Health, recreation and relaxation have always been major attractions of Hungary’s tourist industry. Budapest is one of the few capital cities with a surfeit of spa waters, and therapeutic soaking has been practiced here since Roman times. Reactivated under the Ottomans, Budapest’s bathing culture was developed in the early 20th century, when ornate bathhouses were built. Promoting the city as a spa destination, establishments such as the Gellért, the Széchenyi and, most recently, the Rudas, have all seen major modern renovations and now are essential stops on any visit to the city.
Photo Credit: Chiara Salvadori
Where to bath?
Gellért Baths: The most famous bath in town, the Gellért Thermal Bath designed by three architects between 1912 and 1918 as part of the glamorous, late Art Nouveau Gellért Hotel. Consisting of an outdoor pool, a wave bath and extensive sunbathing area, they retain their historic character inside, where the spa baths and saunas operated as single-sex attractions until relatively recently.
Photo Credit: Goold Photography
Széchenyi Thermal Baths: No trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to the Széchenyi. The city’s busiest and most tourist-friendly spa, the Széchenyi provides the backdrop for the iconic image of bathers playing chess in the waters. This is one of three outdoor pools, complemented by saunas, steam rooms, relaxation areas and more baths at varying temperatures inside. Of all the baths, this is the one where you can most easily spend the whole day.
Photo Credit: tourya.com
Rudas Baths: The most recent of Budapest’s baths to be renovated, the Rudas Baths near the Buda side of Elizabeth Bridge now feature a panoramic pool roof and restaurant, as well as tastefully restored spa areas. Despite this 21st-century makeover, the Rudas still echoes its distinct Ottoman rootf – it was the first built and developed in the 1550s and 1560s. In another recent development, the spa now allows men and women to bathe together at weekends, with all-night opening hours.
Photo Credit: Zoltán Balogh
at Aria Hotel Budapest, Harmony Spa offers a unique fusion of spa and state of the art wellness for an integrated experience to help you relax, revitalize, re-energize and rejuvenate in the heart of the city center.
Photo of the award-winning Harmony Spa
Favorite Treatment offer of Harmony Spa by Szilvia Sajtos, Spa Manager of Harmony Spa:
Power Vitamin C antioxidant facial 90 min
Wake up tired looking skin with this invigorating facial. It begins with a powerful pomegranate and lactic acid exfoliation to polish away impurities and clarify pores. Then, we apply an Aloe Vera balm to rehydrate and liven-up your skin. A Vitamin C derivative masque completes this treatment and aids in vitamins and anti-oxidant production to make your skin look brighter than before.
for skin that is: dry, tired, and in need of a pick me up
benefits: Intensive light effect treatment & relentless anti-oxidant activity
results: tight and vibrant skin
Hungarian Rhapsody Treatment 90 min
This treatment is designed to inspire complete relaxation and leave your body feeling rejuvenated and reinvigorated. It begins with a full-body exfoliation with Thermal Spring Salt, which prepares your skin to soak up the benefits of the special Hungarian mineral-rich body wrap. From there, you can enjoy the peaceful, insulating sensation as you are wrapped in the mud. Our licensed therapists will give an exceptional Hungarian facial massage and also a one-of-a-kind spa experience that is nowhere to find!
for those who: are looking for a relaxing, total-body experience
benefits: aids in relaxation
results: full body relaxation
Essential Flower Deluxe Pedicure 60 min
Our seasonal pedicure is a luxurious treatment that is also firmly focused on results. First, we use red flower bath to soften your toes. Then we apply Honey Salt Scrub to work off tough, dry skin, and follow it up with Warmed Marigold Balm to soften your heels. Lastly, we apply our apricot oil to leave your feet looking sleek and moisturized.
for those who: are looking for an ultimate pedicure for hydrating revitalizing
benefits: revive, renew, and refresh even the most dehydrated feet
results: leave your feet bright and moisturized