Our last full day saw us having a little lie in before heading to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda). This is quite a famous spa situated at the end of Andrássy út, and is the largest medicinal baths in the whole of Europe.
Now, we had seen the buttercup yellow building, looking like a mansion but had no idea what it was going to be like inside. We had our ticket booked and hopped on the metro from Blaha Lujza tér which stopped directly at the baths (Széchenyi fürdő)
We entered inside, and it was indeed like a stately home. We were given plastic wristbands which were coded to a particular “cabin” This was basically a changing room, where you could store all your belonging securely, and only your band could get you in and out.
I changed into my Ewa Michalak bikini and we headed outside. Walking out of the main doors, my mind was blown. I think my chin hit the floor. I certainly never expected the pool area that I saw in front of me.
Széchenyi has three large outdoor pools; a swimming pool, adventure pool and thermal sitting pool) and have temperatures between 27 to 38 °C (81 to 100 °F). In the thermal sitting pool, guests play chess whilst submerged. It really is a sight to see!
Inside there are 15 more pools and numerous sauna and steam rooms. The pools have combinations of natural chemicals in, making them ideal for various conditions; including calcium, magnesium, sulphate and even fluoride.
Boo and I spent the initial period outside, the sun was shining and it was quite warm. We dipped in and out of the pools as we saw fit. We then decided to go across to the indoor section and check some of them out.
We watched as a group of elderly people did a class with weights in a certain pool. It really was like something from years gone by! We tried all the different pools, but were so warm we decided against the saunas.
Heading back outside again, we entered the adventure pool were there is a Jacuzzi and a lazy river. Random jets of water come on and off, and I really could feel the whole benefit of the thermal waters.
Sadly it was soon time to leave, and we went back to our cabins to change. The weather was looking decidedly dodgy, so we made the choice to go back to our hotel. We could have a leisurely hour or two, then get ready and go out for dinner.
As we were leaving the next day, we did a little packing, and decided on clothes for the night. As we were going to go out for a nice meal, and then the Ruin Bars, I decided to wear my Pin Up Girl Clothing Tiki dress in red and orange. I matched my accessories and hair flowers and felt pretty good about myself.
We decided to go to a nearby Italian restaurant, Il Terzo Cerchio. Now normally you eat the food of the country you are in, but we were craving cheese. And Pasta.
The restaurant was like a cellar, with vaulted ceilings and Italian decor. We hadn’t booked a table and it was pretty busy! However, the staff found us a quiet table and we had a good look at the menu.
I decided to have a portion of Spaghetti Carbonara as a prima piatti, and went for a pizza for my main course. I have to say, both of my meals were absolutely scrumptious. Fresh and so very tasty, I would heartily recommend a visit if you are in Budapest.
Eventually we finished our meal and headed out. One of the places I wanted to visit the most was the “Ruin Bars” and had been told that Bar Szimpla was the best one to go to.
It wasn’t that far from our hotel, so we walked down to find it. You couldn’t miss this place! A huge ramshackle building in the middle of a small street. The premise of the Ruin bars is that a derelict building is transformed into a usable space, in this instance, a bar.
Advertised as being full of vintage decor, and quirky objet d’art we thought it was our cup of tea!
Now, bearing in mind that I have already said about how out of place we felt in certain parts of Budapest, we thought we would fit in perfectly in the Ruin Bar.
The bar wasn’t filled with vintage treasures, but random “tat” beheaded dolls, rusty cars, old childrens toys, and a wall full of white masks. Everything was covered in graffiti and there was a concrete stairwell lit with only candle tealights; health and safety wasn’t really thought about!
I am not going to talk too much about our experience here, as I have written a whole post about it which will be publishing soon. Needless to say, The Ruin Bar was a different kind of night out. I will leave it at that, but do read my follow up post for more details.
We left the bar feeling very unsettled. Returning back to the hotel, we sat in the bar again and then went to our room to finish off all our packing as we flew home the next afternoon.
Getting up early we got ready to check out and spend our last couple of hours in the City.
We left our luggage with the hotel concierge and went to do a little souvenir shopping and of course, something to eat. Purchasing little gifts, memento’s and postcards, I managed to cross off quite a bit on my list, before hunger eventually got the best of us.
We headed back to Cicero and this time tried their burgers. I have to admit it was pretty damn good and filled a gap.
For dessert we made our way to Gelarto Rosa again, and this time I went for Basil-Lemon, Strawberry-elderflower, Peach and finally Mango.
A little more shopping and last minute sightseeing, we hopped on their tram system and had a ride along the Danube before returning back to where we started. It was lovely trying out another form of public transport, and again was as cheap as chips.
Eventually it was time to head back to the airport, our Budapest Stay very nearly over.
I have to admit, I loved nearly everything about Budapest. The hotel, facilities, public transport, sights, spa’s and food were out of this World. What I didn’t like was some of the attitudes of people within the City.
But the good far, far outweighed the bad, and you can’t tar everyone with the same brush!
If you are looking for a City Break that doesn’t break the bank, you really should give Budapest a try. It is a stunning City and there is so much to do. You won’t be able to fit everything in, but it worth giving it a go!
I am certainly glad I did.
Till next time