The one big thing I had on my Budapest To Do list was visit the thermal baths. There are lots of thermal bathhouses in Budapest, a leftover tradition from the Ottoman occupation days which led Budapest to be called the "City of Spas". There are numerous hot springs, thermal waters, and mineral deposits, so you have lots of choices.
We went with Gellert Baths since they were the closest to us, but a quick google search will bring up dozens of options. Fionn and I are usually keen on trying out baths wherever we go (like in the Moroccan hammam) and it's always interesting how things differ from country to country.
After you pay your fee, you can get changed in the locker rooms (or a private cabin if you pay extra). If you go, remember to bring your own swimsuit, towel, flip flops, and swim cap (you need a swim cap to swim in the large pool), otherwise you'll have to pay to rent or buy your supplies when you get there.
Gellert has one large outdoor pool with a wave machine, but inside they offer pools of different temperatures as well as steam rooms. We started with the indoor pool, first taking a dip in the 36* C water and then switching to the colder pool pictured above.
There are drinking fountains around and it's said the mineral water can help certain ailments.
I liked all the carvings on the columns, and they're all different!
It was so relaxing just floating in the water, looking up at the sky, but soon we decided to explore some more. Next stop, the thermal baths!
The thermal baths were 36* and 38* C, and if you like you can sit in the sauna or take a dip in the 18* C pool (no thanks!!). They also have massage, pedicure, and medicinal treatments available for a fee.
Michelle and I really liked the thermal baths, so we spent a long time just floating around, relaxing our sore muscles and admiring the tile work.
It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it.
We stopped to peek outside at the outdoor pool, but the water was too cold so we headed back inside to warmer temperatures. The kids didn't seem to mind!
After nearly two hours and many pruney fingers later, we decided to go find dinner. So we said goodbye to Gellert baths, took a few pictures of the gorgeous architecture and stained glass, and headed out.
Luckily, we were just in time for the sunset :)
We found a place with live music, enjoyed some goulash, chocolate cake, and a glass of cherry polinka (a Hungarian liqueur neither of us were very fond of), and enjoyed our last night in Budapest.
That was it for Budapest! I only wish we'd had more time there. Next stop, Vienna!