Has anyone been to the Széchenyi Baths in the last 6 months? I've read varying comments from "superb" to "disgusting". What have other RS' travelers found? I heard the place was being renovated and that only parts of the complex are open. Are bathing hats required for men and women, are they available for purchase at the facility? Thanks for any comments.
Here is one of the best places to get an idea of what you will be getting yourself into. (Do it!!! I have never met anyone who regreted going) http://szechenyispabaths.com/ and this is also the best all around site on Budapest.
Bathing hats weren't required two years ago in the outdoor pools and sauna spaces. We enjoyed going, but didn't find it to be as wonderful as the hype. That said, I'd go again, just with lower expectations.
I was there last May. Bathing hats were only required in the big lap pool for swiming laps; the other lounging pools did not require them. Overall, it was a very fun experience and unique. I wouldn't say they are superb facilities (locker rooms felt like those at the pool area of the YMCA), but it was a highlight of my weekend in Budapest. You can rent "towels" which are actually sheets and your deposit is refunded when you turn them in. Remember to bring a plastic bag to take your swimsuit home in. Have a great time!
Best thing I did in Budapest, hands down. I was there in late May last year - no bathing caps except for the lap pool. The locker rooms are...locker rooms. It's not a fancy spa, so if you're expecting more posh atmosphere I'd skip it. Loved seeing lots of locals and bobbing around, especially in the "fun" pool with it's bubbles and whirlpool. The RS book has a very helpful and accurate description of how to use the facilities.
Go to http://budapestflat.shutterfly.com/fivedaysinbudapest and download the pdf file called THE GUIDE. On the last page is a map of the bath house and full directions.
Thanks to all for the good information. We're not five star types so this should be a great experience; now, if I can just convince my wife to join me. James thanks for the two web sites; both are very informative. Is there a similar site as the "budapestshutterfly" for other cities in Europe?
Jon, there will be similar webpages when i become financially independent and can afford to buy apartments in towns all across Europe. But that doesnt seem to be in the cards right now. Besides, after Budapest why would you want to go anyplace else? The site is just a quick thing thrown together to help out our rental guests. There are some photos of neighboring countries on the site and I know a little about and have had some experience in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia if that is of any assistance.
I was there in in September. I guess I was just a bit grossed out but I'm kinda a clean-freak when it comes to that. As long as you don't think of the hundreds of people who sit in that water...I don't remember anything about renos. I was planning on staying there the full day but stayed for less than 2 hours, just kinda grossed out. Definitely worth the trip and you can decide how long to stay once you are there. Definitely book a massage.
GO TO THE CITY BATHS. There are other baths, and each has its own claim as to why you should go, but the City baths are where the locals soak. I bet the people who don't like the city baths stay at the Holiday Inn and search for a McDonald's. Hey, that's OK. I sometimes wonder why they travel, but at least they are. Each trip to the baths was a unique process for us. Although with the electronic bracelets things are becoming more standard. Go to the baths for a relaxation. Sit in the sun, swim in the lap pool, let the fountains give you a shower. Massage your back with the jets. Dry in the sun, Repeat until you can't stand up. Remember though, eating cake at pool side is forbidden. There are signs that picture this with the red circle around a cake and a line through it. My wife loves the city baths as no one is body conscious. Young to old, every shape and size imaginable. wayne iNWI