Budapest, Hungary

Today is our last day in Budapest. It’s absolutely flown by (story of this whole year, right?!), and I haven’t written as much about the city as I normally would. I think that’s because it’s been awfully gloomy and I’ve had to start taking my Vitamin D tablets again so I don’t go homicidal on everyone who bumps into me in the crosswalks.

Anyway, over the weekend, Saturday was gloriously sunny FINALLY! We walked to grab coffee and pastries then headed over to City Park (Városliget in Hungarian).

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The park is huge, and has tons of different sections, including Széchenyi Thermal Baths and the Budapest Botanical Gardens. The trees were bright yellow and every time the wind blew, it was like a shower of little gold leaves.

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My favorite part of the park was Vajdahunyad Castle. We walked over a small bridge decorated with flowers and did several loops around the castle.

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The detail was incredible, and it was so beautiful against the blue sky and yellow trees.

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There was a small sitting area in front of the castle where we polished off our pastries and just enjoyed the crisp, fall day.

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On Sunday, it was back to gloomy weather again so we decided to make our way over to Gellért Thermal Baths, which I’d read is a must do when you come to Budapest. It won’t be hard to find the Gellért building, and once you get inside and pay (day pass w/ locker is about $18), store your stuff and run down to the baths. There are indoor pools in all sizes, mineral baths in all temperatures, cold plunge pools, an outdoor wave pool, outdoor mineral bath and sauna, indoor massage areas, steam rooms, saunas, a cafe, and probably even more areas that I didn’t make it to.

The bath complex was constructed between 1912-1918 in the Art Nouveau style, and has tile mosaics throughout. It’s not really a place made for photos (you’re walking around in your wet bathing suit so nowhere for a camera to go) but I went back to my locker and grabbed my phone to snap a couple so you can see what it’s like inside.

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This is the main swimming pool, and it’s very beautiful. The balconies up top are part of the cafe.

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I was in love with these emerald green showers. They were right outside one of the steam rooms, next to the ice cold plunge pools. (Steam room, plunge pool, steam room, plunge pool, that’s how 1/3 of Sunday looked for me.)

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Here is part of one of the mineral bath complexes. As you can see, the baths were a bit crowded since it was a Sunday, but overall, the entire complex was gorgeous and we had a ton of fun wallowing in all the pools.

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If you decide to go, here’s what I’d do: Pay for the day pass with changing room. Several people could fit in one room if you all needed to change. Bring 2 towels, one to carry around with you all day, then another to keep in your room and use to dry off at the end of the day. Also, bring a swim cap if you want to swim in the main pool, or you can buy them for something like 50 cents. I’d also bring sandals if you don’t like walking through spas barefoot (about half the people were wearing sandals from what I saw). You can also bring a water bottle or cup to fill up at the fountains around the spa. You can get quite warm in some of the areas, so rehydrating is key. Their hours are here in English and have fun!

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