We love Budapest and we love The Gellert baths.
This was our second time in Budapest and our 6th time in Gellert Baths. We loved our first Budapest visit so much that when we came back a second time, we stayed for a month. I am someone who often has aches and pains, any length of walking hurts my ankles, and I retain all my stress (from dealing with crowds) in my shoulders. So hot springs that aren’t crowded are ideal! Gellert is wonderful for that. I’m going to help you prepare for it like a PRO.
First you should understand how wonderful Gellert Baths is!
When going to Gellert you will need a few things to make your experience joyous. Most things are optional but there are a few keys to your own comfort:
No need to buy online, there are ticket desks on either side of the Gellert Baths entrance, and lines are usually non existent. Credit cards work, so does Hungarian Forint, they don’t accept foreign currencies.
You will be confronted with the choice, “Locker or cabin?”
Michelle at Gellert Baths
Lockers are fine but the price difference is nominal and the space difference is so great, cabins easily win out. This pays for your ticket and a cabin/locker. With the cabin, only one person pays the extra 1.35 euros and everyone else pays the locker price and you can all share the cabin. To be clear when they say cabin the mean a dressing room with a lock on it.
You will receive a wearable red wristband that will activate the lock. Everyone who has a locker or is sharing the cabin will have a blue wristband. All other rentable things like towels, robes or slippers can be rented in the baths themselves.
|Adult ticket with locker||5 900 Ft 18.74 Euros||6 100 Ft 19.37 Euros|
|Adult ticket with cabin||6 300 Ft20.01 Euros||6 500 Ft20.64 Euros|
So the day came, you packed your backpack and you are ready to got to the baths!
You found the building so grand and gorgeous.
Be sure to walk to the right side of the building where the entrance to the baths are.
Buy your tickets here. The ticket people are quick, they may or may not tell you your cabin or locker number, no worries, there are hosts down in the baths that will show you.
Gellert Hotel Entrance
Go along towards the end, don’t go in the therapy entrance and go towards the turnstiles. With your bracelet on, place the blank watch face bit on the little fob reader and when the light goes green, walk on through. If it doesn’t work there will be an attendant nearby that can help, just ask nicely.
Then you go through all these stairs and turns of tiled tunnels until you come to an opening, if you have a locker, follow signs to upstairs, if you have a cabin and don’t know the number, ask the attendant and they will show you a machine to read the wristband and send you in the right direction of your locker.
If you are someone who is renting a towel or any other things, go to the right first and the rental counter will be around the corner. Towels, robes, slippers etc all available.
Ok, you got your stuff, now head to your cabin, you press the fob of the wristband against the fob reader on the door and it will open. Hang up what you can and get yourself changed. You shouldn’t worry about things being stolen, there are lots of attendants around, though I wouldn’t leave the door open for any extended period of time without you being next to it.
Ok, so here is my suggested tour. Try to keep your towel dry, it’s difficult but worth it for the walk home.
First from the fitting room follow signs for “outdoor pool” go outside first, start at the lower end and work your way up, there is a wave pool which can be fun, especially in the summer. For kids. Then on the upper part of the outside there is a 36 degree celsius hot spring pool. Try to get a turn with your shoulders under the water pipes. Enjoy it, bask a bit. Take it in. There is an ice bath “bucket” next to that and a sauna, too. I love switching from one to the other but take it at your own fancy.
From there go back to in, go right past the cabins and take a slight left to get to the rental counter. You will see a set of stairs, follow it up and you will find yourself on the upper deck of the indoor pool - this is your Instagram shot, this is a nice place to chill. It is usually quiet and lovely. There is a cafe up there too if you want to stop for a tea or coffee at some point.
Then go down and walk around the lap pool, if you have a swim cap and want to do laps, it is the most luxurious place to do so. Don’t try and go in without a cap, they will blow whistles and will yell at you. I have tried. Personally, I think they do this to stop Instagrammers cramming up the place.
From there, there is another 36°C pool that is a nice restarter to your thermal journey. After you take that in for a bit, get out and walk around the right of the lap pool and go in this door. It is conspicuously small.
You will then walk to the right around all the massage stalls that are almost always empty.
From there you will see two doors, go straight through and you will find yourself in a lovely tiled cathedral, the heart of Gellert. Try to be quieter in these areas, it’s incredibly echo-y and people are trying to relax.
Main Gellert Bath Hall
On your right is the sauna, and straight ahead there are the steam rooms next to the showers and next to that is one of my favorite, the ice bath!
On either side of you, you will see the 36°C bath and the 40°C bath. Start in the 36, it is slightly warmer than the one outside or the one next to the lap pool. If you want to be on the stairs, make sure to leave room for others to walk by. Don’t be the asshole group of tourists. Try to get a turn under the waterfall lions as I started calling them, they are hotter than the rest of it and give a lovely natural shoulder massage. Some people will hog them, wait close by and when someone leaves, move quickly over. Warning, old men and women are ruthless and move in wayyyyy faster than you think.
I usually head from 36 to the 40, then after I get too hot, I go take a dip in the ice bath. Makes me feel like I am in Scotland again. It’s also amazing for muscle aches. I then ease myself back into the 40.
If you are going to do the steam room, make sure to have a second towel with you because your original towel will be a sopping mess after. Also be weary of the bottom bench, steam comes from this point and if you are not cautious, you will scald your calf. Yes, I did.
I always finish with the sauna, it is a nice way to dry yourself and your towel off. There are three “levels” or rooms to the sauna. The first level is like dry and warm but is good because you can look in the second room and decide if it is too busy so you can wait for someone else to leave.
If you are barefoot when going in the second room, be weary that the floor is lava. It will hurt after a minute. This is my sweet spot. I lasted all of 1.5 minutes in the third room but enter if you dare.
After this I usually go back to the cabin. I don’t normally shower immediately and save it for home where I can feel really clean. There are bags in the cabin area for swimsuits, go ahead and grab some. I have one major rule for the cabin. Keep the floor dry. Nothing is worse than wet socks or clothes. Dry your feet before going in, we are not animals, we live in a society. After changed, find a swimsuit drying machine, use it, it is wonderful and free.
If you did this right you will feel like jelly when you leave. I like to walk back, when crossing the bridge it can be a bit windy so it is really nice to have my hat to hold my hair together and not let me freeze.
You just finished your visit to the Gellert Baths! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.Written on May 19th, 2019 by Michelle McKenna