The baths is believed to have been built in the 1550s and rebuilt by Pasha Sokol Mustafa in 1566. At that time it was called 'Green Columned Baths'. The centre of the present Rudas Baths, the Turkish bath, was formed during the Turkish occupation. It has an octagonal pool under a 10m-span dome supported by eight columns and surrounded by a barrel-vaulted corridor. It exists today almost in its original form and is the core of the present baths. The swimming pool dates from 1896 and was the second indoor pool in Budapest. The thermal baths is popular with all ages, though is for men only. The swimming pool, which operates as a medicinal pool, is primarily visited by the elderly. However, children's groups also visit in large numbers. Several generations have learnt to swim here. There are also complex physiotherapic services (daily hospital) offered on the second floor of Rudas Gyógyfürd.
If you never get out of Budapest proper to see the countryside (and you absolutely should take excursions to the countryside) then you should pamper yourself in town by visiting a different spa each day, interspersed with many glasses of the most excellent local wines and healthy portions of the great food (with lots of fresh paprika peppers naturally.) Make sure you include the Gellért Bath and Széchenyi Bath. While you are at treat yourself to a 30 minute massage - it will cost you about $7 US at the Gellert.
If you do take excursions, at a minimum take the trip to Eger, to Esztergom, to Lake Balaton and to Pécs. And while you are in the area of Pécs, see the wine museum in Villany, the wineries outside Villany, and Siklos castle (see here and follow the links to photos from both trips.)
The Art Nouveau building was constructed between 1916 and 1918 and is shared by the 4-starred hotel and the famous Gellert Thermal Bath. It consists of several indoor pools and an outdoor pool.
The glass-roof of the indoor "bubbling-bath " swimming pool can be opened in fine weather. In the park of the Hotel there is another swimming pool with artificial waves and several warm-water pools.
Swimming at the Gellert Baths is good fun . Don't be tempted to swim in the wrong direction though on a fierce pool attendant will admonish you!
If you've got the time head over to the Gellert Hotel and Bath to take a soak with the tourists, and a few locals.
I visited Gellert baths, the water was hot but the facilities are old. It's more like a park, but I wouldn't call it SPA at all. If you go there take your own towel, flip-flops, and bath cap.
The old Hotel Gellert and their bathhouse is a must. It's a great way to relax after a day of walking and climbing around the city.
The Gellert Baths are a very relaxing place. Staff was incredibly rude but once you're past them, enjoy yourself!
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