In one of the large outdoor pools you can test your wits with a game of chess while chest-high in hot water
Hungary is famous for its baths, and the Széchenyi Baths are the pick of the bunch. They opened in its current form in 1913 and were named after Count István Széchenyi, a Hungarian politician, theorist and writer, who bears the rather impressive epithet of “the Greatest Hungarian”.
The baths are found in the Northern part of the City Park. Built in a Neo-baroque style, it is a palatial, labyrinthine complex with 18 pools: 3 outdoors and 15 indoors. So there’s room for everyone, and the baths receive many hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. They are also open every day, without fail, so you can sit in a hot pool, steaming luxuriously amid droves of snow.
The pools cover the whole range of bearable temperatures, from freezing to scalding. The waters are supplied by two thermal springs with waters of 74 and 74 degrees celsius. To access these springs they drilled more than a thousand metres underground, and a single spring provides 6,000,000 litres of hot water every day.
Besides the pools you can enjoy massages, saunas, a gym and all manner of drinks and food from the cafe. Between June and August they also offer night time pool parties every Saturday. And also, don’t worry: bathing suits are obligatory.
Fountain of youth
The Széchenyi Baths are the largest medicinal baths in Europe. The thermal water includes sulphates, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate along with fluoride acid and metaboric acid. You don’t need to know what those are, just that people swear by the baths as treatment for joint and skin problems, among all sorts of other things
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