Forget about food trucks – Budapest’s quirkiest sensation on wheels is the “mobil szauna”, a fully functional wood-fired sauna installed inside an old minibus that first appeared at varied sites citywide in 2015. Now the mobile sauna is back in the Magyar metropolis just in time to bake away the winter blues, parked at a new riverfront location to provide its perspiring patrons with panoramic views. Anyone can book a Scandinavian-style sweat session here, but do so ASAP; this rolling spa hits the road again in mid-February.
The mobil szauna premiered in winter of 2015 as a project of Budapest’s creative Valyo nonprofit organization, aiming to better integrate life in the city with the river that bisects it by improving access to Danube banks and highlighting underutilized stretches of urban waterfront; their most popular initiative is organizing summertime Liberty Bridge picnics. Now that winter’s here again, Valyo brought back its sauna on wheels this month, parking it on a neglected Pest-side shoreline just south of Rákóczi Bridge, not far from the Palace of Arts.
Until February 25th, everyone is welcome to discover this grassy riverfront expanse (located close to the southern terminus of Pest’s scenic tram 2 line) and step aboard the mobile sauna. Here couples or small groups change into swimsuits and relax in this vehicular spa equipped with windows to provide sweeping Danube vistas during 90-minute private visits.
The wood-heated sauna chamber reaches sweltering temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius, and truly robust patrons can conclude their sweat session in proper Scandinavian style: with a cold shower outside in the frigid air.
Mobile sauna guests only need to bring swimsuits, towels, slippers, and a voucher or registration info provided after pre-booking a time slot through the official Valyo website. A 15,000-forint donation covers Valyo’s expenses to provide private usage of the sauna for parties of two to six people.