Budapest sits on a tectonic plate fault line in Eastern Europe. While earthquakes seem inevitable, one advantage to the location is the proliferation of mineral water spas in the city. Here are a few highlights.
The Gellert Spa Hotel is located in the center of Budapest on the eastern shore of the Danube River. From the front, the hotel looks like a classic renaissance building you would find in Paris or Vienna. The entrance to the hotel opens onto an indoor pool that looks like something out of ancient Rome. The square pool is surrounded by baroque columns and covered by a glass roof two stories above the water. Palms, plants and relaxing Hungarians are everywhere. It is staggeringly impressive.
For roughly ten dollars, you can have the full Gellert experience. There is on mixed sex indoor pool and two sections reserved for just men and women. In these reserved sections, one can get massage services, but keep in mind these are vigorous Turkish style massages. Put another way, you will be getting slapped around a bit instead of nearly falling asleep.
At the rear of the Gellert, there is an outdoor area that rivals any Las Vegas hotel. Unlike Vegas hotels with themes, this pool area is truly historic. The area comes with marble steps, ceramic tile mosaics and lush landscape. One tends to feel a bit like you are taking a bath in the Vatican.
Frankly, there are spas all over the place in Budapest. Although I didn’t personally visit it, I was told very good things about the Kiraly Baths. Kiraly was apparently built during Turkish rule and the spa experience is entirely Turkish.
If you get the chance to visit Budapest, make sure you drop by one of the spas. Prices are relatively cheap and the experience is definitely worth it.