Since Budapest is famous for its thermal spas and mythical magic curing waters I knew that my visit would have to include a trip to a spa. Having seen photos of a very crowded Gellert Spa online I thought I’d try out one of the others in the Trip Advisor Top 5 list. Hello, Rudas!
This spa is certainly not as spectacular from the outside as the Gellért or Széchenyi Thermal Bath but it is good value if you’re smart and come prepared.
If you want to use the swimming pool you will need to wear a swimming hat which can be rented from the main reception when you purchase your ticket. We did not venture into the pool so didn’t need to buy any. Our visit was on a Tuesday, which is ‘Ladies Day’ at the stunning original Turkish octagonal bath in the centre of the spa. It is open to men Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and for groups on Saturday and Sundays. The wellness centre and swimming pool were open to both sexes but the Turkish bath was only for us gals on Tuesdays.
This was my favourite part of the spa. The room is a large stone octagon with a domed ceiling and columns around the edges next to some steps leading into the pool. In the corners of the room are four pools of varying temperatures, each marked on the wall above the pool. Swimsuits are optional in here and many embraced that or wandered topless. Just a heads up if you are the prudish type!
We had pre-booked our visit and I would recommend to if you are pressed for time and don’t want to miss out on a spa experience. Check out this Google view of the octagon here.
The foyer has the pay desk and turnstiles into the spa. There is also a small snack bar and seating. We felt a little overwhelmed not being able to speak Hungarian as the ‘friendly’ welcome hostess pounced on us when we entered asking us what our booking details were and what we wanted to purchase! Give yourself a minute to decide whether you want a changing room or a locker, towels and or swimming hats and if you want access to all areas (of course you do!)
Top tip: Bring your own towels to avoid the cost of renting them and bring your own flip flops as you will be wandering around in the spa and you may be hygiene conscious.
We got a locker, which was perfectly fine but there are changing cabins downstairs if you prefer. If you wish to avail of the pool facility you must wear a hat, another cost if you haven’t brought your own.
We entered on the right, past the pay desk and into the lift to the next floor up. Your bracelet received when you enter lets you swipe at turnstiles and gain access to the different areas.
We walked down a corridor full of lockers and a few changing stalls. We showed our receipt and got a towel each. A quick change and an aimless wander down another corridor led us to the pool and the wellness area. There are 4/5 pools of varying temperatures and large glass windows that look out onto the road. I thought they were tinted windows allowing us to look out and stood in my bathing suit looking out the window. Heads up, they are not tinted! You are literally in your swimsuit with a glass panel separating you from the main road’s traffic and passers by!
A walk upstairs past another snack bar brings you to the round, heated pool on the roof with lovely views over the Danube. This is open from 8am until 10pm I believe, so if you want it to yourself, you know what time you need to get there! Yip, early o’ clock!
I love the heated pools in this wellness area. I adore hot showers and warm oceans and piping hot baths so the sulphuric pool in the wellness centre was a balmy 42 degrees celsius. Bliss!
We spent about 2 hours in the spa relaxing and chilling out and I would recommend this spa as I thoroughly enjoyed it. While it did not have the aesthetics of the older outdoor pools it had plenty to offer including a list of massage services, and saunas and steam room.
Top tip: Your Budapest card gives you a 20 percent discount. Also under 14s are not permitted into the thermal pools so if you are traveling with kids know where is off limits to them.
Any good pamper palace is worth it in my book and while it was busy, it was not packed and some photos I have seen of the other spas lead me to believe it is quite jammers.
Do some research and see which spa experience is for you but if you want a clean spa with plenty of pools and a stunning rooftop view and authentic Turkish bath experience might I recommend Rudas. Check out their website for more details.
Thank you to Rudas Spa for the 50% discount for me on my visit. As always all opinions are my own.