went to get a refund but was told they never give refunds under any circumstances!!
This and the overall prision like feel to the baths did not give a good impression and we found the experience to be very dissapointing. The changing areas were also freezing cold and the showers were horrible. Overall not recommended and certainly not luxurious.
A well known spa/pool complex attached to the famous Gellert hotel complex.
The pool complex has indoor and outdoor pools with a wave that goes every half hour or so. There are also mens and womens separate areas and spa's etc.
The complex is open from 6am to 7pm except winter weekends where it closes at 5pm. The grand surroundings make this a very pleasant swimming experience.
Open Mon-Fri: 6 am - 7 pm. Sat-Sun: 6 am - 5 pm. One of the most popular baths for tourists coming to Budapest, decorated with original Art Nouveau furnishings. Entrance fee: HUF 3500=EUR 15. Services offered: 30 min. massage HUF 3100=EUR 13, Pedicure HUF 2000=EUR 13, Facial treatment HUF 10300=Eur 44,Manicure HUF 1450=EUR 6. There are 2 pools with temperatures 36*C & 38*C. Sauna room.