Taking the plunge in Budapest

by William ASTON on August 11, 2009

In Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital, you can sample spicy paprika at the Great Market Hall (designed by Gustave Eiffel), sip coffee in a genteel turn-of-the-20th-century cafe, and enjoy an affordable performance at the luxurious Opera House.

Budapest has its fair share of museums and monuments, too: You can ogle the opulent interior of the Hungarian Parliament, get a taste of the gloomy Hungarian psyche at the National Gallery, and wander through a field of quirky old communist statues at Memento Park.

But splashing and relaxing in Budapest’s thermal baths is a top attraction. Though it might sound daunting, bathing in Budapest is far more accessible than you’d think. Tourists are welcome. The thermal baths are like your hometown swimming pool except the water is 100 degrees, there are plenty of jets and bubbles to massage away your stress and you’re surrounded by Hungarians having fun.

The city has 123 natural springs and some two-dozen thermal baths. The baths are actually a part of the health-care system. Doctors regularly prescribe treatments that include massage, soaking in baths of various heat and mineral compositions, and swimming laps. For these patients, a visit to the bath is subsidized.

In Hungary, a typical bath complex has multiple pools, used for different purposes. Big pools with cooler water are for serious swimming, while the smaller, hotter thermal baths are for relaxing, enjoying the jets and current pools, and playing chess. You’ll find a dry sauna, a wet steam room, a cold plunge pool, and sunbathing areas.

With or without your Speedo, take the plunge. If you go into it with an easygoing attitude and a sense of humour, you’ll never forget bath time in Budapest.

More information is at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: Airline earn from cancellation fees

Next post: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa