Margaret Island’s family-friendly Palatinus Bath was previously only open in summer, but after a major renovation that included installing an indoor thermal bath and a wellness section, this sprawling pool park now welcomes soakers year-round. The outdoor area also received some development and redecoration, as well, making this an appealing destination anytime.
As Budapest’s first open-air bath, the Palatinus pool complex opened in 1921 and quickly gained immense popularity among local citizens, including famous Hungarian writer and journalist Gyula Krúdy. In 1937, the bath had to be expanded with a Bauhaus-style main building, which was recently restored according to the original plans in compliance with the requirements of the National Authority of Protection of Monuments. Today, when standing in front of the complex, we can find the open-air bath’s entrance on the left, while the thermal section awaits on the right side.
The beautiful Margaret Bath, a complete thermal spa designed by Miklós Ybl (the architect of Budapest’s Opera House and many other significant buildings citywide), was operating in the northern part of Margaret Island until the ’50s, but had to be demolished in 1956 because of its deteriorated condition. Its function, however, was revived with this year’s completion of this new section of Palatinus, built in the basement.
The thermal section is comprised of a 32-34°C children’s pool with a dragon-shaped fountain in the middle, a 36°C 100-square-meter adult pool with thermal water, immersion pools with cool and hot water, a steam chamber, as well as geothermal and Finnish saunas. Medical services are also available on-site, the children’s pool is equipped with a children’s restroom, and the entire building complex was made accessible to physically disabled guests; we also saw a special lifting device used to help people with limited mobility descend into the water. Both the indoor and outdoor pools are filled by the artificially drilled thermal springs of Margaret Island.
All of the bath’s changing rooms were renewed, along with the restaurant section. We also explored the new rooftop terrace, which not only features a sun terrace but a cocktail bar, as well. From this year on, two open-air thermal pools – one for children and one for adults – will operate in the winter in addition to the indoor pools, which we can approach on heated pathways.
This article is sponsored by the Bp2017 Nonprofit Kft.